The following are the Consensus and Resolutions approved at the Muslim Institute World Seminar on ‘Muslim political thought during the colonial period’ held in London from 3-6 August, 1986. They were published in Crescent International, 1-15 September, 1986, and reprinted in Issues in the Islamic movement, Vol. 7, 1986-87 (1405-06), pp. 40-42.
Conclusions and recommendations of the World Seminar on ‘Muslim political thought during the colonial period’ (London: August 6-9, 1986)
A world seminar of ulama, scholars, teachers, writers, students and others active in the Islamic movement, representing all schools of thought in Islam, met in London from August 6-9, 1986. The seminar was convened by the Muslim Institute. For four days the seminar considered numerous papers presented by participants, and an even larger number of papers were circulated.
After careful reading, debate and consideration of all the material, evidence and views presented before it, this seminar has come to the following conclusions:
1. That the work of the Islamic movement is based on taqwa; there is only one goal and method in Islam and, therefore, all parts of the movement should work together in harmony and understanding.
2. That those Muslims who, for whatever reason or intent, collaborated with the colonial powers, acted against the larger interests of the Ummah; their conduct was against the well-known and unanimously accepted injunctions of the Qur’an and Sunnah, and their actions gave strength to kufr at the expense of Islam.
3. That the political ideas of those who accepted the paramountcy of the colonial powers had no basis or justification in Islam; for the most part the political ideas of this period had their origin outside Islam and outside the traditional roots of Muslim political thought and behaviour.
4. That the political ideas originating in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly those expressed in such terms as democracy, freedom, equality, fraternity, representative government and women’s liberation, were in fact designed to give an acceptable face to the European drive to disintegrate the world, especially the world of Islam, and to acquire political, cultural and economic control over all parts of the world and its resources.
5. That the division of the Muslim Ummah into nation-States is a direct result of colonial political thought and the greed, subservience and opportunism of those who collaborated with the colonial powers; as such the Islamic movement must aim at the eventual dissolution and dismantling of these nation-States.
6. That participation in political activity within the colonial framework of nation-States and political parties and groups is essentially secular even when undertaken in the name of Islam.
7. That the Islamic parties and groups that emerged during the colonial period have embodied and expressed the political faith and vision of Islam in the most difficult years of our history, when no Islamic State existed on the map of the world; in this area the most outstanding contribution has been made by the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen and Jama‘at-e lslami.
8. That the Islamic Revolution in Iran is the only instance in modern history when the power of kufr has been openly and comprehensively defeated by an Islamic movement; this victory over kufr has been possible for three reasons relevant to this seminar: (a) because the leadership in Iran was unaffected by colonial political thought, and emerged from the political roots of Islam itself; (b) because the ulama mobilized the political power of the Muslim masses and prepared them to fight for Islam, and (c) because the Islamic movement in Iran set out to challenge, defeat and abolish the established order, and made no compromise with it.
9. That today the power of kufr is organized and represented by a network of inter-related global political, social, cultural and economic systems; the Muslim ruling classes in the States created under colonialism are integral parts of the power of global kufr; it is this fact that explains the complicity of the Iraqi regime and its regional and global supporters in the imposition of a most destructive war on the Islamic State of Iran.
Having reached the above conclusions, this seminar makes the following recommendations:
1. That all those active in the Islamic movement should make an all-out effort to expose the true nature of the political ideas, institutions and processes introduced into Muslim societies under the influence of colonialism;
2. That a programme of courses, seminars and lectures should be arranged in all parts of the world to refute the conceptual and philosophical foundations of colonial political thought;
3. That the ulama and scholars should write and publish books and papers dealing with the issues of corruption, disintegration, moral decline and political subservience introduced under the influence of colonial political thought;
4. That, despite the political control over universities exercised by secular governments, Muslim academics working in them should, as far as possible, try to remodel the teaching of such subjects as political science and modern history in the light of views expressed and conclusions reached at this seminar;
5. That ulama in all parts of the world, and of all schools of thought, should introduce the teaching of the political goals of Islam and the methods of political action in Islam in educational institutions under their control;
6. That arrangements should be made for the publication of an academic ‘Journal of Muslim Political Thought’ in several languages.