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45 of 48 DOCUMENTS Copyright (c) 2001 Islam in America Conference DePaul University The Journal of Islamic Law and Culture Fall / Winter, 2001 6 J. Islamic L. & Culture 157 LENGTH: 4630 words ARTICLE: The Role of Islamic Law in the Contemporary World Order NAME: By Ali Ahmad * BIO: * Dr. Ali Ahmad is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria and a Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C., 2000-2001. LEXISNEXIS SUMMARY: ... As one of the major legal systems of the world, Islamic law plays a role in regulating the internal and external affairs of a number of Muslim societies. ... At the minimum, a regime that drew its legitimacy and popular support from Islam would lose some of its support if it refused to yield to the Islamic law principle of sanctity of envoys. ... Addressing international terrorism, which is one carried out across national boundaries of the perpetrators or directed against nationals or instrumentalities of a foreign state, is a business of international law. ... During the period of Ibn Taymiyyah in the 14th century AD, armed jihad reverted to a defensive mechanism to be used whenever there is a threat of war to the Islamic territory. ... Moreover, their claim of loyalty to Islam would have been discredited if they succeed in carrying out any terrorist activity, and they would be unable to recruit people or attract funds or sympathy based on Islam. ... Therefore, American Muslims, who combine Islam's rich intellectual pluralism with American democratic ideals, strengthened by their wealth and freedom from disabling and distorting local traditions, stand the best chance among the communities of Muslims in this era to take up the challenge of restoring Islam's tradition of intellectual discourse for addressing numerous problems that confront Muslims the world over. ... TEXT: [*157] As one of the major legal systems of the world, Islamic law plays a role in regulating the internal and external affairs of a number of Muslim societies. n1 The objective here is to examine briefly its potential in mediating international tensions involving Muslim countries and its role in international consensus building and lawmaking forums. I argue that for the international community in general, and the United States in particular, to achieve and maintain long-term success in their missions with the Muslim world, it is imperative to engage Islamic law principles rather than the current embrace of unrepresentative Muslim governments. Despite the centrality of Islamic law in the private and collective lives of Muslims, it is noteworthy that membership of the United Nations by all Muslim nations is an indication that Muslims have reconciled their theory of

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international law, known as siyar, with the U.N. system. However, coming at the heels of the World War II, the preoccupation of the U.N. Charter is to maintain global peace and security, friendly relationship and, perhaps due to the failure of the League of Nations, discount close cooperation among all states. n2 The U.N. system has succeeded in stemming the tide of systemic armed [*158] conflict among states, although its experiment in addressing non-state systemic threats, such as those posed by issues like the environment and international terrorism, has not been as successful. Even as they have joined the U.N. system, Muslim States by their conduct clearly indicate that Islamic international law principles not related to peace and security as contained in the U.N. Charter are still valid and are being applied. n3 Many reasons exist, including the Islamic principle of sanctity of treaties, for the proposition that provisions of the U.N. Charter prevail in case of a conflict with any other principle of Islamic international law. However, there is no noticeable conflict in much of the issues addressed by the U.N. Charter or other treaties formed under its aegis. As I will elaborate shortly, the relevant issues that come to mind in this regard are Islam's concept of armed jihad and the U.N.'s principles of collective intervention and self-defense. n4 If there is any conflict or divergence, it is not due to the U.N. Charter. According to Islam's vision of a world that consists of friendly or non-threatening nations, the interstate relationship is to be based on a standard of fairness and justice that is universal and not limited by state boundaries. Under Islam, determinants of states' actions impacting people outside their territories are not materially distinct from factors that inform their decisions regarding their citizens. n5 This is because Islam envisions a more powerful human association than the current system based on its assertion that differences in human societies do not transcend the need for fairness among all creatures of Allah. n6 Islam teaches that a single moral order can traverse the [*159] universe and inform all states' decisions. Thus, the standard of fairness under Islamic international legal theory belongs to the same moral order in both the domestic and international legal structures. n7 The Charter of the Organization of Islamic Conference (O.I.C.) tacitly