Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Radhieka Pandeya's Critique of Shiraz Maher

I found the following article by the journalist Radhieka Pandeya which quotes from this website on the More 4 News website.

Our readers may find it interesting so I have reproduced it in full:

I am really sorry for this rather long posting, but I was really upset by the quality of a More4 News report on Friday – I don't know if any of you saw it. I thought that it was a lot of innuendo and allegations, without much substance. After watching the piece by a guy called Shiraz Maher I thought I'd "Google" him and do some more research about him.

It seems like when he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir [no-platformed by the NUS] he tried to be somewhat of an agent provocateur [e.g. when Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher (no relation of his) was attacked in Jerusalem, Maher suggested that she should have been killed]. Apparently, when he initially wanted to join, he was turned down by the organisation.

However, he now seems to have made a complete U-turn on all issues. I don't have a problem with people changing their minds and deciding that one organisation or another isn't quite right for them. Many people leave different groups and move on because of this.

However, with Maher's complete U-turn, I smell a rat. This seems even more likely as I detected that Maher has attempted to remove many of his previous articles from the web – a lot of these quotes can only be found cached by search engines – the original links have been removed.


"Hizb ut-Tahrir is, after all, ostensibly non-violent and committed to open discussion, so can it really be that dangerous? I suggest that it is…Hizb ut-Tahrir is no paper tiger. It is a revolutionary movement seeking to overthrow governments in the Muslim world, establish a caliphate and then wage jihad on other nations." [Times Higher Education Supplement]


"What is it that you fear so much about the Hizb and her call? The Hizb has never engaged in violence against any regime. Rather our struggle is intellectual and political. The words of truth are what cause the tyrants fear and sleeplessness - what scares you so much?"[]


"Exiled members who have regrouped in the UK have used the freedoms afforded to them here to seek to springboard their recruits and ideas back into the Muslim world. The effects have been felt most acutely in Pakistan, to which scores of British recruits, born and raised here, have returned since the late 1990s to propagate the party's message and incite the army to sedition."[Times Higher Education Supplement]


"The vast majority of our members reside in the Muslim world and you may have read reports in the press that when the Hizb launched itself in Pakistan they were shocked to find so many people speaking with thick cockney (London) accents. This is because to initiate the da'wah in those lands a number of UK based brothers packed their bags and moved to Pakistan in order to help the da'wah. Alhamdulillah, their efforts have worked with a large body now being built within Pakistan. My only reason for mentioning this is to illustrate that the scope of our work is in the Muslim world and that a number of our members from the west do return their in order to pursue the da'wah."[]


"This represents a very serious challenge for liberal democracies like ours and, whatever the response, we simply can't allow extremist groups to use our freedoms to destroy us. As al-Qaeda ideologies take root among Europe's Muslim communities, we need to find a way of uprooting this. A ban, in my opinion, would be the only effective measure." [Email on Harry's Place, Feb 26 2006]

"While Hizb ut-Tahrir continues to mobilise British Muslims in pursuit of its cause, its threat to global security cannot be understated. Silencing the party is, therefore, not simply a debate about free speech or criminalising alternative opinions. It is about protecting ourselves, and our allies, from the excesses of a totalitarian Islamic movement with grand ambitions."[Times Higher Education Supplement]


"Disillusioned at the failure of her agents to suppress the Islamic da'wah we now see the colonialist states taking direct action against the Hizb. Despite vain attempts to slander the Hizb and associate her name with terrorism the German government much like the Uzbek, Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian administrations has failed to show demonstrate any such link. Islam is the only ideological solution to capitalist exploitation and hegemony. Unfortunately even the supposedly democratic west - the bastion of liberal democracy and free speech - now fears this growing and unstoppable call."[]


"After the 7/7 terrorist attacks, Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani President, reacted angrily to suggestions that his country was somehow failing in its obligations to help defeat terrorism. He responded that the British Government "should have done what they have been demanding of us to do - to ban extremist groups like they asked us to do here in Pakistan". Mr Musharraf's comments underscore a painful reality. With terrorists being just as likely to emerge from the suburbs of Leeds as they are from the madrassas of Lahore, defeating extremism requires a global response. The Government must therefore accept that it has a responsibility to the international community, which means taking action at home, where the mobilisation of British Muslims constitutes the new front line."


[On Musharraf] "What a spineless chump."[]

"This only highlights Musharraf's ignorance about Islam and his relentless crusade against it."[]


Look at the quotes now – I can't believe that someone who said these things just a year or two ago, has now fallen in love with Western foreign policy, believes in the "war on terror" and supports draconian legislation.

Once again, I smell a rat…

"This latest scandal provides an insight at how the West's foreign policy is sold to the public by deceit, lies and deception, guided only by pragmatic interests."[]

"Whilst the west continues to propagate the ridiculous notion of freedom the paradox will continue where the UK has the harshest anti-drug laws in Europe whilst maintaining the highest consumption rates of both soft and hard drugs. Despite how widespread this problem becomes, Muslims must continue to adhere solely to the Islamic ideology and reject western concepts."[Khilafah Magazine October 2003 Edition]

"We should note that the disastrous fruits of western civilisation are a direct result of the Capitalist system. With its preaching’s running contrary to the nature of man it is no wonder that the western societies have begun to decay and are distinguished by characteristics such as rape, paedophilia, prostitution, drug addiction, hooliganism and crime."[ Journal September 2002 Edition]

"How can Muslims believe in such a misleading concept as freedom? No Muslim should think that they are free. Rather, you are limited, weak and needy - bound by the limitations and confines of Allah (swt)'s Shariah."[]

"I think an assessment of the reality of Capitalism reveals that it is this system and its supporters which are the real fanatics. We have seen the West wage war after war, launch attack after attack and colonise land after land all in the quest to acquire resources, secure interests and achieve material benefits. Indeed, it is the west who is fanatical - killing for greed, raping for interests and pillaging for her own benefits. The basis of action in the west is self interest and greed, whilst the source of its legislation is the mind."[]

"Myth: Jihad is only defensive. A distortion that is promoted is the idea that Jihad is only defensive. The protagonists of this idea again utilise certain misinterpretations to justify their positions… Indeed the Prophet took part in thirteen expeditions and eleven major battles in which he took the initiative and launched offensive action. Likewise of the 51 Sariyah (campaigns), 39 were offensive. How can one say, therefore, that Jihad is only defensive?"[]

"The brothers should not have just stopped at beating him, they should have killed him." [Comment posted following an attack on the Egyptian Foreign Minister][]

"I've never heard any martyr say that they are fighting Jihad for the sake of 72 virgins. Thats how the western kaffir press likes to portray the noble mujahideen just because their whole society and life revolves around sex. You need to stop taking everything verbatim that fox news feeds you."[]

"America has celebrated the deaths of thousands of people throughout the last century. It alone has butchered and massacred more people than any other nation - so save the emotional rhetoric. Muslims will never feel sorrow for the invading colonialists and their imperial ambitions. Forget the hypocrisy - you have celebrated death time and time again. Remaining US troops must now get off the Muslim lands or face the same fate. Indeed Ramadhan is a month in which the noble Sahabhi enjoyed many victories by the grace of Allah (swt). Long may the heroic resistance continue."[]

"In the month of Ramadhan - the month of victory - May Allah (swt) punish the disbelieving soldiers, May He (swt) make Iraq a graveyard for them and their colonialist plans and may He (swt) punish them by our hands and heal the hearts of the believers."[]

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shiraz Maher on British Foreign Policy

Dodgy dossier or dodgy foreign policy?

There has been debate recently surrounding the credibility of the British dossier published in the run up to the war on Iraq. In a vain attempt to drum up support for the conflict, Whitehall had brought forward this supposed dossier of damning evidence against the Iraqi dictator. Its findings were clear - that Iraq posed a real and immediate threat not only to her neighbours but also to the West. However, reports have slowly emerged illustrating just what a sham the whole dossier has been. Much of it was plagiarised from a PhD student's thesis whilst other parts had been grossly exaggerated or fabricated. Whilst a Commons committee now investigates wild allegations such as Saddam's ability to deploy WMD in just 45 minutes, the government has now admitted that the current fiasco is an embarrassment.Nevertheless, the hysteria surrounding the dossier should not be viewed in isolation. It is merely the product of an intellectually bankrupt foreign policy. Even a cursory examination reveals that the British foreign policy is riddled with sinister duplicity. Hence, whilst warring against Saddam in the name of freedom and liberty, the British continue to enjoy warm ties with tyrannical despots such as Karimov of Uzbekistan. In addition, her sale of VX nerve gases, anthrax and other biological weapons to such regimes has been extensively documented. The job of any foreign secretary here is to further British interests. This position was best described by Lord Palmerston (1848) who said, "We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are perpetual and eternal and those interests it is our duty to follow." It comes as little surprise then that when Blair's cabinet announced almost a century and a half later that it intended to pursue an ethical foreign policy, few were taken in. Lord Carrington quickly dismissed it saying, "He [Blair] will run into quite a lot of difficulty about exports and retaliation. It's much better to do these things without a great fanfare."This latest scandal provides an insight at how the West's foreign policy is sold to the public by deceit, lies and deception, guided only by pragmatic interests. And no one should be surprised at the news that the architects behind this latest dossier have finally been exposed as fabricating the truth.

