The Time is Right
for Muslims to Speak Out
When public figures utter words of
evil and injustice, with no sign of embarrassment or shame, we Muslims
cannot hold our peace. We must speak up.
The recent claim by the figurehead
of the One Nation Party, Ms Hanson, that most Australian would not
have voted for the 1967 Aboriginal Citizenship Referendum had they
known what would happen, is a slur upon the character of the people
who live in this country and an insult to all people of goodwill,
including the Muslim community.
Aborigines were not counted in the
Population Census prior to 1967 because they were not counted as
citizens of Australia. The basis of British settlement of Australia
had been the doctrine of Terra Nullius, the empty land in which
no people lived. The Aborigines were officially invisible until
In her usual ignorant way, the One
Nation figurehead appeared from her comments on the 1967 Referendum,
to be prepared to contemplate taking away the vote from Aboriginal
Australians. This is indeed a profoundly disturbing suggestion and
indicates the fascist quality of One Nation thinking. Does One Nation
also contemplate taking the vote from Asian and African immigrants
and do they contemplate re-introducing religious tests? It was not
until 1815 that Unitarians and the various non-Anglican Christian
sects gained legal recognition in Britain. From One Nation's attitude
of "full steam ahead to the 1700's", anything is possible,
including public advocacy of the re-introduction of slavery.
The stand of Islam on the notion
of justice is very clear. We are told in the holy Qur'an that all
of the Apostles of Allah carried the message of justice.
"We sent aforetime
apostles with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the
Balance (of Right and Wrong) that men may stand forth in justice."
We are also told that we should not
fear the power of those who perpetrate in justice. We must take
a clear stand in witness to Islam.
"O you who
believe! Stand out firmly for injustice, as witnesses to Allah,
even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether
it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow
not the desires (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you (distort)
injustice or decline to do justice, truly Allah is well acquainted
with all that you do."
One of the great Islamic scholars
of this century, Maulana Maududi in his work, Political Theory of
Islam, delivered in Lahore Oct. 1939, writes of the mission of all
the prophets of Allah.
"This was the radical reformation
effected by the prophets in the life of humanity. They aimed at
the demolition of man's supremacy over man. Their real mission was
to deliver man from this injustice, this slavery to false gods,
this tyranny of man over man, this exploitation of the weaker by
the stronger. Their object was to thrust back to their proper limits
those who had overstepped them and o raise to the proper level those
who had been forced down from it. They endeavoured to evolve a social
organisation based on human equality in which man should be neither
the slave nor the master of his fellow-beings and in which all men
should become the slaves of God."
It was the fearlessness of the Muslims
of past generations in their defence of justice, which gave them,
and thus Islam itself, great prestige in their societies. Always
it has been the mark of a true Islamic scholar that he dares to
speak the truth before a tyrant. We have in the One Nation Party
the roots of tyranny and it is becoming clear that the politicians,
fearful of the extent of racist support in the community, will not
take them head-on.
In a recent article by Mohammad A
Shaikh, published by Muslimedia International on 17 May 1998 the
real danger of fascist parties is highlighted. The neo-Nazi DVU
recently won 13% of the vote in a part of Bavaria. This indication
of the rise of Hitler's children caused a shock throughout Germany.
These new Nazis will not be able to win power in civilised communities
but they can have a profoundly negative impact.
"Interestingly, the response
of the mainstream political parties to the rise of the racists -
particularly the DVU's poll success - is to become more racist themselves,
explaining their behaviour in terms of a tactic designed to cut
the anti-foreigners down to size rather than emulate them.
Less than a week after the DVU's
electoral victory, the Bavarian authorities ordered the deportation
of a Turkish couple who have lived in Germany for 30 years, because
of the criminal record of their son, aged 13. The Turkish family
has not been named but the authorities say that the son is a threat
to public order."
If we do not take a stand for justice
now, we may regret our foolishness in the future.
May Allah guide us on the right path.
Courtesy: BC, Australian Muslim
News, July 1998.