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Building Blocks of Peace Within the Movement

To have peace within the Islamic movement requires the presence of two things without which the movement will not end with a good result but will remain weak and ineffective as have many movements in the past who have come to the fore then disappeared because they did not have realistic building blocks for the movement.

This applies to both the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds. Hence the Islamic movement should observe these two matters from the initial stages of its formation so that it may reach the desired goal. These two matters are:

Firstly: Free and fair elections within the movement itself and a balance of power. Naturally splits will form in the movement. This is customary in life. However between these splits there must be equality, balance and competence so that a single group is not able to take control of the movement and derail the movement towards dictatorship.

Any movement can be taken from reality to dictatorship simply by one group gaining authority over the other groups. This spells death for the movement even if the movement remains alive superficially.

Before the western military coups in Iraq and although British colonialism was in authority at that time, it was not as powerful and sharp as the colonialism that those who called themselves repub licans brought. They were not in fact republicans, not al-Karim, nor al-Salaam, nor his brother, nor al-Bakr, nor those who came after him.

They were nothing but agents of Britain, Israel and America. In any case, at the time of the monarchy, many political parties whether they called themselves the National Party or the Progressive Party, or even the Islamic Party, all failed for the reason that at the very beginning a colonialist or despotic group gained control over them and there were no free elections, equalities o r distribution of power.

This should be a lesson to us. The Islamic movement must have power b ases within it, which are both equal and competitive, b ut the competition should be towards the good and not the bad, towards decisive action and attracting the people and raising standards. As Allah has said in three verses from the Holy Qur'an: { . . . and for this let the competitors compete for.} (3:133), and { . . . and race each other for forgiveness from your Lord.} (2:148), and { . . . and race for the good things.} (5:48).

Whatever the case may be, it is imperative that the Islamic movement should observe peace between the different groups of the movement and if dictatorship should gain power over the movement then there will be no peace, for peace is bred from equal power bases. If dictatorship were to gain po wer it would not change and the movement would not be able to change it. Then this group would act despotically with the finances,

the rep utation of the mo vement and with the will of the mo vement. We have seen how easy it was for colonialism to take the reins of power from the dictators because the public was taken out of the equation and the power was present in four, five or ten people only. However, if the movement had been a popular movement then colonialism would not have been able to take the reins of power from the people.

It is then imperative that the movement observe the following two points. First, the movement should comprise of different branches, equally balanced powers, and different groups each with their own currents and trends even though the framework is one, which is the popular Islamic movement.

It is only natural that people's tastes are different and each person should be allowed to propose his own opinion in a climate of complete freedom be that in speech, writing, in gatherings or on travels. Every person should work according to his own opinion as we see in action amongst religious jurists.

Their framework is the Qur'an and the Sunnah, consensus and intellect but they still differ in the particularities in all the areas of jurisprudence. This is the case for doctors, engineers, and astronomers in the gatherings of the free or semi- free nations.

Seco ndly, the movement should also hold free elections annually or biennially. The mark o f free elections is a complete change fro m top to bottom not fraudulent elections as in some nations, parties and organisations where the leaders do not change and only a few things change as a tactic.

Another mark of fair elections is that the number of votes ranges from small to large like 51% or 55% or 60%. As for forged elections like those of the Ba'thists or the Nationalists we see 99% of the votes going to the former president and 1% going to his opponent or even less. This is no thing but fraud, lies, and does nothing but compound the dictatorship. A p olitical scientist has laid do wn two criteria for assessing whether a country is free or not. The first is to see whether the leaders change once every four years.

The second is to see whether the people are able to speak freely in the streets or write what they wish or publish magazines and newspapers as they wish. These two criteria must be observed within the movement itself so that the movement can be fully free on the condition that this freedom be within an Islamic framework.

Through this, the movement may be able to continue to expand and progress and will be accompanied by peace. In this way the movement will end in the government of one billion Muslims by the leave of Allah.

Adapted from the book: "War, Peace & Non-Violence" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Shirazi"

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