The Attack on the Muslim Groups in Egypt has recently reached an intolerable level especially with the newly found freedom of speech laws which had been suppressed under the emergency laws of the deposed despotic regime.
By and large, this attack is on Islam itself, however, the attackers find in the Salafi and Ikhwan Groups an easy target to justify their rejection of Egypt's Islamic identity, and cloak that hatred deceivingly by attacking individual leaderships since a blatant attack on Islam would lead to their political demise.
In fact the attack takes its ugliest form coming from the liberal and secular groups who, themselves, belong to the Muslim community but by birth right only.
Unable to unravel 1400 years of solid traditions and a powerful grip of A formidable faith on society, the Liberals are rabidly vending their frustration and despondence on anything Islamic in Egypt. The alien ideologies they espouse find welcoming pathways only among certain groups of men who see an abomination in anything restricting their social and political obscenities imported squarely from the morally putrid West, and women who find in chastity a frumpy way of life whether by an obsession with western life-style due to cultural inundation from the West or by their sorry predicament resulting from past unchaste and profligate behavior.
The attack on Islam takes place from different angles. Unfortunately the Muslim groups are not all equal in their abilities to return the favor. Furthermore, some of them appear quite comical when attempting to defend their positions from a perspective that modern time has passed at least by a Millennium.
Sometimes, however, some of the criticism takes an objective tone that addresses only one or very few aspects which sets the Salafi groups apart from the rest, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The criticism addresses the Salafi’s inability to distinguish between the Divine Imperatives of the faith and the Realities of progress. This may be a misconception, yet the Salafies have never successfully corrected this putative misconception, partially due to lack of understanding its cause, but mainly for lacking the ability to develop a sophisticated image befitting modern time. The Salafi groups, undoubtedly, are in dire need of a clever marketing and PR agency.
But before they embark upon achieving wide popular appeal, they will be well advised to reconcile form with function ... Their basic function is propagation of the call to faith. Propagation means selling. They should ask marketing executives what selling means, they should check its definition in a dictionary, and finally they should employ Public Relations experts in image development and promotion of their leadership cadres.
Modern marketing concepts encompass selling products, ideas as well as ideals. Once they grasp this modern concept, Muslim Salafi groups will be well on their way to win the hearts and minds of a much wider array of the population who may otherwise elect to adopt the Muslim Brotherhood's model under the erroneous assumption that they are more main stream ... In fact, apart from their engrossment with formalities and ceremonies over fundamentals and dynamic imperatives, they are more main stream than traditional Brotherhood, who, in the past, believed in violence within the context of "the end justifies the means."
The Salafi groups rely heavily on a principle deeply rooted in the Islamic traditions of the Prophet (SAAWS) which states that the best followers are those of the early three centuries, and what trails them are severely deficient, hence, their meticulous embodiment of the ceremonies of the Prophet's habits and traditions as described and dictated by the like of Ibn Tayymeyyah ( a 13th century Muslim scholar of the strict and rigid Hanbali school of Islamic thought.)
Tayymeyyah and his contemporaries had done an excellent job in their time with whatever knowledge that had been available to the human race. But there is a fact that nobody would deny; that is when the Divine sends a prophet, he sends him endowed with “modern” knowledge packaged in a flexible language that can be unpacked appropriately as time progresses and human sophistication increases.
Looking at the Salafi groups, the first image they conjure up is the Osama Ben Ladden's. They impart an impression that they have just arrived in our Modern Era from the Middle-Ages riding on speeding bullets, bringing along their medieval cultures and ideas. They speak with an authority befitting only medieval times. It is as if they have never passed through the stages of society's cultural and scientific development. This is not conducive to giving credence to the products that they sell despite the fact that what they sell was designed by Divine supremacy for perfection to fit their time and all time past, present and future.
Looking at the West vs. East, for comparison, we find the West, with the exception of their lack of application of Judeo-Christian law; have applied the universal code of human wisdom as the principle upon which their nations must be managed. This code is fundamental to and deeply seated in the heart of Islamic teaching. The West never brought this out of the abyss of their dark and barbaric era. Had they insisted on claiming that old Christian biblical interpretation should be the ground upon which they must build any future for man, humanity would have been in dire straits by now.
In the East, however, unfortunately, due to successive incompetent governments; Islam, as the universal code of life that the west had applied, was left to be managed by those whom society had failed to enlighten first at the formative age. As a result, Islamic societies have been struggling with reconciling two states of mind, of which, one has no place in the modern annals of social progress.
