Three Years for Blogging

// February 22nd, 2007 // Blog

Egypt blogger jailed for 'insult'

I'm confused; how does insulting Al-Azhar University constitute insulting Islam?

Two comments i liked:

“If he had only criticized al-azhar without Hosni, he would probably be a free man.”
A.A

“Is the UK any better? You can be labelled a terrorist for heckling the home secretary, arrested if you protest against the government without permission, put under house arrest if the home office don't like the look of you, or simply detained without trial for the rest of your life.

But people seem to be happy with this, because they foolishly believe that such draconion powers will never be misused, and will only apply to “bad people”.”
Martin, England, UK

Lots of anti-Islam comments, which is understandable. Although, I am pretty tired of having to explain how not all Muslims practise Islam, and that a government run by Muslims is not the same as an Islamic State… it's not the excuses that i find tiring, but the fact that we have to make them so often.

Can Muslims in the West help to improve matters in Muslim countries, when the inhabitants of said countries cannot? Have we learnt anything from our own governments? Yes, they are less than perfect, but we cannot deny the good either. It is easy to criticize, but how can we change things?

12 Responses to “Three Years for Blogging”

  1. iMuslim says:

    P.S., apologies to Anonymouse, for stealing her ‘questioning’ style. She tends to round off her entries with stimulating questions for her audience, and i seem to have done the same on the last two entries! Hopefully, she won’t sue me for copyright, hehe.

  2. Sharique says:

    Actually he never insulted Islam even. Read this well researched post http://desicritics.org/2007/02/23/081646.php

    Its really sad to see the state of affairs in there so called Islamic countries. There countries are still in a infant stage of development and are yet to cope up with modern values. its the conflict between the modern values and Islamic values which creates a confusion. I often wonder if Shariah laws are more suited for a religious society rather than a non-religious present day societies. I was up against arm against the author when he mentioned this theory but slowly i seems to have accepted his theory.

  3. Lucyp says:

    From what i understand of the story, he insulted Mohammad, but it was tucked away on the same pages as a great article about Democracy giving way to Socialism and didn’t read it all.

  4. iMuslim says:

    Sharique: “I often wonder if Shariah laws are more suited for a religious society rather than a non-religious present day societies.”
    That is a good question. As with any governing system, it requires cooperation from the majority of citizens, the courts & the rulers, in order for it to work smoothly, and for its benefits to become evident. If the society is not particularly religious, true Sharia cannot be applied, IMO, as it relies on people respecting its rules, having some understanding of why they are in place (i.e., knowledge & love of Islam), and a fear of Allah that would prevent the State having to take a heavy-handed approach to keep order. Perhaps it doesn’t require such ideal circumstances, but it would certainly help.
    Also, my impression is that Sharia being so complete, cannot easily co-exist with a second system of rule. At present, many Muslim countries are part secular, part Sharia (with some tribal laws thrown in for good measure), which just leads to a big mess.
    I’m not sure what you mean by the conflict between ‘modern’ & ‘Islamic’ values. Can you give an example to illustrate your point?

    Lucy: Did you read his blog, or are you referring to another site?

  5. sharique says:

    iMuslim,
    I meant the coexistence of secular and liberal values with shariah laws, as you also mentioned. Places like Turkey and Pakistan which are trying to amend laws so as to please the world and also on the other hand fear transgressing shariah, thanks to the religious parties.

    But tell me one thing, Shariah laws are complete and how can it be that Allah made them only for a religious society? i am still to find an authentic reference.

  6. iMuslim says:

    But tell me one thing, Shariah laws are complete and how can it be that Allah made them only for a religious society? i am still to find an authentic reference.

    When i say complete, i mean that Sharia is all-encompassing; it covers every aspect of a Muslim’s life. Thus in order for it to “work”, it has to be in place where there are Muslims willing to live by it, and rulers willing to enforce it.

    As far as i am aware, Jews & Christians living in the old Islamic State, were allowed to govern their own communities, according to their own sacred laws, i.e., their own Sharia; Islamic Sharia was not imposed upon them. Overall their allegiance was to the Islamic State, but they were somewhat autonomous. I have to verify this though. Also, i don’t know what happened with non-kitaabi communities.

    That suggests that Sharia was designed for the Muslims. I would say it is like a test for us; are we willing to live by the rules of Allah, or not? There is no compulsion in any aspect of the religion, and so we have to make this choice for ourselves.

