Examining the crossroads of religion and politics

Examining the crossroads of religion and politics. What does “Amr b maroof va nahyeh az monkar” mean? Literally, it means, “Commanding what is good, and forbidding what is evil.” Why is it important? It is important because in the Qur’an Muslims are advised to respect this exhortation. Another heeding to Muslims with respect to confronting oppression and evil is, “to stop it with one’s hands, or in the absence of that ability to stop it with one’s tongue, or in the absence of that ability to hate it in one’s heart” (but in no wise to be indifferent to it.) Why am I bringing this matter up now? I am bringing this matter up because it seems obvious that to be able to effectively honor this religious admonition on a mass or public scale (though not necessarily on an individual level) certain pre-conditions need to exist in an Islamic society: the first pre-condition being freedom of speech (and by extension freedom from press censorship in order to allow the public to be made aware of a status quo that may be faulty and may need to be remedied); the second pre-condition being freedom of action (and by extension freedom to form political parties to challenge the status quo, that the first pre-condition has identified as being flawed and in need of remedy.) Restrictions in Muslim societies which lead to press censorship, and which limit the formation and participation of political parties are restrictions which prevent Muslims from fully observing and practising the requirements of their faith.

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