Peace be with you!
As the year 2012 approaches, for most of the newly elected and soon to be elected Islamic parties in the middle east and north Africa it will be a year of hope and anxiety. Faced with a legacy of corruption and mismanagement and the distrust of mixing “religion” with politics as well as a global recession, Islamic parties will have a short time to prove that they can transform the people’s insecurities to security and poverty to prosperity. A word of comfort is God’s promise:
“…those who believe and engage in reforming actions, He will grant them legitimacy in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and He will establish for them their way of life, which He has chosen for them … and will transform their fears into security providing they are steadfast to serving Me and non other. (and) Whosoever, turns away ( from these principles) thereafter, they are the corrupt.” 24:55
Hence, Muslim and non-Muslim governments and non-state agencies ( groups and organisations) could maximise their popularity and legitimacy with God and their masses, should they trod a path as follows:
- To strengthen their belief and understanding in the Oneness of God (Tawheed) and how this permeates throughout society and work towards manifesting its meaning in society through principles of equality and distributive justice. A useful principle to remember here is that all humans and all creation, whether knowingly or not are ‘Servants of God,’ and Allah is One and Unique and expects no less than justice for all of His servants, Muslim and non-Muslim.
- To be conscious that it is only through applying an ideal of social justice which stems from an understanding of Tawheed, in a non-oppressive manner as far is humanly possible that popular legitimacy and social justice can be achieved. “Those who believe in the Oneness of God and worship (live a God Conscious life) and do not confuse their belief with Zulm (Social and Spiritual Oppression) they will obtain security and guidance from Allah.”6:82
- The aforementioned ideals in practice are extremely difficult to achieve given the wide and complex range of current social agents shaped by a decade of social, historical and religious factors. This is why it is necessary for forthcoming Muslim governments to establish a clear definition of citizenship, citizen participation and civil action. The recent awakening of the masses worldwide, especially in Muslim countries, is now pushing to the forefront of the social and political agendas of all states and governments questions of: the meaning of Citizenship, Human Rights and Religious Freedom within the public space. Couple with the use of global social media and networks it is only a matter of time before the very agency and sovereignty of the ideas of ‘Statehood’ and of ‘Nationhood’ are deemed questionable and or redefined. Hence, instead of thinking merely about the meaning of Citizenship, forthcoming leaders, policy makers and thinkers across world-views may well be advised to clarify their nations’s role and place as global citizens. Will western nations reform their policy approaches towards others, especially Islamist led states? Or will they forge alliances with minority and shared-interest groups to destabilise these new Islamic democracies? How will Muslim nations tackle issues of social cohesion and justice and to what extent will they go in breaking the monopolies of business cartels and promote free and open markets? Will old and stale conflicts be reignited in 2012 or take the path to conflict resolution? Share with us your views, news and reviews as the events unfold and may the peace of God be with you.