It takes a nation to protect the nation
An ideology may be political, religious, or even purely philosophical. These categories are not exclusive. So, for example, Western Secular Democracy is a nearly completely a political ideology, thanks to the formal separation of Church and State starting from the Reformation. Islam is a political ideology with religious components (in the ration 80%-20% respectivley, according to Bill Warner).
It is extremely difficult to define metrics which would allow us to judge what is a purely religious ideology, but it is important to know this, since many exemptions and privileges are given to 'religion' in Western societies. However, it is much easier to define the characteristics of a political system. Therefore, this document defines 7 characteristics which may be used to qualify an ideology as political.
An ideology is identified as political, as it acquires its own:
In Islam, some of these components even have their own Islamic names (please tell me of any names I've missed out.
Point 1 is the idea of a Muslim politician and an Islamic political party. Sure, there are parties like the Christian Democrats in Europe, but the word Christian in their title is, as far as I know, a historical legacy, not a statement of ideological position. People like Tony Blair said they were a Christian, but rigorously removed any Christian sentiment when making political decisions (so was relieved when no longer Prime Minister, to convert to Catholicism). Even politicians who confess to being active Christians, will tend to only let their faith influence a small number of the decisions they have to face, like abortion and marriage. All the rest, like health, taxation, defence, police, etc, fall under the same winds of political influence for them, that the secularists have.
Buddhist politicians don't go around campaigning for everyone to meditate every day and walk around with their right shoulder bared. In fact the very term 'Buddhist politician' jars on ones intellect as an oxymoron: there are politicians that are Buddhist, yes, but a politician who supports Budslamic doctrine, well that's really hard to imagine, if you see what I mean there. Yet you know politicians who support Islamic doctrine, in fact who boast that its their whole raison d'etre.
Item 5 regarding dress code is even more stringent than most political movements, in the case of Islam, for Muslims must not even look like kuffar.
It is haraam to imitate the mushrikeen and kuffaar in their manner of dress, so it is not permissible to wear clothing that is unique to the kuffaar.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw ‘Ali wearing two garments dyed with safflower and said: “These are garments of the kuffaar; do not wear them.”
Narrated by Muslim, 2077
Interestingly enough, Secular Democracy scores 6, whereas Islam scores 7, so Islam qualifies even better as a political ideology than our Western democracies do. The scoring for Western Secular Democracy is lower because we our society has dropped principle 7 - that of attempting to pass on the principles of the society to its children.
For those who are not familiar with Islamic theory, I will list the correspondences.
These measurements will infuriate various leftist groups that wish to mask the political agendas of Islam under a confusing fog of mixed messages. However, it will come as no surprise to Muslims, who are very proud that Islam is a 'complete system', which covers all of society and all of personal life, from the private spiritual life of the individual, to the public operation of the entire society. They reject the notion of a separation of Church and State, and in truth, there is a paradoxical element to the latter concept - but not enough to justify its abandonment.
© Alan Lake (2012)