    However, most Islamic ‘values’ are universal, which means some aspects of Sharia could be applied in a secular environment. For example, riba [interest]-free transactions. It is an idea that is novel to the West, but it is noble in intent & deed, and would be of great benefit to any society.

    Also, social care & services. Is Zakah not a fine example of welfare reform, with the poorest members of the community being supported by the richest?

    Another example: the caliph Umar (may Allah be please with him) assigned every blind person in the state, a human guide. This is not found in Qur’an & Sunnah, but is a natural extension of the Islamic ideal that the strong (the State) should defend the weak (its disadvantaged citizens).

    I’m sure we could find many more examples of universal practices, without looking very hard, inshallah.

  7. sharique says:

    No my point is why can’t Shariah make a non-pious society pious? I understand that it all depends on person whether he/she is willing to submit to the will of Allah but what about those who are away from deen. And lets assume a society where a majority of people are away from deen, well nothing to assume…just look around :), so if shariah laws are implemented in this land, can it make the people pious? These are rules of the land no one can refuse saying i am not religious..so is there a provision in Islam which exonerates a non-pious person! no, right?

  8. iMuslim says:

    OK, sorry, i obviously missed your point!

    Well, first off, piety can be a relative and elusive term. None of us can really point to anyone and say “he’s pious”, as only Allah is the Knower of what we hide in our hearts.

    Perhaps you mean, non-practising Muslims? I.e., those who believe in Islam, but are currently too weak to live by it?

    The majority of Medina’s citizens were not Muslims. You had the Jews, the pagan Arabs & of course, the hypocrites. However, under the strong leadership of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the State was established, though it had its fair share of troubles.

    Also, the Muslims that were practicing (the Muhajirun & the Ansar, may Allah be pleased with them both) were well-trained by Rasoolallah, which meant that the Islamic State was very successful under the leadership of the rightly-guided caliphs, even though most of the new citizens of the rapidly expanding State were either new Muslims, or had not converted at all.

    So perhaps this means that Sharia can actually be implemented successfully in a majority non-practising society, but it relies on the Islamic leadership being strong, and above all, just.

    It is true, that those who do believe in Islam, and want to live life according to Allah’s will, even though they are weak (and we are ALL weak, in that sense), will find great support living under Sharia.

    However, Sharia is not a magic pill. It will not suddenly make the non-pious, pious, otherwise there would not have been a single hypocrite amongst the Muslims of Medina. Sharia only governs public spaces and interactions; a citizen has the right to do whatever they want in their own home, without being spied on by the State. What a person does in private, is between them and Allah, which is why Sharia cannot compel a believer into piety; this in the hands of the individual, along with the guidance of Allah.

  9. AnonyMouse says:

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu,

    Haha, no worries about ripping off my style! I’ll make a special exception for you… because you’re special! ;) :)

    Re:jailed blogger – apparently he *did* insult Islam. I was reading a newspaper article about him, and he allegedly said that when Muslims say that the violent actions of other Muslims aren’t part of Islam, they’re lying because all this violence really *is* a part of Islam – wana’oothu billaah!

  10. Daniel says:

    It’s great that you post the odd article about general topics, Z…, because otherwise atheists like me (who can’t really get seriously involved in heavy theological discussions) wouldn’t be able to comment.

    Perhaps the idea of two blogs, one for those who are interested in things theological and another for the ‘godless’ might work very well.

    With your special charm you could easily interweave the two together!

    Cheers!

  11. iMuslim says:

    Daniel: Thanks for the suggestion, but at this rate, i’ll have three blogs going!

    I suppose you find it difficult to comment on my blog, just as i find it difficult to comment on yours. I am not well versed in Politics, just as you are not well-versed in Islam (though from your history, you do seem to be very familiar with the concept of religion, from when you were an active Xtian).

    I do try to throw in the odd “general” topic, now and then, or at least, generalize my entries on Islam, so that non-Muslims can have an idea of what i’m trying to say.

    Take my blog to be an educational experience on life as a Muslim, as well as a place to comment, when you feel you can! I take your blog as a place to educate myself on the ways of the world, especially the dirtier side of politics (actually, i’m still waiting to find the “clean” side).

    Take care!

  12. Daniel says:

    I guess one’s own blog is a place where education also takes place, Z. As you read and research for posts you find out more and more just as you do from replying to comments.

    Questioning is the name of the game, always questioning. Problem is, there are so few answers. Cheers.

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