In the media today, unjust stereotypes and misconceptions about Islamic law abound. Yet, in the piece we share with you this week, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, president of Sound Vision, reminds us that the Supreme Court honored the Prophet Muhammad as one of the greatest lawgivers in history. Imam Mujahid shows us that the Prophet's peaceful approach to the enforcement of law stands in stark contrast to the unjust War on Drugs that exists in the United States today.
We would like to thank Imam Mujahid for offering us a more just approach to drug policy out of the rich resources of Islamic tradition.
Rev. Alexander E. Sharp
Executive Director, Clergy for a New Drug Policy
By Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid
“It will lead to the escalation of the social and armed conflict, fail to solve the drug trafficking problem, endanger the peace process... and further worsen the social and political crisis,” wrote a coalition of 73 Colombian non-governmental organizations to the United States 15 years ago.
With such dire warnings and dangerous rhetoric, what “it” could they be referring to? None other than the so-called American “War on Drugs.” These far-reaching social implications mirror those of the War on Terror, another example of military rhetoric that some United States officials use to describe social policy agendas.
I am against terrorism but cannot support the War on Terror. The same is true about the drug war. I am against drugs but oppose the War on Drugs. It seems that any time we use the term “war,” we mean a license to be lawless and, shall I say, valueless. We have declared something as an enemy and become ruthless toward it.
Although Muslim chemists gave the world the term “alcohol”, an Arabic word, it is a sin in Islam to consume intoxicants. It was also declared a criminal act for Muslims in the peace sanctuary of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
However, the Prophet did not approach this illegality the way we do in the U.S. today. He was a leader of the peace movement of his time. He used a combination of spiritual connection with God and a message of mercy and forgiveness, serving humanity around him, along with providing a minimum set of laws, to achieve a peaceful society.