Another episode of Islam infocus Assalamu alaikum Peace be with you. I’m your host, Ahmet Rashid. Today we have our 12th program 12th and concluding program in our series dealing with the political system of Islam. Today we’ll be discussing the rights of non Muslim minorities in Islamic State. I have joining me on the program, Dr. Jamal deadweight of St. Mary’s University, Baba Jamal Assalamu alaikum.
Before we get into today’s program, I wonder if I could have you very quickly summarize the main points that we touched on in our program last week. The main focus of the program last week was instead of going into finer details as to how the how exactly an ideal Islamic state should run, we talked about the guiding principles within which the implementation can be made, depending on the circumstances of time and place. And in this, we discussed in some detail, the importance of justice as a fundamental principle and the various levels of implementation of justice, individual love, family, state universal
justice, they talked also about human equality, that it’s not equality, or one group or the other, but human equality for all and talked about it’s a theological foundation from the Quran and prophetic sayings. And we discussed also the concept of freedom, but not just as a broad concept.
We talked about the various implementation of freedom like freedom, of religion, freedom of expression, privacy, freedom of work and movement, and similar aspects. And of course, the freedom of the person like the habeas corpus person should not be arrested or charged or detained in an arbitrary manner without any specific charge. In each of these, we tried to show the roots of it, and how would it be when committed Muslim sincerely implement the best principles?
Now, when we turn Islamic State is used, a common question arises with respect to
non Muslims and that that state? Can you explain the situation of the non Muslims in Islamic State? Sometimes, like you said, that 100 they seem to be fears are what I call perhaps undue fears, that if you have a true and sincere Islamic State, that there will be like,
persecution or that there is no place for non Muslim minorities. This is not what Islam teaches. Indeed, it is true to start with
an Islamic State is not a secular state. It’s not like the typical secular state where God is kept away from the picture. It is, yes, an ideological state. And usually, you can’t have an Islamic State unless you have the majority of people believing in that faith and are committed to implement the teachings of their faith in their modern individual, social, economic and political life as well.
So being an ideological state is not the same thing as exclusivist state, which is designed only to serve their own citizens or their own community of believers at the expense of others. So but does not mean at all that non Muslim minorities are to be annihilated or gotten rid of this is not what Islam teaches at all. In fact,
the Quran does not only speak about tolerating non Muslim minorities under an ideal state
beyond Federation even it talks about the establishment of cordial
and friendly relationship with them.
I record that in one of the earlier programs in the second series on the question of topic of gratitude
with a specific reference to the later programs I think program nine which dealt with the relationship between Muslims and non Muslims. It was indicated clearly and documented employee from the Quran that God does not want us as Muslims to have any bad relationship with money.
Muslims are not fighting us and are not really hurting the cause of existence. Just to remind the since it has been several years back, since this was discussed in chapter 16, for example, in the Quran, verses eight and nine.
This verse basically says, that God does not forbid you, for Muslims, as to those who are not fighting you to suppress your faith, or drive you out from your home, that you should be kind, just an equitable with them, because God loves those who are just so it’s not just a matter of toleration. It even calls on friendly relationships.
Particularly, in the case of the People of the Book, ie people like Jason Christian, who has shared a lot with Muslims in terms of belief in God, the hereafter known teachings and so on. We find that the Quran addresses them even especially as the truth of the book. And like I said, there are more details to document and support this particular statement. Indeed, I may add here, since we’re talking about the political system, and it’s known that the the very term used to refer to non Muslim minorities living under the protection of Islamic State, the very term itself
is an expression of this principle of tolerance and friendship.
Give us perhaps a better appreciation of that, can you explain what the term was me means, but then we comes from the Arabic term, then, which means pledge, or covenant. So as we meet a person with, let’s say, a non Muslim, living under an Islamic State, is completely because it means he is a covenant person, a person who has the covenant, and pledge as the Muslim jurists defining the pledge and covenant of a law of his messenger of the believers, that he would be protected and he would live in freedom and dignity under an Islamic code. So the COVID surface so beautiful in its
implications, it’s basically an expression of the right to guarantee the rights and freedoms. Now summary was to draw an analogy between Islam’s position concerning minorities and Roman law. reading your comment on that.
One, there is a great deal of
erroneous analogy, that
a good discussion of that particular topic was made by a legal authority.
