Sam Solomon: A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Answering-Islam.org 30 May, 2008
By Sam Solomon
Presented to the European Parliament by Gerard Batten, MEP

Progress for Western Liberal Democracies and their Muslim Communities? It is an indisputable fact that there are both peace-loving Muslims and violent Muslims, not only in the Islamicworld, but also in most Western countries.

How can a liberal democratic society define and develop a positive relationship to the Muslim community living in its midst? How could or should the Muslim community itself deal with its violent members?

On 13 December 2006, "A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding" (PDF/641 KB) was presented to the European Parliament to deal with exactly that question.

Although there seem to be hundreds of webpages (newspaper articles, discussion boards, blogsites, etc.) that report about or react to this initiative (Google), we have not found even one location that makes this charter available online — despite the fact that we have seen it float around a couple of mailing lists.

Since this document has been publically proposed to the EU Parliament, and it is an important document that a wider public needs to be informed about and needs to be enabled to discuss in detail, we trust that neither the author nor the parlamentarian who introduced it, will object to making it available to a wider public by placing it on this website.

Apologies in advance if we have caused any inconveniences inadvertedly. We will gladly link to an official website (e.g., an online archive of documents of the EU parliament), if the charter would becomes available there, and the author or sponsor of this proposal sends us a request to point there instead of publishing it ourselves.

It may be particularly enlightening to read the above charter in comparison to our recent series on Pacifism and the Sword in the New Testament, outlining the Biblical view of the relationship between State and Church, and its consequences for the individual Christian believer.


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A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding
By Sam Solomon

Foreword by Gerard Batten
UK Independence Party
Member of the European Parliament for London
December 2006




Acknowledgements

I express my sincere gratitude to all those who contributed to this
proposed Charter. Thank you to those who have read and have
helped in editing and to everyone who gave suggestions and
advice, with especial thanks to Paul Diamond whose legal
expertise was invaluable.

I am most indebted to Gerard Batten MEP for his kindness,
leadership, sincerity and all his help. Last but not least my esteemed colleague and researcher Al Maqdisi who is simply indispensable.

Sam Solomon
December 2006



Foreword

The Western European view of religion, achieved after
centuries of bloodshed, conflict and division, is that religion is
a matter of private belief and conscience. Islamic
fundamentalists do not share this view. They do not believe in
the nation state, democracy, the equality of women, or
toleration. They believe in Islamic theocracy, a universal
Muslim society, the Umma, based on political rule according to
the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Such views are simply incompatible with Western liberal
democracy, and we have seen where such extremist beliefs can
lead, for example in Afghanistan and Iran. The West has been
amazingly lax in recognising the threat posed to its security,
freedoms, values and the cohesiveness of society by Islamic
fundamentalism. The terrorist atrocities in London of July 2005
showed just how dangerous these beliefs can be.

Islamic fundamentalists have however made great gains in the
propaganda war by convincing many non-Muslims that they
are the true representatives of Islam, whereas they are not. The
vast majority of Muslims that non-Muslims meet in every-day
life are decent, respectable, law-abiding and hardworking.
Western governments and societies have to offer them their
support while standing firm against the extremists.

A great step forward in this process is Sam Solomon’s
Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding. The Charter
allows Muslims from all strands of belief to make it plain that
they reject those extremist interpretations of their religious
texts that promote or excuse violence and bring Islam into
conflict with the modern world. It affirms that they want to enjoy the freedoms of the West and live as law-abiding and
peace-loving people. I very much hope that those groups
claiming to represent Muslims will decide to sign and
embrace it.

Gerard Batten MEP
December 2006


Introduction

If Islam is a religion of peace, as portrayed by the Muslim
community and its clergy, and those acts of terrorism committed
in its name are the acts of few misguided individuals who have
misunderstood and misinterpreted its teaching, then Islam is
completely innocent of the violence and the terrorism that is
sometimes attributed to it.

Consequently, in extrapolating from this premise, one should
expect that in the light of the current terrorist threat perpetrated
by some in the name of Islam that the faithful ones and the
authorised scholars and experts call a general conference of its
Ulema, the learned scholars of Islamic religion, to discuss
provisions such as laid out in this Charter. They should have no
objection to being signatories to it, and upholding its content
both in letter and spirit in the name of Islam and for the welfare
of their host societies and that of humanity at large.