adopts this principle. n8 The current international system thrives on political realism or the philosophy of limiting moral discourse within a particular boundary and denying it a proper place in international relations, and the only moral question in international law is states' consent. n9 Consequently, the current international system is consent based, even as many states are not in a position to effectively give or withhold their consent on many international issues, leaving their population in despair and distrust of the system. Ironically, a few resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly also assume a universal standard of fairness in the international system, and the International Court of Justice has [*160] suggested a basis for such standard. n10 Ultimately, the divergence on this issue between both systems is superficial. Even as there is little irreconcilable difference between the U.N. and Islamic law systems, one has noticed lack of engagement of the latter in resolving international issues in places and matters that are most appropriate. For instance, engagement of Islamic law as part of the negotiation tool during the American hostage crisis in Iran would have yielded a different result. At the minimum, a regime that drew its legitimacy and popular support from Islam would lose some of its support if it refused to yield to the Islamic law principle of sanctity of envoys. n11 Under Islamic law, envoys are accorded full protection of the law, and reference to Islam's notion of diplomatic immunity would have persuaded the Iranian government to shift grounds. Professor Christopher G. Weeramantry, a former judge of the Internal Court of Justice and a scholar of Islamic law, drew the attention of the United States authorities to the potential role of Islamic law in resolving the issue; but he was disappointed, due to what he later referred to as lack of understanding or lack of expertise by the task force that handled the matter. n12 Because the international community has not availed itself of the use of Islamic law principles, various elements have filled the void and have been successful in abusing Islam, given the impacts of their negative actions on the international system. For instance, international terrorists have used to their advantage, Islam's intellectual tradition in order to declare war on the U.S. and have used [*161] the U.S. commitment to freedom to carry out the decree. A review of Islam's history shows that it was built on and developed by a tradition of sophisticated intellectual enterprise. n13 Islamic law is the epitome of the Islamic thought and its early princes, the jurists, possessed tremendous respect and

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influence. n14 The cynosure of Islam's authority is the Qur'an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, and Muslims hold fast primarily to both. As in Judaism, there is no hierarchy in Islam to hand down doctrines, and every Muslim is free to chose from several renditions of the law by the jurists, whose erudition determines their reputation and adherents. Public opinion on a new doctrine is carried by the power of learning of a particular jurist. Over the years however, this tradition of scholastic pluralism has been undermined and replaced either by autocratic authorities that stifle this intellectual freedom in order to suppress other authoritative views, or by intolerant extremists that abuse the freedom. Recent events have shown how a few individuals can assail Islam's tradition of independent learning and intellectual freedom to issue spurious decrees of hate and violence. Islamic law, whose validity is not dependent on its enforcement, plays an important role in the lives of Muslims wherever they are and the extent of its personal application seems to be a personal choice of every ordinary Muslim. n15 Many Muslims look up to Islamic law in their quest to find a way of dealing with the alluring influence of Western culture. Moreover, the skewed structure of international economic and monetary policies and the entitlement to world resources have given Muslims more reasons to look up to provisions of Islamic law for a response. One must recognize that there are anti-American sentiments and a great distrust of the U.S. government in [*162] much of the Muslim world as well as the Third World countries. n16 As the only non-liberal tradition of political consequence, Islamic law provides an alternative means for Muslims to evaluate and critique the dominant system of international law and other non-Muslim influences. However, even righteous displeasure with U.S. policies cannot justify resort to international terrorism in Islam. It is inconceivable that the role of Islamic law will be transformed and equated with denouncing all things American. Addressing international terrorism, which is one carried out across national boundaries of the perpetrators or directed against nationals or instrumentalities of a foreign state, is a business of international law. n17 It is a dynamic phenomenon but the response of the international legal system has predictably been on an ad hoc basis, treating each terrorist event or episode as it arose. n18 It can