Towards a worldwide strategy for Islamic policy
(Points of Departure, Elements, Procedures and Missions)
This report presents a global vision of a worldwide strategy for Islamic policy [or "political Islam"]. Local Islamic policies will be drawn up in the different regions in accordance with its guidelines. It acts, first of all, to define the points of departure of that policy, then to set up the components and the most important procedures linked to each point of departure; finally we suggest several missions, by way of example only, may Allah protect us.
The following are the principal points of departure of this policy:
Point of Departure 1: To know the terrain and adopt a scientific methodology for its planning and execution.
Point of Departure 2: To demonstrate proof of the serious nature of the work.
Point of Departure 3: To reconcile international engagement with flexibility at a local level.
Point of Departure 4: To reconcile political engagement and the necessity of avoiding isolation on one hand, with permanent education and institutional action on the other.
Point of Departure 5: To be used to establish an Islamic State; parallel, progressive efforts targeted at controlling the local centres of power through institutional action.
Point of Departure 6: To work with loyalty alongside Islamic groups and institutions in multiple areas to agree on common ground, in order to "cooperate on the points of agreement and set aside the points of disagreement".
Point of Departure 7: To accept the principle of temporary cooperation between Islamic movements and nationalist movements in the broad sphere and on common ground such as the struggle against colonialism, preaching and the Jewish state, without however having to form alliances. This will require, on the other hand, limited contacts between certain leaders, on a case by case basis, as long as these contacts do not violate the [shariah?] law. Nevertheless, one must not give them allegiance or take them into confidence, bearing in mind that the Islamic movement must be the origin of the initiatives and orientations taken.
Point of Departure 8: To master the art of the possible on a temporary basis without abusing the basic principles, bearing in mind that Allah's teachings always apply. One must order the suitable and forbid that which is not, always providing a documented opinion [? "Il faut ordonner le convenable et interdire le blâmable, tout en donnant un avis documenté"]. But we should not look for confrontation with our adversaries, at the local or the global scale, which would be disproportionate and could lead to attacks against the dawa or its disciples.
Point of Departure 9: To construct a permanent force of the Islamic dawa and support movements engaged in jihad across the Muslim world, to varying degrees and insofar as possible.
Point of Departure 10: To use diverse and varied surveillance systems, in several places, to gather information and adopt a single effective warning system serving the worldwide Islamic movement. In fact, surveillance, policy decisions and effective communications complement each other.
Point of Departure 11: To adopt the Palestinian cause as part of a worldwide Islamic plan, with the policy plan and by means of jihad, since it acts as the keystone of the renaissance of the Arab world today.
Point of Departure 12: To know how to turn to self-criticism and permanent evaluation of worldwide Islamic policy and its objectives, of its content and its procedures, in order to improve it. This is a duty and a necessity according to the precepts of sharia.
THE FIRST POINT OF DEPARTURE:
Know the terrain and adopt a scientific methodology for [The Project's] planning and execution.
a- Elements:Know the influential factors in the world, whether they act as Islamic forces, adverse forces, or neutral forces.
Use the necessary scientific and technical means for planning, organisation, execution and followup.
b- Procedures:Create observation centres in order to gather and store information for all useful purposes, if need be relying on modern technological methods.
Create centres of study and research and produce studies on the political dimension of the Islamic movement.
c- Suggested missions:Draw up a map of [religious and ideological] doctrines in the world to have a global vision from 100 years ago to our era, and analyse the current situation in light of that configuration, taking account of changes both happening and predicted.
Draw up a map of doctrines of the Muslim world.
Draw up a map of Islamic movements in the Muslim world.
Carry out successive political and scientific studies in varying islamic areas, those which apply more particularly to current events.
Carry out a scientific study which addresses the history of contemporary Islamic movements, and use it.
In Priorities, as part of the section
"A special Institute for Preparing Leaderships: "I suggest, for this purpose, that an institute be established for preparing Islamic leaders. Its students should be selected from among the faithful talented elements who possess the required mental, psychological, behavioral and belief related qualities. They should also be recommended by prominent figures known to be good judges of men. They should also sit for written and oral examinations of various kinds before they are admitted to this institute.The institute had better be a boarding school type, so that the students may live as a community in it, leading a life in which religion, knowledge, the Call, brotherhood and jihad will be the basic elements.