We call on organisations representing the Islamic faith such as
the European Council of Fatwa, the Muslim Council of Britain,
the Al-Azhar, the Organisation of Islamic Conference, the
Muslim World League and all its affiliates, national and
international Islamic bodies, to endorse and sign this proposed
Charter as an example to all European Muslims.

It is hoped that the Muslim leaders would agree that whosoever
deviates from the path of this Charter would have gone on an un-
Islamic path and thus such a person would be regarded as
outcast from the religion of Islam; hence a non-Muslim.

It is hoped that at least all European Muslim leaders and their
institutions both national and Europe-wide will be signatories to this Charter as the first expression of their desire to live in
peace within their host countries, as law-abiding and peace-
loving and peace-promoting communities alongside their non-
Muslim neighbours.

Whatever their real or perceived grievances these need to be
addressed through proper channels and not through violence
and terrorism.



A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Preamble

We the undersigned as the representatives of Muslim
communities in our capacity as leaders at various levels as
Muftis, Ulemas, Imams, community leaders, heads of Islamic
madrassas, Muezzins, Mazuns and all other Islamic relevant
offices including those of free thinkers and leaders of NGOs as
well as NPOs (Non-Profit Organisations), youth leaders, women
leaders at all levels of all Islamic institutions commit to uphold,
promote, propagate and abide by these articles in letter and spirit
of this Charter of Muslim Understanding.

We commit to the fostering and promotion of peaceful co-
existence across Europe in the spirit of one brotherhood amongst
all humanity treating all as equals in accordance with the
principles proclaimed in the charter of the United Nations, the
United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (General
Assembly resolution 217A
(III) of 1948), and the United Nations’
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(1966).

Whosoever breaches any of the articles stated and detailed below
will be regarded as a person outside the House of Islam, and
shall be denounced as a non-Muslim, and will find no protection
in the Muslim community.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 1

We will respect all other non-Muslim religions in word and deed
by issuing a clear fatwa with an immediate effect prohibiting:

a) The use of force and violence of any kind against the
followers of any1 or all non-Muslim religions

b) The issue of threats through any religious fatwa threatening with violence against institutions or assassination of individuals or groups and followers of other religions who may be domiciled in the affected localities or any other country be it a Muslim majority or a otherwise

c) The use of any force in any form for whatever grievances felt or actual

d) Forbidding the killing or targeting of any civilian or civil institutions2 in Islamic and non-Islamic countries as a way and means of addressing any of our grievances.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 2

We will respect and honour all civilisations, cultures, and
traditions of other nations and people irrespective of their ethnic
or religious backgrounds.

This will be achieved by introducing a clear educational
programme through all Islamic institutions and outlets, as well
as organising special meetings to address youth:

a) By promoting brotherhood of all mankind without any religious or ethnic discrimination or differentiation

b) By declaring the equality of all men and women and the profanity3 of none

c) By promoting the validity and the viability of the national
domestic law to be fully adhered to and taking precedence
over the Shari’ah.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 3

In the spirit of the saying, “Let there be no compulsion in
religion” (Sura 2:256), we commit to the upholding the value of
freedom, and in particular freedom of belief and expression. The
signatories hereby declare that religion is a private and personal
matter and a personal choice. It is neither a right of a community
nor a state right to dictate or interfere in a person’s personal
choice of faith.

a) As such there will be no recriminations against any Muslim
or non-Muslim who chooses to change, discard, or adopt
another faith be it within the House of Islam, from any
Islamic faction, or to a non-Islamic religion or faith.

b) This concept will be re-issued as a binding fatwa across
Europe and offered for publication in national and local
newspapers in order to avoid any misinterpretations.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 4

The basis of the legitimacy of Islamists’ acts of terror and their
perpetuated violence is the authority that they obtain from being
sanctioned by religious leaders. These sanctioning statements are
known as fatwas. This situation is now being reviewed in many
Islamic nations.

Jordan has passed a bill regulating the process of fatwas and the
accountability of those that issue them. Those in breach of that
regulation are liable to face severe penalties. Saudi Arabia too
has tabled proposals to that effect, and other Arab Islamic
governments have commissioned a study into it. Nation states
must consider this measure as a safeguard.

