This is a speech by Engineer Osman Bakhach, Director of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir, Delivered to the “Conference of the Protection of Pluralism and Living Together”, in Beirut on Wednesday 30th March 2016 entitled: “The Minorities problem is a result of Western Colonial Policies”.
Praise be to Allah and Peace and Blessing upon the Messenger Mohammad, his Family, Companions and those who follow him
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatuh
Dear esteemed audience,
I want to thank the organizers of this conference for granting me the opportunity to participate in this important discussion of the critical dilemma confronting the region in these challenging times.
The limited time available, in addition to the intensive conference programme, do not permit me to discuss in depth the ideas related to this subject that appears thorny and complicated to some people. So, I have decided to summarise what I want to say in the following points:
1 – Differences among people due to their native origins, their ethnicities and nationalities, their religious and spiritual beliefs, is only a natural reality and should not lead to disputes and conflicts to arise. That is because people do not choose these matters on their own will, rather they are imposed upon them by the reality and by way of inheritance. It is therefore not permissible, nor acceptable to have discrimination among them based on these factors.
2 – The disputes and conflicts arising from these factors do not occur from them per se, but rather arise as a result of diverging concepts of loyalty and sovereignty i.e. in having different outlooks as a yardstick in determining the truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, good and evil, and right and wrong.
3 – The universal declaration of human rights, despite acknowledging and calling for non-discrimination amongst people, nevertheless the western worldview that governs the world today denies that, and pursues its general policies related to the human being upon the basis of colonial interests and power conflict i.e. according to the principle ‘might makes right’ and not the opposite. This has resulted in what we witness in terms of the evils of civil strife, wars, the fruits of colonialism and overbearing arrogance practiced by the powerful nations against the weak nations.
4 – This western global view, meaning the belief of separation between church and state, and enshrining the glorifications of freedoms in politics, economics and legislation, has brought about a revival and progress. That is because they encompassed a vision and an idea i.e. an intellectual belief that western people embraced, believed in and adopted as the basis for life, all of which provided them with the capability to think, develop and progress.
5 – The people of the greater Middle East have been governed by the secular systems, imposed by the western colonial order, for more than 100 years and until this day. However, they have failed to achieve revival, progression and stability. The reason for that is that the local people have not embraced this western vision and have not accepted it. Rather, indeed it is because they possess a belief and vision for life that is in opposition to the western vision. I mean that they possess Islam that represents an intellectual belief and vision for life for more than 95% of the people.
6 – Some people promote the notion of the Universal Civilization, claiming that the shrinking global village means that no society is an island, on the one hand, and that this Universal Civilization is the fruits of contributions by all societies, on the other hand. This notion needs to be examined and challenged. For Civilization reflects the creed/the belief system a society adopts and believes in. Certainly there is a big difference between a civilization founded upon the creed of “There is no God but Allah, Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah”, and one founded upon the creed of separation between church and state, a secular civilization which puts man in the position of God, thus enacting legislature to serve the individual’s bias and interests. Allow me here to say that I came to this conference wondering in my head whether we were going to observe a one minute silence in sorrow over what the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday of the Death of the “Supreme God” i.e. the Supreme Court in the United States, where, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the court was deadlocked 4-4 in deciding the case of the Union’s dues. This means that one man-one vote (Scalia’s) would have tipped the balance one way or another in reaching a final decision. Does this “Civilization” putting Man in position of legislature, or God, conform to the Islamic Civilization, based upon sovereignty to Allah سبحانه وتعالى, where legislature is not affected by people’s whims and desires?
7 – Let us not forget that the Statue of Liberty in New York does not represent the Capitalist Civilization; this civilization has carried genocide against Native Indians in America by butchering 18 million Native Americans, and was built upon the remains of tens of millions of the colonized nations in Australia, Africa and Latin America, at the height of the “Age of Enlightenment”, and as result of the colonial policies pursuing the Darwinian principle of “survival for the fittest”.
8 – Islam, the Divine Revelation, provides a complete way of life regulating the various aspects of social, economic and political life, as a divine message to mankind:
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّـهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا
“Say: O Mankind verily I am the Messenger of Allah to you all”
Islam is a message for human beings regardless of their religion, race, country or any other matter, other than their humanity. As such it is a universal message and does not incite the sensitivity of anyone, because it offers a humane vision, thus we read in the Holy Quran:
وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
“And verily, (either) we or you are rightly guided or in a plain error”
لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ
“There is no compulsion in the religion”
And in the Hadith of the Prophet Mohammad ﷺ:
«ومن كان على يهوديته أو نصرانيته فإنه لا يُفتن عنها»
“And whoever is upon his Judaism or his Christianity, he is not enticed away from that.”
9 – There is no “Minorities problem” within the Islamic system and the Islamic legislation, because the Islamic state does not discriminate against citizens based upon their religious or spiritual belief. History bears testimony to this fact; had Islam incited the sensitivities of others, dozens of religions, races and cultures, across the world, would not have interacted with it, and coexisted peacefully under Islam’s governance. We see that various people accepted it, its governance and indeed they embraced and believed in it. This decisively indicates that the problems of pluralism, diversity, minorities and terrorism were unknown in our lands before the advent of colonialism within the last century.
10 – Reality shows that the first victims of the colonial concept of “Minorities” is the people “deemed” Minorities themselves. This very concept led to tension and friction between the “Minorities” and their neighbouring “Majorities”; this concept introduced new dynamics in the relationship based upon clash and conflict resulting in civil strife and bloody fighting unknown previously. With the active intervention by the western colonial powers which sought to use this cleavage as a means to further their colonial interests, the very “fate” of the “Minorities has become, sadly, dependent upon the foreign intervention in every minute detail in the social and political life.
11 – Let me remind you of the letter sent by the Bishop of Ehden in North Lebanon in 1857 to the Maronite Archbishop saying, “We have come to a point where when a neighbour has a dispute with his fellow neighbour over trivial matter, it ends up by the deployment of the French and British navy in the sea.” And this was before the infamous massacres of 1860. A century later, in July 1958, the late Journalist Ghassan Twayni, wrote in An Nahar Newspaper cautioning his fellow Christians against the purpose of landing the American Marines in Beirut: “Do not think for one moment that the American Marines have landed to protect your freedom of religion, America foreign policy has no religion other than serving her geopolitical interests”.
12 – Verily the implementation of Islam, beside the fact that it reflects the overwhelming majority of the masses in these lands, it is the only way forward to generate revival and ensure stability. Most of our problems arise from betraying of this public will as a result of the intellectual backwardness, political despotism and the international intervention to maintain this backwardness and this despotism. In other words, examine the causes of the disastrous consequences of the imposed western order, and do not stop at the reactions you see; search for the actors behind the actions.
I thank you for your listening praying to Allah سبحانه وتعالى to make us all among those who listen to a speech and follows the best of it.
Wassalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh