Islam prescribes imposition of apartheid upon non-Muslims in Muslim states...
This discussion is on Skeikh al-Qaradawi’s book, "Non-Muslims in Muslim Society" (Arabic edition – Risala Foundation, 2nd edition, 1983).
In his book “Non-Muslims in Muslim Society”, Qaradawi, considered the highest authority on the understanding and interpretation of Sunni Islam, spends most of the book trying to show how good Islam is to Non-Muslims in an Islamic state. His writing is so slick it, reminds me of “Slick 50” (this is a joke that probably an auto-mechanic will have a good laugh at). However, even with a book written in a way – intentionally or not – to deceive Non-Muslims, one can find cues than it guides the honest searcher or researcher about Islam.
In this article, I plan to discuss certain aspects of dhimmitude – status of a non-Muslim in Islamic states – that Qaradawi talks about. After that, I plan to analyze and show the flaws that exist in Qaradawi’s train of thought. Even though I am discussing Qaradawi here, I, in no way, accept the idea of a religiously sanctioned state. Religion must be completely separated from politics and civil laws. In this sense, I endorse the view presented by a well-known statement by Jesus “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's” – Bible, American Standard Version (Mark 12:17).
Let me present the reader with some quotes from Qaradawi, with my analysis following that.
On page 20 of Qaradawi’s aforementioned book, we read:
“…and all that Islam asks from Non-Muslims is to be considerate to Muslims’ feelings, and the sanctity of their religion. So, they should not show (in public – my addition) their rituals, and their crosses, in Islamic territories, and they should not build a church in an Islamic city, where they did not have a church before. The reason is that such a showing presents a challenge to the Muslim feelings, which could cause animosity (fitna) and problems.”
Now, let us think about this for a minute. If you have another religion other than Islam, and had enough members in a city to build a house of worship, it is not a good idea to build such a building if you were living in a Muslim-dominated town! Why? When Christians, Jews, Sikh, Hindus, Ahmadis, or any other religious group want to build a house of worship for themselves, their goal is never to “hurt” the feelings of Muslims, but to build a house of worship for saying their prayers. They just want to build a house of worship with the same intention with which Muslims build mosques around the world for themselves. Minority religious group in an Islamic state, terrorized as they are, insulting Muslims or causing “fitna” will the last thing they would think of when seeking to build a place of worship in a place.
On page 20 of the book, Qaradawi states that non-Muslims have the right to work and make a living just like any Muslim. However, charging interest and making contracts that include interest is not allowed.
In a Muslim state, “interest”, such as the interest we pay on a mortgage loan for our homes, is not allowed at all for all Muslims and Non-Muslims. The lies of “no interest” in Islamic banking have been exposed by many. I refer the reader to a good analysis on the topic written by Sher Khan titled “Islamic Banging”. I do need to mention that a bank cannot exist without making money. If no interest is made, banks have to resort to other ways to make money, Muslim banks included. To cover the “interest” concept, for instance, Islamic banks may buy the house for a set price, and at the same time “resell” you the house for a much higher price. They make you sign the documents in one session. You have to pay “their” price through monthly installments. Is there interest in such a deal? Not according to Muslims!
In any case, the Muslim state is enforcing Islamic laws here, which in itself is problematic in my view since religion should be out of the business dealings and secular affairs. In addition, the Muslim state is encroaching on the rights of its minorities by forcing on them Islamic religious codes of economic dealings.
On pages 22 and 23 of the book, Qaradawi says:
“Dhimmis have the right to take government jobs just like Muslims, except for the jobs that have religious color to them like being an Imam, country president, army leadership, and judicial positions that are for Muslim interactions, and being in charge of charities.
Being an Imam or Khlifah is a leadership position in religion and in this world. It is a position to take over the position of the prophet. Anyone who follows in his leadership must be a Muslim,… and the army leadership is not a purely civil job. It is one of the worship jobs in Islam because Jihad is on top of the Islamic worship acts.”
The above quote shows how dangerous Islam is to non-Muslims. You cannot be a president if you are not a Muslim. You may be the most qualified person to lead the country, but you have no chance of being a political leader if you are not a Muslim.
By the same token, you cannot be a leading officer in the army, no matter your qualification or loyalties to the state.
Danger thing in what Qaradawi says is the institutionalized discrimination against a people because they belong to a different religion. This discrimination is rooted in the concept of a religious state – a concept that history has surpassed and does not belong to our age anymore.
Also, and I hope the readers have noticed, the concept of “Jihad” is clearly defined above. It is not a “spiritual” endeavor as some people may try to tell you. Jihad has violent and military nature to it and is a form of worship in Islam.