And his article is titled, Islam concept. And we’ll have yourself corpus
was published in the Rutgers Camden Law Journal in the fall of 1969.
And broadly speaking, there are two reasons two basic reasons why this analogy is not correct.
Without getting into technical details, I think the legal profession can understand and appreciate this
quick reference. Number one, unlike the Romans considered themselves, Muslims do not regard themselves as quote unquote, the moves of the population of the globe, a concept that was predominant among the Romans. They are the masters of the world,
as indicated in the model of teaching of Islam, but a human being regards himself as a Muslim photographed himself, in fact, as the servant of God, as the slave of God, if you will use the term in a sense, in terms of obedience to God,
about other people.
A second reason why it’s not right analogy is that when Muslims living under Islamic State are not regarded technically as outside jurisdiction, as we find, for example, in the so called Pax Romana, or the Roman piece dictated on the subjugated people.
Indeed, it is emphasized that the Muslim and divinity, the Muslim or non Muslim under the standard state are equal before the law in every respect. So that that the depth of the Sunni To conclude, but
the distinction then between Muslim and velmi
is not a distinction really, in terms of rights. That’s why there’s, as he called the distinction remains one of political administration in terms of the political and legislative process and not of the
have human rights and the best sense.
In fact, you can say that minorities under Islamic rule, in fact, enjoy more privileges than even under the contemporary democratic system. Now, that’s a very interesting and challenging
statement that you make, how can you justify it cannot be justified?
As discussed in the previous
question, first of all, whether a person is a Muslim or non Muslim is equal before the law. And in that sense that would be similar would be, quote unquote, democratic or secular systems today.
But another important thing to keep in mind is that the dentist designation of a covenanted people people have the pledge shows even more sensitivity and more care especially
given to safeguarding the rights of minorities. In other words, instead of saying no problem I would have consumed the truth is no, everybody’s the same. minorities are minorities. The very fact that their sensitivity and especially in covenant, especially pledge shows, sensitivity to their needs and their rights.
Another point to note here is that the obligation to be just an equitable with minorities is not just a legal responsibility as we find it under secular systems. In the case of Islam, it is both human and
this and religious, based on the teachings and commandments of God and the prophets. And that gives it a much more stronger motivating force than simply the law says this, because you can do things behind the back of it, I’ve been caught, that it’s a moral and religious part of the orientation of the individual.
That’s perhaps the most important point so far, is that the rights and guarantees accorded to non Muslim minorities, under Islamic State, come originally from the Word of God, and the saint of the pocket, which are unchangeable by humans.
And that makes a big difference from democracies, democracies can sit down in the Legislative Assembly and satellite will guarantee the rights of minorities and XYZ. But at least theoretically, the same assembly acknowledges the right of minorities, to have the right to take away those rights. Right, exactly.
Like the Constitution, so what constitutions also could be amended under certain requirements, will as Islam, the rights are given by God and His Messenger. And as we said before, in Islamic law, nobody has the right to supersede the Word of God, which means nobody can ever claim the right to deprive minorities of those rights as enshrined and guaranteed in Islamic law.
So when the person really is designated as a Ruby, or a covenanted person, it means that he has the freedom to also follow his personality. And that’s another major difference. See, if you have a religious minority under some state is not does not say you must get married or divorced or inheritance as everybody else.
They have even a special privilege. And that privilege is not there in democratic systems. You see, a Jew or Muslim for example, in living in, in a recent contemporary democracy in Canada, us or Britain cannot apply my Jewish law or my Muslim government haters, because they have a secular state. It says everybody has the same expected the civil war in Islam, it respects the religious sentence of people say like on personal matters, personal level, if you will, you can further on and that, I suppose, is the third documentation that is even above guarantees and freedoms, you can given a democratic system. The only difference perhaps it is what we mentioned early and when we
define the Islamic State is that it’s not addressing the issue honestly does not presume that a state which constitutes a large majority of Muslim would be heard by a non Muslim because it is a geometrical state and there is not a parameter for that. And as I said in previous program, also, it would be just cosmetic to say anyone can become brittle.
isn’t because no Buddhist Muslim would ever be the president of
the United States or the Prime Minister of Canada or the Prime Minister of Britain
being managed electrical state by the Quran, it has to have at least one person
who believes in what is implementing that this does not mean that non Muslim minorities have no other positions, including the highest ministerial positions. And this was done actually in history. So actually, if you look at it in terms of the total rights and guarantees it’s even more
Now, you mentioned earlier that Jimmy means pledge or a covenant of production. Would you explain what protection entails what protections afforded to me what as a broad subdivision some jurisdictions in terms of two aspects of protection,
external and internal.
