CTS Bill spying could divide Muslim communities

private eyeThe campaign #StopTheBill launched to counteract the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill (CTS Bill)- a morally wrong and oppressive legislation that will have a detrimental impact on Muslim communities in Britain, received huge support and condemnation from UK Muslims. Over 18,000 people (thought mostly to be Muslim) signed the petition calling for the bills amendment and /or abolition.

Despite this, the bill was passed on (12th February 2015) and although it would seem the campaign united Muslims, the repercussions of the CTS Bill looks set to inevitably divide our communities as opposed to bringing us together.

With the vast variation of Muslims in the UK of differing sects and beliefs and the governments obligation on public sector workers, (some of whom are also Muslim), to spy and report on those they think are at risk of extremism; it is inevitable that suspicion and fear in our own communities will become prevalent and we are likely to see Muslims spying and reporting on each other.

My observations may seem bleak, however divisions among us already exist and the climate of fear persistently perpetrated by the media and British government may further increase the mistrust in our communities.

Unfortunately, there will be the obvious ‘sell out’ Muslims who will report their brethren of extremism (without sound proof or evidence) or a second thought for the honour of brotherhood in Islam; in favour of loyalty to their professions and the approval of their bias non-Muslim colleagues.

It is then, paramount that Muslims, despite our methodological differences, work for each other and not against one another. I do not mean that we refrain from reporting someone who is a potential threat to the lives of others; rather, we should do more to settle our religious differences and not succumb to the suspicions perpetuated by the government’s obvious witch-hunt against Islam and Muslims, in order to counteract reporting based on superstition and fear of one another.

Muslims must unite in light of the CTS Bill and not let the government succeed in its ruthless efforts to ‘divide and conquer’ our communities. Undoubtedly, there will be some of us that think we are ‘safe’ from the repercussions of the CTS Act, however, the reality is that the government seems to be out to get us all, despite our varying degrees of faith and Islamic appearance.

The Prophet (peace be upon him said),

“A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others.” [Sahih Muslim].

The Islamic brotherhood is not based on economic or political interests, race or colour. Those who stand firm in attaining the pleasure of Allah and upholding Islamic principles contribute to a brotherhood that exemplifies the best moral values of Islam: Compassion, mercy, fear of Allah, piety, and justice.

Another profound reminder from the Prophet (peace be upon him) is when he warned,

“You cannot enter paradise unless you become a total believer and you won’t become a total believer unless you love each other.”

During these times of fitaan, (trials) it is our duty to immerse ourselves in dawah (Islamic propogation), community cohesion, and activism to dispel societal fears of Islam and Muslims, to engage with other members of society and to become a united reckoning force that is acknowledged by the British government and media. The following are suggestions on how we can stand up against the CTS Act and its implications on our community.

Dawah

Take part in dawah initiatives that include the wider community within mosques, universities and others institutes, where permitted. Since the government has allowed universities the right to freedom of expression, Muslim students in particular should exercise this right on campus and within ISOCS

Community cohesion

Support inter-faith initiatives to promote dialogue, respect and cross-cultural understanding with the wider community and to educate others of Islam. It is imperative that Muslims of all kinds engage in communication with each other despite our differences in belief to encourage understanding, tolerance and the unity needed to help us prevent divisions in our communities. The CTS Act affects us all so working with other communities to offset the governments oppression’s against society, helps to relieve hardship from us all.

Activism

It’s incumbent on us to partake in activism in defense of each other and our deen. We are obliged to help and support oppressed people wherever they are.

On the authority of Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) who said,

“I heard the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) say, ‘Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

The least we can do is make phone calls, send emails, donate money, issue complaints and the like, when our communities are faced with injustice, media backlash and oppression. Allah says:

“The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allāh, that you may receive mercy.”Al-Qur’ān, 49:10

Support Muslim activism

Support Muslim activists by signing their petitions, promoting their events, donating to their cause and offering your time and services. Their efforts to bring about justice and equality for Muslims is only successful (after the help of Allah) and when they are supported in high numbers. The more Muslims that voice their opposition to the oppression we face, the more likely we will be heard.  Send letters and emails to your local MP when the rights of Muslims and Islam are infringed and ensure these injustices are spread internationally by way of social media. Support trending hashtags and twitter storms and inform others of ways they can aid Muslim activists on your social media pages.

Lastly, we should persist in dua to Allah for the betterment of our situation, Allāh says:

“..and your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation.’”

[Al-Qur’ān, 40:60]

Let us be reminded that Allah says:

 ‘We will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.’  [Al-Qur’ān, 13:11]

If we take the steps to make positive changes in ourselves and turn back to Allah, His help for us all is guaranteed. May Allah aid us in our daily struggles, unite our hearts and keep us firm on our deen, ameen.

Disclaimer: All material found on 4themuslims.com is for information purposes only. The maintainers do not necessarily share any of the views expressed on 4themuslims.com or on linked sites.

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