hardly be [*163] otherwise under the traditional legal structure that hitherto pays superficial attention to issues that demand comprehensiveness--including fairness factors. The unprecedented terrorist events of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, DC promise to change the traditional ad hoc and episode-based legal response to international terrorism to a more comprehensive one. n19 Historically, the Muslim world shares an unsavory connection with the scourge of international terrorism, and the role of Islamic law in the search for a long-term international consensus is evident. Interestingly, shaping international law rules against terrorism has been carried out without addressing the web of Islam dubiously woven around it. The two concepts of Islamic law relevant in a discussion of international terrorism are jihad and suicide. Although Islamic law sources are often open to wide interpretations consistent with a certain method of legal reasoning, terrorists have employed subjective interpretative method to confer legitimacy to their cause. If they have been challenged at all, it has not been squarely on the basis of Islamic law principles. Lack of Islamic law analysis of terrorism by states [*164] either unilaterally or collectively has ascribed a postmodern definition of jihad to be war against the United States, both its civilian and military interests. n20 Reducing and limiting the Qur'anic employment of the term "jihad", which literally connotes exertion of one's self for a lofty purpose, n21 to warfare (to which the Qur'an definitively uses qital n22) renders meaningless a number of Qur'anic verses. n23 In its widest and ordinary usage, jihad connotes striving to fight oppression without becoming oppressive. Jihad as warfare, which I refer to as armed jihad, is but a small portion of the wider concept of personal exertion toward achieving lofty goals. Historically, armed jihad was initially deployed defensively, then it was waged offensively to strategically secure the budding Islamic territory in order to gain and maintain power in a hostile region. During the period of Ibn Taymiyyah in the 14th century AD, armed jihad reverted to a defensive mechanism to be [*165] used whenever there is a threat of war to the Islamic territory. n24 However, membership of Muslim States with in the U.N. decisively makes armed jihad a defensive mechanism. But even if the position is taken of an offensive armed jihad, only a political authority governing a territory can make such declaration. Moreover, an armed jihad must not involve unleashing environmental damage, such as damage to trees, animals, and water, not to talk of

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noncombatants, and religious individuals and organizations such as people in monasteries, churches and synagogues. n25 Involvement in a valid armed jihad is not suicidal, because there is a probability that some members of the military will survive. International terrorists are increasingly employing suicide as a mode of carrying out their operations. If armed jihad is permitted under certain conditions in Islam, suicide is completely outlawed. n26 Islam views life as a trust property to the individual, who does not own that life and so cannot determine whether to continue with it or terminate it at will. Islam's sanction for suicide is that it is a religious sin and [*166] that for rejecting Allah's award, one will be denied salvation in the Hereafter, the main incentive for being a Muslim in the first place. Challenging declarants of armed jihad on the basis of Islamic law would have exposed their incompetence, not having a reputation of being jurists, or controlling a discrete political territory. By such a challenge, the stage would have been set for an intellectual warfare in the Islamic tradition and which terrorists cannot win. Moreover, their claim of loyalty to Islam would have been discredited if they succeed in carrying out any terrorist activity, and they would be unable to recruit people or attract funds or sympathy based on Islam. An honest commitment to engaging Islamic law in dealing with Muslims, rather than an aim of causing disaffection, is very promising and deserves critical evaluation. One will have no difficulty agreeing with a commentator when he states: "The invocation of Islamic law would constitute a powerful tool in the delegitimization of the Islamic framework within which Muslim terrorists operate and raise funds. The invocation of Islamic law would be of considerable help in the areas of extradition, prosecution and punishment of Muslim terrorists. However, its most immediate effect would be to peel the label of 'Muslim' off the perpetrators of this new type of war which goes on under the name of Islam." n27 Therefore, the right issue to raise in discussing the potential role of Islamic law in combating international terrorism, primarily against the U.S., is to ask what constraints there are militating against its engagement in framing U.S. policies toward Muslim countries? There are many advantages for considering this issue. The first is that policies that take cognizance of Islamic law principles will possess determinacy and permanence in the