Shiraz Maher on Drugs


The tragic case of Jade Slack in July 2002 shocked the British public, but made them aware that this type of accident was all too probable with the scale of the drug problem in the west. She had gone over to a friend’s house and began complaining that her stomach was hurting. There was clearly something wrong, her pupils were dilated and her lips began turning purple. Within minutes her condition deteriorated and she was staggering into furniture with a rising temperature. As she grew increasingly hyperactive and her teeth chattered fiercely Jade finally admitted to having taken five unknown tablets. At hand were Wayne Wood and his girlfriend Rebecca Hodgson who quickly rushed her into a cold bath to calm the violent fever. Although her condition continued to worsen neither Mr Wood nor Ms Hodgson could muster up the courage to call an ambulance. Their reluctance stemmed from the fact that Jade was no ordinary drug taker. She had not taken the pills in some fashionable nightclub or with friends. She was a ten year old girl who had found the pills left perched carelessly behind a teddy bear, and swallowed them out of sheer curiosity. Jade died later that night in hospital.

No respect for the law

Although disturbing, the circumstances surrounding Jade’s death are not unique. The publication of annual crime figures in July revealed a massive leap in drug abuse and drug related crime across Britain’s major cities. London experienced an increase of almost 30% whilst figures in Birmingham rose by 20%. The city also witnessed a 47% rise in the possession of heroin and cocaine. These spiralling figures epitomise an impending disaster, which will soon spin out of control. Despite dedicating legislation and hours of police time towards combating drugs, commentators suggest that as many as 90% of all drugs reach their destination - the hands of users. The Observer commented on this pitiful state of affairs remarking, ‘When half of all Britons aged 16 to 24 report using illegal drugs, the law risks becoming an ass.’ Whilst imaginative thinking on the problem stagnates amongst western intellectuals The Observer contends ‘The failure of drugs policy poses a still greater threat. As demand for drugs increases, Western governments risk entrenching international crime cartels, driving up profits which are used to fund a range of illegal activity from people trafficking to prostitution to terrorism.’ It’s clear that the west’s view on drugs have become jaundiced and ineffective at best. With current policy failing to address the root cause of the problem drugs continue to flourish within society. There are obvious repercussions for the wider society who often suffer from the actions of drug users. It is estimated that drug crime now costs £20 billion a year whilst 50% of all crime is drug related.

A way of life

The staggering rise in drug abuse has been attributed by some to the continual glamorisation of drugs in the media whilst the traditional ‘just say no’ message clearly no longer works. Although a handful of organisations continue to propagate such a call the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) condemns them to failure. They argue that the current drug culture sends a message that ‘all your problems and bad feelings are just chemicals in your brain, you can feel better with a drug.’ Anti-drugs campaigners are struggling to make an impact on contemporary youth culture. Hollywood continues to glamorise drug taking in films such as Trainspotting and Human Traffic. In the film Scarface, Al Pacino plays a gangster who heads an international cocaine smuggling ring. Peppered with violent scenes the film empathises with Pacino’s character, Tony Montoya. The strap line for the film reads ‘The world is yours’ and in another ‘Make way for the bad guy.’ Scarface is just one of many films which glamorises drugs and the gangster lifestyle which goes with it. Satirical characters like Ali G further reinforce the notion that drugs are in some way ‘trendy’ and ‘cool.’

The anti-drugs message is dealt a further blow every year when its time for the annual summer music festivals. Events such as Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festivals are well known for providing a hedonistic atmosphere in which drug taking is normalised. One website advertising this years ‘Homelands’ festival even put up the following warning on their website, ‘This weekend’s Homelands Festival is the premier dance event of the summer. Music fans will be subjected to drug checks however, with sniffer dogs in operation. Hide it well, you have been warned.’ Remarkably, even the BBC has this advice for festivalgoers ‘if you are going to indulge [in drugs], use a source you can trust before you get to the festival’ in a section on their website entitled ‘Festival Survival Guide.’ Typified by drink, drugs and sex, summer festivals represent the pinnacle of youth culture. Outside the summer months partygoers find no shortage of outlets for their desires in any one of the nations many pubs and clubs.

With the continuous glamorisation of drugs, the voice of anti-drugs campaigners is slowly being drowned out. The problem has now penetrated every facet of society, straying far beyond its traditional refuge of the hippy infested fields of Woodstock. Last year, a think-tank founded by Tony Blair strongly condemned the government’s drugs policy branding it a ‘resounding failure’. Report author Rowena Young says there are now 500 times as many drug addicts in Britain as there were in the 1960s, and it is in the top five countries worldwide in terms of heroin consumption. So widespread is the problem that children are no longer immune from their effects. Quite often, it is they who are left helplessly to deal with the horrific consequences.

Generation ‘E’

Glasgow University’s centre for drug misuse research published a report last month on the level of pre-teen drug abuse. They claim to have met a girl, aged 11, who regularly uses cannabis, amphetamines, LSD and ecstasy. At weekends they allege she regularly supplements her cocktail of illegal drugs with alcohol binges. Researchers were shocked to find that around 30% of children aged under 13 had been offered illegal drugs in Glasgow and Newcastle and that 3.9% admitted to having tried them. Professor McKeganey, of Glasgow University, said “When one looks at the age of the children we are talking about, it is shocking. With children, there is no such thing as recreational drug use. It is a worrying scenario as there are very high risks that many of these children will go on to develop multiple problems. They will go on to become the addicts of tomorrow.” The rise in drug abuse by pre-teens is particularly alarming when you consider the types of drugs children are now taking. “We asked drug-using 11- and 12-year-olds in Scotland if they had tried some form of heroin. Between 5 and 6 per cent of them said yes. Five years ago the percentage would have been zero,” concluded Professor McKeganey. The government-backed study at Glasgow University was commissioned following the death of Alan Harper, 13, from a heroin overdose in 1998.

In a separate report commissioned by the Department of Health they identified a link between drug abuse at school and truancy. 53% of truants admitted to underage drinking whilst 35% regularly took time off school for drug binges. The survey sampled 10,000 children from 321 different schools. The overall number of children aged 11-15 who used drugs regularly was 18%, although almost half, 45%, of all 15 year olds had tried one drug or another at least once. The most common drug of choice was cannabis although 4% admitted to having used class ‘A’ hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

‘Sorry sir, I’m too stoned to understand’

The worrying level of drug use amongst teens and pre-teens means that one in five schools will have to deal with a case of illicit drugs each year. In some cases head teachers have expressed concern at the ability of students to concentrate in class. Weekends dedicated to drink and drug binges mean that pupils return to school on Monday morning bleary eyed and unprepared for the week ahead. It is clearly a very real problem and one, which threatens the youth more than any other sector of society. They stand to lose the most and are often the target of unscrupulous dealers. Poor decisions made at early stage of life can often have a lasting effect making it difficult to break out of a rut in later life.

Professional Drugs

A recent phenomenon in drug taking has occurred amongst city professionals. In another sign that the drugs epidemic continues to spread into all sectors of society increasing numbers of city traders are turning to cocaine for a kick. It is now almost an exclusive reserve of the city elite who often associate its use with corporate success. Drug abuse within the city has now become such an integral part of life that a former employee of the financial service provider, Cantor Fitzgerald is suing them for unfair dismissal. Steven Horkulak, 39, used to be a senior director of the firm and took a gram of cocaine every day. He responded to his dismissal by branding it ‘absurd’ given the prevalence of drug taking in the city. Seeking compensation of £1.5 million, in court Mr Horkulak defended himself saying “I was in an environment where there was a lot expected of me, a lot of hours. The way I chose to keep going was the excessive use of alcohol and drugs.”

