Abdurraheem Green on the relationship between Muslims and non-believers

Posted on November 8, 2015


As you would expect, David Cameron’s speech on tackling extremism earlier this year didn’t go down well with iERA boss, Abdurraheem Green. This is a part of Green’s response on Islam Channel:

[the definition of Islamism] is becoming bigger and bigger. Now, anyone who believes in Khilafah, anyone who thinks Islam, believes you have a religious world view, this is what they’re including now – a religious world view, you are an extremist or you’re opening the doors to extremism. I mean this is basically almost every single Muslim you can imagine, except those people who have such a warped and liberal idea of Islam most normal Muslims wouldn’t be able to recognise it as Islam at all. So the polemic coming out of Cameron really seems to be against generality of Islam and Muslims.

Leaving aside any argument about what kind of beliefs should fall under ‘extremism’, Cameron did not make any bigoted remarks about Muslims or slag off Muhammad. I wonder what Green’s reaction would have been had Cameron included something along these lines:

The Muslims who are not against us, be kind to them, treat them well but do not side with, or take as allies, these people as they are outside our ranks. They will lead us away from Christianity and towards Islam.

Someone asked me yesterday if it was OK to see a psychiatrist who is a Muslim. How can we, as Christians, take help and guidance from a Muslim? From someone who is guided by the Prophet Muhammad. He or she will not fail to corrupt you.

If you truly love Christianity, how can you love someone who follows the Prophet Muhammad? How can you feel comfortable with that aspect of a person? If you have a Muslim wife, of course you can love her, but you should never love her in the way that you love your fellow Christians. If you were to do so, you would be treating her in the same way that we treat Christians, and she would think everything is fine. But it is not fine. There is something seriously wrong – she says Muhammad is a prophet of God. This is one of the terrible things that Muslims say.

My point is that love with allegiance should be for Christians, not Muslims.

British Muslims would be fuming. Cameron would have to do a bunk to Mexico.

In 2006 Green gave a talk which covered ‘Al-Wala’ Wal-Bara’ (loyalty and disavowal), providing the audience with the following knowledge:

  • The devil was responsible for turning children into Jews or Christians.
  • It is forbidden for Muslims to take non-believers as close friends or advisors.
  • Jews and Christians should be fought until they pay the jizya so that they know they are inferior and subjugated to Islam.
  • In an Islamic state Christians would not be allowed to display a cross or construct new churches.
  • The Charter of Human Rights is in direct opposition to Islam by granting the freedom to change or leave one’s religion. An environment should be created where people are pressured or even forced to remain upon the truth that is Islam.
  • During the question and answer section an angry member of the audience put it to Green that Muslims should not pressure anyone to follow Islam. Green responded: “If we want to go into this, it’s easy for me to prove if anyone has knowledge that what I said is right, OK? For example, open Bukhari you will find the hadith that if you find the Jew or a Christian walking down the street, push them to the side. It is well-known from what Umar ibn al-Khattab and the khulafa ar rashidin used to implement, that the Jew and Christian was not allowed to ride on a horse when the Muslim is riding on a horse. They would have to walk.”

Video footage and a transcript of the talk can be found here.

That was almost a decade ago. Green’s views could have changed since then.

I came across a more recent talk of Green’s on the same subject, this time in Norway during Islam.Net’s 2012 Peace Conference. The language has softened, and the references to hadiths glorifying discrimination against Jews and Christians are not there, but the message is much the same.

He begins by explaining that Muslims should be kind and just towards non-Muslims who are not at war with Muslims or Islam…and then comes a ‘however’:

…the warning that Allah (SWT) is giving us, as taking the people who are not Muslim as awliya, Allah warns us against it severely. And there are other verses, these are just some of them but they are strong enough and they are clear enough. These are not verses that are confusing or that are unclear. They are very clear.

At 16:55 he says:

Wala is a special type of love. It is a special type of friendship. And this is what is important. Unfortunately sometimes when you read the Quran in translation you may find that the word awliya is just translated as friends, whereas the term awliya does not mean friends. It is a special type of friend. And it’s that special type of friend that Allah is warning us, and cautioning us against taking a person who is not a Muslim, who is outside our ranks. He even warns us in one verse that if you take them as awliya they will not fail to corrupt you – meaning they will not fail to turn you away from your connection with Allah (SWT). That’s what it means, corruption. They will not fail to take you away from your deen if you make them as your awliya. So…it means love and siding. It means you love them and you take their side. You ally yourself with them. So it is not just love, but it is love and allegiance.

and at 21:22:

So lets take an example. Someone asked me yesterday about a Muslim going to a non-Muslim psychiatrist or psychologist. And this is very interesting because, again here, what do we find? It’s not like a doctor who is simply prescribing some medicine. The psychiatrist or psychologist is giving advice and guidance that is very, very close to the heart of the spiritual dimension of the human being. How then can we take guidance from a person who is not guided by the Quran? Who is not guided by the example of the Prophet (SAW). If you take that person as your awliya, meaning your protector, your ally, your confidant, your guide, and you love them with that type of love, Allah certainly speaks the truth. They will not fail to corrupt you.

Green spends the next twenty minutes describing the beauty of Islam before getting on to Christian and Jewish wives (54:40):

And if you truly love Allah, and you love the Prophet and you love his companions, logically, rationally, spiritually and emotionally, then how can you love people who oppose that? This is a very profound question you have to ask yourself. This is the reality of love. And when you love Allah and you understand, my brothers and sisters, what is the worst thing in the sight of Allah? The greatest evil and the greatest sin is what? Shirk. That someone, that a human being should make something equal with God is the most terrible and awful crime in the sight of God that a human being can ever commit. It’s the biggest injustice. It’s the greatest wrongdoing because God is so totally free of being unlike any created thing. Allah does not have the limitations or the shortcomings or the deficiencies of the creation. How, then, will you feel comfortable with that aspect of a person? That aspect of a person that makes shirk with Allah. And here is the important thing. If your wife is a Jew or Christian, brothers, for example if she was, of course you will love her. You will love her beauty, you will love her kindness, you will love that she cares for you, she gives you companionship. But the fact that she is making shirk with Allah, that dimension about her, you can never and must never love that person in the same way that you love a person of tawheed. You can’t. And if you do, in other words if you took her as an awliya, as that type of friend, then what would be the difference between, in your eyes, that person and a Muslim? Nothing. Then you would treat her like a Muslim. And even that person would never feel that there is something wrong. But there is something seriously wrong. They say Allah has a son. The heavens are ready to break asunder, the mountains ready to crumble, the whole earth is ready to split apart because of the terrible things they say. Terrible insult to Allah to say he has a son.

Summing up towards the end, he says (1:00:24):

But the point here is that, on a fundamental level, al-wala means that love with allegiance is for the Muslims. Al-bara, it doesn’t mean enmity, but it means the opposite – disavow. It means you don’t ally yourself, you disavow yourself. What do you do from the person who is a disbeliever? You disavow yourself from that aspect of them.

If David Cameron had said this about Muslims, you’d be shocked and appalled, right? Hearing Abdurraheem Green say it should have the same effect.

Green speaking at the Peace Conference Scandinavia 2012

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