Religion, Politics and Human Rights

By Zia H Shah MD

Those who do not understand the paramount necessity of the separation of Mosque-Church and State, have not read their Bible:

Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites. Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night. (1 Samuel 15:1-11)

And:

Next we turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan with his whole army marched out to meet us in battle at Edrei. The LORD said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.” So the LORD our God also gave into our hands Og king of Bashan and all his army. We struck them down, leaving no survivors. At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan. All these cities were fortified with high walls and with gates and bars, and there were also a great many unwalled villages. We completely destroyed them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying every city—men, women and children. But all the livestock and the plunder from their cities we carried off for ourselves. (Deuteronomy 3:1-7)

Many read violence in the verses of the Holy Quran also. However, it is misinterpretation of the verses advocating defensive war, whether these are misinterpreted by the Jehadis or the Islamophobes, is irrelevant to the comparison of the scriptures.

However, the separation of Mosque-Church and State becomes a necessity, in Muslim Countries, in the West and in Israel, in the case of the Bible because of the violent nature of the text and in the case of the Quran because of lack of insight of the power hungry Mullah!

If you are not convinced of my stance here, go ahead and read the whole of Deuteronomy, a few hour effort should give you a life time of enlightenment:

If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

It is important to study all religious and political traditions side by side and not focus on the dirty laundry of one particular tradition as that only confirms ones prior prejuidices and biases.

Separation of Mosque-Church and State:

On the 2nd Day of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Germany’s Annual Convention (JalsaSalana) on 25th June 2011, HadhratMirza MasroorAhmad (aba), KhalifatulMasihV, Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiah(as) and Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, delivered an address to an audience ofover 300 non-Ahmadi guests. The majority ofthe guests were of German origin, whilst delegations from Macedonia, Slovenia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Malta, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, and various Arab countries were also in attendance. The guests included people from various professions, including doctors, teachers, lawyers, politicians, as well as ordinary citizens. We present below the transcript of the address delivered by HadhratMirza Masroor Ahmad (aba):

All the distinguished guests: Assalamo‘Alaikum Wa RahmatullaheWa Barakatohu – Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all. First of all I would like to thank all of the guests who, despite not being a part of our religion, are attending this event taking place within our Annual Convention. This programme today has been organised specifically for our non-Ahmadi friends, and indeed the majority, orat least quite a number of guests, arenon-Muslim. Certainly, your attendance at this event demonstrates your broad-mindedness, whereby as citizens of Germany, you appreciate that it is important to understand and recognise each another, irrespective of religious differences. A large majority of the Ahmadisin Germany are not of German origin. In fact, apart from just a few people, the vast majority are of either Pakistani or Asian origin. This shows that not only have you come here irrespective of religious differences, but also irrespective of national and cultural differences. It is saidthat some of Germany’s indigenous population has Asian ancestry. It may seem that many of the world’s nations are divided by their cultures and languages, but the truth is that their cultures and languages often have common roots. If we look, for example, at the case of the Indo-Paksub-continent, we observethat for a very long period various nations came and inhabited its lands. If we look just at Pakistan, we find that dozens of tribes and ‘brotherhood’ systems existed. Over many eras these distinct groups came to form one nation. …Look at the true picture of Islam portrayed by the Ahmadiyya community. It is on these teachings that you should base your judgement.

In this speech, Khalifatul Masih V, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has also stressed, separation of Mosque-Church and State. He says:

In one verse, the Holy Qur’an teaches us that: there should be no compulsion in matters of faith (Ch.2:V.257). Some of you may not be aware that this verse was revealed when the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) had already established a government in Madinah. At the time, a covenant had already been made with the Jews and other tribes, and a functioning system of government was in place in which the Holy Prophet (saw) had already been accepted as Head of State. The injunction to keep religion and government independent of each other was revealed at that time and in those circumstances, even though the difference between right and wrong had become manifest, and even though the Muslims believed their religion to be true and their teachings to be unparalleled. With this injunction it became clear that these excellent teachings were to be spread through love and affection, rather than by force or by acting unjustly towards others. Allah has said that a requirement for a just government is that it should separate religious matters from matters of State, and every citizen should be afforded his due rights. This principle is absolute and without exception, to the extent that you must act justly even with those people who have displayed hatred towards you, and who due to this opposition have persecutedyou repeatedly in every possible way. The Holy Qur’an states: O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Aware of what you do. (Ch.5:V.9) This is the key principle to running a government, that religion should play no part in it. Religious differences should not be an obstacle to the implementation of justice.

Read the views of Khalifatul Masih V, Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further, in Review of Religion of July 2011.

For the articles linked in this collection, go to the Muslim Times.

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