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