Capitalism and Democracy have Failed to Protect the Rights of Minorities


On 25 December 2014, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif facilitated the Christian community on celebrating the Christmas and reiterated that the government would protect their legal rights and interests. In a message to the Christian community, the prime minister said, “Pakistan is committed to the worthy pledge given by the founder of our nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, to irrevocably safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the minorities.” “We as a nation are committed to uphold the principles of equality, freedom and security for all communities living in Pakistan, irrespective of their religion, profession or ethnic origin,” he added. “My government is dedicatedly oriented to preserve the sanctity of existence and equality of opportunity enjoyed by all Pakistanis, including our minorities. My government treats all minority citizens as equal citizens of Pakistan and undertakes to empower them to use their abilities for national development,” he said. “I believe in communal harmony, cohesion and profound understanding among all faiths practiced in the length and breadth of the country,” he added.


Despite this statement from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the situation of minorities in Pakistan is not that rosy. In November 2014, a Christian couple were burnt alive in a brick kiln by a mob for their alleged burning of the pages of Quran. On November 16, 2014 a Christian woman was reportedly beaten up by two men in Pakistani district of Sheikkhupura, which caused her miscarriage. Although this situation of injustice and oppression is not limited to minorities, rather it spreads all over the society due to the tyranny of man-made system of Capitalism and democracy. However the minorities who face the brunt of this oppressive system are specially highlighted by the western media and human rights organization, while accusing the Islamic mindset and Islam for the crimes against minorities. In this process of Islam bashing, they forget however, that the system being implemented in the state of Pakistan is not that of Islam, but it is the secular, liberal capitalist system with its values of equalities, freedoms and social justice; which have failed to protect either minorities or majority not only in Pakistan but worldwide.

We have example in the USA where in Ferguson, Black minorities have been protesting since weeks over the killing of a black man by police officers. Pakistan’s neighbor India has a much bigger problem regarding ethnic and religious minorities, where “in the run-up to this year’s elections in India, it appears that tensions have escalated between Hindu and Muslim communities, leading to a 30 percent increase in incidents of communal violence as compared to 2012. The central government’s Ministry of Home Affairs reported 823 incidents of communal violence in 2013, in which 133 people died and over 2,000 were injured. One of the worst such incidents involved mass violence in September 2013 in Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh, events in which at least 60 people died. These incidents of violence against minorities are a direct outcome of the basic flaws within the Democratic system. As this system is based on the idea of attaining maximum financial benefit out of its population. The majority areas and majority population gets special attention and benefits from the ruling class, as re-election after every 5 or 4 years produces undue emphasis upon majority and neglect of the minorities. Hence rulers favour the majority province over the minority province and majority population over minorities, for it is the votes of majority that can get them re-elected, so they put out all resources for development of majority areas and for the progress of majority population. The rulers also fear the vote of no confidence, so they have to keep the representatives of majority happy in the legislative assemblies, by allocating them funds and law making in their favour.”

The Islamic system of Khilafah is free of all these faults, as the Islamic ruling system is a unique system of unity ordained by Allah سبحانه وتعالى. It is not a federal, democratic, republican, monarchic or dictatorial system at all. It has no similarity to any man-made ideology. The Islamic state considers people under its authority as citizens, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. All have their rights guaranteed by Islam. There is no concept of ‘ethnic minority’ as people are not discriminated against at all for their colour, race or religion. While the Khalifah has no fear of impeachment or vote of no confidence as long as he is ruling by Islam. The law making power belongs to Allah سبحانه وتعالى only. Khalifah or the members of Ummah Council have no legislating powers as Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:

إن الحکم إلا للہ

“Verily, Ruling is only for Allah”

(Yusuf: 40)

Since man doesn’t legislate in the Islamic system, hence it is not up to the Khalifah or the majority of the representatives to abrogate or suspend the rights of citizens, no matter which political group, ethnicity, religion or gender he belongs to. Hence the rights of the non-Muslim citizens are set in stone and nobody can change them. It was for this reason that the Christian citizens of the Khilafah fought alongside Muslim armies against the Crusaders as they were happy and satisfied under Muslim just rule. Therefore, only second Khilafah Rashidah can save the lives, properties and honor of religious and ethnic minorities and create harmony and unity as it did for 1300 years in the past, when under the glorious rule of Islam, Baghdad the capital city and Bukhara thousands of miles away from the center of Khilafah, equally flourished and progressed.

Written for Central Media Office Hizb ut Tahrir by

Umm Musab

Member of Central Media Office Hizb ut Tahrir