[This article was published in the 18th issue of Nida'ul Islam
magazine (http://www.islam.org.au), April - May 1997]


Preserving The
Islamic Identity in The West

Threats & Solutions

Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil, and they desire that you should disbelieve. [Al-Mumtahinah 60:2]


The Islamic identity of Muslims in Australia is rapidly being dissolved in the melting pot of this society. Clearly our identity is under threat as we see our ideologies, beliefs and manners give way to the ideologies, beliefs and manners of the Kuffar. The preservation of the Islamic identity has become a challenge rather than something we can take for granted. What makes this challenge unique, however, is that there is no Islamic leadership, no Caliphate and no country in which protection or guidance can be sought.

For a multitude of reasons, most of which are not in accordance with Islam, Muslims have been flocking to non-Muslim countries. Some come as refugees, many come for a better standard of living, o thers to get education, be near to their relatives, and some for Da' wah. The result of this is a new problem which has not existed for centuries - Muslims are being exposed, on an unprecedented scale to non-Muslim cultures and beliefs. In fact, many are n ow born in these countries, and instead of being raised with a sound Islamic identity, many are taking the Christian values of their 'adopted home'. It is of little surprise that we see many Muslims turn from Islam in later life.

This article aims to expose some of the sources of misguidance for Muslims living amongst the Kuffar, as well as some solutions and defences we can employ.

The Islamic Identity

Firstly, it is necessary to define what is meant by the term "Islamic identity" . The Islamic Identity is taken to mean the way of life of the Muslim - an all-encompassing set of beliefs, practices and ideologies as derived from the Qur'an and the example of Muhammad (s.a.w). The Islamic identity is that which separates us from the Kuffar.

Education

The educat ion system is typically where the indoctrination process begins. Muslim school children are sent off by their parents to Kafir schools with good intentions of an education and a chance at a better life (in this world, at least). The children are placed in an environment where the mixing of sexes is not only tolerated but encouraged through the placement of children in multi-gender sporting teams and class groups. These children grow up to believe such behaviour is normal. This leads, in most cases, to the m passing off the Islamic requirement of segregated sexes as 'old fashioned' or 'backward'. After years in an environment as free as this, it is no surprise that we see so many young Muslims with 'boyfriends', and 'girlfriends'.

A major component of the education system is to turn the students into 'good Australians'. To be a good Australian means to obey the laws of the land even if they conflict with the laws of Allah (s.w.t). We see this from the earliest stages of the child's education in the form of flag-raising ceremonies each morning in which the children sing the national anthem and stand in respect as the flag of the non-Muslims is raised over their heads.

In later stages, the indoctrination becomes more advanced through subjects such as politics and legal studies. In these studies, the 'benefits' of western-style democracy and the Westminister system of government are taught. The children are taught that S hirk is the best form of government. They are taught that being a "good citizen" is about voting and participation in this Shirk-based system. By the time the child passes through the digestive tract of the Kaffir educational system, he or she will probably see him/herself as an Australian first and a Muslim second. The effect on the Islamic identity is that it is replaced with, in best case scenarios, a watered-down Islamic identity, and in the extreme case, a total Kaffir identity.

Every subject taught to the Muslim has a hidden agenda - to foster disbelief and moral decline. In Human Education, our children are being taught that being promiscuous is a 'natural part of growing up'. These enemies of Allah are even equipping our children with contraceptive devices, under our noses, giving them their tacit approval to commit adultery. These same classes teach that homosexuality is something that 'cannot be helped' and as such is a perfectly 'normal' kind of behaviour.

In History, we see a euro-centric view of the world in which the Christians are viewed as the only people worthy of any respect or any admi ration. It is rare that mention is ever made of the great contribution made to the Occidental world from the Orient. It is even rarer that the names of the great Muslim scientists are mentioned. It is no wonder that many Muslim children end up with a sens e of shame in being Muslim. This shame is often shown in their refusal to use their 'Muslim names', e.g. suddenly Muhammad becomes known as 'Mike'.

When all the "good things" have been done by the Christians (according to their curriculum) can you honestly blame them? These seeds of shame planted in the mind of the Muslim child will bear the sour fruits of disbelief in later life and serve to ensure the Islamic identity is destroyed.

Despite Australia' s claims of being a secular society, the education system places a heavy, though largely invisible, emphasis on Christian beliefs and practices. In the lead up to Christmas it is not extraordinary for even government-run schools to hold nativity plays, or make the students engage in Christmas-based activities, s uch as making Christmas cards or so forth. This, coupled with the fact that the Muslim student is probably a minority in a school full of Kaffirs, serves to pressure the Muslim child into adopting practices that are clearly not from Islam. The Muslim chil d will see his or her friends exchanging presents at Christmas and may expect the same at home. Often the schools present these Christian practices in such a way that the child may even be unaware that they are acting out the behaviour of the disbelievers . It is important that parents are aware of this and take the necessary steps to prevent it or at least ensure it does not impact the child.