Muslim Drug Dealers

As drugs pervade all sectors of the society, the Muslim community is not immune to it. In particular the youth find themselves particularly vulnerable. A number of youth have fallen victim not just to the drug culture but to the lifestyle associated with it; of being a gangster, chasing women and so on. The problem is one which encompasses both Muslims living in the west as well as those living in the Muslim lands.

The predominantly Muslim community of Keighley in Leeds witnessed incredible violence as rival gangs battled it out for supremacy over a six month period. In their wake four Muslims were left dead. The last victim, Qadir Ahmed, was beaten and stabbed to death after his car was forced off the road. In a separate incident, two notorious gangsters were refused entry to a club. Having been ‘insulted’ by this they returned later that evening to pepper the club with a shower of bullets, hitting four revellers in the legs. The dealers are employing increasingly desperate measures to further their trade. Earlier this year a Bradford girl aged 13 was stopped at Heathrow for attempting to smuggle more than £1 million worth of heroin. Elders from within the community have also been coerced into working as traffickers when they’ve fallen on financial difficulties.

Over the last decade the number of Muslim prisoners in British jails has doubled to reach a total of between 4000-4500. This amounts to 9% of the total prison population. Maqsood Ahmed, the government’s Muslim advisor to the Prison Service has observed that 25% of Muslim convicts have committed offences relating to drugs. In addition 65% of all Muslims in jail are between the ages of 18 and 30. It becomes clear then, that drugs are an extremely potent threat to the Muslim youth.

However, the drugs dealt on Britain’s street have largely been imported from abroad. This is where the drugs crisis not only threatens the Muslim youth here in the west but also those abroad. Morocco is now the world’s largest exporter of cannabis. Production has increased tenfold over the period between 1983-1993, with current exports topping 2000 metric tonnes a year. Meanwhile, Afghanistan overtook Burma as the chief producer of heroin and opiate derivatives in the 1990’s. In 1999, it supplied 77% of the world’s heroin with the production and refinement of poppy seeds taking place in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Traditionally the drugs are cultivated in Afghanistan before being shipped to the world via Pakistan.

The Problem

It is clear that drugs are a cancer within society. In the west, the problem continues to spiral out of control as anti-drugs campaigners and politicians run out of ideas. Drug abuse threatens the youth by stifling their future prospects. It also destroys families, as the main priority of addicts becomes getting ‘one more hit.’ The wider society is exposed to crime as desperate addicts steal goods to fuel their habit. Perhaps most worrying of all is that powerful gangs are prepared to turn otherwise quiet streets into battlefields for their ego driven turf wars.

Left unchallenged this is a problem that will consume society. Whilst the problem is clear to all, many within the west have misunderstood its root cause. Instead western solutions tend only to focus on symptoms of the problem and not on the root cause itself. Consequently anti-drugs campaigners, organisations and politicians have all witnessed nothing but failure in their approach since the sixties. Before considering how best to solve this problem, it is imperative that Muslims first understand its cause from a deep and enlightened perspective.

Incorrect causes and solutions

Western academics have debated the drugs problem ad nauseam. By viewing the problem from within the ideological framework of the capitalist ideology much of their thinking has been blinkered. The limitations of this framework make it inherently unable to address the nature of man, or his problems. There are several common misconceptions behind the capitalists understanding of the drugs crisis which are worth briefly examining.

1. Drugs abuse is a result of poverty and social deprivation. Such a view relies on a fiscal understanding to man’s problems. Advocates would suggest that drug users have experienced social exclusion through a lack of qualifications, training and opportunities. Consequently, they have been driven into a life of drugs and crime to overcome such problems. However this view is problematic for two reasons. The first is that Afghanistan is one of the world’s chief exporters of heroin. It’s also amongst the poorest nations on earth. Yet, drug use in these countries and amongst their impoverished Afghani cultivators is negligible compared to the west. In addition such a view fails to account for extensive drug taking amongst city professionals and rich socialites.

2. Legalising drugs will solve the problem. Proponents argue that the legalisation of drugs will remove the criminal aspect and therefore the ‘glamour’ associated with them. Additionally, by legalising drugs the government will be able to guarantee the purity of drug supplies whilst taxing users, much like they do with alcohol and tobacco. However, the long-term effects of certain drugs such as ecstasy and its active ingredient MDMA remain unknown making it almost impossible for the government to supply a ‘pure’ substance. Even if it was legalised over 20% of underage children are estimated to be abusing alcohol showing clearly that legalisation fails to protect the young and brings with it, its own problems. Finally, an intellectual consideration of this argument reveals that it represents a defeat for legislators; because drug laws are problematic to enforce and because abuse is so high then by legalising them the problem is solved. Therefore by extending this argument to its logical conclusion crimes such as car and mobile theft should also be legalised.

3. Educate people about the perils of drugs. The problem with the current anti-drugs message is that is relies on scare tactics. By educating people against the dangers of drugs campaigners are hoping to paint a picture in which the dangers outweigh the benefit. The argument is easily overcome if the ‘fun’ can be seen to outweigh the risk. Ecstasy users will often cite that it is statistically safer to take an ‘E’ that it is to fly and that you have a greater chance of being hit by lightening than you do of dying from taking ecstasy. Therefore the risks would appear to be low compared to the euphoric feeling of being high. The education message would therefore seem to rest on a weak and susceptible base.

4. Build social clubs for the youth to occupy their time. This view is highly naïve as it assumes drug takers simply abuse substances because they are bored. Drug users take drugs in order to experience its effects and will not be deterred by a badminton tournament in their local youth club. Even top athletes who train their bodies and have hectic schedules are known to abuse performance enhancing drugs. Scores of professionals and students, all with busy schedules, abuse drugs. Drug taking is borne by the concepts an individual holds and not by the amount of free time they have.

The root cause - Freedom

Freedom is a central tenet of the capitalist doctrine. It represents the pinnacle of the western civilisation and is amongst their primary articles of faith. We are told that man is free and has personal freedoms to do as he pleases, provided that he does not cause harm or distress to others. This concept of personal freedom is a powerful one. It is obvious that no society practises absolute freedom. Clearly there must be a limit and constraints beyond which people cannot stray. Herein lies the problem with this concept.

Although commentators have attempted to explain the drugs epidemic through a socio-economic perspective their conclusions have failed to provide a comprehensive understanding. The basis of the failure to explain it from this perspective lies in the fact that this problem is essentially a human problem. Any solution to the crisis must therefore address the individual, his concepts and his desires. It is natural that the concepts held by a particular individual will determine his response to his desires. It is clear then that the real basis of this problem lies in the concept of personal freedom, which many in the west hold.

Despite being illegal drug taking continues to rise. It is widely legitimised through popular youth culture and glamorised in the media. Conventional attempts to stem the rising tide of drug abuse have all failed because they have not addressed this issue from its basis. Therefore many of these attempts have merely dealt with symptoms of the cause and not with the cause itself. The rising number of drug addicts is hardly surprising then.

Freedom in itself is a particularly troublesome concept. It is clear that absolute freedom cannot exist and that there must be limits imposed. The question must then be asked, what is the correct basis for deciding how much freedom we should have? Many drug users when breaking the law merely refuse to accept the authority of the legislators. It has been argued that the establishment’s view on drugs is dated and irrelevant. Some would suggest that ‘how could you ban it without trying it first? A spliff does less damage than a pint.’ This is significant because when one man legislates for another why should the first accept the constraints imposed on him by the other? What attributes elevates and distinguishes him in his decisions over others? It illustrates the problematic nature of accepting one mans authority and ability to legislate for another. Hence many are prepared to believe that they know better than decision makers in Westminster and that their reluctance to update drug laws is merely irrelevant. Consequently they choose to openly flaunt such laws and exert their freedom.

