Featured Islamic Concepts and Beliefs

Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam

19The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 The Muslim world faces unprecedented political threats and ideological challenges from within and without. Extremists have grabbed the international limelight through their repeated acts of barbarism in the name of Allah. They exploit the deeply felt religious beliefs and political grievances of the masses and have succeeded in setting the world agenda. They can perhaps claim ‘success’ in ridding the Muslim world of the recent formidable threats of the Soviets in Afghanistan, of the large-scale presence of Western troops in Saudi Arabia and of avenging many injustices committed by the West against Muslims by striking at the heart of the USA, on September 11, 2001. They have seized the initiative on behalf of Muslims on the world stage and they alone provide a seemingly credible strategy for addressing the Muslim world’s remaining problems – Palestine and the problems of non- democratic, ineffective and corrupt regimes. What makes these extremists so potent a threat to Muslims and non-Muslims alike is not their creative and insatiable capacity for acts of terror but their intoxicating and corrosive ideol- ogy. At the same time, the West is subjecting Muslims to an onslaught of criticisms of their faith, their politics and their culture. These criticisms centre on the concepts of jihad, human rights and treatment of minorities but they also, by implication, touch on Islamic practice on freedom of conscience, on the use of rationality in theology and on the acquisition and creation of Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam A Discussion Paper Prepared for a Seminar on Enlightened Moderation in OIC (Organisation for Islamic Cooperation) Countries – May 2004 by M. A. Ashraf 20 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 knowledge. The average mod- erate Muslim stands larg e l y defenceless against such attacks and is unable to limit or influence the West’s perceived ‘aggressive political ambitions’ in the region. One of the great tragedies of the situation is that the enlightened moderates have no single voice whereas the extremists have become increasingly united in their chorus of hatred against the West and those they regard as corrupt Muslim elites. Moderate Muslims and radical extremists are locked in their own conflict to represent Islam, both declaring the other as non- Muslim. This causes confusion. There is confusion over what is Islam (a Muslim’s identity), who represents it (political and religious authority) and, in particular, what Islam really says about jihad, about human rights and about the treatment of minorities. What then are the causes of this confusion? And how can confusion and misinterpretation be addressed? The Causes of Misinterpretation: The Muslim Causes Of all religions, it is generally acknowledged that Islam provides the most compre- hensive code of life. It claims to provide the answer to man’s every need. Many Muslims throughout history have interpreted this claim in the literal sense. They have looked for answers to political and social problems in the words of sacred texts and have avoided contextualising and interpreting the principles of Islam to contemporary life. The presence of a fundamentalist streak from earliest times is a consequence of such a tendency. Less well recognised is the effect this tendency has had on the failure to consistently develop robust institutions in Islamic societies. Government and administrative systems for the very first Muslims were largely acquired from the Persians and Roman empires, which provided the initial conquests of land and peoples. Subsequently, trans- 21 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 lations of Persian manuals of statecraft and court etiquette and of Greek works on political philosophy provided more sophisticated ideas on which to base Islamic society. 1 P u b l i c institutions built on these ideas flourished largely on the whims of political leaders. Often these institutions collapsed and threatened individual and col- lective progress – a factor that can be traced as far back as the crusades. Amin Maalouf, in his book The Crusades through Arab Eyes claims that the absence of stability in institutions threatened civil rights. He illustrates the point by a testimony of Ibn Jubayr. Following his journey in the Middle East, he observed the stronger legal position of Muslims living under the Franj rule ‘now, doubt invests the heart of a great number of these men when they compare their lot to that of their brothers living in Muslim territory. Indeed, the latter suffer from the injustice of their coreligionists, whereas the Franj act with equity.’ ‘In the Arab East, the judicial procedures were more rational, but the arbitrary power of the Prince was unbounded. The development of merchant towns, like the evolution of ideas, could only be retarded as a result.’ 2 Enlightened Muslim scholars, however, believe that the Qur’an prescribes only an overarching constitution for life and limits detail to that which is essential. Otherwise the framework for life would become rigid, regressive and burdensome. O ye who believe! ask not about things which, if revealed to you, would cause you trouble; though if you ask about them while the Qur’an is being sent down they will be revealed to you. Allah has left them out out of kindness. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Forbearing. A people before you asked about such things, but then they became disbelievers therein. (Chapter 5: Verses 102-3). That which has been ‘left out’ of the Revelation or Hadith has to be determined through a process 22 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 of rationality, knowledge, wis- dom and, whenever possible, by mutual consultation (Chapter 42:Verse 39). That process must always aim at equity (ma’roof) and avoid iniquity (munkar). A simple illustration of this is contained in a H a d i t h f r o m Tirmadhi. The Prophet of I s l a m( s a ) asked his newly appointed Qadhi of Yemen what rules he would follow when he had to make a decision. The Qadhi replied that he would look for the rule in the Book of Allah. ‘And if you do not find the answer in the Book?,’ queried the Prophet(sa). ‘I shall seek for it in the example of the Prophet.’ ‘And if you still lack an answer?’ ‘I shall exercise my own judgement.’ ‘That is the right way,’ answered the Prophet(sa). U n s u r p r i s i n g l y, these enlight- ened teachings led to the development of the most comprehensive and diverse intellectual exercise in religious jurisprudence known to man. The effect of this development of a Science of Law was not restricted to Islam but, as the eminent international jurist C. Wilfred Jenkins puts it, Islam developed the Common Law of Mankind. There were, however, two important side effects that shaped subsequent Islamic values and society. Firstly, Islamic jurists progressively went beyond providing guidance for practical and immediate problems facing society to self- serving academic and intellectual exercises. They dwelt on theoretical and hypothetical questions and thus served to constrain decision-making for future generations. Scholars of subsequent generations became increasingly limited in how they could exercise their intellectual talents. Some were tempted to theorising on absurd and hyperbolic interpretations of faith and Law. Secondly, this emphasis on jurisprudence pro- gressively occurred in isolation of the acquisition of knowledge and without the benefit of stable civic institutions. ‘Throughout the crusades, the Arabs refused to open their own society to ideas from the 23 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 West. And this, in all likelihood, was the most disastrous effect of the aggression of which they were the victims.’3 This tendency within Islamic countries to insulate themselves from external intellectual influence continues in present times. A United Nation’s commissioned report, prepared by Arab intellectuals states that ‘The Arab world translates some 330 books annually, one-fifth of the number that Greece translates. The cumulative total of translated books since the Caliph Maa’moun’s [s i c] time [the ninth century] is about 100,000, almost the average that Spain translates in one- year.’4 Whatever the causes of this staggering lack of interest in knowledge, they are not to be found in the teachings of Islam. Even a cursory knowledge of Islamic history suggests that this neglect of learning is a relatively new phenomenon. The religious teaching on learning is best summed up in an Essay by one of the few Muslim Nobel Laureates, Professor Abdus Salam. ‘According to Dr Mohammed Aijazul Khatib of Damascus U n i v e r s i t y, nothing could emphasise the importance of sciences more than the remark that ‘in contrast to 250 verses which are legislative, some 750 verses of the Holy Qur’an – almost one-eighth of it – exhort the believers to study Nature – To reflect, to make the best use of reason and to make the scientific Enterprise an integral part of the community’s life.’ The Holy Prophet of Islam – peace be upon him – said that it was the ‘bounden duty of every Muslim – man and woman – to acquire knowledge.’5 Another reason why the Arabs were reluctant to learn from outsiders was that the Crusaders’ behaviour exposed their cultural, material and moral inferiority in 24 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 everything except courage and strength in battle. There was, and continues to be in Muslim societies, an element of cultural chauvinism. Usamah Ibn Munqidh wrote: ‘All those who were well informed about the Franj saw them as beasts superior in courage and fighting ardour but in nothing else, just as animals are superior in strength and aggression’.6 During, and for many centuries after the crusades, there existed a dynamic tension between those who believed in enlightened moderation and those who were inspired by fundamentalist and regressive doctrine. Political leadership rather than theological trends inspired the ebb and flow of the dynamic. An enlightened political leader often created a moderate and progressive soci- e t y. Despots tended to undo progress. The underlying trend until recent times, however, was one of moderation in ideology, acceptance of people with other beliefs and absorption of new ideas. Even as late as 1602, the Archbishop of Valencia, when providing Philip III with reasons for driving out the Muslims, acknowledged that: ‘They commended nothing so much as that liberty of conscience, in all matters of religion, which the Turks and all other Mohammadans suffer the subjects to enjoy’.7 Even when Islamic societies began to lose political power to the West, they tended to respect human rights, behaved well towards non-Muslim minorities and avoided rebellion and armed struggle to a large degree. Systematic dereliction of human rights in Muslim societies only became commonplace in the second half of the last century following independence in the non-traditional nationalist and communist regimes in Arab countries. H i s t o r i c a l l y, therefore, Islamic societies have had a tradition of tolerance and justice but they have been occasionally let down 25 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 by a failure to establish strong political institutions and absorb ideas from others. These weaknesses in state structures and a failure to properly acquire and exploit knowledge has led to a fracture of Muslim society between those who rule and those who wish to and between those who are moderate and enlightened and those who are not. In recent years political manipulation of extremists by governments in Muslim coun- tries has led to an increasing abuse of personal freedoms by states and an increasing call for a jihad by extremists. F reedom, Politics and Theology The Islamic world is dominated by two parallel but linked discourses. The first discourse encapsulates the tension between those who believe that the code of life for a Muslim is contained entirely within sacred texts and does not require rationality and knowledge to unlock and those who suggest that application of sharia is almost impossible without critical and rational debate. The second discourse relates to the role of Islam in politics. There are those who believe that Islam can only be truly lived in an Islamic state and others who suggest that linking Islam with politics is the cause of its current crisis. The Tunisian scholar, Mohammad Talbi, links both discourses when he says: ‘there is no meaning to faith if there is no freedom of choice. The renewal of Islam is more to do with questions of the social and political order than with questions of theology that remain entirely sound. Muslims have suffered because they have used Islam politically. ’8Whether one agrees with Talbi’s conclusions or not, his statement neatly links the discourses on theological interpretation and political involvement in Islam to personal freedoms. These discourses are under- pinned by a couple of themes. The first is of identity. Who is a Muslim and who is an unbeliever (kafir)? What is the relationship between a Muslim and a kafir? The second theme is related to 26 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 the first and deals with authority. Who has authority to provide political leadership and who has authority to interpret religion? These themes have been played out in an ironic fashion during the last four decades. The Islamists have taken a narrow view of who constitutes a Muslim. Essentially, a Muslim is only he who conforms to the particular Islamists’ ideology. Islamist political parties have repeatedly sought to excom- municate other sects particularly those that are ideologically opposed to them. Yo h a n a n Friedman, in his book Tolerance and Coercion in Islam points to the persecution of the Bahais and the Ahmadis by Muslim governments as examples of intolerance and coercion by both Muslim societies and states. In these cases the extremists called for persecution and the state complied. The Bahais were forced to renounce Islam and President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan effectively excommu- nicated the Ahmadis in 1974 as a means of winning the support of the ulama following economic and political difficulties. This example of exploitation of Islamic extremists by secular Muslim leaders is part of a pattern, which has proved disastrous both for the leader and the country concerned. General Zia, strongly supported by Jama’at-i-Islami, subsequently executed Bhutto and a RAND report for the US government identified the action of Bhutto against the Ahmadis as the point at which religious extremism entered Pakistani politics.9 General Zia was also assassinated by unknown assailants but not before his support for militant i n s u rgency in the region had taken hold. Anwar Sadat repeated this pattern. He exploited the Muslim Brotherhood against political opponents but had to pay the ultimate price when the extremists assassinated him for making peace with Israel. In the meantime, his support of the militants strengthened their hand and increased their subsequent influence over Egyptian and regional politics. More recently, 27 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 Osama bin Ladin and his Al Qaeda organisation had the blessing of the Saudi and Gulf States regimes. These regimes are now being targeted by these very extremists as un-Islamic or kafir. The definition of a Muslim or kafir is, therefore, central to the debate over jihad and the role of Islam in politics. Leaders of Muslim states, who would have identified themselves as mod- erate and enlightened, have behaved irresponsibly by conceding to the exclusive nature of the extremists’ definition of a Muslim. In so doing they have given the extremists more credibility than they deserve and provided the extremists with a theological noose to put around the necks of the respective head of state and his government. The increasingly narrow and fragmented definition of a Muslim has allowed the extremists to challenge political and theological authority. They have thus disassociated them- selves from enlightened mod- erate views. For them, authority to interpret Islam rests only with a true leader of the faithful (Amir ul-Momineen). As the majority of Muslims are not true Muslims by their definition, they do not qualify for the status of leader in either temporal or spiritual matters. The extremists have constructed leadership cults around charismatic individuals who espouse a