HUFFINGTON POST says: “Portraits of American men and women who have converted to Islam challenge our perception of “‘America'”

BNI says: “No it doesn’t, because once Americans convert to Islam, their loyalty is to Islam, NOT America. They should be forced to give up U.S. citizenship.”

Huffington Post  In a repugnant series titled The Converts,” photographer Claire Beckett captures portraits of the American men and women who have chosen to convert to Islam.

SALIH

SALIH

“The project stems from ideas that have interested me in my work for years,” Becket explains on her website. “What does it mean to be an American? Who are we as a people, and how do we define ourselves? How do we understand our country in relation to other nations and cultures? In a society that, however falsely, often constructs ‘American’ and ‘Muslim’ as diametrical opposites, what is the experience of people who traversed this imagined line?”

APRIL & DAUGHTER SARAH

APRIL & DAUGHTER SARAH

In her brightly lit, saturated images, Beckett focuses on perception and identity, exploring not only the subjects’ physical image as “converts” but also the viewers’ understanding of religious culture in the U.S.

MARY

MARY

It’s not the first time Beckett has investigated the collision of historic and contemporary imagery in America. Her previous project, “Simulating Iraq,” highlighted the world of American military training camps preparing soldiers for deployment; bases that were made to look like Iraq and Afghanistan through the use of costumes, props and role-playing individuals.

IMAM SUHAIB WEBB

IMAM SUHAIB WEBB

TheReligionofPeace  In Islam, loyalty is to Allah and his religion.  It cannot be to a kafir country.  As the former mufti of the Grand Mosque in Mecca put it in a recent fatwa, “His homeland may be not Islamic, so how can he be loyal to his homeland?” 

PATRICIA & SON YUSEF

PATRICIA & SON YUSEF

Scholar Jamal Badawi insists that, “Muslims should not melt in any pot except the Muslim brotherhood pot.”

A CAIR executive director (in the United States) recently said, “if we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land.”

ROBBY

ROBBY

Islam teaches that nations are in one of two major categories – Dar-al Harb (house of war) and Dar-al-Islam (Muslim rule).  Any nation that is not Muslim is therefore, by definition, at war with Islam (or, at best, in contradiction to the preferred order).  Muslims cannot be expected to maintain loyalty to a nation that is at war with their religion.

HANS & TEACHER LOKMAN EFENDI

HANS & TEACHER LOKMAN EFENDI

One of the most influential Islamic scholars of the modern age, Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, says that Muslims have a duty to overthrow any non-Islamic governments by violent means.  He explains:

“Islam is not merely a belief, so that it is enough merely to preach it.  Islam, which is a way of life, takes practical steps to organize a movement for freeing man.  Other societies do not give it [Islam] any opportunity to organize its followers according to its own method, and hence it is the duty of Islam to annihilate all such systems, as they are obstacles in the way of universal freedom.  Only in this manner can the way of life be wholly dedicated to Allah, so that neither any human authority nor the question of servitude remains, as is the case in all other systems which are based on man’s servitude to man.” [Quoted from Andrew Bostom’s The Legacy of Jihad]

In a book promoted by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic scholar Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi writes that

 “Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation that rules it.  Islam requires the earth – not just a portion – but the whole planet.” (source)

Question:Can Muslim citizens be loyal to a non-Muslim government?

Summary Answer
:
Many Muslims are loyal to the non-Muslim countries in which they live, of course, but it is in spite of Islamic teaching.  Unlike other faiths, Islam is not just a religion but a political system as well.  The state is intended to be inseparable from religious rule.  Islamic law, or Sharia, is complete and not designed to coexist with or be subordinate to other legal systems.Muslims are not meant to be ruled by non-Muslims.  The Qur’an is very clear that they are to resist unbelievers by any means until Islam establishes political supremacy.  This doesn’t mean that everyone must be forced to become Muslim, but rather that everyone must submit to Muslim rule.

The Qur’an:
Qur’an (5:3) – “This day have I perfected your religion for you.”  This verse is often interpreted to mean that any government outside of Sharia is unnecessary at best, and corruptive at worst.Qur’an (18:26) – “[Allah] maketh none to share in his government.”  This was probably intended as a slam against polytheists and the Christian belief in the Trinity, but it has also been used as the basis for criticizing earthly governments.Qur’an (19:64) – “And we do not descend but by the command of your Lord; to Him belongs whatever is before us and whatever is behind us and whatever is between these, and your Lord is not forgetful.”Qur’an (4:141) – “…And never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way (to triumphs) over the believers.”Qur’an (63:8) – “…might belongeth to Allah and to His messenger and to the believers; but the hypocrites know not.”  The “hypocrites” are defined as Muslims in name only, those who do not submit to the theocracy of Allah.Qur’an (5:49) – “So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires, but beware of them lest they seduce thee from some part of that which Allah hath revealed unto thee”  Allah’s Qur’an takes priority over the desires of the people.  A democratic nation is by nature one that is not governed by Islamic law, meaning that a Muslim citizen would have divided loyalty.  It’s clear from this verse which side he must choose.Qur’an (3:28)  – “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.”  The word ‘friend’ is Awliyaa which is inclusive of friends, protectors and helpers – the components of civil society.  See also verse 5:51Qur’an (4:123) – “Not your desires, nor those of the People of the Book (can prevail): whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly. Nor will he find, besides Allah, any protector or helper.”

Qur’an (28:17) – “O my Lord! For that Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!”  It is difficult to reconcile this verse with the civic duty of a public office holder in a pluralistic society.

Qur’an (4:59) – “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you…”   Oddly enough, this verse is sometimes used in an attempt to make the case that Muslims should respect a non-Muslim civil government.  But a careful reading makes it clear that the rulers Muslims are to obey are from among their own body of believers.  This verse commands strict obedience to the leader (even if he steals and flogs them, according to a hadith reported by Sahih Muslim).  How can this refer to a non-Muslim leader when other parts of the Qur’an call for violent Jihad against persecution from non-believers?

See also 9:29, which establishes the ideal relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims.