Opinion | Columnists

A religious or civil state in Middle East?

Emulating the Jewish religious zealots has become the present mode of thinking of many adherents of Islam like the mushrooming Takfiri Jihadists

  • By As’ad Abdul Rahman | Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 20:00 July 19, 2013
  • Gulf News

A debate is raging in some Arab countries on whether a Caliphate State is the proper form of government that should be established. We need first to examine whether Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) established an Islamic religious state as claimed by those advocating the politicisation of Islam and the type of state that He had established, if we, Arabs or Muslims, decide to create a similar one.

Islam completely prohibits the establishment of any human Islamic religious authority, whatsoever, which judges who is faithful, who is blasphemer and what is halal (legal for Muslims) and what is haram (illegal). Other religions permit the establishment of priesthood that decides and judges others on issues of faith, but not Islam, according to the Quran. The reason is that God, only, the most high, is the Islamic religious authority who judges who is faithful and who is a blasphemer and the Quran has covered everything that is considered haram. God’s judgement is a deferred judgement to be made on “the day of judgement” and there is no need for a mortal being to judge what is haram or halal, sneaking a religious authority from the back door, which is absolutely prohibited in Islam.

Priesthood is absolutely forbidden in Islam, which logically makes the establishment of an Islamic theocracy — a state ruled by a religious authority of priests — absolutely unacceptable in Islam. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) went to the civil community, the Umma, and obtained his civil political authority through free democratic endorsement, Ba’ya, and never claimed any religious Islamic authority of any kind, except delivering the message/Islam and the accounting (judgement) is upon God the Most High. Therefore, the Prophet (PBUH) established an Arab civil democratic state and not a religious Islamic state ruled by a human religious authority, which is absolutely prohibited in Islam. Upon this Quranic fact, Al Azhar in Cairo, recently, supported the Arab civil democratic state — not an Islamic state.

The question is why some Muslims believe that an Islamic religious state is the answer, in spite of being prohibited by Quran? The answer may lie in conditions that surrounded the following major historical periods.

First, The Holy Roman Empire was a Christian religious state in which the popes in Rome appointed the kings. And in many cases, the kings used to appoint the right popes who were willing to serve them in order to stifle any popular uprising “against the rulers appointed by Heaven”, which makes it a blasphemous matter that ends in death. Second, the Ottoman Empire defeated the Byzantine theocracy and in turn emulated it by establishing a Muslim priesthood appointed by the political state to get a holy immunity from being criticised or eradicated by the people. That is when Muslims went into their dark ages, and remain to this day. The Ottoman Empire witnessed one or two reformers, but in the end it began to disintegrate shortly before the First World War. This situation ended with Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, the advocate of absolute secularism, in power, eliminating the so-called Islamic religious state which — as mentioned before — Islam absolutely prohibits.

Thirdly, the Hebrew state was transformed by the Likud (right-wing party) in the 1970s, slowly but steadily, from a secular state into a Jewish religious state hell bent on negating any Palestinian presence in historical Palestine. Emulating the Jewish religious zealots has become the present mode of thinking of many adherents of Islam like the mushrooming Takfiri Jihadists who are now copying actions of the Zionists of the far right in Israel. Zealots from different creeds and races cannot reach a compromise among themselves especially when one of them, the Ashkenazi (western) Jew is in turmoil trying to establish a legitimate identity, but with no success.

The Ashkenazi Jews, a non-Semitic community called the Khazars, are converts to Judaism. They used to live in present-day Ukraine and were employed by the Byzantine Empire to defend Constantinople by waging wars against the Arab state of the Umayyad Dynasty, starting in 642 of our common era. They are not Hebrews like the Arab Jews who came from Arabia, according to the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, which states that “Ashkenazis are not the descendants of the ancient Israelis” — a fact that naturally strips them of the so-called “right of return” to Palestine because they were never in the Holy Land to start with. They are in Israel pushing for a “Jewish state” despite the fact that Judaism is a religion not a nationality. The Ashkenazi Rabbinate of the far right wishes to establish a Jewish theocracy in Palestine to carry the same image of the Jewish theocracy of the Khazars when they abandoned the worship of the phallic symbol and became Jews. Indeed, the Jewish theocracy of the Khazars, which the Russians brought to an end back in history, is being revived in Israel now, just as ‘the Ottoman Caliphate’ is trying to resurface in our time in the Arab World, which may eventually be taken over by the extreme Takfiri organisations like Al Qaida. Unless stopped, two travesties that are competing in a race shall utterly destroy the Middle East.

Professor As’ad Abdul Rahman is the chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.

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