By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
20 August 2016
For as long as one can remember Anjem
Choudary has been in the business of telling the world that Islam is the best
religion in the world. Much like Zakir Naik, he went about telling the British
society about the virtues of Islam through its hallowed institutions like
Sharia. Given an opportunity he also lured people into reciting the Kalima and
then declaring to the world that one more person has embraced Islam. Saner
people would be repulsed with most of his ideas, but for Anjem and his
supporters, there can be nothing better than the Sharia: only through such a
law can Muslims be said to be living a truly Islamic life. Not just for
Muslims, Anjem had been advocating the application of Sharia for the whole of
Britain since according to him; the British citizens would be better off having
the status of the Dhimmis.
Anjem is notorious for wanting an Islamic
flag atop the British Parliament. Only through Islam, Britain would be able to
save its soul. Thus Islam is not just important for Muslims but for the whole
of British society and by extension for the whole world. If there is indeed any
dichotomous worldview which Islam advocates, then Anjem is its best example. The
world of Muslims according to him should be different from the world of
non-Muslims. The desire of each and every Muslim should be to convert the
non-Muslim world into a Muslim world through indoctrination and if possible
jihad. Anjem would choose the path of indoctrination instead of jihad, yet even
then he could not escape indictment.
Beyond the narrow legalistic interpretation
of whether Anjem Choudary can be held guilty on charges of terrorism is the
bigger question of what he was promoting. His advocacy of Sharia and his
complete refusal to condemn terrorism, even his failure to call people like Bin
Laden a terrorist on the nonsensical plea that he did not meet him, does not
inspire much confidence.
Likewise, his clear non-denunciation of ISIS
on the pretext that he could not condemn a fellow Muslim because his religion
forbade him was equally shameful and designed to escape the law rather than the
desire to speak the truth. In a situation where Muslims all over the world are
increasingly being questioned on the perverted interpretation of their
religion, strutting about the British society proclaiming that Sharia is divine
and immutable was the very obverse of what was required from a person like
In fact the case of Anjem Choudary requires
a deeper examination by the Muslim society, particularly within the Indian
context. It is well know that people like Anjem Choudary and Zakir Naik have
huge followings within Indian Muslims. Both men have shown huge hubris on
questions of the Islam and are brewing with ideas which assume the superiority
of Islam over all other religious and political ideologies.
bigger problem though is that both are reasonably educated people. This seems
to be in tune with other trends within Islamic terrorism wherein increasingly
the brains behind senseless violence have been educated Muslims. Whether it was
the 9/11, or the Bali bombings or the more recent Dhaka attacks, Muslim men
involved in these attacks came from educated backgrounds. Given the fact that
Indian Muslims lag behind in education as compared to most communities, this
indeed is a sorry development. For it is expected of such people to use their
educational capital to become the role model within the community. Role model
they are becoming but of a very different kind. The path that they have chosen
for themselves are asking others to take can only put the community at graver
risk of being the target of hateful criticism.
But perhaps such thoughts do not bother or
perturb our missionaries like Anjem Choudary. Perhaps they would be happy if
the Muslim community becomes a target of ridicule and hate as it will help them
in their politics of telling the Muslims that the world hates them. The prime
question which never gets asked either by the Choudarys or the Naiks and
millions of other Muslims is that why they are being made targets of
vilification. What else do they expect when in the 21st century, they want to
implement an early medieval law? Do they think that the world will appreciate
them when they advocate amputation for minor theft, when they have no law to
tackle sexual assault or when they justify slavery by denying agency to women
in all quarters of life? Or do they believe that the world should respect then
irrespective what nonsensical ideas they believe in? Isn’t it expecting too
much while giving away nothing?
Arshad Alam is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com
Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic
Muslim News, Arab
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Muslim News, World
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in America, Muslim
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Women and Feminism
Arshad how dare you can criticise Anjem
Chaoudary? He is very popular and loved by many Muslims not only in UK but all
over the world. While belong to 4.5% minority he has the audacity to challenge
the UK government to hoist the Islamic flag atop the British parliament. He is
the greatest exponent of Islamic supremacism. It is something non-Muslims would
never have in their wildest dreams to do similar thing in any Muslim country.