It seems that we would not have had an image problem with the various Muslim groups Had Egypt had a robust, scientifically well thought of, and systemically more comprehensive network of modern Islamic education, which reexamines existing legacies and traditions with eyes and minds tuned to the proper frequency demanded and dictated by humanity’s astounding progress along the centuries.
Traditional Islamic groups would have been able to take themselves out of the repellent image into a far more universally appealing specter just the way modern rational groups present themselves had they been subjected to a modern Islamic education system. The principle Culprit in allthis calamity is the total absence of instilling the sense and skills of critical thinking in the education systems of Muslim countries.
Undoubtedly, Islam was intended for the time in which it was revealed and for all time to follow until the universe is no more. However, there is no group of thinkers endowed with competent wisdom who should continue to insist with feverish fervent on perpetuating the claim that existing traditions should not be reexamined with modern enlightened thought. It is this issue that has been a thorny wreath encircling the Salafis and the modernists.
The fact that many Muslim men and women refuse to accept Islam as a universal code for life, which by the way, guarantees freedom of belief to all, is simply a question of competent promulgation of the Islamic message. Islam does not Force its belief on anyone because there is a deeply seated powerful divine law built into it that states there is no compulsion in religion.
Reading the history of the dawn of Islam, one finds a wonderfully guided messenger of God imbued with the most sublime of all human character traits, which enabled him to spread his universal message across an extremely hostile milieu. One such character trait so crucial in the propagation of any message is grace.
The Quran speaks of grace as if without it, Islam itself would have never found a listening ear. This Verse (159) from Chapter (4) sums it up very eloquently,
“It was by the mercy of Allah that thou wast Graceful with them (O Muhammad), for if thou hadst been taciturn and gruff of heart they would have dispersed from round about thee. So pardon them, ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when thou art resolved, then place thy trust in Allah. Lo! Allah loveth those who place their trust (in Him). (159)
This grace was one of the most important of all traits with which all God’s prophets were imbued. It is most beguiling that it should be absent from many of the so called propagators of Islam amongst the plethora of Muslim groups of our present time. Many of them lacking proper basic education in the social sciences and the humanities; they are lacking the proper education in effective communication and it goes without saying; they are severely deficient in understanding the relationship between axiomatic principles of the fundamentals and the imperatives of human progress.
Grace will not be limited to good manners, dignified presence, and patience with others. It must be extended to the question of identity, especially given the eclectic variety of societies to whom the message has to reach.
A propagator of a message to a group of people must identify with his group otherwise he would either be rejected or dismissed as alien to the group. When the question of law and legislation pops up, we face two States and a potential for conflict. In the west, the law is based on a universal human wisdom.
However, unlike Divine wisdom, human wisdom can be subject to sublime as well as not so perfect concepts, habits, traditions and lower human faculties … But once the law has been ratified, no citizen is allowed to violate it without suffering the appropriate retribution embedded in its penal code.
Equally important, in an Islamic society, non-Muslims must understand that the law shall be derived principally from Divine Sources and immediately thereafter, from the Universal precepts of Human wisdom. Divine wisdom addressed only a part of human life that was seen by Divine perfection as not suitable for an imperfect mind to regulate. The rest was left for self-regulation guided by the collective wisdom imparted into all of humanity upon creation.
Therefore, the claim that the institutions of the West never adopt laws that the populace cannot accept is a farce. The laws of the West are full of contradictions, and more often than not, are formulated behind closed doors by lawmakers with insidious special interest and contrary to popular accords. Once they come to light and societies smell the rat, conniving law doctors are prepared to fight the collective social wisdom on deceitfully contrived constitutional principles, always contrary to the universal good of man, and essentially to serve those for whom the laws had been instituted ... Yet the law remains the law and few complain.
Non-Muslim groups exploiting new winds of universal freedom and liberty will be ill-advised to challenge the supremacy of an imperative for a law derived from the Quran when it is applicable. The Quran never brought alien principals to Judeo-Christianity. Everything the Quran teaches is found in Judeo-Christianity. There is nothing in the Quran that cannot be found in the Torah of Moses and the Evangel of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the Quran provides a perfect mechanism for non-Muslims to legislate for themselves in accordance with what they find in their scriptures
Muslim groups once have reconciled the principles of Divine immutable ideals with the imperatives of human progress, and have mastered the art and science of marketing their Call with contemporary methods of form and function, will find themselves at the ’vanguard of societies and their institutions. … They will be thrust into roles of leadership; they will be entrusted with the education of all Generations to come, and they will become an indomitable intellectual force by virtue of the Divine origin of their ideals and thought. They will find themselves role models for their nations as well as all others'; present and future.