The question is why this attack and incitement against Freemasonry
I take it you mean why is there Islamic objection to Freemasonry?
To begin, you must understand that Freemasonry is not centralized. There is no grand council and no world leader. We consist of about 150 grand lodges, each completely separate and independent. Then there are groups which pretend to be Masonic, but often act unMasonically. We do not recognize them as Freemasons, but it is hard for outsiders to see the difference. Nobody speaks for Freemasonry as a whole and those who point to one statement or another as ‘proof’ simply show their ignorance.
Let me cite one fatawa, to be found at https://islamqa.info/en/34576. (Mods, forgive my posting a link, but the document is quite lengthy and key to the discussion.) It is from “Islam Question and Answer”, General Supervisor: Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid. The title is What is Freemasonry and what is the ruling on it in Islam? What is the ruling on joining the Masons?.
While by no means an Islamic scholar, from what I have seen, this religious ruling is typical in its statements about Freemasonry. Let’s examine it:
It starts off with this:
Freemasonry is a secret political society whose goal is to put an end to all religions and good morals, and to replace them with man-made laws and non-religious systems. It strives to provoke ongoing revolutions and to replace one regime with another, on the basis of its call for freedom of thought and freedom of belief.
Well, we are not a ‘secret society’. In almost every nation, Masonic buildings may be seen, listed in telephone directories. How secret it that? We have some secrets, but we are not secret. Nor are we political. Some branches of Freemasonry, ones we do not now recognize as Masons, once were, but the oath that every Mason swears now obliges him to be loyal to the nation in which he lives and obey its laws. Discussion of politics are forbidden and a list of famous Freemasons will show men from all points of the political spectrum.
It says we wish to end all religions and good morals. This too is false. Masons are encouraged to worship in their own faiths and discussion of religion is banned within our lodges.
It says we call for revolution. Nonsense, for that would again be a discussion of politics.
So, sir, we have the opening statement which itself full of errors and showing a complete ignorance of Freemasonry.
Let’s look further. It gives as evidence statements made in the “Students’ Conference held in 1865 CE in the city of Liege which is considered to be one of the centers of Freemasonry.” (First off, I’m not sure anyone outside of Belgium would agree that Liege is a ‘centre of Freemasonry’. Odd.) Anyway, I have tried to find out what ‘student conference’ (you’ll note that the fatawa is not overly precise) might have been held 150 years ago in Liege.
Going on the net, the only – only - references to such a conference I was able to find (searching ‘student conference’ + ‘Liege’ + Belgium’ + 1865) were all contained in similar Islamic warnings against Freemasonry. I could find no other record of such a conference. Isn’t that odd?
Let’s look at another quote from the fatawa.
It says in the Masonic Grand Lodge (1922, p. 98): We will strengthen the freedom of individual thought with all the powers at our disposal, and we will declare war against the real enemy of man, which is religion.
Leaving aside the false statement that we say man’s enemy is religion, to anybody who understands Freemasonry, that just doesn’t make sense. A ‘Masonic grand lodge’ is a group of Masons having elected authority over a number of individual lodges, like a provincial council. Masonic grand lodges simply do not have dates or page numbers. It would seem that whatever source the author was working from might have been the minutes of a meeting of the Grand Lodge (of some specific nation) held in 1922. As it stands, it is meaningless. Had I included that in a paper when I was a student, my professor would have thrown it back at me in scorn.
Then it degenerates into a mere anti-Semitic rant while claiming that Freemasonry is controlled by and consists of Jews.
We do indeed welcome Jews into Freemasonry, as we do good men of any religion. (Although I think that my own lodge now has more Muslims than Jews right now.) To somebody who hates Jews, it would be easy to use that inclusiveness as evidence of some evil design.
The fatawa then fails completely by quoting the long-trashed Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That book has repeatedly been shown to be a fabrication, a fraud – a lie. For almost a hundred years, it has been rejected by objective scholars as a hate-filled sham. Yet here it is…
Mr. Alhaidary, I could go on picking this to pieces. My point is that the fatawa fails on two levels.
First is that its sources are obscure at best and ridiculous at worst. For something to be accepted as valid in international scholarship, one must be able to point to a verifiable source. Here there is nothing but smoke and rumours and long-discredited hated.
Second, having been a Mason for many years, I know that the basic premises of this fatawa (‘secret society’, anti-religious, Jew-centric, revolutionary) are simply false. Just wrong.
(I must say that many other Islamic anti-Masonic claims copy this fatawa almost word for word – complete with errors. That suggests a general failure of independent thought, a willingness to accept without question what somebody else is saying.)
It boils down, I think, to a fear of the unknown and an unwillingness to investigate for oneself.
Freemasonry is no enemy of Islam. It welcomes good men of all faiths who wish to become better men.