simplified, confrontational ideology of Islam, promising salvation, paradise and political utopia. They have begun to cooperate on strategy and share ideology by setting up alliances between various groups throughout the Islamic world. The so-called enlightened moderates, on the other hand, lack unity, credibility and clearly identified leadership. As Joseph Conrad put it, ‘Every extremist is at least sincere’.10 The religious credibility amongst its followers of Al Qaeda’s doctrine is crucial to their worldview and motivation. Without it, Al Qaeda’s influence would be greatly reduced. A potential target for moderate 28 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 Muslims could be to rob the extremists of their religious credibility by exposing the flaws in their arguments and by better addressing the social and economic causes that they champion. This would require unity of effort, which can only be achieved through unity of definition of a Muslim. Whilst it may not be possible to agree on a single religious authority, a truly united coalition of Islamic sects and schools of thought would have sufficient weight to provide a challenge against the extremists. Western Causes The West has interacted with Islam throughout history as a political competitor and a theological rival. This has shaped the West’s view of Islam in a more negative way than its view of other world civilisations such as the Chinese with whom the West had relatively little contact. The crusades were the first and most sustained political and theological conflict between the West and Islam. Despite the Arabs’ relative cultural superi- ority and their advances in science and learning, the image of the Muslim in the Western mind was largely a negative one due to the bloody conflict that raged over several hundred years. Later, the Enlightenment involved the West looking for its ideological roots in Greek philosophy, science and mythol- o g y. The ancient Greeks had been at war with the Persians and had developed the customary negative images of a rival for their eastern neighbours. For them all easterners were backward, uncivilised and untrustworthy. When Westerners came across the Greeks’ negative stereotypes they adopted them as an impression of the Orient. This myth fed the stereotypical beliefs of Orientalists who subsequently studied Islam, despite the fact that the ancient Greeks and the Persians had preceded Islam by several hundred years. The Orientalists informed the worldview of the European colonial powers when they invaded Muslim countries. The Greeks’ ancient prejudices of the East, therefore, provided an 29 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 ideological justification for Christian missionaries to regard Islam as a backward and uncivilised faith that, like the savages of Africa, needed to be subdued for its salvation. In recent times, the rise of Islamic extremism has rekindled these old prejudices. U S A’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, said: ‘Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.’11 This pithy sound-bite was a deliberate counter-attack on Islam following the September 11 atrocity. Muslims would wish to unpick the many theological asymmetries and inaccuracies in Ashcroft’s statement. But only two points need be made. For Muslims, Jesus was not the Son of God nor do most accept that he died on the cross. Christians and Muslims agree, however, that he was persecuted and was prepared to die for his beliefs and for the freedom of conscience of others. A willingness to offer sacrifice, life if necessary, for freedom of conscience is a common value in both religions. It is this belief that underpins the concept of salvation and martyrdom in Christianity and the concept of jihad in Islam. Ashcroft’s comments could, however, suggest that the misinterpretation of jihad and Muslims’ behaviour towards their fellow human beings is the cause of the major conflicts in the world today. The second point is that if Ashcroft is to be taken at face value, then Christians would be benign pacifists. We would not have had the slaughter of 20,000 British troops on the Somme or the burning of over 10,000 Germans, mostly civilians, in one night in Dresden. Certainly, they would not have done this while singing the Hymn ‘Onward Christian Soldiers!’ Whilst religion had been separated from the machinery of government in the West, a faith was very much part of the soldiers’ beliefs. Both Field Marshal Montgomery and General George S Patton wrote prayers for their troops.12 The 30 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 fact is that Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus are human beings, all equally capable of choosing the higher ideals of their faith or committing selfish and barbaric acts. Those Christians who indulged in the wanton destruction of fellow human beings and in the annihilation of various tribes and peoples of the New World are as divorced from their religion as those Muslims who justify the slaughter of innocents in the name of Allah. This apparent inability of the West to acknowledge its own barbaric past whilst criticising Muslims, leads to claims of double standards and hypocrisy. But the reasons may be more deep- rooted. There is a difference in the conception of history and spirituality between Islam and the West. In Islam, history, whilst being evolutionary, is a series of cycles in which human progress and decline is linked to spiritual enlightenment. For the We s t , history is a linear phenomenon in which material progress and spirituality have no direct linkage. Progress depends upon the evolution of science, ideas and values. Therefore, any failings of Christians or liberal democracies half a century ago do not, in themselves, discredit these institutions as long as their values have evolved to higher ideals. Codes of conduct for Muslims were established over 1400 years ago and, by definition, are consistent and everlasting. For the West, what was once acceptable behaviour can now be deemed unacceptable on the basis of human progress. Consequently, when Westerners make comparisons between Islam and the West it is in on the basis of their contemporary standards. The Muslims on the other hand see themselves and the West in a broader historical and spiritual framework. This asymmetry in the conception of history and spirituality may never be resolved and there is no compelling reason why it should be – given that it reflects the difference in the identities of the two civilisations. However, recognising that this difference 31 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 exists and under-standing the problems it may cause when discussing ideas are essential in maintaining a clear dialogue. Another cause of misun- derstanding is the relationship between religion and violence. According to popular We s t e r n culture religion, race and class are the causes of social violence. At the psychological level, h o w e v e r, a different picture emerges. It is a human trait to justify evil in the name of some greater good. Walter Reich, in his book Origins of Te rro r i s m13 explains the necessity of moral justification and of obscuring personal agency. He identifies the premise that human beings have a self-sanction mechanism that stops them from committing inhumane acts. Overcoming such scruples can be done by ‘…reconstructing conduct as serving moral purposes, by obscuring personal agency in detrimental activities, by disregarding or misrepresenting the injurious consequences of one’s actions, or by blaming and dehumanising the victims.’ What this means in essence is that people need moral justification before they indulge in horrific actions. For this they look to the primary source of morality in their society. That is invariably religion. This is what causes confusion over whether it is religion, politics or human nature that is the true motivation behind savagery. With a few exceptions in scholarly circles (such as Mark J u e rgensmeyer), the We s t ’s largely secular society does not deem it necessary to investigate the role of religion in conflict. They have accepted the myth that Islam is a belligerent religion whilst Christianity, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y, Western liberal democracies, are benign. Misinterpretation of Islam, therefore, has been caused by factors within Islamic societies as well as by the West’s own historical experience. The emerging weaknesses in Islamic jurisprudence, the failure to acquire knowledge and build stable social institutions has led not just to the neglect of human rights but also to a mis- 32 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 understanding of the true meaning of jihad and in the discharge of obligations towards minorities. It is in these three areas that the enlightened and moderate Muslim has to look for solutions to the problems facing their societies. The challenge for Muslims is, therefore, to determine just how revelation, rationality and knowledge are linked in extracting the truth of Islam. Also, it is to determine the role Islam should play in politics and, in particular, the rights of an individual in an Islamic society. Is the debate merely one of binary opposite choices i.e. between an Islamic state and a secular society? Or does Islam allow a more flexible influence on politics? The answers to these questions will provide the philosophical context in which the detailed questions regarding the role of jihad, human rights and the status of minorities within Islam can be clarified. Until that happens across the Ummah as a whole, the Muslim world will itself be confused about, and is likely to misinterpret, its religion. The enemies of enlightened and moderate Muslims will always exploit this confusion. The Meaning of Jihad Islam originated in an Arab society that was largely illiterate, fragmented by tribal division and given to barbaric acts. Its initial response to the message of Islam was one of violent opposition. Within a generation, however, that Arab society not only succumbed to Islam but also subdued much of the neigh- bouring territory. The uni-fying and civilising influence of Islam on an unlikely people was as amazing as the speed with which it spread to other more distant peoples. In about a century, Islam became politically and culturally pre-eminent in the world. Jihad, in the form of an armed struggle, was a significant feature in early Islamic history. Many Western and some Muslim scholars have attributed the remarkable success of early Islam to jihad. Of the Muslims holding this view, many believe that within jihad lies the answer 33 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 to the plight of Muslims today. What does jihad really mean? Was jihad purely defensive or was it the cause of Islam’s political success and does it provide an answer to its current problems? The Evolution of Jihad Concepts According to Youssef Choueiri, ‘The first Islamic state in history, and irrespective of its rudimentary organisation, came into being through a process of peaceful means.’14 The initial battles were purely defensive with the Muslims heavily outnumbered. The number of fatalities during the eight-year period between the battle of Badr and the campaign of Tabuk on both sides was relatively small at about 1250, of which 250 are estimated as Muslim deaths15. As such the role of the lesser jihad (J i h a d – e – a s g h a r, jihad of the sword) in Islamic history is relatively small but its impact has been greatly exaggerated and misunderstood by both Muslims and non-Muslim alike. This type of jihad presupposes certain conditions and imposes upon the practitioner specific limits. The Q u r’an spells these out as follows: Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged – and Allah indeed has power to help them – Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ – And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. (Chapter 22:Verses 40-42) This verse sets out, amongst other things, that jihad is authorised to preserve freedom of worship and conscience. It is the conscience and freedoms of all people, be they Jews, Christians, Muslims or of other faiths. Allah, in this sense, is the 34 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 same God who is worshipped in cloisters, churches, synagogues and mosques. By confirming the unity of all religions and peoples under one God, the verse says almost as much about the imperative of peaceful coex- istence and mutual respect between nations as it does about jihad. War is also permitted in Islam for self-defence and to exact just retribution but these two types of war do not qualify as jihad according to the above verse of the Qur’an. Nevertheless, the word jihad may be used, in its literal sense of ‘struggle,’ to describe just such political wars. It is likely that orientalists and Muslim militants misinterpreted many of the fatwas issued by medieval scholars and a mistaken inter- pretation of jihad has entered Islamic jurisprudence. All types of war are, however, limited by the Rules of Engagement specified elsewhere in the Qur’an and the hadith. Another significant feature of the above verse is that God promises to use His power to help those forced to undertake this form of jihad. In early Islamic history this promise was always fulfilled despite overwhelming odds faced by the Muslims. Decisive and often dramatic victory is, therefore, a test of the Divine validity of any declared jihad. Maududi initiated the contemporary jihadi doctrine. His writings influenced Qutb and the many subsequent jihadi movements including Al Qaeda. At the same time, the political abuses of the monarchy in Iran led to the prominence of the Shia leader Khomeini. It is not clear if Maududi or Qutb directly influenced Khomeini but he certainly shares some basic beliefs with them. For Maududi, Qutb and Khomeini, conflict was not necessary to preserve the freedom of conscience and worship; rather it was necessary for the freedom to govern. They were revolting against the status quo. Maududi saw his situation as being similar to the French, Russian and Nazi revolutions. He saw his theoretical framework as 35 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 being analogous to the one Fichte, Goethe and Nietzsche provided for the Nazis. This theoretical framework had to be coupled with ‘the ingenious and mighty leadership of Hitler and his comrades’16 for success to be achieved. The Jihadists have embodied this idea of ‘ingenious and mighty leadership and comrades’ in their leadership and in the concept of a jihadi vanguard – ‘an organised and active group’ which has cut off its relationship with the jahili society.17 Since the mid-nineties, the debate on jihad has been dominated by Al Qaeda’s thinking. Osama bin Ladin exploited the apparent success of the jihad in Afghanistan to call for a jihad against the We s t . Initially the objective was to repel the American forces from Saudi Arabia. Very soon the objective became a direct attack on the West, particularly the USA, in order to weaken the West’s support for Muslim governments so that they could be overtaken by Islamist regimes. Although the focus of Al Qaeda inspired terrorist activity has shifted largely to Europe and the USA, attacks within Muslim countries have not ceased but escalated. What Samuel Huntington described as ‘ I s l a m ’s bloody borders’ in 199318 had turned in to Islam’s ‘bloody innards’ by 1996.19 There is thus a jihad simultaneously against the West and against the majority of the Muslim world being fought by Islamists using the tools of terror. Islamists themselves have identified the dangers of this situation. The Sudanese General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, lament- ed the failure of the Islamists to capitalise on their success and unity in Afghanistan. He deplored their infighting and rejection of modern political and democratic procedures: ‘If the Islamists do not succeed in resolving this problem, they will deal a mortal blow to hopes of Islamic renewal, and bring down calamity upon Islam. And that calamity will be worse than any visited upon it by communism or secularism – for Islamists can 36 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 strike Islam in its most vital places, where its enemies have never yet managed to inflict a wound.’20 The Extremists’ Interpretation Subtle differences in the interpretation of religious teachings can lead to funda- mental divergence of belief and practice. In his book, Fundamentals of Islam, Maududi describes the purpose and practice of Islamic worship (salah, fasting and zakat) and then claims