"The curricula of this institute should be comprehensive, profound and diversified, combining traditions with contemporary knowledge, mixing religion with human sciences from an Islamic perspective, and giving due attention to the study of the local, Arab, Islamic and international state of affairs, with emphasis on the examination and analysis of the forces opposing our religion, our Nation and our march. This institute should combine knowledge and work, theory and practice."
Immediately thereafter, Qaradawi writes:
"First, this ideology is scientific in the full sense of the word.
"By 'scientific', we do not mean that it is scientific as related to abstract and applied sciences - though they are a field that should be sought by Muslims by all means - but rather that it is an ideology that would not accept any claim without proof, any result without preamble, any evidence without documentation or any preamble that is not totally free from suspicion.
"We want 'scientific thinking' and 'scientific spirit' to guide our life in every way, so that we may view things, issues, situations and people in a scientific way, and pass our tactical and strategic decisions on issues related to economy, politics, education and other fields with a scientific mentality that is free from the influence of emotions, improvisation, self-centeredness, herd-effect and the many diversified pretexts given for everything today. Such adverse factors have come to dominate our behavior to a great extent. A decision maker who is under the influence of his or his party's whims will only be seeking to appease the public by doing what they like, not what is good for them and their future in their homeland and their Nation as a whole."
The Project, Part III:
THE SECOND POINT OF DEPARTURE
To demonstrate proof of the serious nature of the work.
a- Elements: Clarity of the principal objectives of the dawa in the eyes of all, as well as clarity of the temporary objectives, necessitates exploitation, channelling and orientation of the energies.
Devote sufficient effort to the service of the workers [for Allah] and coordinate their efforts to the sole and same objective.
Devote sufficient time.
Spend money to the extent possible.
b-Procedures:Exploit all the energies of the workers to the service of the dawa, each at his level (the criterion of efficiency, given that each must be devoted to the task to which he's assigned).
Mobilise the greatest possible number of supporters and officials.
Collect money efficiently, control expenses and invest in the general interest.
c- Suggested missions:Carry out a survey of workers (appropriate men and appropriate location)
Establish schedules with the hours of workers and specialists and use their efforts with good judgement and on time (appropriate effort at the right time).
An engagement with economic institutions adequate to support the cause financially.
Here's how Sheikh Qaradawi addresses
"The Movement should take every care in its future planning to ensure that a number of competent individuals work full-time in all the strategic and important positions, particularly in the fields of science, knowledge, education, information and mass media, politics and planning. The Movement should not remain dependent only on part-time volunteering by persons who have their own jobs that monopolize their time, leaving only snatches on which no major undertaking can be based.
"However, this does not go against the presence of volunteers who devote some of their time and effort to the Movement for Allah's sake, for such contributions are vitally important and greatly useful, as the volunteer base is expansive. All members of the Movement are even supposed to be volunteers working without pay, except for those who have to work full-time for the interest of the Call.
"However, it is necessary when selecting full-time workers that they should be of various specializations that complement each other, so as to cover all specializations and plug every hole without concentrating on certain specializations at the expense of others, for there has never been undue expenditure without a right wasted in another place.
"Money should be no problem in this respect, for spending money for this purpose is one of the best ways for seeking Allah's pleasure. The necessary funding can be obtained from the resources of zakat (compulsory religious tax) sadaqat, (supererogatory spending for charity), awqaf (religious trusts) and similar funds.
"The interest generated by capital deposited in local and foreign banks may even be spent for this purpose, and we should not shrink from using it on the basis that it comes from a haram source, for it is haram only against the depositor of the capital but halal for use in promoting Islamic interests, at the forefront of which comes the full-time employment of workers for the Islamic movement.
"Faithful workers should not be reluctant to accept an adequate pay that equals what their counterparts draw in other places, so that they may continue to work with satisfaction and not grumble because of the low pay they get. What should count is fair payment, with the reward being neither too generous nor too meager.
