Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Shaban 1424 H
October 2003
Volume 16-10 No : 202
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Editorial


The Credibility Gap

The Credibility Gap

Islam perhaps does not suffer so much due to the West’s constant villainical propaganda campaign as it does due to general lack of credibility of the Muslim rulers across the world. Few regimes in the Muslim nations enjoy legitimacy of law and fewer still enjoy the popular confidence. Consequently, the crisis of credibility reflects in the voicelessness of the Muslim community as large as 1250 million strong and controlling nearly 66 nation-states which between themselves harbour some of the most sought-after natural resources.

Most Muslim rulers are mere rulers. They are not leaders. They do not lead the people they rule. They have either usurped the ruler’s seat or manipulated the nascent democratic institutions to entrench themselves. They rule endlessly, smother dissent, gather enormous fortunes, suppress popular aspirations with iron hand and follow an absolutely whimsical agenda. Parliaments are handy toys for them. Defence forces are their chief instruments of power wielding. A media that promotes sycophancy is the only one that survives their brute power.

But perhaps a more poignant aspect of the Muslim world is that not even Leftist regimes among them have shown any respect or conformity to the rule of the law they have laid down for themselves. Isn’t it surprising to see that be it King Hussain of Jordan, King Hassan of Morocco or Hafez Al Assad of Syria, the successor is invariably the son? Now deposed ruler of Iraq, Saddam Hussain of Iraq, as we had learnt was going to be succeeded by son Uday. Mubarak of Egypt and Qaddafi of Libya are reportedly grooming their sons to step into their shoes. This of course has got nothing to do with the oil-rich Gulf Kingdom where the rule itself lays down succession by son. Curiously, even in Central Asian Muslim republics, the Nazarbayovs and Islamkarimovs of the erstwhile Communist era continue to grow from strength to strength, even as their Eastern Europe counterparts have witnessed changes at least a couple of times at the top.

This uniformity of approach in downgrading of rule of law from regimes as varied as Leftists to those on extreme right to ones that are blasé about their being monarchy even in the 21st century is as puzzling as it is outrageous for those Muslims who would like the Islamic world to show some modicum of conformity to law, however, far removed it may be from Islam. One could easily get away by blaming the West for throttling the democracy in Algeria or for abetting the despotic Raza Shah Pehlavi in Iran, but fails to comprehend as to why the Muslim regimes are so united in disregarding the ‘rule of law’.

Far from inducting the spirit of ‘shoora’ (consultation) and the negation of accouturements of power for the person of the ruler, the Muslims are not even closer to inducting as basic norms of democracy as judging the popular aspirations, allowing free expression, universalising suffrage, setting apart national resources for the popular weal and accountability and scrutiny of the power wielders.

All this only leads to the conclusion that a rule shorn of accountability is bound to lack credibility and legitimacy. Voice of the community leaders would be heard and respected only when they represent those who are ruled. And their governance would have legitimacy only if they subject themselves to some basic minimum rules of law. It is where the West still has moral superiority over Muslims. Our crisis of credibility has certainly something to do with our tendency to ignore rule of law.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Muslim Community Series Amanath Bank Episode Opinion Face to Face Muslim Perspectives Colours of Harmony Islam and Science Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Zakir Naik Interview Question Hour Guide Lines Islam And Astronomy Living Islam Success Stories Islamic History Journey To Islam View Point Matrimonial
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