This alone does not account for spiralling drug abuse figures. Freedom is not just a troublesome concept when considered on a societal level. It is also highly problematic for the individual himself. Making himself the chief arbitrator in deciding good and bad the individual is able to move the benchmark to suit his own circumstances. Consider that very few, if any, drug users start on hard drugs. Initially they start on soft drugs such as cannabis before working their way onto harder drugs. Clearly, this is not a conscious decision or intention of the user at the start. The limits of acceptability change for some drug users, whilst not for others depending on their personal experiences and preferences. It has subsequently been argued that cannabis is a gateway drug. The journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study into this matter. The study enrolled 300 pairs of same-sex twins, both identical and fraternal, with an average age of 30 years. The twin-pairs were surveyed between 1996 and 2000, with each pair of twins consisting of one person who began smoking marijuana prior to age 17, and a second twin who abstained. The study looked at the use of non-prescribed sedatives, hallucinogens, cocaine and other stimulants, and opiate narcotics. Alcohol dependency and cannabis use were also assessed. The study determined that individuals who began using marijuana before age 17 had 2 to 5 times the risk of subsequent progression to other drugs, as well as to alcohol dependency, when compared to their twin siblings who did not use marijuana. The authors, therefore, concluded that the early onset of marijuana use (before age 17 in this study) was associated with a 2 to 5 times risk of progression to the use of other illicit substances, and to alcohol dependency. Hence it becomes clear that cannabis acts as a gateway drug for many illustrating that even for an individual it can be difficult to limit and regulate their own freedom. The limit of what is acceptable is easily shifted from one circumstance to another. Therefore drug use continues to rise most notably amongst the hard drugs users.

Therefore the root cause of the drugs crisis within the west must be viewed from this perspective. The problem must be understood as a human problem, the cause of which lies with the concepts and individual holds. With freedom remaining a central tenet of the capitalist doctrine, the capitalist mindset will never be able to resolve the problem of drugs. Its limited socio-economic framework prevents it from addressing mans problems in a comprehensive manner. Whilst not being able to address the problem, the central pillar of capitalist thought - freedom - continues to encourage people to take drugs in the first place. It becomes clear that capitalist societies will not only create this problem as an inherent attribute of the system but also that the system will then be inherently unable to respond to the problem that it helped foster in the first place.

Islam and the drugs crisis

Enforcing drugs laws in the west represents a massive problem. Despite their illegality scores of people make a blatant and conscious decision to flaunt the law in pursuit of their own happiness. It is clearly because they believe they have the freedom to decide for themselves how to live their lives and because they fail to accept the authority of human legislators to curb their freedom. This was perhaps best illustrated during America’s prohibition. National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33) - the ‘noble’ experiment - was undertaken with a view to reducing crime, corruption, social problems and improving health conditions. Hence congress ratified the eighteenth amendment outlawing the ‘importing, exporting, transporting, selling and manufacturing’ of all intoxicating liquors. It was a resounding failure on all counts.
Thousand of bootleggers sprung up, illegally importing it from Canada, stealing it from government warehouses and producing it themselves. ‘Speak easies’ quickly replaced traditional saloons and by 1925 there were well over 100,000 established in New York alone. Much of the illegal bootlegging trade fell under the control of organised criminal gangs who established close ties with the authorities. Most secured their status by bribing police, federal authorities and members of congress. Remarkably, during the years of prohibition the level of alcoholism within America rose, as did its availability. This is hardly surprising given that prior to prohibition there were only 400 licensed breweries. However, after seven years of prohibition there was an amazing 93,831 in business. The very authorities charged with enforcing the stringent prohibition laws were themselves regular customers at some of the most notorious moonshines.
The limited view of American legislators led them to incorrectly believe that a mere ban on alcohol would overcome the problem and its associated ills. However, what the prohibition laws failed to address was the concepts held by individuals making it a resounding failure. Not only did the rate of alcoholism rise but so did crime and criminality. The murder rate rose by 78% in major urban areas whilst the rate of serious crime such as assault and battery rose by 13%. Unbelievably, the overall rate of criminality across America rose by an amazing 561% during prohibition. Clearly prohibition failed to achieve its goals. Instead it exasperated the very problems it was intended to solve. The ban was finally lifted in 1933 as authorities finally conceded that it had become unworkable.

Yet this was not the first time that a society had prohibited alcohol. An earlier prohibition had take place, some 1300 years before America’s ‘noble experiment.’ Many people within the Arabian societies loved to drink. Indeed, during the Makkan stages of the revelation even some of the Sahabah enjoyed it. For many it was an integral part of social life. However as the Sahabah sought clarification from Rasool Allah (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) regarding alcohol Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) eventually sent Gibreel (as) with the revelation of the ayah,
“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.” [TMQ Al-Ma’idah:90]

The revelation of this ayah had an immediate and profound effect on society. Upon hearing it the Sahabah immediately destroyed the casks, which had previously stored it. It has been reported that some Sahabah who had just consumed it forced themselves to be sick thereby expelling from their systems. Anas ibn Malik (ra) narrated that the streets of Madinah smelled of it for days. Some of the noble companions had even been addicted to alcohol, yet they had no problem in giving up the intoxicant with immediate effect.

However, on the face of it there is little difference between this prohibition for Muslims and the prohibition enacted in America by congress. The fundamental difference between the two lies in a profound understanding of exactly who has the right to limit man’s freedoms. Whilst no man can legislate for another, the creator of man clearly can. Building an intellectual belief amongst the Sahabah, Rasool Allah (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) was therefore able to establish a definitive basis for action. By rationally coming to the belief and understanding in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) the Sahabah were then led to the rational belief in the Prophethood of Muhammed (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) and the revelation. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) answered mans greatest problem by addressing his concepts and giving him purpose in life. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) informs us in the Qur’an

“I have only created Jinn and men, that they may worship me.” [TMQ Az-Zariyat: 56]

Hence the Muslims had no problem with giving up alcohol because of the understanding that what proceeds this life is accountability before Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala). They understood whilst Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) will reward the obedient, He I will punish those who were not. Just like the citizens of 1920’s America, some of the Sahabah were addicted to alcohol and liked its effects. However, their response to prohibition was in stark contrast to the reaction it received in America. They failed to accept the wisdom behind congresses decision for banning alcohol and rejected its decision to limit their freedom in this way. On the other hand, the Sahabah surrendered unconditionally to the wisdom of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) and never once questioned His I ability to legislate for them. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) instructs the believers,

“It may be that you hate something and it is good for you and it may be that you like something and it is bad for you, Allah knows and you do not know” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 216].


“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” [TMQ Al-Ahzab:36]


“The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words, the Qur’an) and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alaiahi Wasallam), to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the prosperous ones (who will live forever in Paradise).” [TMQ An-Nur:51]

This makes it clear that Muslims do not believe idealistically in the concept of freedom. Rather, Muslims believe in the complete opposite. Whilst the west believes in freedom, Muslims believe in slavery to the will of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala). Abu Hurairah reported that the prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said,

“This world is a prison for the believers and a paradise for the disbelievers.” [Muslim, 7058]


The tapestry of the capitalist doctrine is bound together by its central tenets of secularism and freedom, where sovereignty lies ultimately with the individual. Hence, it is hardly surprising that there is a massive drugs crisis plaguing the west. Individuals have little regard for the temporal laws of their society as they fail to recognise its authority over them. The relativist nature of freedom then makes it a highly subjective concept varying greatly from one person to the next. Given that this concept is a central pillar of thought in the west, the consequences are inevitable. The current drugs crisis is therefore an inherent product of the system itself. The system fails to find equilibrium by undermining itself whilst failing to offer solutions, which address the root cause. Hence, not only drug taking is on the rise but so too is drug related crime and gangland violence.Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) has given man the powerful faculty of mind and has provoked him to consider his relationship with what came before this life and with what will come after it. By doing so, belief in Islam is arrived at through rational proofs and intellectual reasoning. Hence it is built upon the Islamic Aqeedah, which solely recognises the sovereignty of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala). It is from this certain and absolute basis that Muslims must shape their outlook on life. Consequently no Muslim can believe in the western freedom myth.

It is only by addressing mans nature from a conceptual basis that the current tide of drugs in society can be stemmed. Without going to the root of the problem, which lies within the concept of freedom itself, the depressing rise of drugs will never be reversed. Muslims must present these ideas to those around them in an intellectual fashion whilst presenting Islam as the only viable ideological alternative. In doing so, we must illustrate how only Islam is able to address mans nature in a comprehensive fashion and how only its application will provide tranquillity. The capitalist mindset can never answer the drugs question, as it would involve renegading on their own articles of faith.

Whilst the west continues to propagate the ridiculous notion of freedom the paradox will continue where the UK has the harshest anti-drug laws in Europe whilst maintaining the highest consumption rates of both soft and hard drugs. Despite how widespread this problem becomes, Muslims must continue to adhere solely to the Islamic ideology and reject western concepts.
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) says,

“Say: ‘Not equal are Al-Khabith [all that is evil and bad] and At-Tayyib [all that is good], even though the abundance of Al-Khabith may please you.’ So fear Allah, O men of understanding in order that you may be successful” [TMQ Al-Ma’idah: 100]

Shiraz Maher

Shiraz Maher on Freedom

Shiraz Maher
Nov 9th, 2002, 04:58 AM
Greetings and Peace to the followers of the divine revelation,How can Muslims believe in such a misleading concept as freedom? No Muslim should think that they are free. Rather, you are limited, weak and needy - bound by the limitations and confines of Allah (swt)'s shariah.Mohammed (saw), The Prophet of Islam, said:“This life for the believer is like a prison and for the disbeliever like a paradise”. [Musnad Ahmed, Sahih Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja]And Allah (swt), the exalted, tells us:“Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and property in return for the price of Paradise” [TMQ At-Taubah: 111]No man is free - we are all slaves. Slaves of Allah or slaves to our desires.

