Living in the West, Muslims face different challenges in their attempt to hold on to their Islamic identity. They live in an environment where the hostility towards Islam and Muslims is an everyday battle. Where noble Islamic symbols are attacked and in some cases even banned. For instance the banning of the Niqab in Belgium or the forbidding of the hijab for schoolgirls in Belgium and France.
The overall feeling amongst Muslims in the West is that they need to be in a constant defensive mode and that it is only a matter of time before the next Islamic value, symbol or figure is attacked in some way or another.
Even though it is a reality completely alien to Muslims, becoming the underdog of society is certainly a danger that lies ahead if we don’t step up in our ways and change from being a reactive Ummah into a confident, controlled Ummah. An Ummah who practices and carries Islam in the same confident manner.
To be able to change from being solely a reactive Ummah in the onslaughts, we need to understand what lies behind these attacks, so that we are able to effectively combat the attacks and unite as an Ummah when doing so. This unity amongst Muslims is crucial and to be able to achieve this harmony we need to set out to find matters we are all able to agree upon.
One reality we as Muslims can all agree upon, is the fact that from the very beginning of Islam there has always been a struggle between al-Haqq (truth) and al-Batil (falsehood). From the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammed we learn of his ﷺ constant struggle against Batil and how he ﷺ stood firm in conversing the Islamic message whatever the counter attack. The intent of the Prophet throughout his whole life was to make the Haqq (Islam) supreme over all other ideas. What Muslims in the West need to unite on, is the idea that Batil takes on many forms and that the secular liberal view of life is one of the newer forms.
وَقُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا
“And say, “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.”
The struggle between the “secular liberal way of life” and Islam doesn’t differ much with the struggle between the Muslims and the Mushiriqeen (idolaters) in the past or the struggle between Islam and the different religious tribes. Thinking that there could be some kind of mixture between the view that the idolaters had on life and the message of Islam would have been complete absurd notions. The same is also for the comparison between the secular way of life and the Islamic view on life. Even though the secular way of life might allow the belief in a God, this belief, may not interfere in the decision making of society.
Here the confusions starts! So yes, Muslims have the freedom to pray their five daily prayers at home and Yes, Muslim may fast the month of Ramadan and proclaim their religion and also build mosques to pray in.
To some Muslims this might seem like they have a lot of freedom to hold on to their Islamic identity and that the problems lies in the different political parties. Some who are openly anti-Islamic and speak negatively about the Muslims and some who are sweeter in their words. Maybe even giving some Muslims the illusion that there are good and bad political parties. But we mustn’t be fooled. All parties work from the same secular framework. They are all bound by the same creed, one where God plays no role in the decision-making.
And so No! your prayer becomes a problem when wanting to uphold it at work or school. And No! you may not discuss every subject in your mosques, so no mention of the unlawful wars in the Islamic world these same governments are participating in. And No! you may not have the freedom to dress as you wish. And No! you must not take offence when we insult the Prophet. And No! you may not speak about a greater Ummah.
So the goal behind the insults toward the Muslims and Islam is to scaremonger Muslims into submission, so they are able to change the way we see Islam and practise Islam. The goal is to secularize Islam and create a new European Islam. An Islam which will smoothly integrate in the secular way of life, creating little apposition in the decision-making. Islam as we know cannot be diluted or changed. Islam is a complete package with rulings for all matters. Only when Muslims remind each other of the completeness of the Deen and they understand the conspiracies against Islam and they work together to resume this Islamic way of life, will we be able to hold on to our Islamic identity successfully.
أَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلًا
“Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire?”
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir