The seizure of power in Afghanistan by the Islamist Talibans and the proposed constitutional amendment of Nawaz Sharief Government declaring the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the holy Prophet to be the guiding factors of an already Islamic republic with 99 per cent Muslim population, have revealed the attitude of the international media, particularly the “liberal” West, toward an Islamic state which is understandable as the west sees in the emergence of natural Islamic values the fading of its own artificial and vulgar ones. The Roman Empire’s experience with the Abbasid and the Ottoman Turk’s Caliphate in the Middle Ages prove this contention beyond reasonable doubt. But the irony is that even some westernised Muslims “intellectuals” as well harbour some ill will toward the efficacy of an Islamic state. The argument that Islamic theocracy brings in its wake religious intolerance, denial of the rights of the non-Muslim citizens, gender inequality, end of democracy etc., are just a mask of the Judic-Christian world to hide its real agenda of restraining the formation of a true Islamic state which could jeopardise their nefarious designs of forced and continued subjugation of the vast and rich Muslim belt. Their Indian saffronnized counterparts are just imitating their western masters blindly.
To understand the Islamic concept of a state, we should first come out of the shackles of the intellectual colonialism of the West which by its awesome network of the innumerable channels of information and opinion-making can manipulate anything in the name of objectivity in any given time-frame. For instance, Islam is purely a pro-democracy religion. The franchise in it shall be determined on the basis of the weightage of a person rather than a mere count. We have different types of democracies prevalent in different parts of the world. If in India we have a parliamentary democracy, in the United States it is a presidential one, yet in the United Kingdom it is a constitutional monarchy, and yet again in France it is a hybrid of quasi-monarchical and quasi-presidential one. Again, all these states follow different forms of franchise as well. Even the procedure of the election of the head of the government, executive head of the state, members of the legislature-executive and the judiciary are different in each country. Yet all of them are clubbed together under `developed democracies.’ Then why is there this singling out of Islam on this count? Take the example of Jizia (tax on non-Muslim citizens). In an Islamic state the non-Muslims are exempt from the mandatory martial service. The state which protects their life and property, collects tax from them in its lieu. If any one is unable to pay it, there may not be any compulsion on him. They are free to construct their places of worship and practise their religion and personal laws independently. There is no restriction on them even in eating pork and drinking liquor. They enjoy equal civil rights.
Islam is the first religion on this planet to give the call, and worked out a practical formula, for the emancipation of women. A female commands human dignity on par with her male counterpart. However, it prefers segregation of the sexes in public places and at work and division of labour between the two. A female is as good and as worthy to seek erudition and advancement in economic sphere as any male. And in some schools of Islamic jurisprudence, she can even become a Qazi and an administrator. The Talibans would do better service to Islam if they desist from acting blindly in the name of Islam on matters which have no religious sanctions. In the same vein, Nawaz Sharief will be better advised to have suitably timed the presentation of the constitutional amendment bill. It is not the content but the timing which has cast aspersions on the bill.