Was Salaam,


Shiraz Maher Q & A

Mar 21st, 2004, 09:30 AM
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Assalam u Alaikum,
1. If HT is a political party hoping to establish a khilafa for muslims, then what is the reason their main leadership is based in London, instead of some muslim country? Wouldn't it make sense for those who so passionately believe in an Islamic khilafa to first move to a muslim land (of their choice) and carry out their campaign from there? Surely they can't expect UK to be the center of khilafa? Why live here when they disagree with everything these "kuffar" do?
This is a misnoma that the global leadership of the Hizb is based in the UK. It is largely something that has been spread as a misconception through an incorrect sensation of the reality. The Hizb has a global leadership which resides in the Muslim world. Every country then has a regional leadership. It was this regional leadership in the UK for which we recently announced elections. The vast majority of our members reside in the Muslim world and you may have read reports in the press that when the Hizb launched itself in Pakistan they were shocked to find so many people speaking with thick cockney (London) accents. This is because to initiate the da'wah in those lands a number of UK based brothers packed their bags and moved to Pakistan in order to help the da'wah. Alhamdulillah, their efforts have worked with a large body now being built within Pakistan. My only reason for mentioning this is to illustrate that the scope of our work is in the Muslim world and that a number of our members from the west do return their in order to pursue the da'wah. However, Muslims are allowed to live in the non-Muslm lands and have a very crucial role to play there too. Muslims in the west must debate with those around them and present Islam as a viable alternative lifestyle to capitalism. We must show how Islam resolve problems which people face everday like the break down of the family unit, drugs, crime, truancy, teenage pregnancies and so on. Also, in the west we are able to raise our voices in a way which we could not do in the Muslim world (although that situation is now changing, just look at Germany) and so we need to use our platform here to help and aid change in the Muslim world. The party does not work to establish Khilafah in the UK and does not engage in any kind of political struggle there. But like I have said, the leadership as well as the majority of members do reside in the Muslim world. In addition, many move from the west back to the Muslim world.
2. HT has been in existence for the last 50+ years. If their message is so right, what are their successes in the last five decades? How many people support HT... any statistics?
I think when we attempt to measure the success or support of any movement we need to forget about 'statistics' or number or other shallow indicators of the like. The patry has always maintained that we are trying to disseminate particular thoughts and emotions amongst the society. Years ago people in the UK hadn't even heard of the Khilafah and then the Hizb put that discussion on the table. Then people debate whether or not it was fard. Today the vasty majority of Muslims agree that it is and now the discussion is - what is the method? The nature of the debate has moved on alhamdulillah. I am not trying to accredit all the success here to the Hizb, but certainly in the UK, it was the Hizb that was the first party to put this discussion of Khilafah on the lips of everyone and made everyone address it in some way or another. If you look to the Arab world, in the 1950's people used to call for solutions like Arab nationalism or the UN to solve their problems. Today they are increasingly turning to Islam. Could you have imagined people protesting on the streets of Jordan, Egypt and Syria a decade ago to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Afghanistan? The Muslim world is increasingly looking to Islam for an answer and is doing away with some of the old nationalist ideas which they used to carry. This is the best measure to use.
3. HT criticizes all muslim governments around the world. Why isn't HT part of the political process in those countries to provide people a choice so they can vote for HT?
The reality shows that working within the system does not work. Those parties that have worked within it have consistently had to compromise their agenda such as the so called Islamic parties in Turkey and Pakistan. When an Islamic patry won democratic elections in Algeria, what happened? We all known how the French prevented them from taking power through the military. Did the UK or America condemn this as anti-democratic? Similarly, it is haram, from the method of Mohammed (saw) to engage in a system which is kufr as a party. The details of this must be examined from the seerah and we could discuss this in greater depth if you wish.
4. If there is one khilafah amongst muslims, what will happen to the present day states?
All the rulers of the Muslim world are illegitimate as they have never taken a bay'ah to rule. When a Khailf is appointed he will be a ruler for all Muslims everywhere, regardless of their location. The other Muslim countries should, over time, be annexed by the Khilafah and incorporated into it.
5. What will be the rights of non-muslims in the HT-vision of khilafa? If HT claims that it does not descriminate between muslims and non-muslims in their rights to participate in the political process, then how does HT explain that it does not allow any non-muslim to be a member of HT? (that was kinda like a slam dunk )
Non-Muslims are afforded full rights of citizenship and protection under the Khilafah state. The Hizb isone of the few parties in the Muslim world which has actually been at pains to meet with non-Muslims and to articulate our vision for them under a Khilafah state. Indeed, the current level of persecution many non-Muslims face living in the Muslim world is yet another example of the tyranny of current Muslim rulers. Under the Khilafah we would be obliged to defend non-Muslims as we would a Muslim. Rasool Allah (saw) said "Who so ever hurt a dhimmi (non-Muslim of the state) it would be as if he hurt me." The Khalif is obliged to defend his life, honour and property the same way as he would be a Muslims. As for working with the party itself - the party is not the state. There are certain conditions for working with the party - such as the belief in Allah (swt). In fact a non-Muslim could theoretically even study in one of the party's study circles until a prescribed point after which he would be required to accept Islam or to leave the study. The reason is simple - you need to differentiate between a state and a party. The two have different roles, objectives and obligations.I will answer your last question - but have some food waiting for me on the table which is getting cold! I will return after that, inshallah.Was Salaam Faisal,Shiraz.
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Mar 28th, 2004, 06:36 PM
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Salaams Faisal, Jazak Allah Khair for your patience. As you know I've been busy, hence the delay in responding.I'll start with question 6, which I never got back to and then the new series of questions which you raised.
6. Since HT so vigorously wants to follow the political movement of 1400 years ago, doesn't it give an impression that HT is still stuck with the ideals of an era gone by, and is not coignizant of the issues facing the ummah right now?
We need to clarify what we mean by the term 'following the political movement of 1400 years ago.' This is vital for us to proceed further on this question. There are a number of issues which arise from this question and I will attempt to tackle them in turn.The first is to understand that when ever we face a problem or situation our first and immediate reference point must be Islam. So before we, for example, use IVF treatment, we need to know what the Islamic rule on this matter is. Clearly the Quran and hadith do not explicitly talk about IVF treatment as the technology did not exist at the time. In this case the mujtahid (the one capable of performing Ijtihad) must revert to the Islamic texts and use Qiyas (analogy) to derive a Shariah ruling. What is important to appreciate here is that we go to Islam first in order to arrive out our conclusion - whether the action is halal or haram. We should not arrive at a conclusion first and then go to Islam in order to find evidences to support what we think is right.To discuss the method of re-establishing the Khilafah is a process which requires ijtihad. Hence, here we need to reflect on and study the life of the Messenger (saw) with explicit reference to the political dimensions of the Seerah. So, for example, Rasool Allah (saw) did not use violence in order to establish the Islamic State in Madinah, and this is why we have rejected it as being part of the method which we use today. This is one example of deriving a rule for the method - there are many more. However we need to distinguish between Hukms (rules) and styles and means. So Allah (swt) revealed the ayat which cursed those who burried their daughters alive. This is a hukm which does not change, although realities do. So today people do not bury their daughters alive but they have abortions. Usury was forbidden back then, as it is today although we have new institutions to challenge such as the IMF and World Bank. When we consider styles then this is totally different. So, Rasool Allah (saw) would address people sitting on a mountain or through big feasts. This does not mean we have to do the same. In the realm of styles and means there is no shariah directive so we can use mediums such as the internet to make da'wah.Hence, Hizb ut Tahrir strives to utilise all the best styles and means available in order to propogate our call. However when deriving a hukm for a situation, then it is an obligation that we revert to the Islamic texts.
Is there a global leadership of HT at all? If there is, where is it based? I know that you have regional presence. but the most vocal of them seems to be in UK (Dr Waheed, you and all the pamphlets you post here are routinely from UK), and it begs the question, why not in some muslim land, and instead in UK?
The global leadership of the party resides in the Muslim world. The party is more prominent in the west mainly because of the relative freedom. In the Middle East the media are told not to give coverage to groups like ours and our members are routinely tortured, imprisoned and killed. Because of this the shabab naturally maintain a lower profile in those states. Party leaflets from around the world can be found on and on which include leaflets from places like Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Dubai, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey - all Muslim countires,
Today the vasty majority of Muslims agree that it is When you make blanket statements like that, is there a way to verify their truthfulness. How can you say that a vast majority of Muslims agree on something, when you have little to back it up with. Or even if you do, you show disdain for it by calling it a "shallow indicator"?
I have already indicated how I am measuring this in my previous post. I have cut and pasted the answer below just to re-iterate my point. In the UK the whole discussion has moved on from "is Khilafah fard?" Today you only need to talk with imams, community leaders and Muslims who frequent the mosques in order to ascertain that there is a general agreement that it is an obligation/necessity. The debate today is about what the method should be and where this work needs to start. This is my own tangible experience from discussion on the ground. However, if you look to the Arab world, in the 1950's people used to call for solutions like Arab nationalism or the UN to solve their problems. Today they are increasingly turning to Islam. Could you have imagined people protesting on the streets of Jordan, Egypt and Syria a decade ago to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Afghanistan? The Muslim world is increasingly looking to Islam for an answer and is doing away with some of the old nationalist ideas which they used to carry. This is the best measure to use.
I think the basic problem is, we just don't know what kinda support you guys have. We can hypothise, ofcourse, but it can be quite off-mark. You may say "a vast majority", someone else may say "less than a few hundred" actually accept your message. In the absence of any verifiable data, we don't know who is right and who is not. For example, I may disagree that khilafah should be the single-point agenda for our lives, as I may think there are other haqooq-Allah and haqooq-al-Ibaad that we also need to worry about, whereas you may think, no without khilafat we are all doomed. The question is whether majority of muslims around the world accept my opinion or yours?
This is very similar to your last question. In order to measure this we need only evaluate the level of debate in the Muslim world. True there are a number of people who would agree with your view and a number who would oppose it. Again, all I can say is that it is clear to see that the general political consciousness of the Ummah is rising and that increasing numbers of people are refering to Islam as a solution. forget about Hizb ut Tahrir - this is irrelevant to what we are discussing here. The issue is - do people want Islam or not and are people increasingly turning to Islam or not?
When a Khailf is appointed he will be a ruler for all Muslims everywhere, regardless of their location. I am not sure I fully understand how this Khalif will be "appointed". I have asked this repeatedly, here on GS, but never got a straight answer. I have been told that election is a kuffar system, so I guess, this Khalif will not be voted in, and instead will be imposed upon the ummah by a select few. I am not sure I am thrilled about the idea. And there are a lot of people, who I think, are skeptical about your organization, because there is simply no visibility how the actual aim will be achieved and what are the practical realities of getting to that point. May be you can explain it better, bcz frankly, those before you, did not do a great job, IMO.
The issue of appointing the Khalifa is quite simple in reality. The Khalif is appointed and the Ummah has the right to elect him. Therefore, in the Khilafah every Muslim - man and woman - has the right to vote when it comes to appointing the ruler. Therefore the ruler will not be 'imposed' as you say but elected. Similarly, anyone who fulfills the criteria of being Khalif may stand in the elections and put themselves forward. This criteria is that they are: Male, Muslim, Sane, Just, Free (ie not a slave) and Mature. Elections are not haram and are not kufr. What we have said is that voting in a kufr system is haram. Hence it is haram to elect an MP in Britain to go to parliament because the system is kufr. Your representative (the MP) does not go to parliament to rule by Islam nor does he go there to implement the Quran and Sunnah. Therefore, by voting for him you are giving him a mandate to rule by kufr on your behalf. This is haram.I hope this answers some of your questions.Was Salaam,Shiraz
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Shiraz Maher on Capitalism and the West
Oct 28th, 2002, 11:06 AM
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Stu,I think an assessment of the reality of Capitalism reveals that it is this system and its supporters which are the real fanatics.We have seen the West wage war after war, launch attack after attack and colonise land after land all in the quest to acquire resources, secure interests and achieve material benefits. Indeed, it is the west who is fanatical - killing for greed, raping for interests and pillaging for her own benefits. The basis of action in the west is self interest and greed, whilst the source of its legislation is the mind. In Islam actions are based on the Shariah and legislation is from the Supreme - Allah (swt).In addition to your other question regarding the economic system of Islam I refer you to The Economic System of Islam - From the adopted books of Hizb ut Tahrir.An examination of the Islamic system will reveal that it is nothing like the Communist system - rather it is a unique system, unlike anything man made dispensing the justice and harmony of the Creator of mankind - Allah (swt).