Following from the foregoing articles, the signatories to this
Charter ban and prohibit the right of issuing any fatwa that
would results in violence against individuals or institutions.

a) Any such fatwa will be null and void.

b) The right of issuing fatwa will be limited to a specified
body, and only that body will have the right to issue
relevant religious fatwas.

c) Fatwas issued by anybody else (either an individual or an
institution) apart from the authorised body will be invalid
and of no effect.

d) In case other than the specified body issues a fatwa it would
be regarded as unlawful and it would be for the appropriate
governmental authorities to bring him/her/them to justice.

e) The signatories to this Charter will fully co-operate with the
police and security forces in bringing him/her/them to justice,
including measures of deportation where appropriate.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 5

As peace-loving and peace-promoting people domiciled in
Europe, and equally believing that Islam is a religion of peace
that promotes co-operation and collaboration of all peoples
irrespective of their religious or ethnic or gender backgrounds:

a) The notion and all teachings of violent physical Jihad is to
be regarded as invalid, inappropriate and irrelevant—
hence inapplicable

b) Therefore all Qur’anic Jihad verses encouraging physical
violence, whether implicit or explicit, or any other
quotations from any Islamic source, be that Sunnah or the
sayings of the Prophet or that of the learned scholars or
leaders of Jihad at any given time or place, are to be
regarded as inapplicable, invalid and non-Islamic

c) All Qur’anic verses that could be of inciting nature
religiously, ethnically or discriminatory in regard to gender
are just historical and will be regarded as non-effective for
today’s world

d) These verses will be either deferred or suspended until such
time as scholars find a solution for their interpretation.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 6

Based on the acceptance of equality of all mankind, brotherhood
of all and the freedom and sanctity of all human life, and based
on the principle that “whosoever slays one man is as though he
has slain the whole of humanity,” all acts of terrorism are
prohibited, shunned and outlawed:

a) No suicidal mission undertaken for whatever the reason is
justified

b) No violent physical Jihad operation will be regarded as
sacred

c) No one who chooses to die in such an operation will be
regarded as martyr.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 7

We jointly will fight terrorism and do all within our abilities to
stem it from our institutions through:

a) Full co-operation in with all the relevant authorities, including those of the Police and Intelligence Services

b) By watching and monitoring mosque sermons and other mosque teaching programmes for messages not in accordance with this Charter

c) Making certain that at the religious gatherings and lectures given to youth co-operation and peaceful existence with non- Muslims is proclaimed and the hate ideology is rooted out

d) Reporting any secret or suspicious gathering of youth cells in any of our institutions

e) Monitoring all publications, including books, CDs, DVDs and all other media, that serve the cause of militant Islamists

f) Ensuring transparency and full access to the authorities to verify the implementation of this Charter.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 8

We will foster a better relationship with non-Muslims and
promote peace by:

a) Issuing regular fatwas promoting peace and brotherhood
between Muslims and non-Muslims as a foundational
teaching of Islam

b) Produce a clear programme promoting peace and forgiveness amongst all people groups irrespective of their
religious, cultural, linguistic or ethnic background

c) Taking stern action through establishing by-laws to expel any Muslim official or office-bearer at any level who engages or promotes any teaching or activity not in
accordance with this Charter

d) Forbidding any anti-Jewish or anti-Christian supplications at all times, particularly at prayer times and other religious gatherings.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 9

We the signatories request all Islamic institutions and all of its
associates, affiliations and outlets in co-operation with the
signatories to this Charter:

a) To discard all texts that discriminate with impunity against Christians and Jews by describing them as Kaffirs, apostates, polytheists, the children of apes, and swine, and
prohibit any inciting, insulting, and all discriminatory
references based on their religion

b) To abandon the practice of takffir (infidel) against
anybody, be that a Muslim or a non-Muslim. (Once a
Muslim leader declares anyone as such, it is for the faithful
ones to see that person eliminated.)

c) To prohibit and abolish the practice of Takkiya (Islamic
doctrine of legitimate lying and deception of others) to
advance the cause of Muslims and Islam.

This insulting, inciting, discrimination, and deception is not to be
upheld or practised.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Article 10

Request all officially constituted Islamic bodies and institutions
to revise and issue new interpretations of those Qur’anic verses
that call for Jihad and violence against non-Muslims. For
example, but not exclusively:

a) O Prophet (Muhammad)! Urge the believers to fight. If
there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you, they will
overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast
persons they will overcome a thousand of those who
disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who
do not understand.

