Tuesday, July 19, 2005

No "official religion" was mentioned in the constitution of Al-Medina.

Iraqi blogger Samir Hassan (Arabic) raised a very important point that apparently most Muslims had forgotten; it's the important fact that the in 1st constitution written for a dominantly Muslim society (and by no less than the prophet himself) there was no mention of Islam as the official religion of the state!

Muslims somehow dropped this document from their history even though it was named the "Paper" - which suggests it was written to be declared and published, not ignored and forgotten.

This state established by the prophet at Yethrib was named "Al-Madina" (which means "The City") and was based on a kind of civil governance free from coercion or oppression.

The constitution protected this right for groups and individuals. There is no reference anywhere in the "Paper" to the state's religion or that of its ruler.

Full English version can be found here.

Not all but the vast majority of our religious parties, clerics and Muslim scholars (who are supposed to know everything!) deliberately ignore this fact when they insist that Islam has to be declared as the official religion of the state.
Now what's the right word to describe this behavior?
Ignorance? Or should I say hypocrisy? Or could it be that they want to say that what worked for Medina cannot work for Iraq!?

Anyway, I hope someone will pick up the idea and bring this discussion to the surface while our constitution is being drafted.

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