Kind Regards,

Shiraz Maher

Shiraz Maher on Jews
Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:13 PM
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To call for the killing of Jews everywhere is a violation of the Islamic shariah. Therefore, Hizb ut Tahrir has never called for the killing of Jews everywhere. We are one of the few organisations in the Muslim world that has been at pains to meet with non-Muslims, including Jews, in order to explain our vision for them in an Islamic state. You may remember the recent bombings in Turkey at synogogues. You should ask yourself, how did Jews arrive in Turkey? It was because they fled seeking protection from Muslims because of the persecution being inflicted on them by western Europe. Traditionally Jews fled to the Islamic state (during the 'dark ages') because Europe persecuted them so badly. Read the history of what Charlemagne (charles the great) used to do to them. As Muslims, we were obliged to care for them under the state.Therefore, this idea that Hizb ut Tahrir has called for the killing of Jews is a misnoma and misrepresentation, spread only by the media. As a party, we do not undertake material actions, but are instead an ideological political party which seeks to create change in the Muslim world through challenging discourse, and by debating thoughts and ideas. We do not call for Jihad as we see this as being a violation of the shariah in establishing the Khilafah. If you believe we are wrong, you are entitled to this opinion. But you should come out and debate this point. On what basis have we errored? Which Islamic evidences support this view?Was salaam u alaikum,

Shiraz Maher

Shiraz Maher on International Law

Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:06 PM
Shiraz Maher

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Why bother with concepts like 'international law' which only exist in fanciful theory and not in the reality?When American interests dictated that Afghanistan and Iraq should be invaded there was no recourse to these lofty ideals - they just did what needed to be done, in order to secure their interests. Holding Muslims in Guantanmo Bay and the action in Iraq are widely deemed to be violations of 'international law.' These ideals are non-existent in the reality and are instead tools of the colonialists who wish to restrict other countries actions by holding them to it - but when it comes to themselves, then they are accountable to no one and are not constrained by any law when it comes to securing their own objectives. Only those who are profoundly unable to think and are smitten with the west could fail to see this. Even the rediculous Socialists have seen through this facade now - just a shame certain Muslims haven't.In any case, why should we refer the matter of the occupation of Muslim land to these courts or the western judicial system?Allah (swt) defined for us the solution and response to this problem. Allah (swt) said,"Fight in the way of Allah those that fight you "[TMQ Surah AI Baqarah 2:190]"Fight them wherever you find them, and expel them from wherever they expelled you "[ EMQ Surah A1 Baqarah 2: 191]Muslims have a right to defend the occupation of their land. Jihad is the method prescribed by Allah (swt). May Al-Aqsa and indeed of all Palestine be liberated soon.