their primary purpose is for jihad. To the extent that worship is the primary means of achieving the goal of the greater jihad, the submission of one’s ego to God, he is right. But he soon makes the point that: ‘the root of all the evils you find in the world lies in the bad character of the government.’21 He goes on to say that Deen (faith) actually means govern- ment. He identifies many different types of government or D e e n and suggests that: ‘whatever Deen it may be, it unfailingly wants acquisition of power.’22The conclusion of his argument is: ‘you cannot follow this Deen [Islam] after being sub- servient to any other Deen. You cannot also follow it even in partnership with any other system of life. Thus, if you really consider this Deen is true, then you have no other alternative but to exert yourself with your uttermost power to establish this Deen. Either you leave no stone unturned in establishing it or give your life in this effort. This is the touchtone on which can be tested your faith and the truthfulness of your belief.’23 Bin Ladin, the contemporary spokesman for jihadist beliefs, employs powerful rhetoric to articulate the political and social injustices committed against Muslims by Western powers. He combines this with f a t w a s t o declare rebellion against the status quo a religious obligation. This complex mixing of generally acknowledged disadvantages in Muslim politics and society with 37 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 plausible sounding theological a rguments are amongst the most powerful factors behind Al Q a e d a ’s success. Bin Ladin and his deputy, Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, draw on the ideology of the late Abdullah Azzam, bin Ladin’s intellectual mentor. Their concept of jihad is heavily influenced by the writings of Sayyid Qutb, who has admitted to being influenced by Abul Al’a Maududi. All of these writers are essentially political commentators who have selectively drawn on Islamic teachings and precedence to justify their doctrine. They all fall neatly into the definition and description of Islamists given by Guilain Denoeux: ‘Islamists are engaged in a process of intellectual, political and social engi- neering which, through the familiar language of Islam, aims to legitimise a thorough restructuring of society and polity along lines that have no precedent in history. Under the pretence of re- establishing an old order, what is intended is the making of a new one.’24 For example, extremists often quote Qur’anic phrases such as ‘kill wherever you find them’ as justification for assassination and m u r d e r. Most enlightened scholars will testify that this verse only applies in cases where the enemy has first attacked Muslims and applies to those unbelievers and enemies who break their oaths and agreements. It does not apply to unprovoked conflict. Similarly, historical precedence going back, in cases, to Ibn Tamiyya is also sometimes quoted out of context. The trademark rationale for these religious leaders is thus to subtly mix political imperatives with theological argument. For Islamists like Khomeini, the idea of a ‘return to Islam’ is linked to the goal of overcoming foreign domination. The underlying logic of the Islamist argument is familiar: The believers are s u ffering because they have deviated from the laws of God. 38 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 To end their suffering, they have to conform to God’s laws. God has allowed the infidels to dominate the believers because they have deviated from His l a w s .2 5 The challenge for the Muslims is to determine who truly articulates God’s law. The Rules of Engagement in Jihad The principle of distinction and the underlying principle of proportionality are fundamental aspects of humanitarian law and were fully embodied in Islamic teachings. For example, the P r o p h e t( s a ) amplified Qur ’ a n i c teachings by saying: ‘ You will meet those who remember Almighty Allah in their houses of worship. Have no dispute with them, and give no trouble to them. In the enemy country, do not kill any women or children, or the blind, or the old. Do not pull down any tree; nor pull down any building.’ (Quoted from H a l b i y y a h, Vol.3). Al Qaeda has recently indulged in semantic acrobatics to justify the killing of innocents in its many atrocities. It has suggested that as all citizens in democracies choose their governments and as these governments rule in the name of the people, all citizens are by implication legitimate combatant target. However, Islamic scripture leaves little room for doubt that there can never be any such justification. Even the ideological father of Islamic extremists, Maududi, has provided a clear ruling for- bidding the killing of innocents. ‘The Tradition of the Prophet reads: “The greatest sins are to associate something with God and to kill human beings.” In all these verses of the Qur’ a n and the Traditions of the Prophet the word ‘soul’ (nafs) has been used in general terms without any distinction or particu-larisation which might have lent itself to the elucidation that the persons belonging to one’s nation, the citizens of one’s country, the people of a particular race or 39 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 religion should not be killed. The injunction applies to all human beings and the destruction of human life in itself has been prohibited.’2 6 According to other hadith, diplomatic immunity has to be respected and any mistakes or discourtesy committed by diplo- mats are required to be ignored. Immunity is also granted to priests, religious functionaries and religious leaders. P ro p o rt i o n a l i t y P r o p o r t i o n a l i t y, mitigation and avoidance of unnecessary s u ffering are primary features of Islamic teachings on warfare. According to Abu Dawud, the least possible losses should be inflicted upon the enemy and opportunities for a peaceful settlement must always be kept open. Muslims are forbidden from cheating the enemy and from damaging public buildings and crops. They are to avoid striking terror into the general population. Their campsites should be in places that avoid inconvenience to the public and the movement of forces should not block roads or cause discomfort to other travellers. Suicide bombings are a terrorist tactic originally developed by the Tamil Tigers. It is now the adopted trademark of those who claim jihad in the name of Allah. Suicide bombings are contrary to the teachings of Islam. Allah says: And kill not your own selves. S u re l y, Allah is Merciful to you. (Chapter 4: Verse 30) …and cast not yourselves into ruin with your own hands… ( C hapter 2:Ve r s e 196) Treatment of Prisoners Prisoners can only be taken in the event of a regular declared war. The Holy Qur’an specifically states: It does not behove a Prophet that he should have captives until he engages in regular fighting in the land. Yo u desire the goods of the world, while Allah desires for you the Hereafter. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Chapter 8:Verse 68) 40 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 This verse discredits the practice of slavery, restricts imprisonment to war and demolishes any justification of hostage-taking and hijacking of people not involved in actual combat. In his farewell address the Holy Prophet of Islam(sa) gave special instructions regarding the treatment of prisoners. The Holy Prophet(sa) said: ‘O men, you still have in your possession some prisoners of w a r. I advise you, therefore, to feed them and to clothe them in the same way and style as you feed and clothe yourselves… To give them pain or trouble can never be tolerated.’ In a hadith according to Abu Dawud, closely related prisoners are to be co-located. As such, not only is torture or degrading treatment forbidden but also the status of prisoners is raised well above the stipulations of the Geneva Convention. Yet many extremists (and sometimes Muslim governments also) indulge in kidnapping, torture, humiliation and the killing of captives. If that is not enough, they parade mutilated bodies through the streets. They are not only contravening the common laws of decency but also their Prophet: ‘The Prophet has prohibited us from mutilating the corpses of the enemies’ (al- Bukhari). These extremists rightly invite the description of barbaric by the West – a description that rapidly attaches to all Muslims. With such clear Islamic teachings on the restrictions of making and conducting war, ignorance of theology cannot be an excuse for Islamic extremists. The question then arises as to why the extremists feel the need to contravene or adapt Islamic sharia. The answer lies not in religion but in the secular philosophy of war. Carl Vo n Clausewitz, a Prussian soldier and one of the world’s most influential military theorist (1780-1831) defined war as ‘an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our 41 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 w i l l ’2 7 Clausewitz advocated that force had to be used without restraint in order to guarantee victory: ‘to introduce into the philosophy of war itself a principle of moderation would be an absurdity. ’2 8 This philosophy influenced the Western concept of Total War during the early 20th century in which the citizens of a state and the means of production within it were considered equally valid targets as its armies. When theoretical and empirical evi- dence points to the necessity of unrestrained violence as a guarantee of success in conflict, it is difficult for those intoxicated with the prospect of victory to be restrained by the shackles of religious moderation. Al Qaeda, for example, is well aware of Western philosophy of war and military doctrine. Its leaders have quoted from United States military manuals and proudly claimed that they understand modern warfare better than the West. As Thomas J. Butko says: ‘those movements that utilise the ideology of political Islam are not primarily religious groups concerned with issues of doctrine and faith, but political o rganisations utilising Islam as a ‘revolutionary’ ideology to attack, criticise, and de-legitimise the ruling elites and the power structure on which their authority and legitimacy is based.’2 9 Examining the restraint with which force is applied provides one of the clearest methods of discriminating between org a n – isations that are primarily motivated by political objectives and those motivated by religious ones. Islamic history provides many examples of political and military restraint in jihad by the original Muslims. The current jihadis, on the other hand, are continually expanding the envelope ‘of acceptable’ violence to achieve their political goals. Islam and Human Rights What are they? Human rights are based on a number fundamental principles or rights. Firstly, all individuals have certain basic rights such as the right of free speech, the right of association and the right to a fair trial. Secondly, citizens are 42 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 protected against the abuse of power. Thirdly, individuals are given greater participation in public decision-making. And finally, the state and authority in general is made accountable. For a society to enjoy healthy respect for human rights requires both robust public institutions and private ethical standards. Institutions must safeguard human rights through executive, administrative, legislative and judicial processes. At the same time, society at both the individual and collective level needs to have a moral and spiritual commitment towards the rights of others. Human rights cannot, therefore, be seen in isolation of the nation’s political and moral values. The situation in the Muslim world in this regard is dire. The lack of economic opportunity, social justice, free political expression and constant humiliation on the international stage has caused much resentment within Muslim societies. The Arab Human Development Report 20023 0, compiled by Arab scholars, highlights the ‘freedom deficit’ in the Arab world. This, it suggests, is what ‘undermines human development and is one of the most painful mani- festations of lagging political development’.31 The Perception of We s t e r n Roots and Aims Islamists suggest that whilst the concept of human rights evolved during the European Enlightenment, it was essentially for the European or white man. Western colonialism was an example of how selective these rights were. The Declaration is a recent event and universal application has not fully occurred. The West is alleged to operate double standards through a variety of means. Firstly, postcolonial states are still led, in the main, by client governments who abuse human rights and are supported in so doing by the West. Secondly, the West is able to exert political pressure through the United Nations or the IMF and is so able to indirectly cause suffering to many innocent people. Thirdly, the We s t 43 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 dominates the media and in so doing is able to inflict its own cultural identity on the Muslim world. Whilst these arguments may be useful in putting the West’s criticisms of Muslims into perspective, are they sufficient excuses for systemic failure of Muslim governments to scrupu- lously enforce rights? Another challenge for Muslims is that the human rights debate and legislation is Western led and some details may clash with Islamic teachings. These clashes could include the role of women in Islam, and Islamic rules on punishments. Western secular human rights activists, who advocate that Islamic teachings need to be reinterpreted in the light of the Universal Declaration generally, lead these clashes. To them, the Declaration is binding. To the Muslims, their Scripture is pre-eminent. There seems little scope for compromise. A theory put forward by some Islamists is that these conflicts between Islamic law and the Universal Declaration are deliberately designed to weaken Islamic teachings as it is these teachings that are considered to inspire the opposition to Israel. 32 Muslims will wish to challenge or shape certain details of the human rights code. They will be better placed to do so from a position of strength by demonstrably con- forming to all other aspects of the Declaration. The right to free speech is another area where the practice and interpretation of many Muslims comes into conflict with the West. The Salman Rushdie affair is a prime example. Whilst Muslims may have been justified in feeling deeply offended by Rushdie’s book, was the death fatwah according to sharia? Arshad Ahmadi, in his book Rushdie: Haunted by His Unholy Ghost, suggests that the offence in the book and resultant controversy were deliberately contrived as an attack on Islam. This attack was inspired by historical hatred and motivated by international politics. He suggests that it was a trap set for the majority of Muslims who had allowed themselves to believe 44 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 that apostasy is punishable by death. Ahmedi finds no support for such a punishment in Islamic teachings. Many Muslim leaders who supported or were silent on the fatwah against Rushdie faced accusations of being a kafir and there were calls for their death by Islamic extremists. The Charge Against Islam Two things weaken the Muslims’ defence against outside attacks on Islam and human rights. First is the incorrect interpretation of sharia. Does Islam really prescribe the death penalty for blasphemy or adultery? Does Islam truly give equal rights to women? There is certainly divergence of opinion on these issues. However, it is the interpretation of those who would answer ‘yes’ to the first question and no to the second that attracts the limelight. It is up to enlightened moderates to reverse the message. Secondly, the Western world judges people by action rather than belief. Those regimes that claim to have governed by sharia – Iran, the Sudan and the Taleban – have a poor record on human rights. The sight of Taleban beating women wearing burkas with sticks, hardly paints a good picture of an Islamic government. At the same time, the Islamists join the West in claiming that the Muslim world is one of the few remaining regions in the world where local culture is being systematically eroded through the persistent violation of human rights. ‘Mosques have been placed under direct government control, freedom of the press is non-existent, opponents are silenced or liquidated, women are punished for choosing to be modest, men are persecuted for choosing to follow the sunnah (way of the Prophet), and