September 2, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8916

Qatari Journalist: Secularism Is Aggression Against The Muslims And Islam; Emulating The West Is Grave Treason Against Islamic Nation, Faith And Culture

September 2, 2020
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 8916

In his June 25, 2020 column in the Qatari daily Al-Arab, journalist 'Abdallah Al-'Abd Al-Rahman railed against applying secularism in the Arab and Muslim world, stating that the effects of secularism are to blame for the "horrific state" of today's Arab and Muslim societies. He wrote that, in the colonialist era, the West tried to inject secularism into the Muslim world, and when these efforts failed, it invented a new kind of secularism "with an Arab-Islamic aroma."  Today, the Arab and Muslims have rid themselves of colonialism, he added, but there are still some among them who insist on trying to emulate the Western cultural model by adopting secularism – which is a grave act of treason against the Islamic nation, religion and culture.

It should be mentioned that a similar perception of secularism is reflected in Qatar's school curriculum. An Islamic Studies textbook for Grade 11 presents it as a negative phenomenon and as a form of heresy originating in the West, which was introduced into the Arab world by colonialism in order to alienate the Muslims from their faith and cultivate a generation divested of its religious sensibilities.[1]

'Abdallah Al-Abd Al-Rahman (Source: Al-Arab, Qatar)

The following are translated excerpts from Al-'Abd Al-Rahman's column:[2]

"One fact is uncontested: there is no justification for the existence of secularism in the Arab and Muslim world, or for importing it there. Those in charge of exploiting the Third World actually came to this conclusion. They came to the certain conclusion that the idea of exporting the concept of secularism, or of the separation of religion and state, to the Arab and Muslim world had no merit and would  not last long. [They also realized] that it would expose [their own] ideology, which is hostile to the principles of religion and of the Islamic shari'a, and which is behind the [whole] idea of exporting [secularism to the Arab and Muslim world]. Therefore, they came up with a new plan: inventing a new secularism with an Arab-Islamic aroma. 

"The impact of the Arabic-language [campaigns] for preaching secularism and of the promotion of secularism that preceded them  -- that is, from the moment secularism started making inroads into the Arab and Muslim world, first by means of political and military colonialism and later under the auspices of the Arab and Muslim governments, which mostly remained 'loyal' to the colonialist legacy – [this impact] brought us to the shameful and horrific state we are currently  experiencing in various domains of life: ideological, educational, social, communicational, political, legal, etc. This impact is clear to all.

"The principles and foundations of the [Islamic] religious culture all draw their force from the Quran and the Prophet's Sunna. If we regard Islam as a spiritual connection [to God] and nothing else, or as a religion that is confined to the domain of the individual and his personal life, as reflected in his relationship with God – which is what the West or secular Christianity want – the meaning of this is divesting the Islamic character of its cultural, educational and behavioral content. That is what is actually happening in the Arab and Muslim world in the 21st century… 

"In this situation, the question is: What sort of Arab and Islamic identity will eventually form, in light of the call for an Arab brand of secularism? The answer is clear: [one that is] a replica of European culture in all its various aspects, economic, communicational, educational, legal, etc.…

"Western secularism was imposed upon us in the colonialist era, and despite [our] efforts, throughout [our] history, to rid ourselves of this loathsome secularism, those who grew up under the sponsorship of the old colonialism and were planted among us are now boldly restoring it in a manner that is despicable, to put it mildly. [Even now], when we have gained independence and [freed ourselves] of colonialism, we still live in a climate in which [some] insist on [emulating] this distorted Western cultural model. This is one of the gravest forms of treason against the noble Islamic nation, faith and culture. I can find no better description for those who 'wage jihad' for [the goal of] applying Western secularism in all domains of life.

"If, in European society, secularism represents a neutral position, or a position that 'neutralizes' the clergy and theoretically distances it from the affairs of society and state, on the pretext that [the clerics] had crossed the line, then in our Islamic society, secularism represents a position of hostility to Islam and the Muslims…"

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