External means to protect the non Muslim minorities against any danger coming from outside of the state.
Let me just get a couple of illustrations made by some famous Muslim jurists to indicate what is meant by external protection.
It has, for example, said that if in our country or our Islamic State, we have some non Muslim minorities or various covenant people, and then an enemy came to attack, not he wants to attack us that he wanted, particularly to attack the non Muslim minority. He says in this case, even though he’s not attacking us as Muslims, we are required to fight him and get revenge and defend the non Muslim
covenanted person with all our might, or else we would have betrayed our trust and our covenant to protect him according to
the extent to which the
Tamia and other famous Muslim jurist during the pester
invasion, he went to the leaders to spare the suffering of the people. So the leaders seek to imitate, the Muslim just said, All right, I can give you the guarantees and protection Muslims on and he did not like he said, no, that does not please us. He said the other Christian, and Jewish families are also under our protection. And if you want to give the protection, you must give protection to all. So he defended the rights even though every person of course, under the circumstances, I’d saved my skin or my skin, but he refused and insisted that we should cover all of them. As far as the internal
includes protection from any form of tyranny internally within the state,
by the protection of their lives, prediction of their property owners dignity, and personal freedoms.
Have you elaborate a little bit on this latter form of protection, perhaps showing the attitude of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, his attitude towards non Muslim minorities? Well, in terms of the prophets, attitude, we can look at
this and words and deeds.
In his own words, one of the same as
He says, whatever
the covenant person has me, then he is hurting me. And whoever is hurting me, he is hurting or Mrs displeasing Allah. Look at the ability of expression. The Prophet himself, the prophet of Islam, is putting himself in the same position as me and whatever reason is hurting the Prophet himself.
And another thing he said that whoever hurts a covenanted non Muslim, I would be his complainant, that is the complainant of of the non Muslim, and whenever I have been his complainants, I will ask for his rights and the Day of Judgment. So I will be like the advocates of the non Muslim.
in another sense, also the property said that whoever committed any act of oppression or injustice to a person who has a treaty with the Muslims will have under Muslim protection or took away part of his right or charged him with something that you could not do in terms of labor or other requirements or took him anything without his consent.
Then I will be his complainants in the Day of Judgment. There are too many and just for the brevity of time just give this as an indication of the theme of the perfect accent on that subject,
as well as his deeds, there are numerous and perhaps I could give you a couple of
examples of the prophets guarantees.
First of all, for the Christians, in Niger and in Yemen, the prophet provided a charter, which gave them again, their freedoms, religious freedom, to run their own personal affairs.
And even in one famous document, is the document pertaining to the covenant, that hammer peace be upon him, gave to the monks and priests.
In the St. Catherine’s, which is near Mount Sinai, and in Sinai, what is now Egypt
and all Christians, perhaps a review of some of the items could be quite revealing. One,
the priests and monks are not to be unfairly taxed.
Secondly, no Bishop is to be driven out of his bishopric.
Free, no Christian is to be forced to reject his religion, even to become a
new monk to be expelled from his monster file.
The Pilgrims want to go to Jerusalem, for example,
are not to be detained from the pilgrimage.
Six, your church can be put down for the sake of building Muslim mosques, places of worship or Muslim homes. That’s not permissible. Seven, the Christian women married to Muslims, Muslim husbands are to fully enjoy their faith in the practice without pressure or intimidation.
The condition is even more than it seems, should
be priests and monks need funds or need help to repair and fix the churches should be provided? I don’t know where it’s the seventh century.
In the 20th century, do you find this kind of spirit of gentleness and respect of others?
Well, I think the discussion this discussion is clarified many of the common misconceptions about about Islam and particularly with respect to non Muslims. However, there’s there’s there’s one more issue that we haven’t touched on and that is the
the question of Judea, some states that Muslims levied taxes on Muslims,
or non Muslims rather those who do not embrace Islam as a form of punishment.
What is your comment on that? It has absolutely nothing to do with punishment
is the jizya is attacks which is visit on non Muslims living under the protection of an Islamic State.