Of course whilst the empirical source of this is the Kuffar and his puppeteer, the Shaytan, we cannot blame them entirely. We must also look to ourselves. Muslim families, having lost much of their Islamic values, have sold out to the West. By sending our children to kindergarten and child care centres we are sending our children to be suckled by the Shaytan. One need only look at the high number of child molestation' s that occur in these places to see the truth of this. It is out of neglect for our Islamic duties, and a love of dunia , that we neglect our children. Muslim mothers are choosing to work rather than stay home and ensure their children are educated Islamically. The so-called "woman's liberation movement" has indeed succeeded in " liberating women" - liberating them from the shackles of responsible parenting. Fathers, drunk on western commercialism, are emphasisi ng economic and material growth of the family unit over spiritual growth. If these children received the proper Islamic education at home, perhaps the wolves of disbelief would not find them such easy prey.

Proper Islamic education should counter the lies and the corruption fed to the children in school. It should be presented in such a way as to engender a feeling of pride in Islam. Furthermore, it should cover Islamic history to offset the lies taught in H istory, Islamic law to offset the lies taught in Legal Studies. Parents must take responsibility for arming their students with correct Aqeedah and sound knowledge to defend themselves from these wolves and the decline of the Islamic identity.

M E D I A

The media plays a critical part in non-Muslim society. Not only does the television serve as a window to the outside world, but for many families it also serves as a defacto baby-sitter. Muslims need to be aware that the view of the world presented by the television and indeed other mediums is through the eyes of a non-believer.

We can see this non-belief represented in a number of areas, particularly in the coverage of the news and in the moral bankruptcy of much of the media content.

The news provides us with an insight into the world around us. A world where Mujahideen are called 'terrorists', where the Straight Path is called ' Islamic fundamentalism', and where all Muslims are misogynistic wife-bashers. Over time, this can engender a feeling of self-hatred in the adult and child Muslim viewer. It creat es a feeling of shame if constantly the word Muslim is used synonymously with everything bad in the world. When a Muslim no longer feels pride in Islam, then the progression to disbelief is easy. Adult Muslims should be sure to watch the news with a criti cal eye. They should be aware that what they are seeing is often far from reality, and they should use their understanding of Islam as a benchmark for determining the truth from falsehood.

Perhaps, the television's most significant effect is to take filthy, evil and unIslamic behaviour and give it a cloak of respectability. It serves to convince the Muslim viewer that what they are seeing is the social norm. A good example is the so-called love scene that forms such a crucial element in the Kaffirs' movie o r TV show. They paint the picture that somehow in some sort of sick way that zina equates with love and is a 'natural' behaviour. It is only to be expected that after years of constant bombardment with this message that the initial disgust a Muslim feels subsides to acceptance.

Next time your children have the television on, be warned that what they are watching contains messages designed specifically to enter the mind of the child or young person. In the case of many cartoons, for example, we see elements of idol worship couple d with the taking of partners with Allah Ta'ala. So many of these cartoons have a mythological underpinning with a focus on idolatry and false gods. All of these cartoons and so forth are laying the foundation for turning the children into Mushriks. For example Superman, where people in need call out to this caped Kafir in his underwear to save the day with his god-like powers. How many Muslim children spend their formative years acting out imagined scenes from Superman or other simila r cartoons? This is something in direct opposition to the principles of Tawheed that we, as Muslims, should seek the help of Allah alone.

Many young people's shows also focus heavily on parental-child conflict and often attempt to paint this sort of behaviour as a 'normal' part of growing up. Typically, the solution to this conflict is either to fight back or to run away. In either case it teaches the children an Islamically inappropriate response to any conflict.

Aside from showing us the outside world, the media dictates how we look at ourselves. It provides a benchmark for judging ourselves and others. The media shows us how others live, or how others behave. It defines how we view success, what qualities we see as admirable, what behaviour we see as normal. Take for example the so-called lifestyle shows that feature so prominently on TV. We see expensive houses, lavishly decorated with all the trappings of dunia and this is pushed onto us as the Australian ideal. If we are not strong in Islam then these media-generated standards get adopted as our own. We' ll start to equate success with owning an expensive car or living in a big house. We'll start to think that beauty is dependent on how we look. We'll start to forget about the paradise that Allah has promised those that believe, and we 'll start trying to create a 'paradise' right here in dunia. This is one of the major threats to our Islamic identity.