Shiraz Maher on Jihad

Nov 13th, 2002, 04:39 AM

Assalam u Alaikum brother Mo Best, I pray that you, along with all followers of the divine guidance are in good health,The premise for our discussion must be that if you wish to dispute anything it must be on the basis of the Islamic texts and backed up by such texts.Myth: Jihad is only defensive A distortion that is promoted is the idea that Jihad is only defensive. The protagonists of this idea again utilise certain misinterpretations to justify their positions. "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits. For Allah loves not the transgressors” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 190]. “And if they incline to peace, you incline to it also, and trust in Allah. Verily! He is the hearer, the knower” [TMQ Al-A’raf: 61]. These two verses however, cannot abrogate the 119 other verses of Qur’an that suggest that Jihad is not merely limited to defensive war alone. These 119 verses, which are general and absolute, indicate that Jihad encompasses all of the following types of war: 1. Defensive war 2. Offensive war 3. Limited war 4. Unlimited war 5. Protective war Before we go into the details of the subject let us first clarify what we mean by the terms “general” (aam) and “absolute” (mutlaq). When a verse is described as “general” it means that it covers everything related to the subject. “Absolute” means that the verse is not limited in a particular aspect of the subject in question. If a verse is general, another verse (or evidence from Sunnah) is required to make it specific (khass) otherwise it must remain as general. Similarly if the verse is absolute another evidence is required to “limit” (muqayad) it, otherwise it to remains absolute. The verses concerning Jihad were revealed as general and absolute without limitation. Accordingly an evidence from Shari’ah is required to limit these verses concerning Jihad. However there are no evidences from Qur’an or Sunnah that place limitations on Jihad. Thus, Jihad encompasses all of the aforementioned types of war. There are many verses concerning Jihad that could be drawn upon to illustrate this understanding. It is sufficient to focus on Surah At-Taubah (Repentance), which is one of the last Surahs to be revealed. Thus no one can claim that the verses are abrogated, limited or specified by later revelations. "Fight against such of those who have been given the scripture as believe not in Allah nor the last day, and forbid not that which Allah hath-forbidden by his messenger, and follow not the Deen of truth, until they pay the Jizya readily, being brought low” [TMQ At-Taubah: 29]. "Verily! The number of the months with Allah is twelve months by Allah's ordinance in the day that he created the heavens and the earth, four of them are sacred: that is the right Deen, so wrong not yourselves in them. And wage war on all the idolaters as they are waging war on all of you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto him)” [TMQ At-Taubah: 36]. "O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them, their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end” [TMQ At-Taubah: 73]. "Verily! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. Whoever fulfils his covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that you have made, for that is the supreme triumph" [TMQ At-Taubah: 111]. "O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto him)" [TMQ At-Taubah: 123]. If we examine these verses we see that they include: “Fight against those who…have been given the scriptures as believe in Allah and the last day…until they pay the jizya.” “Fight all the idolaters as they fight you.” “Fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh with them.” “ …the garden, will be theirs, they shall fight in the way of Allah.” “Fight those of the disbelievers…” These verses command Muslims to fight, generally and absolutely. The verses impose no restrictions or conditions. Therefore this is clear evidence that “Jihad” may be offensive or defensive. These verses of At-Taubah were revealed under certain circumstances. The following verses chronologically precede these verses of Surah At-Taubah. They provide an insight into the circumstances in which Surah At-Taubah was revealed. “Let not the unbelievers think that they can outstrip (Allah's purpose). Verily! They cannot escape” [TMQ: At-Taubah: 2]. “Make ready for them all you can of (armed) force and of horses tethered, in order that you may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom you know not. Allah knows them. Whatsoever you spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be, wronged” [TMQ Al-Anfal: 60]. “And if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and trust in Allah. Verily! He is the hearer, the knower” [TMQ Al-A’raf: 61]. The meaning of abrogation (naskh) is that the rule (hukm) of one revelation is completely cancelled by another later revelation. When something is specified it is abrogation of a kind i.e. partial abrogation but it is only in the stated areas of the subject. The criteria for abrogation and specification is that the abrogating or specifying revelation must have been revealed at a later date. It should be noticed that the verses of Surah At-Taubah were the last to be revealed concerning Jihad. A misunderstanding of abrogation and specification by some of the Muslims may have resulted in these people saying that Jihad is a purely defensive war. Others however are happier distorting Islam in order to please the rulers in the Muslim lands or the Western lands rather than please Allah (Subhanahu Wa ta’ala). However a further point to be clarified is that the mere appearance of contradiction between two statements (either Qur’an or Sunnah) is not sufficient to claim abrogation. There must be a divine evidence to state that the abrogation is actually relating to the abrogated. There must be a clear context concerning the occurrence of the abrogation. There are a number of incidents where two, apparently contradicting revelations where implemented in total compatibility. Concerning the above verses from At-Taubah they should be understood without abrogation. Two verses may refer to one subject, such as Jihad, but differ in their context and situation. Therefore one verse may be applicable to a particular situation, and a different verse, seemingly contradictory, is applicable in a totally different situation. Consequently there is no abrogation. When we examine the verses of Jihad we see that they refer to the same subject but in different situations. Therefore, Jihad cannot be understood as being neither purely defensive nor purely offensive. The two verses quoted at the beginning relate to the situation of peace and the verses from At-Taubah relate to the situation of conflict. Conflict and peace are two different situations. To explain this, one must look to the accepted explanations of Qur’an and the opinion of our great scholars. Az-Zamakhshari in his Tafseer of the Qur’an, Al-Kashaf, says: “If they tend towards peace you must accept it, but this depends on what the Imam sees as a benefit for Islam and Muslims. It is not a must on the Imam to fight always, nor is it a must on him to accept peace always.”

Nov 13th, 2002, 04:41 AM
Shiraz Maher

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Thus both are compatible, but used under different situations and conditions. Both As-Sadi and Ibn Zaid have stated: “If they ask you for peace, accept it from them and there is no abrogation in it.” Hence according to As-Sadi and Ibn Zaid it is incorrect to say that the “sword verses” abrogate the “peace verses”. Abu Bakr Ibn Arabi in his Tafseer of the Qur’an, Ahkam ul Qur’an comments; “The answer here differs…Allah says, ‘don't weaken, don't call for peace whilst you have the upper hand. If Muslims are mighty with strength, invincible, and numerous in groups let there be no peace’ [TMQ Muhammad: 35].” Thus peace may be accepted but not if Muslims have the upper hand. In addition to the evidences of the Qur’an, Sunnah and Ijma-as Sahabah present clear evidences of the reality of Jihad. Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) relates that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “I have been ordered to initiate the fighting of people, until they testify that there is no god save Allah, that Muhammad is Allah's Prophet, establish Salat and pay Zakat. If they do that they save their blood from me, except by the right of Islam, their account will be to Allah” [Bukhari and Muslim]. In another hadith related by Anas ibn Malik; “Three are the origin of faith, to refrain from saying; 'they are disbelievers,' if they say there is no god save Allah, merely because of a sin or bad action. Secondly, that Jihad is continuous until the Day of Judgement, till the last one of my Ummah fights the 'Dajjal'. Thirdly to believe in the Qadr.” If Jihad is only defensive war how can it continue until the Day of Judgement? If it was so Jihad would be periodic and would not be continuous. Moreover, this completely contradicts evidences from the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the example of Sahabah. In the nine years that followed the Hijrah to Madinah (where permission was given to fight) the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) personally led 28 military campaigns, and during the same period the Companions (ra) embarked on another 51 military campaigns. If one looks in detail at these expeditions and battles one finds clear evidence that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the companions undertook both defensive and offensive action. The battles of Uhud and Ahzab are clear examples of defensive battles - on the other hand, Tabuk and Mutah are clear examples of offensive wars. Indeed the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) took part in thirteen expeditions and eleven major battles in which he took the initiative and launched offensive action. Likewise of the 51 Sariyah (campaigns), 39 were offensive. How can one say, therefore, that Jihad is only defensive? I hope this answers your questions,

Was Salaam,Shiraz Maher

Shiraz Maher on Egypt arrests

Aug 5th, 2002, 11:56 AM

Assalam u Alaikum, my dear brothers and sisters in Islam. The papers today, as well as BBC news 24 all seem to be carrying this story regarding these brothers currently held at the hands of the tyrannical Egyptian regime. Despite it being well known that Hizb ut Tahrir confines her struggle to the intellectual and political arenas the Egyptian regime along with scores of others continues to surpress and silence those who dare to speak out, often with the harshest of tools. When challenged to provide any proof of their claims, the Egyptians like all others have failed to produce even a single atoms weight. Instead these cowardly regimes shield themselves behind falsed, fabrication and lies. Just today the anti-terrorism court in Quetta has sentenced two members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Umayr Maqsood and Khurram Ahmed, who in January raised the word of truth against government actions. Umayr, who recently completed his Masters in Telecommunications, and Khurram, who did graduated in Commerce, were arrested for treason while distributing leaflets, which exposed the government's pro-American policy over Afghanistan and Kashmir. Today in Pakistan a peaceful citizen has become hostage in his own homeland and the one who verbally accounts the ruler is charged for "terrorism and treason", whereas FBI and colonialist agents are allowed to roam freely. Pakistan's Antiterrorism Laws are no less than the "POTO" laws that are implemented in occupied Kashmir since both are engineered to safeguard the interests of the kuffar and to crush Islam. So the challenge to these fasiq tyrants lies bare. Produce evidence to fight creed with creed, thought with thought and ideology with ideology. Have these rulers got no fear of Allah (swt) and the last day when they will surely be brought to account for what they did?May Allah (swt) ensure the safe and prompt release of all Muslims who continue to languish in prison cells at the hand of the tyrants. Ameen.Here are some excerpts from Human Rights Watch regarding the despotic Egyptian regime. ...violations of freedom of _expression, association, and assembly; widespread arrests of government opponents and prolonged detentions under state of emergency laws, in force almost continuously since 1967; and grossly unfair trials before military and state security courts....Thousands of alleged members or supporters of banned Islamist groups contuinued to be detained without trial.Police routinely tortured or ill-treated detainees, and there were three deaths between January and July.. During two months of pre-trial detention by the State Security Intelligence (SSI) in Cairo, al-Filali was reportedly subjected to "psychological pressure" to confess.

