—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (January 1, 2011) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a statement today condemning the bombing at the Al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria, Egypt. According to media reports the bombing occurred outside the church, killing 21 people and injuring 70.
Dr. Zahid Bukhari, president of ICNA, strongly condemned the bombing and said, “The bombing in Alexandria is an abhorrent act in the name of Islam by those who have no knowledge of the Islamic way of life. They do not represent the faith practiced by almost 1.5 billion people around the world.” He also said that the people behind this horrific crime do not deserve to be called Muslims because their actions do not follow the basic tenets of the Islamic faith, which calls upon its followers to respect and protect the lives of all people.
“We hope that Muslim and Christian leaders in Egypt will stand together for peace in the region,” said Dr. Bukhari. ICNA offers its condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones, and prays for the speedy recovery of those injured in this tragic act. ICNA requests that the Egyptian government apprehend those who were behind the attack and bring them to justice.
Religious minorities are being targeted in the secular west and east, only Islam and Khilafah offer hope.
People have been shocked by the bomb blast outside a Coptic Christian Church in Alexandria, Egypt on Saturday 1st January 2011, which killed 21 people. The blast comes in the aftermath of accounts that Christians in Iraq have faced hostility since the US-led occupation. Similar reports have recently come about the mistreatment of Christians in the West Bank and in Pakistan. Commentators condemn these examples of attacks on Christians in majority Muslim countries as signs of tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims. They are presented as examples of ‘extremism’ and intolerance of non-Muslims by Muslims.
The blame is rarely placed on the secular system administered by autocratic regimes – like that of Hosni Mubarak, Mahmood Abbas, Asif Ali Zardari or Noori al Maliki (nor on their western backers) – under whose watch the security of both Muslims and non-Muslims alike has worsened over the years.
The fact is these regimes care little about ANY of their citizens. They have spent years securing their own interests, the interests of their backers amongst the elites in Muslim countries and western multinational corporations. If the price has been bombs and mayhem for their citizens – Muslim, Christian or otherwise – they could not care less.
Unlike secular states, Islam has a very different approach to non-Muslim citizens. Non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic state (the Caliphate or Khilafah) are called Ahl al Dhimma – people of the contract – which means they enjoy the full rights of citizenship. They are citizens whose life, honour, property and religion are all to be protected under the law of the Shariah, like any other citizen. They pay a nominal tax called jizya but are exempt from paying zakat or from compulsory military service.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “He who abuses a dhimmi [non-Muslim citizen] then I will be his rival and dispute him on the Day of Judgment.”
He (saw) also said: “The one who kills a Mu’ahid (people with whom the State has treaties) without right he will not smell the fragrance of jannah (heaven) even if its smell was forty years travelling distance.” [Ahmed]
History is a testament to the Muslims implementing these commands under the Khilafah for over hundreds of years.
Sir Thomas Arnold in his book ‘The Call to Islam’ states: “We have never heard about any attempt to compel Non-Muslim parties to adopt Islam or about any organised persecution aiming at exterminating Christianity. He went further to say “If the Caliphs had chosen one of these plans, they would have wiped out Christianity as easily as what happened to Islam during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella in Spain; by the same method which Louis XIV followed to make Protestantism a creed whose followers were to be sentenced to death; or with the same ease of keeping the Jews away from Britain for a period of three hundred fifty years.”
The Caliphate during its reign allowed non-Muslims to have their own courts and judges to settle family law disputes and other matters related to their personal lives and religion.
Imam Qarafi (Classical Islamic Scholar) summed up the responsibility of the Caliphate to the dhimmi when he said: “It is the responsibility of the Muslims to the People of the Dhimma to care for their weak, fulfil the needs of the poor, feed the hungry, provide clothes, address them politely, and even tolerate their harm even if it was from a neighbour, even though the Muslim would have an upper hand. The Muslims must also advise them sincerely on their affairs and protect them against anyone who tries to hurt them or their family, steal their wealth, or violates their rights.”
The Egyptian regime has for decades locked away hundreds of Islamic scholars and thousands of so-called Islamists for nothing more than opposing the regime though little about this is reported in the western press or reported with the gusto as today’s attacks apparently targeting Christians.
Whether it’s the secular intolerance from the democratic systems in the West (note the banning in Europe of Hijabs, Niqabs and minarets) or autocratic regimes in the Middle East, religion and religious peoples are being persecuted today. In contrast, Islam and the Khilafah (Caliphate) system guarantees the rights and protection of minorities, religious or otherwise, as shown by the Islamic texts and proven by Islamic history.
You say, “The betterment of society through the promotion of Islamic values.” Which Islamic values? Do you mean the ones we see on television every night? “You know a tree by its fruit. A good tree bears good fruit.” What is the fruit of Islam?