The best solution to the threat of the media lies in active censorship and in education. Active censorship means to be aware that what we are viewing is not necessarily the reality but rather a Kafir view of reality. We should constantly be evaluating the message or the content of a particular piece of media against our understanding of Islam to determine if it is right or wrong. Contrast this to a passive approach where the viewer sees the media as an infallible source of information, accepting blindly the message being presented without questioning its appropriateness in an Islamic sense. As adults we shoul d likewise apply this to our children's viewing. We should pay close attention to the messages being fed to our children and be sure to counter anything unIslamic with sound evidence from the Qur' an and hadith as to why such-and-such is not good. This goes hand in hand with the education of the children to think Islamically and to know that what is Halal and Haram to a Muslim is not necessarily what is good and bad in a Kafir's view.

Mixing With the Kaffirs

It is a fact of life that we must, to some extent, keep close company with the Kuffar. This is almost unavoidable given that we work, study and, unfortunately, play with them.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said that whoever is with a people for 40 days or more begins to take on some of their characteristics. As su ch, we must be very careful of mixing with the Kuffar because, whether we realise it or not, we are assuming some of their behaviour and beliefs.

Possibly this represents the biggest threat to the Muslim in this country because the media and education can easily be censored. Also, the indoctrination is far more open and direct, whereas through mixing, our Islamic identity' s erosion is far more sublime.

There are many ways in which too much contact with the Kuffar will lead to us losing our identities. The taking of Kuffar for close friends is something that Allah has clearly warned out in the Qur' an yet it is something so many of us do. With any friends, Kuffar or Muslim, it is natural that we will seek to please them. Allah tells us that the Kuffar will o nly be happy once we disbelieve. It therefore follows that the way that a Muslim pleases his Kuffar friend is to exhibit signs of disbelief. The Kaffir is probably not even aware that he is leading his friend astray, and probably neither is the Muslim.

If a Muslim associates with the Kuffar, he will make efforts to 'fit in' with this group. In order to 'fit in' we must act like Australians. Fitting in typically consists of adjusting our Islam to a religion more acceptable to the Kuffar we are associating w ith so intimately. It is this that gives rise to what Sayyid Qutb would call an apologetic mindset. Where Muslims feel inclined to explain every 'strange behaviour' to the disbelievers. " Well, those people who blow up busses in Israel.. they are not real Muslims".

Often the first thing Muslims will modify is their style of dress. Whilst a seemingly trivial change, it often represents more than what it seems. When a Muslim sees the Kafirs dressed in a certain way, and chooses to imitate them to 'fit in ', it's a compromise. Once a Muslim has compromised once, it becomes easier to compromise again. The beard gets shaved. The Hijab comes off. Halal meat gives way to Haram meat. Perhaps even a drink with his 'mates' after work becomes permissible. Eventually the Muslim is left with a watered-down, Kafir-friendly Islam that often bears more resemblance to the beliefs of the Mushrik than the Mo'min.

Muslims must be aware of the hidden effects of this. Furthermore, the best protection is to keep amongst other Muslims. Whilst it is a necessity for some contact with the Kuffar, we should limit it to the bare minimum and make sincere efforts to offset it with contact with other Muslims. This is an important part of keeping our Islamic identity and indeed keeping Islam alive in this country.

The points mentioned are a few of many. Every aspect of Kafir society is designed to mislead us from the straight path, even if we cannot see it.

CONCLUSION

Narrated Samara bin Jundub, Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.) said:

" Anybody (from among the Muslims) who meets, gathers together, lives, and stays with a Mushrik, and agrees to his ways, opinions, etc. and enjoys his living with him (Mushrik) then he (that Muslim) is like him (Mushrik)" [Sunan Abu Dawud - The Book of Jihad]

There is a def ence that can be applied that will render every effort by the Kuffar useless, and serve to keep our Islamic identity intact. This defence is knowledge. The Muslim should arm himself with a correct Aqeedah and an awareness of what it means to be Muslim. Any attack, any attempt to subvert or mislead will then be in vain. If the Muslim knows the true nature of this society and if he can see how it is designed to mislead, then he will not fall into its traps. This ability to distinguish from right and wrong and chose right, comes from a correct Aqeedah.

The strength of the family unit is also a defence. The father is the shepherd of the household and like any other shepherd he should protect his flock from the wolves. In this case the wolves are the Kuffar, and the protection is to pass the knowledge ont o the children and his wives. The children should be provided with a sound Islamic education outside of their schooling. This is imperative if the children are to be strong enough to avoid the many pitfalls they w ill face. They should be taught that the only truth in this world is the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and that all else must be judged against these two noble criterion.

Finally there is a solution guaranteed to remove the risks, and that is to remove oneself from amongst the disbelievers.