Wa Assalam u Alaikum,

Your brother in Islam,Shiraz Maher

Shiraz Maher on International Order

Sep 11th, 2002, 07:18 AM
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Assalam u Alaikum my dear brothers and sisters,On 8 September, Musharraf in a speech at Harvard University in America called upon a shared vision between the Islamic Ummah and the West. He said, "We must create a new international order based on a universally-shared vision of justice, fair play and mutual respect in which we are all partners and participants ... We must ensure that the Islamic world and the West are allies in combating terrorism, and do not at any stage turn into antagonists confronting each other ..." What is Musharraf talking about a "universally-shared vision"? In today's world even the Western nations, who share the same ideology at least, do not have shared visions. Currently, the competing Western colonialists are squabbling amongst themselves over America's crusade against Iraq, due to conflicting material interests. In truth, there never will be a shared vision because the Western dominated international order is not about justice and fair play but rather the naked pursuit of material interests. As such so-called fair play is an arena where the strong compete to feed upon the weak. Also, the so-called justice is the legalising of exploitation by the leading nation and its strongest, Western competitors. And the actions of other nations in demanding their rights, or defending their lands or fighting occupation, are 'unjust' or 'oppressive.' Clearly, these nations are not partners or participants, but rather victims and targets. So American invasion and devastation of Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan is just, whereas fighting the occupation of the West's Jewish and Hindu allies is terrorism. In the light of this, Musharraf's words are only to persuade Muslims to abandon all their rights and submit completely to all the "justice" and "fair play" of the Western crusaders, for fear of not being called antagonists and terrorists. The real vision for the Muslims is to re-establish the Khilafah so as to bring about true adl (justice), liberating the world from the awful tyranny of a handful of greedy colonialist states.

Shiraz Maher

Shiraz Maher on Ideology

Shiraz Maher
Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:06 AM
Jagjeevan,I am fine with the ideology that asks its followers to do anything such as covering oneself long as it does not impinge on those who do not believe in that ideology. Problems begin when such tolerance is either not in-built into the ideology (you acknowledged that muslims are supposed to 'invite') or practiced as such.You raise a number of issues here.

1 - Agreed that with the absence of Islam today there is no central authority for the Ummah to look towards. This has resulted in many people using and abusing Islam for their own ends.

2 - Every ideology impinges upon those though who do not subscribe to it. Consquently although a tenet of the western ideology is freedom we need to address how free am I? who sets the limits? who has the right/authority to do so? on what basis do they set the limit? which criteria do they use? and so on. The premise of the society in the Khilafah would be different to the west. Sovereignty would be to Allah (swt) and He (swt) would be the legislator.

3 - The Islamic social system specifies a 'private' and 'public' life. This means that in the public life all the citizens of the Khilafah state were confined by the Islamic laws. Just how in the west everyone is bound by the laws. However, in the private life the non-Muslims will be free to practise whatever their religion states. Consequently you could marry, divorce, pray etc according to your own rules etc. The only point at which the state would intervene is if this became an issue which was a societal affair.Secondly you talk about Mohamed abhorring violence for any purpose. so why is pakistan causing th eviolent cross border terrorism - according to you they should not be even prividing "moral" support for such violence, let alone creating it!I did not say that Mohammed (saw) abhorred violence. I said that it was never used to establish the state. The Prophet (saw) fought in numerous Jihads which is sanctioned in Islam. What I am saying is that when the Prophet (saw) was working to establish the state then violence was never used making it invalid as part of the method.As for what other groups and other Muslim organisations do, in line with the etiquettes of Islam we would not address the publically. Rather we would meet with the privately and advise them regarding our concerns, as the Hizb has done in the past with numerous people/groups.My point is, an ideology may say a lot of things on paper. but it's only as good as it is practiced.The Islamic ideology has not been seen since 3 March 1924. It's return will be inshallah soon and then the world will see the ideological implementation of Islam as a coherent system for man, life and the universe. You must think Jagjeevan, about the Islamic ideology and contrast it to those that exist today and see for yourself which one you hold to be superior.

Kind Regards,


Shiraz Maher on Democracy

Shiraz Maher
Jan 21st, 2003, 06:52 PM

Islam is an ideology - not a religion. An ideology is a comprehensive outlook in life from which systems emante. We know that Muslim women must cover, that the Muslims must not trade in usury and so on. These are opinions derived from the economic and social system of Islam. As Muslims, Allah (swt) has given us political opinions - so how can we adopt them from any other source? Our political opinions must come from Islam.On this basis we reject democracy which promotes a secular vision with the sovereignty being mans. Man is given the authority to legislate and decide good and bad, right and wrong.Hizb ut Tahrir means the party of liberation. It is a political party, whose ideology is Islam. The party adopts her thoughts on the basis of the Islamic thoughts and rules. It was founded in 1953 in Palestine and since then has followed the divine method to re-establish the Khilafah. As the Prophet Mohammed (saw) never engaged in violent struggle to establish the Khilafah, we as a Hizb view it as a violation of the shariah in attempting to establish the khilafah today. The Prophet (saw) worked in the political and intellectual sphere's challenging the ideological basis of the soceity around him and showing the inherent corruption of their thoughts. It is to the intellectual and political spheres that the hizb confines her work today.Kind regards,Shiraz

Shiraz Maher on Violence

Shiraz Maher
Jan 21st, 2003, 06:08 PM
Perhaps it has escaped the attention of those amongst you who post without reading the other posts or only read what they want to. Let me clarify

1) The hizb was not working for nor does it work to establish khilafah in the non-Muslim lands. It concentrates it political struggle in the Muslim lands. Our work in the non-Muslim lands is to interact with the Muslim community and preserve the Islamic culture. To invite the Muslims to carry the da'wah and achieve the fard of working to establish khilafah and to interface with the non-Muslims in order to invite them to Islam, an obligation on all Muslims.

2) The Hizb regards violence as a violation of the Islamic shariah (law) in re-establishing the khilafah. Never has any terrorist or militarist label been proven against the Hizb quite simply because we do not engage in such spheres.

3) Hizb ut Tahrir is an Islamic political party whose struggle is limited to the political and intellectual spheres. The nature of her ideological call has instilled great fear in the hearts of the kuffar who know that the batil will perish in the face of the haq.

Peace to the followers of the divine revelation,Shiraz

Shiraz Maher on Oppression of Muslims

Shiraz Maher
Jan 17th, 2003, 10:09 AM
Peace and blessings of Allah, be upon the followers of the divine revelation.It is clear that Muslims who present Islam as an ideological alternative to the west must now fear the state apparatus for merely carrying ideas in a peaceful and political fashion. The colonialist west recognises that her interests are undermined by the sincere work of the da'wah carriers. For years now she has encouraged her agents in the Muslim lands to crack down on, imprison, persecute and torture those that call for Islam. Yet, all such attempts have failed and whilst the butcher of Tashkent, Karimov, continues to detain some 10,000 Muslims for merely carrying Islam ideologically the Ummah is queing up to undertake this work. The haq can and will never be intimidated nor stopped by the batil.Disillusioned at the failure of her agents to supress the Islamic da'wah we now see the colonialist states taking direct action against the Hizb. Despite vain attempts to slander the hizb and associate her name with terrorism the German government much like the Uzbek, Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian administrations has failed to show demonstrate any such link. Islam is the only ideological solution to capitalist exploitation and hegemony. Unfortunately even the supposedly democratic west - the bastion of liberal democracy and free speech - now fears this growing and upstoppable call. The silence is about to break..."And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad SAW) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home, i.e. Makkah); they were plotting and Allâh too was planning, and Allâh is the Best of the planners."

Welcome to this new blog which presents some of the writings of Shiraz Maher's views that have been collated from around the WWW.

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