Defining a Secularist
Contrary to what some people think, a secularist is not necessarily an atheist. Some secularists are actually quite regular in their prayers. However, they believe that religion belongs in the mosque and that the role of religious scholars should be confined to presiding over marriage ceremonies and funerals. In no event, should their role be broadened further than that. They see that politics has nothing to do with religion. One of their number, `Alî `Abd al-Razzâq, wrote a book entitled Islam and the Principles of Governance wherein he denies that Islam has any relationship to politics and claims that the caliphate is an institution that has no basis in the sacred texts. He argues that the caliphate was an institution based on custom and personal juristic opinion and that it could easily be abolished. A book entitled From Here We Begin, espousing the very same ideas, was written by Khâlid Muhammad Khâlid, who later publicly recanted for the falsehood and unbelief contained in his book.
Some secularists are indeed atheists, but this does not prevent them from pandering to the religious sentiment of the people. This is why we see that some of the most ardent secularists who initially showed the most hostility to Islam later on started talking about concepts like “Islamic socialism” and “Islamic democracy”. One of them went so far as to claim that there is nothing to prevent the existence of Islamic communism. All of this is clearly evident from their writings. Some of them even made their true intentions explicit, like the one who said: “The issue at hand is that of riding the wave of popular sentiment. Today the people are turning to Islam. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with us raising the Islamic banner so we can ride the current as long as we have to. Afterwards, we will be able to realize our aims and objectives.”
The secularist basically calls for the separation of religion from politics. They claim that religion is too lofty, too pure, to sublime to become involved in politics. In other words, what they are saying is that religion should make a retreat and leave our lives to be governed by a Godless law. Allah says: “Do they seek after a judgment of the times of ignorance? But who gives a better judgment than Allah for a people whose faith is assured?” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 50]
The secularist accuses those who speak in the name of Islam of having ulterior motives. In a book entitled The Crisis of the Arab Intellectual one leading secularists describes religious currents in society in the following way: “Generally, the people behind such religious movements are seeking political power or have their own personal agendas or are ethnically motivated. They seek to realize their goals under the pretence of religion so they can capitalize on the religious sentiments of the people.”
The secularist calls for religion to be removed from education. One of them went so far as to say: “Education in America is of a very high standard because they teach small children to question everything from the time their fingernails are still soft. The child is raised to accept nothing without evidence. As for our countries, we teach our children how to clean themselves after going to the bathroom. We bring a bowl of water and say: ‘In the name of Allah’. This is what they learn. The Americans have a high standard of education, because they teach a child to doubt everything, including religion.”
What is strange is that a number of years ago, a book was published entitled America in Danger that was put together by a committee of eighteen specialists in various fields over the course of a year and a half. One of the most important recommendations given in the book to strengthen the nation and protect it from destruction was to increase religious education and cultivate strong religious sentiments in the American student. This would protect them from the corruption and debasement that prevents them from making their desired contribution to society.
While Americans and others – even the Russians – are asking to bring Allah back into the schools, these secularists in our lands want to remove religion from our children’s education and replace subjects like Qur’ân and Islamic Studies with more sports and science.
The secularists also want to get religion out of the media and even out of the arts. In short, they want to remove religion from every aspect of our lives.