Stands >2005 Stands >The Stand of  Ramadan 14, 1426H /October 18, 2005 A.D.

The security regimes

Sayyed Fadlullah: We do not accept replacing one security regime by another, but at the same time we should curb the backward trends that are growing in our countries like mushrooms. 

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: How does Islam view the security and intelligence regimes?

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:

Islam has always been concerned over the coherence and stability of the society that it deemed unlawful all forms of spying on people that aim at probing into their private affairs or identifying their points of weakness to extort them.

And since suspicion is one of the reasons that drive people to resort to spying on one another, the Glorious Quran urged the believers to avoid a lot of suspicion, since it will lead them to spying and consequently to commit sin and backbiting.

Thus Islam was quite firm in respecting private lives and not spying on them, whether in their houses or in their businesses, which, as it is known, has become facilitated by modern technology.

Islam, for example, prevents all kinds of eavesdropping or tapping as well as any kind of spying on a person's private life.

The Messenger(p.) said: Do not look for the believers' shortcomings. He who does that on his brother, Allah will look for his own shortcomings, and he whom Allah looks for his shortcomings, will be exposed even if inside his own house.

That is why we have always said that the unlawfulness of spying includes the issues of business like trying to find out the secrets of the others trade deals and the like… Even social spying, as a wife or a husband spying on their spouses, is prohibited too. Moreover both the husband and wife should not look into their children private letters, unless there is a real danger of deviation.

On the political level, Islam also prohibited the state from tapping the citizens’ phones or spying on their private lives, except in very special cases when the security of the nation is compromised.

But such conditions should not be used as an excuse to conduct mass spying in the name of safeguarding security. The same thing also goes for political parties who might be so engaged in security and in spying on those considered suspects that the innocent will become but few or that the only ones who are not suspects are party members. We, in the Arab and Muslim countries, have probably paid the highest prices, as a result of the jurisdiction given to intelligence agencies, as well as the dominance of the security regimes that appropriated the political and social life, violated freedoms and resorted to assassination, all in the name of preserving security, or in the name of fighting Israel, with the result being killing any public initiative towards change and creativity and making the entire community live in a big jail that the political literature insist on a calling a homeland.

It is the security regime that killed development in the Arab and Muslim worlds and pressurized people to praise these dictatorships that actually served the interests of the arrogant powers, who even recruited some of the Third World presidents through their intelligence agencies. Then when their role was over those who employed them decided to overthrow them claiming that they are doing so to spread freedom and democracy, just as what the American President is doing nowadays, proclaiming himself as a champion of democracy seeking by Divine inspiration to rid the region from the dictatorships which America itself has supported for more then six decades.

We are afraid that the unrestricted American interference in the affairs of the nation has blown out of any proportion in the name of fighting terrorism. It has turned now to Lebanon where it aims at dismantling one political and security regime to replace it by another, with the Americans maintaining absolute tutelage, although they might give other international axis some marginal roles.

Therefore, as we opposed, and we still do, that the country should be appropriated by certain political or security agencies, we also oppose that Lebanon should turn into a center for surveillance or for devising projects against the region and especially against the Palestinian cause.

But at the same time, we say that we, whether Lebanese, Arabs or Muslims, have to monitor, ideologically and ethically, many of the backward trends that are growing like mushrooms, and that threaten the stability of our country and our nation. We are all responsible for fighting fanaticism and sectarianism and the chaos they create, since the erupting fire aims at covering the arrogant failure and probably the occupation withdrawal by a series of wars that lead to further fragmentation and terrorism.