U.S. relationship with Muslim States as well as confer legitimacy on the relationship in the Muslim world in the long term. It will then be hard for revolutionaries or extremists to upstage such a relationship even when they gain power. The pre "September-eleventh" binary U.S. relation with Islam is erroneous. Islam is seen as belonging either to conservatism, represented by governments in the Middle East, or radicalism, represented by dissidents or terrorists. There is a tendency to believe [*167] that politicians have exploited to their advantage the general misconception of Islam by the American people and the misconception of Americans by Muslims. n28 Thus, U.S. foreign policy toward Muslim countries, and by extension development of international law, will be enriched and becomes more astute if it confers with scholars of Islamic law who are apologetic neither to those in power nor to those committed to seizing power in Muslims countries by preaching violence. n29 It is beyond doubt that there is a strand of Islam that comports with democracy and participation, transparency, human rights, freedom, and pluralism. n30 Because conservatives in government are able to impede freedom at the behest of the U.S. and the extremists are in the [*168] minority in the Muslim world, there is no long-term destabilization in foresight. In addition to encouraging authorities in the Middle East to rethink their commitment to effective governance, an Islamic-law based policy will help shape the structure of governance and will stabilize various countries in Africa and Asia where Muslims are trying to assert or rediscover their Islamic identity and where extremists, whose rhetoric of establishing an "Islamic State" is not accompanied by a sound articulation of that concept in a globalized world, may take advantage of this sentiment. Aside of terrorism, another crucial area where involvement of Islamic law will be fruitful is in the protection of the global environment, where humans have collectively unleashed horror on other living organisms. Collaborating with some N.G.O.'s and the World Bank, certain Muslim communities in Tanzania and, lately, Indonesia, have looked inward to Islamic environmentalism in assisting the local people in the management of their sensitive environments. n31 Other than in few instances, the international consensus on the environment has not been satisfactorily implemented

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in many Muslim countries, despite a robust conservation and environmental regime of Islam. The condition of the environment of Muslim countries do not fare any better than other developing countries. Islamic law, which enjoins moderation in use and consumption of resources even in the midst of plenty, can be properly deployed to address the upsurge in uncontrollable consumerism in Muslim countries. n32 Embrace of Islamic law's provisions of environmentalism by over a billion Muslims in the world will advance [*169] the effort of the international community in achieving sustainable use of resources for a permanent well being of the global environment. n33 As indicated above, a profligate lifestyle of consumption of resources, even where one is affordable, is contrary to Islam's environmentalism and that is an appropriate battlefield for Muslims to declare jihad. n34 Protection of the global environment is an appropriate field for jihad and self-exertion in order to lead the way on how to halt the endless war on defenseless non-human life forms of the earth and preclude their third-worldly claim to exemption from global environmental commitments. Already there has been a noticeable shift in both the process and content of U.S. foreign policies at the wake of the September-eleventh events just as there is an unprecedented coalition of states and other responses at the U.N. n35 The world has literally shifted even as we are [*170] yet to grasp the extent of this shift. n36 We have also noticed the subsequent critical inquiry about provisions of Islamic law on all issues raised by the catastrophic events, instead of being content with stereotypes. Yet, the proposition here is that to achieve a permanent platform for effective resolution of issues of international concern with Muslim states, Islamic law, rather than parochial views of conservative governments or violent responses of extremists, must remain a permanent factor. Domestically, the U.S. should have further incentive for engagement of Islamic law. A sizable number of its population is Muslim. Some of the Muslims are African Americans who are not latter day immigrants and who have been indigenous to the country since the ante bellum America when they were denied their religious freedom. n37 Hence, Islam is part of, and not foreign to, America. But even as there is yet to be an acceptance of Muslims of any persuasion as part of mainstream America, the country has come of age and barriers are breaking down. Therefore, American Muslims, who combine Islam's rich intellectual pluralism with American democratic ideals, strengthened by their wealth and freedom from disabling and distorting local traditions, stand the best chance among the communities of Muslims in this era to take