That is why it has nothing to do with punishment or intimidation or pressure people to embrace Islam, which is contrary to what we already discussed in the previous program, the freedom of religion and practice of one’s on faith.
But some people like take one part, one aspect of Islamic law and the other under Islamic law, and in Islamic state
of residence, Muslims or non Muslims are entitled to social security and are entitled to the protection of the state.
Now, it should not be forgotten that Muslims are Muslim citizens, if you will, are required legally, and the necessity
which I translated materials program as institutionalized charity.
And that is a percentage of the excess funds they have younger basic needs.
It’s about let’s say, two and a half percent as a minimum could be more than that. And also with the source of income. And that requirement is enforceable by law. If people refuse to pay, the Islamic State can actually force people to pay.
Now they’re not Muslim, who gets all the benefits of being a citizen under the protection and social security of an Islamic State is not required to play soccer. You might say why, why can’t we treat everybody equally? The reason is that if you require a non Muslim to play soccer, soccer is religiously oriented. It is a religious duty, and that person does not believe in Islam to start with. So out of sensitivity to his own
Deliver respect of his own orientation, you cannot force a non Muslim pay what is essentially a religious duty. But in the meantime, it would be unfair also for him to get all the benefits without sharing in the cost of those benefits. So instead of forcing him to pay soccer, he has to pay another tax,
which is just like to make up for what Muslims already contribute
The other aspect also that could be related here is that under Islamic system, a non Muslim cannot be forced to have the compulsory service and the army of conscription.
Again, that sensitivity, because he would be fighting under a Muslim army for a cause that he may or may not necessarily sympathize with. So out of respect for Vets instead of all sorts of instability,
he does not have to participate in the army. But like many countries have, like some sort of part of the Texas where defense papers, he has to contribute also, the defense to which is in terms of protection of the state.
That’s why some jurist actually say that if a person wants to serve in the army, wantonly anonymously, and he’s taken or accepted in the army, then there is no
there is no jizya that will be required. Some James even went as far as saying that a non Muslim offers a good service is something useful to the Muslim community. That is, you also could be could be removed from. Another aspect to remember is that jizya was a very small thing, some scholars estimated as like a few dollars per year. And it varied, depending on the financial status of the individual. And furthermore, in the name of Jay Z, and there are lots of discussion, but in an interesting book called alpha large, by Apple user,
we’re talking about the revenues of the states and so on,
is not supposed to be imposed on women,
and children, on all people, and anyone who cannot earn because of temporary or permanent disability.
And even then we’ll talk about like a few dollars per year.
Not only this, some jurist even go to the point of saying that if the state feels that there is no reason to collect jizya, from non Muslims, if they are resourceful enough, they say that God after all, is not mandatory, it’s optional, and it could be waived. Also, there is no code, notwithstanding the benefits that citizens, Muslims and non Muslims can get living under an Islamic State. So it’s obvious, then I hope, that God is neither a punishment, nor even an enforcement to the cost. You know, if a non Muslim becomes a Muslim, you don’t even need financial obligations. If you look into the structure of the cap, it will be paying more
as a Muslim ban changes. Yes,
of course, that assumes that those who implement them are also sincere and are doing that in justice and fairness to all and not to abuse that discretion of
the status. Again, in the Muslim fairness applies to both. And if you have understood as they probably be unjust to both Muslims, and Muslim Muslims alike. So this question is not just a matter of statement, it is something which is documented in history, the ample evidence of how it was implemented and recognized even by nuns
in a 30 minute database program is when you find a comment that you might want to make with respect to the tolerance of Muslims towards non Muslims, when we have no time I had with a document with Xerox copy of extremely document that goes back to the 12th century, in which one of the the head of the Australian church said it clearly and obviously said Muslims do not hate us, we do not oppose us. And he said they allow us to practice our case freely. They respect us our honor and dignity. And he admitted that they give us even him and financial support for our own choices. In fact, the document also is found in more than one Museum in Britain in Arabic and the translation is very
amazing in terms of the kind of guarantees and tolerance that was afforded non Muslims. Something that to the best of my information is unparalleled in history, past or present. Thank you, brother Jamal. We want to invite you back next week when we will start her new series, our 10th in this series dealing with the topics in Islam. We’ll be discussing the sources of Islam. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you