Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain

I've long argued that Islamism, the political-military movement, is separate from Islam, the religion. Pardon my naiveté.

I learned today of an organization called the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, headed by Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui and his deputy, Jaffer Clarke. The positions of the Muslim Parliament are predictable: opposition to Britain's anti-terrorism acts, opposition to the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. But there's also opposition to forced marriages and honor killings, so they can't be all bad, right?

Well, decide for yourself by reading their "Muslim Manifesto". Some excerpts:
Of all the major religions of the world, Islam is the most “politicised”. At its inception Islam created a political platform from which Muslims were to launch themselves on a global role as founders of great States, empires and a world civilisation and culture. Political and cultural subservience goes against their grain. Yet in Britain today Muslims are being asked to accept subservience and the total disintegration of their identity, culture and religion, as the only real options open to them. This manifesto is based on the following assumptions:

1. that Muslims in Britain have to accept neither subservience as their inevitable and permanent condition nor the disintegration of their identity, culture and religion;
2. that, despite being a minority, Muslims here can define and pursue goals compatible with the goals of the global Ummah, the world community of Muslims, of which they are an integral part;
3. that Muslims in Britain need to create institutions and mobilise resources in pursuit of these goals;
4. that for Muslims this is also the only way to secure an honourable place in the wider British society;
5. that the option of “integration” and/or “assimilation” that is on offer as official policy in Britain must be firmly resisted and rejected.

Maxim: Muslims must develop their own identity and culture within Britain and as part of a global Muslim community, the Ummah.

[ ... ]

Muslims in Britain need a platform to debate issues vital to them as citizens of this country. They also need a platform where all shades of opinion can be freely expressed. Above all, Muslims need a body that can speak with authority on their behalf. A process of debate and deliberation to guide Muslim opinion towards a consensus requires a “house of representatives”. However, the mechanism for achieving an “elected” house does not at present exist. Community-wide institutionalisation and organisation will have to reach a very advanced stage before an “electoral” process can be introduced. It is possible for a carefully selected, balanced and “invited” house to be “representative of the Muslim community in Britain. This is the only practical option open to us at present. This body will be known as The Council of British Muslims (CBM). It will act as a “Muslim parliament” in Britain.

[ ... ]

Once The Council of British Muslims has been set up, steps will be taken to create a General Assembly of Muslims in Britain. The General Assembly may consist of up to 500 members. The membership of the General Assembly will be by invitation. It will consist of individuals and representatives of organisations, including those catering for the specialised needs of women, youth, students, businessmen, professionals and academics, etc. The General Assembly will be so constituted as to reflect the full spectrum of Muslim life in Britain.

[ ... ]


1. Islam allows Muslims to accept protection of life, property, and liberty from non-Muslim rulers and their political systems. Muslims placed in this situation may also pay taxes and other dues to a non-Muslim State ...
2. Muslims living under the protection of a non-Muslim State must obey the laws of that State, so long as such obedience does not conflict with their commitment to Islam and the Ummah. Other minorities in Britain, notably Jews and Roman Catholics, do the same. [Patently false. --ed.]
3. There are laws on the British Statute Book that are in direct conflict with the laws of Allah; these relate to such matters as usury, abortion, homosexuality, gambling, sale and consumption of alcohol, and the abolition of capital punishment; Muslims can neither agree with nor condone any part of a legal and social agenda which so flagrantly violates the laws of nature as well as of God.
4. Muslims will co-operate with the appropriate authorities for the maintenance of law and order and the promotion of peaceful and wholesome conditions for all our fellow citizens ...
5. Muslims will insist, and continue to insist for as long as it may be necessary, that the British State provide them, their religion and culture protection from gratuitous insult, obscenity and abuse ... [So THAT'S how all that silliness started. --ed.]
6. Muslims make it clear to the State, and all sections of British society, that they do not expect to be and will not tolerate being insulted and abused on grounds of their religion, culture and traditions.

Maxim: We are Muslims first and last.

[ ... ]

Jihad is a basic requirement of Islam and living in Britain or having British nationality by birth or naturalisation does not absolve the Muslim from his or her duty to participate in jihad: this participation can be active service in armed struggle abroad and/or the provision of material and moral support to those engaged in such struggle anywhere in the world [Including, presumably, Britain. --ed.]

[ ... ]

Muslims are faced with a vicious assault on their identity. Recent statements by leading figures in British Government and public life have made it clear that they expect, demand and will not be satisfied with anything less than our total “assimilation”. Essentially their attitude towards Islam has not changed since the Crusades; their strategy remains the same, only their tactics have changed.
It's important to note that the manifesto was written around 1990 or so when Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses blow-up was still relatively fresh. As explained at this link, the manifesto is a "historical" document, and does not "necessarily represent the Muslim Parliament’s current position on issues or reflect its current projects."

On the other hand, nowhere on the site are any of the points in the manifesto repudiated, nor any new manifesto published to supersede the original.

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