(Sura 8:65)

b) Let those (believers) who sell the life of this world for theHereafter fight in the Cause of Allah, and whoso fights in the Cause of Allah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward.
(Sura 4:74)

c) Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those
who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghuat (great Satan).
So fight you against the friends of Shaiytan (Satan); Ever
feeble indeed is the plot of Shaiytan.

(Sura 4:76)

d) And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (dissension,disbelief and polytheism) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone (in the whole of the world). But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.
(Sura 8:39)

e) And kill them (unbelievers) wherever you find them, and
turn them out from where they have turned you out. And
Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at
Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless
they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill
them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

(Sura 2:191)

f) Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and
12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill
the Mushrikun (unbelievers) wherever you find them, and
capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each
and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-
Salat, and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily,
Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

(Sura 9:5)

g) The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and
His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they
shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be
cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.
That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is
theirs in the Hereafter.

(Sura 5:33)

h) Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your
hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them
and heal the breasts of a believing people…

(Sura 9:14)

i) Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the
Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by
Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not
the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the
Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah
(humiliating tax on non-Muslims) with willing submission,
and feel themselves subdued.

(Sura 9:29)

j) And make ready against them all you can of power , including
steeds of war (i.e. all forms of weaponry) to threaten the
enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom,
you may not know but whom Allah does know. And
whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allah shall be
repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.

(Sura 8:60)

k) (Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels, “Verily, I
am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will
cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so
strike them over the necks, and smite over all their
fingers and toes.”

(Sura 8:12)

l) We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve,
because they joined others in worship with Allah, for
which He had sent no authority; their abode will be the
Fire and how evil is the abode of the Zalimun (polytheists
and wrong-doers).

(Sura 3:151)

(This verse was given in Medina regarding the pagans of Makkah,
during the battle of Uhud. Soon after that it was made effective with
the conquest of Makkah, and its application from the Shari’ah or
Islamic jurisprudence is to be on all non-Muslims, here and now.)

m) O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and
Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed (to
Muhammad) confirming what is (already) with you, before
We efface faces (by making them like the back of necks,
without nose, mouth, eyes, etc) and turn them hindwards, or
curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers. And the
Commandment of Allah is always executed.

(Sura 4:47)

n) O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians
as Awliyah (friends, protectors, helpers, etc), they are but
Awliyah to one another. And if any amongst you takes
them as Awliyah, then surely he is one of them. Verily,
Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun
(polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).

(Sura 5:51)

o) O you who believe! Take not as your Bitanah (advisors,
consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc) those outside
your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites)
since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They
desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared
from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far
worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayatt
(proofs, evidences, verses) if you understand.

(Sura 3:118)

p) Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allah is he, the
Messiah, Jesus son of Mary.” But the Messiah (Jesus) said:
“O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your
Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with
Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the
Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (polytheists and
wrong-doers) there are no helpers.

(Sura 5:72)

q) Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allah is the third
of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no god but One
Allah. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a
painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.

(Sura 5:73)

(This painful torment is both here and now as well as being
punished by Allah’s angels in the grave and in the last day as
portrayed and expounded by Islamic religious and legal manuals.)
These, and other similar verses from the Qur’an and the sayings
of the prophet reported in Islamic manuals called Hadith, are
sources of inspiration for hate and terrorism.

A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

Conclusion

The Signatories to this Charter re-affirm their profound beliefs in
those fundamental freedoms of justice and peace upon which the
maintenance of domestic political democracy is dependent.
The Signatories to this Charter re-affirm their profound belief in
the charters of the United Nations, the United Nations’ Universal
Declaration of Human Rights
(General Assembly resolution
217A(III) of 1948), and the United Nations’ International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), including the
fundamental freedom to proselytise and in the fundamental right
of the individual to change their religion.

The Signatories to this Charter re-affirm their profound belief in
peace between the Islamic communities and other non-Islamic
communities.



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Sam Solomon is a unique man. He was raised as a Muslim, trained in Sharia law for 15 years, and after reading the New Testament became a Christian. He was imprisoned, questioned, and was to be put to death when the decision instead came to exile him on pain of death. One of the leading experts on Islam and Sharia law in the western world now, Mr Solomon has testified before congress and is a consultant to the British parliament for matters regarding Islam.



Sam Solomon - A Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

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Sam Solomon - Progress for Western Liberal Democracies and their Muslim Communities?

Interview with former Muslim Scholar Sam Solomon


 
 

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