up the challenge of restoring Islam's tradition of intellectual discourse for addressing numerous problems that confront Muslims the world over. Another dimension of the September eleventh event is that the internal struggle for Islam between the conservatives and the radicals [*171] has heightened, and the task before everyone (and perhaps a reconstituted O.I.C. Islamic Fiqh Academy, or any other legitimate body) is to articulate how Muslims will embrace real democratization and at the same time limit secularization to preserve ethical and spiritual values. Islamic law, especially the aspect that applies to public life, has challenges of modernity to confront, having been in abeyance for some time. International terrorism, which is clearly un-Islamic, or extremism, which does not represent Islam's intellectual pluralism, are settled matters and should not be part of this challenge. Externally, involving Islamic law in addressing international terrorism and management of the global environment is an indication of how it may assist in addressing, on a long-term basis, wider issues of international concern. Legal Topics: For related research and practice materials, see the following legal topics: Criminal Law & ProcedureCriminal OffensesCrimes Against PersonsTerrorismGeneral OverviewInternational LawDispute ResolutionLaws of WarInternational LawSovereign States & IndividualsHuman RightsTerrorism FOOTNOTES:

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n1 See generally, FRANK E. VOGEL, ISLAMIC LAW AND LEGAL SYSTEMS: STUDIES OF SAUDI ARABIA (2000), and NIZAR O. MADANI, THE ISLAMIC CONTENT OF THE FOREIGN POLICY OF SAUDI ARABIA: KING FAISAL'S CALL FOR ISLAMIC SOLIDARITY 1965-1971 (unpublished Pd. D. thesis, American University, Washington, D.C. (1977)). n2 U.N. Charter art. 1(1). n3 Islamic law consideration is still one of the important factors that drive foreign policy objectives of a number of Muslims States. SHIREEN T. HUNTER, THE FUTURE OF ISLAM AND THE WEST: CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS OR PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE? 148 (1998). n4 U.N. Charter art. 51. n5 The monist normative approach to both domestic and international law derives from the injunction: "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety." Qur'an 5:9. n6 "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other)." Qur'an 49:13. "And if your Lord had willed, He verily would have made mankind one nation yet they cease not differing." Qur'an 7:118. Because of its moral content, the law seeks to and does bind the state and the individual. n7 MUHAMMAD T. GHUNAYMI, THE MUSLIM CONCEPTION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE WESTERN APPROACH, 91 (1968). n8 Members of the O.I.C. are required to take "necessary measures to support international peace and security founded on justice", instead of on "justice and international law" as contained in the U.N. Charter art. 1. See Charter of the O.I.C., art. II(A)4, 914 U.N.T.S. 111-116 (1974). n9 Since states are considered to be sovereigns, the only manner they can be bound is through their consent, actual or assumed. Anthony D'Amato, What Counts as Law?, in LAWMAKING IN THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY, 83, 99 (Nicholas G. Onuf ed., 1982). n10 The call for a New International Economic Order was based on the assumption of a universal standard of fairness. See e.g. Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order UNGA Res. 3201 (S-VI), 6 (Special) U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 1) at 3, U.N. Doc.A/9556 (1974); and Program of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order, UNGA Res. 3202 (S-VI), 6 (Special) U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 1) at 5, U.N. Doc.A/9556 (1974). The ICJ suggests that "elementary consideration of humanity" could form the basis of an international moral standard. Corfu Channel Case (U.K. v. Albania), I.C.J. 4, 22 (1949). n11 See M.C. Bassiouni, protection of Diplomats Under Islamic Law, 74 AM. J. INT'L. L. 74 (1980). n12 CHRISTOPHER G. WEERAMANTRY, ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE: AN INTERNATIONAL

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PERSPECTIVE, 166 (1988). n13 See generally H.A.R. GIBB, MOHAMMEDANISM: AN HISTORICAL SURVEY (1970). n14 "Islamic law is the epitome of Islamic thought, the most typical manifestation of the Islamic way of life, the core and kernel of Islam itself." JOSEPH SCHACHT, AN INTRODUCTION TO ISLAMIC LAW 1 (1964). n15 "The law of God remains the law of God even though there is no one to enforce it." S.G. Vesey-Fitzgerald, Nature and Sources of the Sharia, in LAW IN THE MIDDLE EAST 85, 85 (Majid Khadduri and Herbert J. Liebesny eds., 1955). God's law even if no enforcer n16 There is little evidence that Muslims resent the American people. The writer is aware that in many Middle East countries, establishments and organizations go to suspicious length in according respect and preferential treatment to Americans from employment to airport treatment. Muslims' resentment is toward the U.S. government. See Nora Boustani, Arab Media Send Out Dual Message on U.S.: Terrorism Is Condemned But Policy Is