"However, it is necessary to choose elements and put the right man in the right place, without favoring this or that, as competence and honesty alone should be the criteria for selection (Truly the best of men for you to employ is the [man] who is strong and trusty) [Surat Al-Qasas: 26]."
Back to The Project:
THE THIRD POINT OF DEPARTURE
Reconcile international engagement with flexibility at the local level.
a- Elements:To define the guidelines that everyone [worldwide] must follow.
To leave a margin that provides sufficient flexibility at the local level for the issues that do not conflict with the general lines of the global Islamic policy.
b- Procedures:The Movement, at a global level, will define the Islamic domain and issues in a general way which will require the engagement of all according to previously defined priorities.
The local leadership will define local issues that come within their prerogative, according to the principle of flexibility and according to previously defined priorities.
c- Suggested Missions Worldwide Islamic engagement for a total liberation of Palestine and the creation of an Islamic state is the mission which falls to the global leadership.
To establish a dialogue at a local level with those who work for the cause according to the global political lines of the Movement. It is up to the local leadership to define the shape of that dialogue.
Both The Project and Priorities make much of "reconciling", or "balancing" various potentially opposing directions. In Priorities, we not only learn that "stiffness [inflexibility] is a serious disease", we also learn
"Balanced between the advocates of worldwide action without regard to local conditions, and the advocates of narrow regional action that has no connection with the world movement."
This is a virtual restatement of the third Point of Departure of The Project.
THE FOURTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To reconcile political engagement with the necessity of avoiding isolation, on the one hand, with permanent education and institutional work on the other.
a- ElementsLiberty to function politically in each country according to local circumstances, without however participating in a process which makes a decision which would be contrary to the texts of Sharia.
To invite everyone to take part in parliament, municipal councils, labour unions and other institutions of which the membership is chosen by the people in the interest of Islam and of Muslims.
To continue to educate individuals and generations and to guarantee the training of specialists in various areas according to a previously designed plan.
To construct social, economic, scientific and health institutions and penetrate the domain of the social services, in order to be in contact with the people and to serve them by means of Islamic institutions.
b- ProceduresTo study the varied political environments and the probabilities of success in each country.
To plan specialised study missions which will concentrate on useful areas such as communications, the history of Islam, etc.
To conduct feasibility studies concerning various institutions and create them according to priorities established in each country.
c-Suggested MissionsTo conduct studies relating to the experiences of political islam and to draw lessons from them.
To give an Islamic policy perspective on the pressing questions of the day.
To keep questions of local importance such as issues concerning workers, unions, etc. within an Islamic framework.
To create a certain number of economic, social, health care and educational institutions, using available means, to serve the people within an Islamic framework.
Again, as with the third departure point, the statement of the fourth is virtually replicated
"... balanced between those who indulge in politics at the expense of education, and those who neglect politics completely on the pretext of devotion to education."
THE FIFTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To dedicate ourselves to the establishment of an Islamic state, in parallel with gradual efforts aimed at gaining control of local power centers through institutional action.
a- ElementsTo channel thought, education and action in order to establish an Islamic power on the earth.
To influence centres of power both local and worldwide to the service of Islam.
b- ProceduresTo prepare a scientific study on the possibility of establishing the reign of God throughout the world according to established priorities.
To study the centres of power, both local and worldwide, and the possibilities of placing them under influence.
To conduct a modern study on the concept of support for the dawa and Islamic law, and more particularly on the men of influence in the State and the country.
c- Suggested MissionTo draw up an Islamic Constitution in light of efforts deployed up to now.
To draw up Islamic laws, civil laws, etc.
To work within various influential institutions and use them in the service of Islam.
To use the work of economic, social, and other specialised Islamic institutions.