prisons host more prisoners of conscience than criminals.’33 Islamic Theology and Human Rights. Islamists such as Maududi argue that Islam not only complies with 45 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also goes beyond that by making it an obligation on Muslims to provide such rights and enforce them. Maududi addresses the various Articles of the Declaration and provides pertinent scriptural references to prove that Islam recognised these freedoms and enforced them over 1400 years ago. His conclusion seems to be that Islamic teachings are far superior to the Declaration and, indeed, the declaration was inspired by these Islamic teachings.34 Earlier in 1967, Mohammad Zafrulla Khan, a religious scholar and past president of the International Court of Justice wrote a more extensive comparison of Islam and human rights. He had already provided scriptural references to show that Islam more than complied with the various Articles of the Declaration and provided a context to show that the teachings of Islam are those of freedom, truth and justice. A comparison between the approach taken by Maududi and Khan demonstrates the subtlety sometimes needed to dis- criminate between uncompro- mising fundamentalism and enlightened moderation. Both scholars agree on the truth of Islam and the need to base argument strictly on Scripture. Both in their own distinctive styles are persuasive. However, K h a n ’s extensive education allows him to make a more robust and comprehensive case for Islam and his moderate approach welcomes the West’s initiative in making the Declaration. He does so not in a spirit of compromise but because, according to his a rgument, all religions derive from the same Divine source and so their basic moral principles are universal. It is this common ground that he and other moderates see as the basis for peaceful coexistence and cooperation. Maududi, however, cannot see the need for a Universal declaration and cannot see Muslims applying these rights without an Islamic government. 46 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 For Islamists righteousness, brotherly love and human dignity can only come from their version of Islam. This exclusive privilege can only be granted to a Muslim nation if it has an Islamist government (Dar-ul-Islam) and can only be offered to the rest of the world (Dar-ul-Hurb) through jihad. The link between this concept of exclusivity and the most current manifestation of Islamic extremism is well made by Giandomenico Picco: ‘Perhaps few groups today have constructed an entire raison’d’etre on a profound and deep sense of exclusion both at the practical and philosophical level like Al Qaeda. Exclusion contains by itself the very opposite of human rights. Unlike groups which have chosen over time to use terrorism as a tactic, those that have chosen terrorism as a strategy have to be sure to be rooted on an insurmountable sense of exclusion, on an unbridgeable gap with the “other” and on a dogmatic perception of being in the sole possession of the truth and that those who do not agree need to be restrained or worse.’ The challenge for enlightened moderates is to replace this concept of exclusivity with a belief in cooperation and mutual respect. Before Muslim countries can adopt this spirit of peaceful cooperation with non-Muslims they must ensure that their own populations can peacefully coexist with a divergence of opinion amongst themselves. The Reality of Human Rights in Muslim Countries Virtually all schools of Islamic thought support human rights because the concept of human dignity is central to Islamic belief and consequently its teachings are in accord with the basic principles of the Rights. H o w e v e r, most Muslim states have indulged in human rights abuses against their own population. Initially it was to impose Western modernisation by suppressing traditional radicalism. 47 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 ‘ A t a t u r k ’s Tu r k e y, Pahlavi’s Iran and Bourguiba’s Tunisia would be excellent examples to show how the post- independence territorial state has sought to obliterate Muslim identity, not through a simple process of secularisation that separated church from state, but through a systematic process of Westernisation.’35 S u b s e q u e n t l y, the communist and nationalist governments of the postcolonial era used torture and other abuses to suppress oppo- sition. More recently, such abuses are being conducted under the auspices of the War on Te r r o r. There are reports that We s t e r n governments are sending prisoners to Muslim countries so that torture can be used to extract information without fear of Western governments being accused of violating human r i g h t s .3 6 By indulging in abuses of individual rights and torture, Muslim regimes are violating the principles of Islam. Instead, their legitimisation is based on the Western ethical concept of ‘lesser evil’ by asserting that these repressive means are justified to save lives of innocent people. Furthermore, they fail to recognise that imprisonment and torture rarely achieve success against an ideologically motivated enemy but often lead to new recruits for extremists. During the Korean Wa r, a significant percentage of US troops broke down under torture but only a tiny proportion of Turkish soldiers capitulated. The difference in behaviour was put down to a difference in ethos between the soldiers of the two nations. On the other hand, an Algerian terrorist recently provided this valuable insight into the link between torture, ideology and terrorism: ‘It takes more than the speeches of bin Laden to turn an Islamist into a terrorist. It takes years of feeling abused. To make me kill, my torture needs to be personal. To send me into a fury, I need flashbacks of suffering, not empty ideological concepts. 48 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 The Algerian government’s tyranny has made the struggle feel real enough. Te r r o r i s t volunteers came running because of the blood that they tasted on their punched lips.’37 Obligation Towards Minorities The Qur’an insists on the highest standards between peoples whether they are in a minority or a majority. It forbids one people from making fun, defaming, insulting, name-calling, back- biting or speaking ill of other peoples. (Chapter 49:Verses 12- 13). These noble objectives can only be achieved through love according to the Holy Prophet of I s l a m( s a ): ‘By Him in Whose Hands is my life, you will not enter Paradise unless you believe, and you will not truly believe unless you love one another. Shall I tell you something whereby you will love one another? Multiply the greeting of peace among yourselves.’ Muslims have been made to promise that they will help defend the followers of other faiths from unjust and cruel attacks. In his charter for all time to come addressed to all Christians living as citizens under Muslim rule, the Holy Prophet M u h a m m a d( s a ) d e c l a r e s : ‘I promise that any monk or wayfarer who will seek my help on the mountains, in forests, deserts or habitations, or in places of worship, I will repel his enemies with my friends and helpers, with all my relatives and with all those who profess to follow me and will defend them, because they are my covenant. And I will defend the covenanted against the persecution, injury and embarrassment of their ene-mies in lieu of the poll tax they have promised to pay. If they prefer to defend their properties and persons them- selves, they will be allowed to do so and will not be put to any inconvenience on that account. No bishop will be expelled from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, no priest 49 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 from his place of worship, and no pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage. None of their churches and other places of worship will be desolated or destroyed or demolished. No material of their churches will be used to build mosques or houses for the Muslims; any Muslim doing so will be regarded as recalcitrant to Allah and His Prophet. Monks and Bishops will be subject to no tax or indemnity whether they live in forests or on rivers, in the East or in the West, in the North or in the South. I give them my word of honour. They are on my promise and covenant