Thanks to the inclement weather currently assailing large parts of the UK today, it would seem that we’ve been spared the spectacle of the latest performance of Anjem C’s flying circus. Alas, however, instead of taking this as an augury of divine displeasure at their intended publicity stunt those piquant boys over at the Shariah Project (www.theshariahproject.com) have decided on the contrary that it’s merely a portent of the impending natural disasters facing Britain – unless it repents of course. Seems, however, that nobody informed their counterparts at the EDL who turned up in force for the counterprotest – I’m reliably informed that numbers were in excess of the normal attendance at a mid-week Bognor Regis home match. Alright, so I’m being a little facetious and for the record I also believe that endemic and more to the point, unchecked and unashamed sinfulness in society does indeed have the propensity to incur divine punishment – in the form of natural disasters.
My objection to Anjem and his feckless, motley crew is not based upon their planned protest against gambling – a ruinous vice which as a Muslim I also oppose and would love to see outlawed – rather it is as a consequence of the needlessly provocative, facile, self-defeating not to mention asinine nature of the encompassing campaign. Rather than dissuading anyone from the path of moral delinquency and propelling them to evaluate the relative merits of an Islamic lifestyle it achieves the opposite – a further hardening of an already sclerotic opposition to anything connected to Islam in addition to increasing the likelihood of verbal/physical assaults on wholly innocent members of the Muslim community.
To anyone thinking of providing that banal rejoinder of Amr bil Marouf (enjoining the good) wa nahiy an al-Munkar (and forbidding the evil) then please be apprised that the condition for this as explained by the classical ulema is that one must have the ability to effect the desired change without causing a greater harm. Clearly there is no such capability to close down off-licenses or gambling venues here in the UK; furthermore the comical “legal notices” that are handed out to proprietors during such events are seized upon by the right-wing press to augment the existing paranoia felt by large sections of the non-Muslim population vis-à-vis the alleged on-going Islamification of Britain.
The above is not to say that I am against speaking out or campaigning against the plethora of ubiquitous evils present in contemporary Britain rather that the style and manner of any outreach needs to be carefully considered before undertaking potentially counterproductive actions.
Anyway, I hope you all had a happy holiday period (no I didn’t just acknowledge Christmas or New Year so save the denunciations) and inshallah I will be back towards the end of the month with an article on the hadd punishments in Islam – all that stoning and hand cutting stuff in case you’re wondering. After that I hope to write a piece on how Islam – as I perceive it – views non-Muslims, taking a holistic look at the relevant ayat and ahadith as well as the opinions of the classical scholars.
Plenty of exciting material to come over the course of 2014 as well as some travel writing, inshallah.
May the peace and blessing of Allah (swt) be upon our master, the seal of the Prophets and our intercessor on the Day of Judgement, Muhammad ibn Abdullah. Ameen.