Criticized, WASH. POST, Sept. 17, 2001, at A7. n17 OSCAR SCHACHTER, INTERNATIONAL LAW IN THEORY AND PRACTICE, 163 (1991). n18 Terrorism has transformed since the 1970's from the taking of hostages, plane hijacking, car bombs at public or diplomatic premises, and their profiles have become unpredictable. The nine anti-terrorism conventions that have entered into force are: - Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (Hague Convention, 1970): applies to aircraft hijackings. - Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation (Montreal Convention, 1971): applies to acts of aviation sabotage, such as bombings aboard aircraft in flight. - Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons (1973): protects senior government officials and diplomats. - International Convention against the Taking of Hostages (Hostages Convention, 1979). - Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (1980) (on nuclear material protection). - Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation (1988): extends the provisions of the Montreal Convention to encompass terrorist acts at airports serving international civil aviation. - Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (1988): applies to terrorist activities on ships. - Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (1988): applies to terrorist activities on fixed offshore platforms. - International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing (1997): expands the legal framework for international cooperation in the investigation, prosecution and extradition of persons who engage in terrorist bombings. Among other regional conventions is Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Combating International Terrorism, adopted at Ouagadougou on July 1, 1999. See Visited October 10, 2001. n19 "Terrorists unleashed an astonishing air assault on America's military and financial power centers yesterday morning, hijacking four commercial jets and then crashing them into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside." Michael Grunwald, Terrorists Hijack Four Airliners,

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Destroy World Trade Center, Hit Pentagon; Hundreds Dead Bush Promises Retribution; Military Put on Highest Alert, WASH. POST Sept. 12, 2001, at A01. n20 "The ruling to kill Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it". From Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, February 23, 1998. See http://www.washingtonpost/wp-srv/world/binladen Visited October 13, 2001. n21 GHUNAYMI, supra note 7, at 164; MAJID KHADDURI, (trans.), Introduction, in ISLAMIC LAW OF NATIONS: SHAYBANI'S SIYAR, 15(1966). n22 Even in self-defense, Muslims were initially forbidden from fighting; the first verse permitting fighting (in self-defense) uses the derivative word in Arabic Q.T.L., meaning combat and warfare rather than the all-inclusive J.H.D.: "To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged Qur'an 22: 39. Several other verses where armed struggle alone is intended employ the same term. For instance, "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for God loveth not transgressors." Id. 2: 190; "and fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together". Id. 9:36. See further id. 2:191, 2:195, 2:246, 3:13, 3:195, 4:74-5, 4:89, 4:91, 9:5, 9:111, 63:4. n23 For example, no one can impute warfare to the employment of the word "jihad" (strive) in the following verse without rendering it meaningless: "We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou has no knowledge, obey them not." Qur'an 29:8 (emphasis added). See also id. 31:15. n24 KHADDURI, supra note 21, at 59. Combating assimilative colonialism, such as one fought by the Algerians against French occupation, or the Afghans against the Soviet Union, could qualify for a valid armed jihad. n25 During armed jihad Muslims are not permitted to commit transgression, and they are specifically not allowed to kill animals or destroy trees. Reflecting the practice of the Prophet, Abu Bakr gave the famous order to Yazid ibn Sufyan, the commander of an army that went to Sham or Great Syria: "And I instruct you [to fulfill the following] ten [orders]: do not kill a woman, nor a child, nor an old man; do not cut down fruitful trees; do not destroy [land or housing] in use; do not kill a goat or a camel unless for food; do not flood palm trees [with water] nor burn them down . . ." MALIK IBN ANAS, MUWATTA' 918 (Abdel-Magid Turki ed. and trans., 1994). n26 "Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God hath been to you most Merciful! If any do that in rancour and injustice,--soon shall we cast them into fire: and easy it is for God." Qur'an 4:29-30. The Prophet (S.A.W.) said: "He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hellfire (forever), and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hellfire." MUHAMMAD I. AL-BUKHARI, 2 SAHIH AL-BUKHARI: THE TRANSLATION OF THE MEANINGS OF SAHIH AL-BUKHARI 446 (M.M. Khan trans., 1985). One will draw a connection between Islam's prohibition of suicide and the low rate of non-terrorist suicide among Muslims all over the world. n27 Yasin El-Ayouty, International Terrorism Under the Law, 5 ILSA J. NT'L. & Comp. L. 485, at 491 (1999).