and will enjoy perfect immunity from all sorts of inconveniences. Every help shall be given them in the repair of their churches. They shall be absolved of wearing arms. They shall be protected by the Muslims. Let this document not be disobeyed till Judgment Day. ’ ( Q uoted from Balâdhar) Little need be said to amplify these clear obligations on Muslims. Sadly, there are Muslim countries today in which non-Muslims are not allowed to practise their faith, in others they are persecuted, in some their houses or places of worship are destroyed. In other countries they are openly killed. This behaviour rarely occurs in non-Muslim countries. The question of which nations obey and which nations disobey the teachings of Islam is well worth pondering. The answer is disturbing for those who claim enlightened moder- ation in Islam. Challenges for Enlightened Moderates The struggle between enlight- ened moderation and regressive confrontation is a feature of all human society. It has existed in Islam from its conception. Early Islamic history provides many examples of enlightened moderation both in thought and action. In recent times enlight- ened and moderate Muslims appeared to turn to We s t e r n education and attitudes to help 50 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 interpret their religion. That method has been discredited. The contemporary attempt seems to centre on passionate pleas by Muslim intellectuals and leaders highlighting the civilising and tolerant nature of Islam. These pleas have gone largely unheard by both Muslims and Westerners. The bombs and bullets of the radical Islamists have drowned out the message of the enlightened moderates. It is their ideology of exclusivity, hate, confrontation and indiscriminate bloodshed that is increasingly inspiring Muslims and is increasingly seen by the West as I s l a m ’s shop window. The Muslim world is in a desperate situation. It faces a grave political and ideological challenge. What then is to be done? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Radical, militant Islam can only be countered by a radical response from those who claim enlightened moderation. They will have to accept that their current interpretation of Islam contains barriers to successfully discrediting the extremists’ i d e o l o g y. The first challenge is to address the definition of a Muslim. Is a definition possible? Without this question answered the dire need for dialogue and unity between Muslims cannot be addressed. No individual has a monopoly on truth. All Muslims can test the truth of their philosophy through debate. As for a political model in Islam, even a cursory study of Scripture reveals that Islam has never dictated any particular form of government. It favours consul- tation in public affairs and it provides an overarching frame- work of values, principles and obligations. How these are enacted is a matter for each people to decide. Another challenge is to revisit the teachings on religious tolerance in Islam: T h e re should be no compulsion in religion. Sure l y, right has become distinct fro m w rong … (Holy Qur’an Chapter 2 : Verse.257). How does this verse square with the popular belief on the punishment of apostasy in Islam? Moderate and enlightened Muslims cannot 51 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 claim to be so if they put to death anybody who challenges their version of Islam or relinquishes it a l t o g e t h e r. Is there any reason why the various sects and Schools of Thought within Islam cannot engage in constructive dialogue? Should institutions be set-up for doing this? These steps should open doors to other enlightened interpretations. Prime amongst these will be an authentic and moderate inter- pretation of jihad, from that will follow an appropriately flexible u n d e r-standing of the relationship between state and religion and from that will emerge the true Islamic teachings and practice on human rights, particularly those pertaining to non-Muslim m i n o r i t i e s . If those who wish to be enlightened and moderate are unable to unite, reform and defend Islam then they should know that the radical extremists are already attempting to do so. References 1 Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam ( T h e University Of Chicago Press: Chicago 1988) page 6. 2 Amin Maalouf, The Cru s a d e s t h rough Arab Eyes (Al Saqi Books, London: 1984) page 263 3 Ibid. Page 264. 4 Quoted in Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam (Weidenfeld and Nicholson: London 2003). Page 89. 5 LAI, CH KIDWAI, A (1989) Ideals and Realities. Selected Essays of Abdus Salam, 3rd Ed. World Scientific Publication co. London PP 343-344. 6 Op Cit Amin Maalouf. page 39. 7 Quoted in: Arshad Ahmedi, Rushdie: Haunted by His Unholy Ghosts ( Avon Books: London 1997) page 8. 8 John Cooper et al, Islam and Modernity-Muslim Intellectuals Respond, (I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd: London 1998) page 9. 9 Graham E. Fuller, I s l a m i c Fundamentalism in Pakistan – Its Character and Pro s p e c t s (RAND: Santa Monica 1991) page 5. 10 C o n r a d ’s letter to R B 52 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 Cunninghame Grahame, 7th October 1907 (Cambridge: CUP, 1970): p170 11 Dan Eggen, A s h c roft invokes religion in U.S. war on terrorism, The Washington Post, February 20, 2002. 12 Ronald Llewellyn, M o n t g o m e ry As Military Commander( S t e i n and Day: New York 1971) page 21 to 22. And H Essame, Patton: A Study in Command (Charles Scribner’s Sons: New York 1974) page 253 13 Walter Reich, Origins of Te rro r i s m, (Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson, 1998) p.161. 14 Youssef Choueiri, The Political Discourse of Contemporary Islamist Movements, (find article name) page 28 to 29. 15 Waheed Ahmad, A Book of Religious Knowledge ( F a z l – I – Umar Press: Athens Ohio 1995) page 149. 16 Maududi, Minhaj al-inqilab al- islami. 17 Sayyid Qutb, M i l e s t o n e s, (International Islamic Federation of Student Organisations: 1978) pages 84-85. 18 Samuel Huntington, ‘The Clash of Civilisations?’ Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993. Page 35. 19 Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of the World Ord e r, (New Yo r k : Simon and Schuster, 1996) page 258. 20 Quoted in Gilles Kepel, Jihad: The Trial of Political Islam , (London: I. B. Taurus 2002) page 361-362. 21 Abul A’La Maududi, Fundamentals of Islam ( I s l a m Publications: Lahore 1988) page 243. 22 Ibid. page 256. 23 Ibid page 260. 24 Middle East Policy, The forgotten swamp: navigating political Islam by Guilain Denoeux, June 2002 v9 i2 p.56(26). 25 Middle East Policy. I s l a m , nationalism and resentment of f o reign domination by Henry Munson, Summer 2003 v10 i2 p.40(14) ‘al Tawhid’ Journal, vol. IV No. 3 Rajab-Ramadhan 1407 ‘Human rights in Islam hundreds of years before the Geneva conventions’ by Abu al-Ala Mawdudi. 26 C. Von Clausewitz, On Wa r (Penguin books: Harmondsworth 1968) page 101. 27 Ibid. page 102/ 53 Jihad, Human Rights and the Treatment of Minorities in Islam The Review of Religions – Aug 2004 28 Revelation or Revolution: a Gramscian approach to the rise of political Islam , Thomas J. Butko, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 31, Number 1, May 2004. 29 United Nations Development Programme, Arab Human Development Report 2002: Creating Opportunities for Future G e n e r a t i o n s (United Nations publications: New York 2002). 30 How the Arabs Compare, Middle East Quarterly, all 2002, pages 59 to 67. Human Rights and Muslim Identity by Azzam Tamimi 2001. h t t p : / / w w w . i i – p t . c o m / w e b / p a p e r s / h u m a n . h t m # t op 31 Op Cit Tamimi. 32 ‘al Tawhid’ Journal, H u m a n rights in Islam hundreds of years before the Geneva conventions, Allamah Abu al-Ala Mawdudi. vol. IV No. 3 Rajab-Ramadhan 1407. 33 Giandomenico Picco, ‘The UN Dialogue of Civilisations and Its Implications for Human Rights’, a paper presented to the Centre For the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence conference on the Terrorism and Human Rights. 15 July 2003 in St Andrews Scotland. 34 Tamimi. Op. cit. 35 O n e World US. U.S. Export i n g ‘ Tools of To rt u re,’ Charg e s Amnesty. Jim Lobe. 3 December 2003 36 The Observer Inside the Mind of a Terrorist. 9 March 2003