Though he promotes terrorism, encourages Muslim youth to join ISIS and to die
for Sunni Muslims, the UK government is afraid to arrest him.
In another sense, it is good on you. You
pick the brains of educated Muslims. You show to them that the concept of golden rule is unknown to
Anjem; While having more than 1000 mosques in London alone, Anjem never raised
his voice to reciprocate such concern and generosity to other communities in
Muslims countries, or not to destroy Hindu temples, Christian churches or Sufi
Arshad I could not answer one question
adequately. I think you are smart enough to write scholarly articles on the
outcome of the question: it would pick the brains of not only the educated, but
also the Alims, Mullahs and Imams as well. The question is something like this
“Why Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, who follow the greatest prophet ever walked
on the face of the earth, are lagging behind Indians, who are polytheists,
worshipping 330 million gods and idol worshippers”? In fact India is slowly
progressing towards super power status. Please remember I am not an Indian. You
may invite scholars like Naseer Ahmed and Mohammad Yunis, who often claim that
Islam is a wonderful religion, to find an answer, or even anyone for that
I understand your concern; and this is a subject
very close to my heart too. But I have not written much on this, because it can
lead to very messy debate, especially with the West having stolen a monopoly
over the subject-matter, and in effect having deprived lesser mortals like us
to even touch the subject; of course in a manner I would like to touch. If I
sing their tune, I would be heralded as an Indian Hero.
You see, the West is furious at women turning
dressed up on the public beaches. Can there be a more ridiculous obstinacy than
this? But the Western song will be sung by all the lesser mortals, who would
presume that there is merit in the public openness of woman’s skin.
I may not be able to convince you (though
I have reason to believe that you are not fully satisfied with the West’s arguments
on the subject), but you may have the opportunity to come out of your
bafflement when you realize that the existence of Islam is not fully irrelevant
and meaningless and a rounding off of Islamic argument is possible.
I don’t speak to you from a theocratic Muslim
viewpoint- which is monopolized by the traditional Muslim theocrats, not necessarily
representing the spirit of Islam.
I am an observer of the existing social situation
(the Muslim Muashra) which has obtained its shape from the long standing practice
of Islam by the Muslims. Not everything that they do is in sound shape. But not
everything that they do is redundant and valueless. So you have to take a grey-line
approach and discern the meaningful aspects. Would you like to engage on the
subject along with some of your emancipated lady-friends? I would like to request
Mr. Naseer Ahmad sb, Mr.Muhammad Yunus sb, and Mr. Sultan Shahin sb and of course
anyone into serious thinking, to discuss the subject matter under this thread
or some independent thread. We should be able to present a concerted and balanced
view in the interest of woman and man as dignified partners-in-life. I do hope it will not ruffle the feathers of
bulk of Muslims, if decency of discussion is maintained.
I would humbly request the hecklers to
keep away till the discussion is closed.
I open the discussion with a poem below
and would seek your feedback:
ART NOT FRAIL
You call yourself weaker sex,
We prefer fair, or may be fairer, as your prefix.
What powers create this conflict in mind,
When God has made us so intertwined?
Perhaps in times of violence you suffer more,
But the record of men killing men will ever score.
You losses reflect not your side of the balance sheet,
Rather man’s failure to offer you a befitting retreat.
Danger comes to you not from man’s strength,
But from his weakness, as they say.
Beware woman, especially the truly independent one,
Who alone has the power to sway.
Your place lies in siding with man,
In his struggle to wage war against the evil.
There is no battle of sexes,
But a façade created by the devil,
Pumping testosterone into your veins,
To seek uniformity, in the name of equality.
Little common sense unveils the veil on your nudity,
Which is on public sale, Can’t you just see?
We are not unaware of your need,
Than they are of their greed.
Your fragility keeps us going till,
Things are put in place and the devil is driven to hell.
Meanwhile don’t feed their greed, if you can,
This is one message for you, if you listen, madam.