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n28 Perhaps Americans now know about Islam in one month what they may not have known in ten years. In a poll conducted and broadcast by the ABC television network, over 60% American respondents are uninformed about Islam (Peter Jennings, Minefield: The U.S. and the Muslim World, ABC NEWS, aired October 11, 2001 10.00 P.M., E.T., <> Visited, Oct. 11, 2001). With an expected openness and candid iteration between the U.S. and Muslim countries, one expects a smooth relationship of different civilizations. A scholar rightly noted: "For there can be little doubt that the three antagonistic and militant civilizations of the world are those of Christendom, Islam, and China. When these are unifies, or come to a mutual understanding, then and only then, will the cause of civilization be secure." DUNCAN B. MACDONALD, DEVELOPMENT OF MUSLIM THEOLOGY, JURISPRUDENCE AND CONSTITUTION, 6 (1903). n29 One author characterizes Islamic extremists as outfits without any form of governmental power and a little more than zeal for power using Islam as an instrument. He adds: "The real stake in these contests is not Islam, but power. The battle centers on the seat of power. But this de facto political struggle in the name of Islam must still be justified by the medium of 'Islam,' and it is here that the seat of authority becomes an issue." MEHDI MOZAFFARI, AUTHORITY IN ISLAM: FROM MUHAMMAD TO KHOMEINI, 106 (1987). n30 See generally FARID ESACK, QUR'AN, LIBERATION AND PLURALISM: AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE OF INTERRELIGIOUS SOLIDARITY AGAINST OPPRESSION 147 (1997), ABDULLAHI A. AN-NA'IM, TOWARD AN ISLAMIC REFORMATION: CIVIL LIBERTIES, HUMAN RIGHT, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW 34-68 (1996); LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, ISLAM AND JUSTICE: DEBATING THE FUTURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA 115-125 (1997). n31 In a small Muslim-populated island in Zanzibar, Tanzania, an area that is renown for coral and sea turtles was subjected to overfishing through dynamite. The fishing practices of the community has changed, resulting in an upward count in the community's reserve due to an environmental education program based on Islamic environmentalism. A similar program based on the same strategy is being undertaken, through the World Bank, in Indonesia. See Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), The Application of Islamic Environmental Ethics to Promote Marine Conservation in Zanzibar: A Case Study 1 (unpublished document on file with the author). n32 See Ali Ahmad and Carl Bruch, Maintaining Mizan: Protecting Biodiversity in Muslim Communities in Africa, 31 Envtl. L. Rep., xx (2001 forthcoming). n33 When Muslim States decide to take regulatory advantage conferred by Islamic law, which places water, air, the wilderness, and most natural resources in the public domain rather than subject them to underlying private proprietorship, they would have contributed positively to the global environmental consensus because the content of harm prevention, which is a fundamental object of Islam's environmental policy, resulting from these elements will be determined by reference to the abiding interest of the public rather than the transient financial interests of individual owners. n34 It must be made clear that it is not all armed conflicts engaged in by Muslims that amount to jihad, as we are led to believe. Indeed, jihad is not all about armed conflict. No Muslim State has declared jihad against degradation of the environment, a typical battle field for a quintessential Islamic jihad involving forbearance and struggle against self indulgence. It is not easy, but retreating from the current urge for infinite production and consumption, excessive materialism, and the culture of waste generation will indeed constitute jihad par

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excellence in this age. n35 See William Drozdiak, Crisis Forces Shift in Policy As Bush Assembles Coalition, WASH. POST, Sept. 17, 2001, at A9. Apart from UN General Assembly and the Security Council resolutions condemning the September 11 attacks, the Security Council unanimously adopted legally binding Resolution 1373 requiring all countries to immediately implement measures to crack down on terrorism, including criminalizing willful financing and funding of terrorism and freezing terrorist-related funds. Lynch, Anti-terrorism Resolution Adopted in UN, WASH. POST, Sept. 29, 2001, at A1. n36 In a changing world, one of many options for the only superpower is to adapt and brace up for a new role that is determined, not by use of hegemonic power, but by a consideration of a threshold universal standard of equity and fairness among states. It is the prerogative of the U.S., if it is in its "national interest", to offer unqualified support to any country of its choice against U.N. resolutions supported by other Western countries, or to court governments that engage in violations of rights of their citizens contrary to international expressions and guarantees for such rights. The successful abuse of Islamic law by terrorists and the appeal that such has simply because it is expressed in Islamic terms cannot be permanently curtailed unless policies that address the issues of universal fairness are addressed. n37 Sulayman S. Nyang, Islam in America: An Historical Perspective, 2 AM. MUSLIM Q. 7, at 10 (1998), SYLVIANE A. DIOUF, SERVANTS OF ALLAH: AFRICAN MUSLIMS ENSLAVED IN THE AMERICAS 15 (1998).