It is therefore unavoidable that as long as we live here we will, through a process of cultural osmosis, take on some of the characteristics of the Kuffar. The likeness of Islam and Kuffar is like that o f fresh clear spring water and water brought up from the bottom of a suburban sewer. If even a drop of the filthy water enters the clear water, the clarity diminishes. Likewise it only takes a drop of the filth of disbelief to contaminate Islam in the West. If we have it within our means we should therefore consider moving to a Muslim lan d whereby we can at least live amongst our brethren and within an Islamic society free from the contamination of the disbelievers.

By Br. Amir Abdullah



The Validity of Residing
in a Non-Muslim Country

It has become obvious that life in an unIslamic country can lead to a disaster in the Islamic identity of Muslims. Apart from the external, obvious shortfalls of residing in a non-Muslim country, initially there are serious Islamic consequences in terms o f the legitimacy of residing in such countries.

To guard the Muslim creed from corruption, Allah (s.w.t) has commanded the believers to maintain a certain uncompromising position when dealing with the disbelievers. Allah ha s reserved the Wala' (the inspiration of love, concern and help) for Allah, His Prophet and the believers only. The pledging of Wala' to others has severe Islamic implications. It goes against the orders of Allah, and the essence of our religion. It can lead to the dilution of the potency of Islam, and the downfall of a Muslim's creed.

Living in a Non-Muslim Country

According to the scholars, amongst the indications of Wala' to the disbelievers is living in their lands. The Prophet (s.a.w) has clearly stated: "I am free from whoever resided amongst the Mushriks".

This remains true when the person favours the lands of Shirk over the Islamic lands, and when he loves to live in a Shirk unIslamic environment at the presence of an Islamic State. It leaves no waivers or exceptions for those seeking a materialistically b etter environment either.

As for what we are going through nowadays, the Muslims are persecuted in many of the so-called Muslim countries, so they are not classified under this rule, so long they mak e effort and advice for their religion, their families, their children and themselves . The Muslim, however, remains obligated to search for the country that is of lesser mischief and is better for his religion, not the worldly matters.

Imitating Non-Muslims

Whilst living in a non-Muslim country, it remains incumbent upon us to maintain our distinct Islamic identity. This includes all facets of our lives, in terms of creed, manners, relations, politics, allegiance and so on. The Prophet (s.a.w), the compani ons and the Tabi'een used to take great measures to enforce this rule. The Prophet (s.a.w) stated, unambiguously, that "whoever imitates a group/people then he is one of them".

The Prophet manifested this saying in all areas of his life. The jews used to remove their shoes while praying, so he said: "Pray while wearing your footgear, contradict the jews". The Kuffar would shave their beards, so he commanded: "Contradict the Mushriks: let your beards grow and trim your moustaches".

Muslims should infact avoid all ceremonies or habits particular to non-Muslims. Qadi 'Eyad has stated: " And we also declare Kafir a person who acts an act which has been unanimously agreed by Muslims to be an act that only Kaffirs perform; even if that person openly claims to be a Muslim. (This includes activities) such as attending churches and synagogues and imitating them with their (religious) clothing... Muslims have unanimously agreed that such actions can not be performed but by a Kafir".

Scholars such as Al-Khurshi and Ibn Nujaim have declared the apostasy of the person who wears things that are only worn by Kafirs, such as the crucifix of the Christian and Jewish cap.

Furthermore, scholars have unanimously stated that celebrating the Eids of the Kuffar and joining them is Haram, and they classified that as being a sort of approval of their fabrications. Narrated Abdullah Bin Amro Bin Al-Aas he said: "Whoever resides in the land of Foreigners (i.e. Kaffirs), and he establishes their Nayrouz (an Eid) and he celebrates their ca rnivals, and he imitates them until he dies, then he will be resurrected with them on the day of Judgement."

Although it may appear harmless initially, it can, and has, led to the destruction of an innumerable amount of Muslims losing themselves in that Kafir society, in a quest to please the disbelievers, or appease them for "da'wa" purposes, or gain worldly benefits. It results in our loss in the Hereafter, and that of our children.

How can we choose such a path, when Allah has warned us: "And incline not to those who do wrong, or the Fire will touch you; and you have no protectors other hen Allah, nor shall you be helped." [s.11, v.113].

We should take heed of Allah's warnings, and the pure guidance of our Prophet (s.a.w), who remarked: "You will follow the tradition of those people who came before you exactly..." [this portion is in the two Sahihs] And he confirmed, when asked whether he meant the Jews and the Christians, by saying "who else?" [Ahmad, Abu Dawood].

By Br. Mahmoud Abdel-Nasir


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