The lack of an ideology, for me, is the most refreshing aspect of this uprising. The stale rhetoric of “Islam is the solution” that has marked countless demonstrations for decades is absent. The pathetic socialist slogans of the Libyan revolution as well as the Syrian and Iraqi Arab nationalist slogans are all conspicuously absent. Islam is not a political ideology and hence does not offer a political solution per se; basic morality in politics is the solution. Most Muslims would be content living under Finnish or Swedish forms of governance, with a few adjustments to the sexual liberties in those countries, and feel as if it were the time of Saladin, given that they are committed to eradicating poverty and hunger, serving the aged, and even ensuring rights for dogs and cats. If you torture a dog in Stockholm, you go to jail. In the jails of Egypt, people can be tortured with impunity by dogs of the state....
....Islam is not an ideology, political or otherwise. It is a revelation from God that explains and reminds people of their duties toward their Creator in honoring and worshipping God with gratitude for the gift of life and all the concomitants of that gift, and of their duties toward their fellow creatures as unique and protected creations of God. Those duties are well described in all the Books sent by God and enshrined most succinctly in the Ten Commandments. Politics involves making sure the mail gets out, allotting appropriate monies for public works, and ensuring the security of a people from internal or external threats; all of these can be done without recourse to any specific religious tradition.
...The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, left no specific system of government; rather, he taught “constitutional” principles upon which governance should be based. Many of those principles, quite revolutionary at his time, have become common coin for most people today: the idea of equality among races and gender, the concept of economic justice, and the right of an individual to be protected in his person and property from unjust search or seizure. These are constitutional principles accepted by most governments today; whether they are practiced or not is another matter. There are, however, two clearly articulated aspects of governance that do have relevance in any state run by Muslims. The penal code of Islam was developed specifically for an Islamic polity, but only a few actual punishments are agreed upon, and the circumstances of its various applications are highly nuanced in Islamic legal texts, with an aim to avoid their implementation whenever possible. The gross and often perverse so-called “Islamic punishments” meted out today-invariably on the poorest and most helpless in societies-have nothing to do with the Prophet’s teaching, peace and blessings be upon him. Commercial law is, undeniably, another developed area in Islamic law that has implications in the running of a state.
- Excerpted from "When the Social Contract is Breached on One Side, It’s Breached on Both Sides"