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Too often there exists enmity between Muslims seeking to find a truth concordant to the Shariah often at loggerheads over the manifestation of what they have honestly sought to find.
Considering the upcoming elections, many Muslims are getting mobilized to secure the Muslim vote but as they ready their campaign battalions they know there exists within some parts of the Muslim community a staunch anti-democratic sentiment, believing participating in a democracy is an antithesis to the Shariah.
Democracy is an institutional process of governance that is seen as the ideal for the whole of humanity which has often been used as the criterion to earn the status of a civilized nation. It is the bastion of integrity to its own peoples and a marker for the rest of the gentile world to reach.
However, it is interesting to note that few trust the charismatic politicians they elect into office, the elite of which are trained by neuro-linguistic programming practioners and body language specialists to put on a performance whenever they are in the public eye. Politicians are often vying for personal power and prestige rather than a sincere intention to make Britain a better place for its citizens and improving its standing among the international community, willing to compromise on moral values for either the sake of the electorate or special interest groups who fund their parties no matter how ‘legally’.
In light of the above, should Muslims get involved in the political process? Yes they should. There have not been many instances since the inception of Islam that resident Muslims have not been the ruling authority; Palestine for the 100 years prior to Salahuddin comes to mind along with the fragmented taifas of Andulus in the 11th century which came under the governorship of the Castilian monarchy. They didn’t have a voice to set the direction of rule the way Muslims have in democratic countries today.
The argument that democracy is secular and thus Muslims should not participate in the democratic process holds little value. As long as this country welcomes people from all backgrounds to enter into the democratic process, it is up to the individual to foment a sentiment towards their intentions and policies which can be for the benefit for the society as a whole. It is a duty for a Muslim to command what is right and forbid what is wrong and it is through the democratic process the rest of society see the value of it, and should they decide, vote for a change.
The fundamentals of Islam have much to inspire any society of the 21st century as do the fundamental ethical and moral principles of any other faith. If change is not achieved despite our intentions, then know change only comes from Allah, and humanity gets the leaders they deserve. Muslims in accordance to our Shariah are obliged to respect and honour the laws of the land so far as our ibadat is not compromised.
As Muslim students how will you be participating in making a positive change?