The goal of both the international Muslim Brotherhood and the broader Islamic Movement, as described in the Priorities, is strictly in accordance with the Fifth Point. In Priorities, Sheikh Qaradawi speaks of the need for the awakened Muslim to take:
"... action, driven by his love for his religion, his devotion to Allah, His Messenger, the Quran and the Muslim Nation, and his feeling of his, and his people's, neglect of their duty. In so doing, he is also stimulated by his keenness to discharge his duty, eliminate deficiencies, contribute to the revival of the neglected faridas [enjoined duties] of enforcing the Sharia [Islamic Law] sent down by Allah; unifying the Muslim nation around the Holy Quran; supporting Allah's friends and fighting Allah's foes; liberating Muslim territories from all aggression or non-Muslim control; reinstating the Islamic caliphate system to the leadership anew as required by Sharia, and renewing the obligation to spread the call of Islam, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and strive in Allah's cause by deed, by word or by heart - the latter being the weakest of beliefs - so that the word of Allah may be exalted to the heights."(emphasis added)
Returning to The Project:
THE SIXTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To loyally work alongside Islamic groups and institutions in various areas and in agreement on a common ground in order to "cooperate on points of agreement and put aside points of disagreement".
a- ElementsTo coordinate the Islamic work in a single direction as will permit the laying of the foundations of the growth of Muslim society and dedication to the power of God on Earth.
For each to work according to his capacities in his chosen field and to master it, with loyalty and coordination of effort.
b- ProceduresTo study the true nature of Islamic movements, to evaluate their experiences and draw up plans to initiate collaboration among them.
To avoid creating new Islamic movements in a country which already has one; there will be but one movement, serious and complete.
c- Suggested missionsTo coordinate the efforts of all those working for Islam, in each country, and to establish good contact with them, whether they work in individuals or in groups.
To reduce the differences that exist between workers for Islam and to resolve their conflicts according to sharia.
The idea of support for regional Islamic groups is emphasised in Priorities as follows:
"The Islamic Movement should consider itself at the beck and call of every Islamic cause, responding to every cry for help wherever that cry may come from.
"It should stand with Eritrea in its jihad against the unjust Marxist Christian regime that wants to swallow it and keep it as a colony under its rule, with its people as the serfs of the land in feudal systems.
"It should stand by Sudan against the treacherous Christian racist rebellion that wants to impose its racist fanaticism on all the territories of Sudan to remove it from the Muslim Nation and the Arab World.
"It should support the Muslims of the Philippines against the biased Christian regime that seeks to annihilate them, leaving only those who accept the life of slaves who can do nothing to help either themselves or others.
"It should help the Muslims of Kashmir in their struggle for self-determination, until they attain annexation to Pakistan or gain autonomy, so as to foil the conspiracy of the Indian imperialism which is trying to obliterate the province's Muslim identity through non-religious education and encouragement of sin and drug addiction to turn it into a base of conspiracy on Pakistan and the Muslim World as a whole.
"It should support the Muslims of Somalia against the tyrants who kill scholars, persecute the religious and hunt down anyone with religious or intellectual tendencies."
"The Islamic Movement should have good information on all these movements. It should have some sort of presence among their readerships and ranks. It must also work incessantly for their unity and solidarity in order to close the gaps in their ranks and remove their minor disagreements for the sake of greater goals."
THE SEVENTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To accept the principle of temporary cooperation between Islamic movements and nationalist movements in the broad sphere and on common ground such as the struggle against colonialism, preaching and the Jewish state, without however having to form alliances. This will require, on the other hand, limited contacts between certain leaders, on a case by case basis, as long as these contacts do not violate the [shariah] law. Nevertheless, one must not give them allegiance or take them into confidence, bearing in mind that the Islamic movement must be the origin of the initiatives and orientations taken.
To combine all efforts against the supreme forces of evil in accordance with the principle that one must "battle one evil with a lesser evil".
To limit the collaboration to the leadership or to a limited number of individuals in order to maximise the benefit and minimise the possible drawbacks.
To work from perspective of the objectives previously defined for the dawa.
To make a study to evaluate the areas with the object of mutual assistance between Islamic and other movements and draw lessons from it.
To study the areas which allow cooperation, and define the boundaries.
To study the philosophy and plans of other movements.
c- Suggested Missions:
Each country should study the possibility, in the future, of strengthening internal collaboration.
THE EIGHTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To master the art of the possible on a temporary basis without abusing the basic principles, bearing in mind that Allah's teachings always apply. One must order the suitable and forbid that which is not, [always giving a documented opinion]. But we should not look for confrontation with our adversaries, at the local or the global scale, which would be disproportionate and could lead to attacks against the dawa or its disciples.
