The recent occurrences in Masjid al – Aqsa have inflamed the feelings Muslims all over the world. Yet the response in many cases is ill thought out. Some instinctively react to raise awareness about the issue, often attempting to lobby western politicians that are by an large Zionists. Others feel the need to demonstrate and protest. It is not unusual that many of the organisers have other agendas other than a purely Islamic one and co-opt the outrage felt by many believers. Muslims sadly are unaware that their good clean hearted sentiments are being channelled into other agendas.
In this article we are looking at how Muslims are drawn into supporting causes that are normatively seen as part of Islam such as the Palestinian issue, Islamophobia and women’s rights but reveal themselves to be fronts for a liberal Marxist agenda and why this is hugely problematic from an Islamic standpoint.
Muslim activists often draw upon Islamic guidelines in regards to “speaking the truth at all costs” to challenge oppression and cause change. Guidelines that the Prophet (saw) often spoke about in many ahadith such as
“If people see some evil but do not change about it, soon Allāh will send His punishment upon them all” (Sunan Ibn Majah).
Such ahadith aroused noble sentiments in the Sahaba as well as the generation after them (including reputable scholars such as Imam Malik) who spoke the truth and challenged injustice at the cost of the imprisonment, derision and even death at the hands of authorities. This sentiment is a noble one if it is embraced by Muslims the world over as it is a sign of imaan of the ummah of Muhammad (saw). This activism was prescribed by Islamic texts to follow an Islamic viewpoint on life. Those who spoke the truth in the earlier generations did so either to:
a) challenge the corrupt Quraishi viewpoint in society and form a public opinion that would lead to the establishment of Islam (in the case of the Sahaba), or,
b) to account tyrant rulers who strayed from Islamic political guidelines in order that they apply Islam correctly (in the case of Imam Malik).
In the west (Britain as of late, primarily America), some Muslim activists have been drawn into a liberal Marxist agenda when addressing the rising Islamophobia in government, media, and other layers of society. Marxism (for those who are not aware) is an ideology which seeks to remove classes in society that have been adopted and maintained by power structures (governments etc) by having the people en masse stand against these structures and create a society that is fairer in their opinion.
Although historically associated with Communism (where the purported aim was a fair distribution of wealth), Marxism has taken on a modern liberal form, in which liberal Marxists encourage identity-groupings based on whatever characteristic/behaviour a person feels aggrieved about and wishes the rest of society should forcibly made to accept at every cost (e.g LGBT, multiple gender identities, feminism) and to achieve an equality in society based on this against what are perceived as traditional norms (Heterosexual, 2 genders, Male and Female roles in society). This is what Marxism terms as “class struggles”.
Marxist-style activists often adopt pro Palestine campaigns in order to raise the ire of Muslims against the established system. Some Muslim activists see this common ground of activism shared by liberal marxist-types as welcome support in societies in which they feel they need all the support they can get to be heard and thus change the hostile anti-islamic climate to a more accepting one where they need not feel alienated. The problem with this union is that when liberal marxist-style activists also campaign for positions that conflict deeply with Islam (such as LGBT, feminism, transgenderism, political groupings based on race), they will also criticise Islam being as part of a religious power structure that they must also breakdown and reform in the interests of freedoms and rights.
This puts Muslim activists who allied with them on a pro Palestine or anti-Islamophobia basis in a precarious position; they either have to agree to a Marxist-basis and call for the acceptance of positions that are vehemently prohibited in Islam, or be categorised by the liberal Marxists as just another power structure that needs to be “woke”, broken down and reformed to fit in with secular liberal definitions of equality.
Muslim activists who have bowed to the liberal Marxist agenda will then find themselves adopting all sorts of contradictory positions, even attacking Islamic beliefs themselves. High profile examples of this have been US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who was lauded in the muslim community for exposing Zionist sympathies amongst US Senators in 2019, whilst in the same year also attended pro-LGBT rallies in Minnesota and introduced pro-LGBT legislation in congress with unflinching support. The same can be said of US anti-Islamophobia activist Linda Sarsour who is regularly vocal about her support of LGBT and how Muslims need to supportive of such because they too are facing discrimination. We can see a direct correlation of how Muslim activists who have fallen for the liberal marxist agenda actually begin to call for less and less Islam, then no Islam, and finally criticise Islam for not being liberal enough.
The problem with the liberal Marxist viewpoint is that it is intellectually dishonest in the grandest terms: The liberal Marxist agenda (just like it did historically under the purview of communism) aims to latch on to any grievance from any set of people in society that are being oppressed by the government to create anarchy in society so that a “revolution” may take place at the end where power structures are overthrown and society will be fairer. It does not matter to the liberal Marxist agenda that Islam fundamentally disagrees with it’s liberal, “progressive” outlook – it just requires the Muslim segment to be opposed like they are to the “power structures” that are halting progress. They will present themselves as friends of the Palestinian causes, against oppression of Muslims and use the momentum gained from muslim activists as “fuel” to create anarchy that will lead to the change that they desire. If the shallow pledges of support were not enough, the Marxist agenda then also loots the Muslim activist of their Islamic beliefs.
Islam, however, openly, clearly and intellectually explains it’s worldview on how a just and equitable world would function, and posits that the problems of today are as a direct consequence of how society has been organised. Islam makes it clear that activism can only be for a wholesale, from-the-roots-change in system for the problems in society to be resolved. The Prophet (saw) and his blessed Sahaba carried out dawah to change the public opinion in Arabian society amongst the people and also amongst influentials who held the keys to power, so that they could discard the previous, corrupt and oppressive Quraishi system, and replace it with an Islamic government that ruled by Islam. In this quest, the Prophet (saw) and his Sahaba were offered to compromise their Islam (as the liberal marxists agenda mandates) with promises of riches and benefits but they made sure that the Islamic call was unadulterated, even though it meant severe persecution and death for members of the group. What the Prophet (saw) and his Sahaba established, was not just an end to the Islamophobia of the Quraish, but the for the justice of Islam in all societal areas (such as economics, rule of law, dignified treatment of citizens) to be realised. They, unlike liberal Marxist activists, did not seek to change the system from within (if such a thing is even possible), rather they changed the whole of a rotten system, and in it’s place established a pure one.
Today, due to a lack of awareness of Islam as a complete system and a (contradictory) secular liberal standard on addressing problems in society, Muslims are being enticed into the agendas of others that are far from Islam.
In this regard, we need to be wary and understand activism today in it’s correct context; that of Islam requiring Muslims to work for the return of Islam to state and society and solving our problems without subservience to secular ideas and movements. Umar bin Al Khattab (who followed the Islamic method of societal change) summarised this perfectly:
“We were once the most humiliated people on earth and Allah gave us honour through Islam. If we ever seek honour through anything else, Allah will humiliate us again”
So in order to channel our energies productively, we need to put the responsibility where it belongs. There will be no solution to the occupation of Palestine until Muslims unite under a single state that launches the sizeable militaries to re-take Palestine. Indeed with the correct leadership and political will this is not a difficult matter – just look at the Israeli panic chaos to a few hundred rockets fired from a rag tag band of resisters. Muslims must apply pressure to the powers that be amongst them in their lands to apply Islam or step aside.