There is a small group of “Muslims” who have become so intellectually colonized and are so awed by the Western civilization, that they have embraced the Western ideology of liberalism mind body and soul.
Liberalism is a materialistic ideology that puts the ‘individual’ above all other considerations; society, family and God’s revelation. The new converts to liberalism from the Muslim community are “Liberal Muslims”, but they are also known as Modernists – owing to the fact that they follow whatever is currently in fashion in the world, even if it is based upon ignorant materialism.
We find this breed of ‘Modernists’ justifying mix gatherings, insisting on hijab being optional, women and men having identical inheritance, and gender roles. Further insisting on no sharia government in Islam, but calling a secular democratic one as ‘Islamic’ and even going on to justifying the nation-state model. They also claim that the Hudud (penal) laws and Khilafah as the ruling system in Islam have “expired”, or even were “misunderstood” for 1,400 years until of course, liberalism came along to “guide” us to a more “enlightened” liberal penal code and democracy.
On the other hand we have another group the ‘seculars’, who are mostly rejected by the Muslims and are more or less excluded from their list by US as an effective resource. So in order to keep them relevant and alive, their modernist buddies are helping them big time by presenting a picture of Islam as understood by them, to such an extent that it becomes easier for the secularists to capitalize on it, and to argue that it’s better to take religion out from the state and its affairs. To be acceptable in the Muslim societies they play with words i.e. Islam does not contradict the universal values of human rights and other such laws adopted by the so-called civilized world.
To understand the bases of these groups we must understand how different ideologies work and what an ideology is really comprised of, since historically the struggle between ideologies has always been a common phenomenon. Every Ideology consists of five basic components:
2- System based on that creed
3- Method of implementing the system
4- Method to convey it to the rest of humanity
5- Protection of that system and creed.
Hence, an ideology can generally be defined as a set of related concepts and beliefs that constitutes the basis of the political, economic and social system. Every way of life (Ideology) inherently wants to prevail and defeat the rival ideology or way of life. Without going too far back in history, something that many of us have lived through or could easily relate to, is the ideological struggle between communist U.S.S.R and Capitalist U.S. Both of these Ideologies left no stone unturned to harm each other on political, economic and social spheres both covertly and overtly through their proxies. As a result of the decades of conflicts and wars, capitalism emerged victorious by defeating communism and U.S.S.R disintegrated both geographically and ideologically.
Immediately after the defeat of Soviet Union, Islam came back on the radar and an ideological struggle was initiated against Islam under different names. “war on terror” being the most recent & prominent one that was launched after 9/11 and that is continuing till this very day. US under the guise of “war on terror” is invading Muslim lands, toppling regimes, adding on to the groups who are presenting a “soft image” of Islam. Anyone who has read the report published by Rand corporation in 2003 would understand that US not only is relying upon its military and economic strength, but is also using the resources inside the Muslim world to shape the minds of the Muslims and to make them more and more susceptible to secularism. Hence, the aim is to put pressure on Muslims from all fronts, both from the inside and outside to succumb to this ideological onslaught like Christianity, and halt the call for Islam as an alternative ideology. However, we as Muslims know that this call for a reformation of Islam is intellectually flawed because the causes that led to the reformation of Christianity do not exist within Islam.
The seculars and the modernists are the two major factions who are being used directly or indirectly to dilute and confuse the understanding of Islam being an alternative ideology among the Muslim masses and its intelligencia. As said by Truman “If you can’t convince them confuse them”
It’s funny how seculars and modernists are cleverly playing a match that everybody knows is fixed. For instance, in the cricketing terms the modernists are bowling full tosses to the seculars, saying that Islam has not given any detailed system but rather just a few guidelines, while seculars are hitting these full tosses out of the ground by presenting Islam as merely one of the religions: like Christianity or Hinduism that should be restricted to one’s personal life. Hence, one could see in their debates trying to prove that secular democracy is the way forward in the Muslim world and the ones calling for the re-establishment of the Khilafah are living in some utopian world which is contradictory to 21st century “civilized world”. In order to support this plan, modernists start justifying it from Islam by giving all sorts of twisted meanings to liberalism to try and convince people that it’s not something “against Islam”, while the seculars are openly calling for liberalism. So basically the agenda of both of these players is same.
Another interesting aspect of the ongoing debate is that both these teams are focusing on the era of the partition of Pakistan and the debates of that time. They are doing it purposefully to restrict the debate on Islam to the personalities involved in the creation of Pakistan, such as Maulana Maudoodi, Dr. Iqbal, Jinnah, Maulana Uthmani etc. They are doing it deliberately because if they brought in the discussion of what Quran and Sunnah requires from us as Muslims they will lose control over the terms of the debate. Hence, they are bowling loose balls on a batting track to the supposed opponents, as victory of secularism is indeed victory for both. Sadly, such attempts to extinguish the light of Allah by their mouths are not new, as it becomes obvious when we look back at history and the propaganda war against Muslims and Islam, rather only tactics are different.
Most of these self-claimed experts on Islam are in reality obsessed with Western thought and have little or no understanding of Usulul-Fiqh (the principles of jurisprudence) and other Islamic sciences. Their opinions regarding Islam are comparable to an architect’s views about brain surgery. Whilst the architect may be an expert in his own discipline, this would not make him qualified to pronounce judgment on matters of brain surgery let alone claim to be one of its leading thinkers.