To evaluate the education of individuals and not to excessively use typical modern education that does not correspond to reality, which is devoid of flexibility and could have grave consequences such as the conflict between individuals for a simple comment or a simple failure.
To give a documented and scientific view, in the form of speeches, communiques and books, that bears on events important to the Ummah.
To avoid the Movement hurting itself with major confrontations, which could encourage its adversaries to give it a fatal blow.
To carry out a study to evaluate the experiences of Islamist movements in order to avoid their fatal errors.
To develop educational methods that are at the same time exemplary, realistic and true to our principles, in order to bestow a flexibility sufficient to permit the facing of reality.
To develop initiation programmes for the faithful and proceed with sensitivity to the foundation of past experience.
To prepare individuals according to modern educational methods.
THE NINTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To construct a permanent force of the Islamic dawa and support movements engaged in jihad across the Muslim world, to varying degrees and insofar as possible.
To protect the dawa with the force necessary to guarantee its security at the local and international levels.
To make contact with all new movements engaged in jihad, everywhere on the planet, and with Muslim minorities, and to create links as needed to establish and support collaboration.
To maintain jihad and awakening throughout the Ummah
To form an autonomous security force to protect the dawa and its disciples locally and worldwide.
To study movements engaged in jihad in the Muslim world, as well as among Muslim minorities, to better understand them.
To build bridges between movements engaged in jihad in the Muslim world, and between Muslim minorities, and to support them insofar as possible within a framework of collaboration.
THE TENTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To use diverse and varied surveillance systems, in several places, to gather information and adopt a single effective warning system serving the worldwide Islamic movement. In fact, surveillance, policy decisions and effective communications complement each other.
To make the policy decisions to collect important and precise information.
To diffuse Islamic policy so that it is largely and efficiently covered by the media.
To create a modern surveillance system by means of advanced technology (possibly created at the research centres mentioned earlier).
To create an effective and serious media centre.
c- Suggested Missions:
To warn Muslims of the dangers that threaten them and the international conspiracies directed at them.
To give our views on current events and future issues.
THE ELEVENTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To adopt the Palestinian cause as part of a worldwide Islamic plan, with the policy plan and by means of jihad, since it acts as the keystone of the renaissance of the Arab world today.
To provide an Islamic view on all areas, problems and solutions relative to the Palestinian question, based on the precepts of Islam.
To prepare the community of believers for jihad for the liberation of Palestine. [One can lead the Ummah to realise the plans of the Islamic movement above all if victory is ours], if God wills it.
To create a modest nucleus of jihad in Palestine, and to nourish it in order to maintain the flame that will light the road toward the liberation of Palestine, and in order that the Palestinian cause will endure until the moment of liberation.
To collect sufficient funds for the perpetuation of jihad.
To conduct a study of the situation of Muslims and the enemy in occupied Palestine.
To conduct studies on the Jews, enemies of Muslims, and on the oppression inflicted by these enemies on our brothers in occupied Palestine, in addition to preaching and publications.
To fight against the sentiment of capitulation among the Ummah, to refuse defeatist solutions, and to show that conciliation with the Jews will undermine our Movement and its history.
To conduct comparative studies on the Crusades and Israel, and [the victory that will be that of Islam].
To create jihadi cells in Palestine, and support them in order that they cover all of occupied Palestine.
To create a link between the moujahadin in Palestine and those throughout the Islamic world.
To nourish a sentiment of rancour with respect to the Jews and refuse all coexistence.
THE TWELFTH POINT OF DEPARTURE
To know how to turn to self-criticism and permanent evaluation of worldwide Islamic policy and its objectives, of its content and its procedures in order to improve it. This is a duty and a necessity according to the precepts of sharia.
To conduct constructive self-criticism, in order to avoid pitfalls.
To proceed with constant evaluation, on a scientific basis, to permit the further construction of policies.
To improve Islamic policies and to take profit from past experiences must be a clear and essential objective.
To evaluate current practices and profit from past experience.
To ask officials in the various countries to give their views on direction, methods and results.
To produce an official document on global Islamic policy.
To make the countries, the officials and the people aware of that policy.
To begin to apply the policy, to evaluate it annually and to improve it if need be.