After Paris, the West ask, ‘why do they hate us?’ and ‘what is wrong with their religion’? They are asking the wrong questions. The question after Paris should be, ‘How has the Muslim Ummah displayed such remarkable restraint at the hands of brutal western colonialism?’
The year was 1857, across India the mutiny had erupted against British colonial rule. The British fought back with brutal force. The then figurehead of the rebellion, the last Mughal Bahadur Shah Zafar, was captured. To underscore their brutality, when requesting food, the British brought to him the heads of his two sons they had just slain. With immense composure he replied, “Thanks to Allah, the descendants of Timur always come in front of their fathers in this brave way”. Zafar died in captivity.
In Algeria, the rebellion against colonial independence from France from 1954 was met with sheer European brutality. The French adopted a policy of ratissages,combing through towns and cities and slaughtering everyone as retribution for the rebellion. Hundreds of thousands were tortured and in total 1.5 million Algerian Muslims perished at the hands of a colonial master who could not fathom why they would want to be free from their rule.
During the Cold War, the Americans employed a policy of buttressing dictators at the expense of the will of Muslim masses. In Egypt, the US employed Sadat and Mubarak to keep Egypt within its world order and prevent Soviet penetration. President Carter even turned it into a fundamental cornerstone of US foreign policy; the Carter Doctrine (1980) specified only the US would be allowed to be the guarantor of Middle Eastern oil supplies and security, including the security of ‘Israel’, and the US was ready to use military force to guarantee this. Under these Egyptian dictators, torture was systemic and industrial.
During the war in the former Yugoslavia, the US pursued a policy that enabled genocide. The now infamous 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 7000 Muslim men and children could only have been perpetrated with the tacit approval of UN peacekeepers who openly handed over the Muslims sheltering in their ‘safe-zones’. Recent evidence suggests whilst the massacre was taking place by the Serbs, the Americans were fully aware of it through satellite imagery and intelligence reports.
The War on Terror’s excesses are well documented. In Afghanistan, the US deemed Taliban fighters to be ‘unlawful combatants’ enabling the degrading and inhuman treatment of detainees at torture dungeons such as Bagram Airbase. Guantanamo Bay is seen as a byword for US mistreatment, but in fact CIA ‘black-sites’ were established across the world. Muslim citizens were ‘rendered’ from the streets of Europe and elsewhere with the full approval of governments and tortured by security officials in Syria, Morocco and Eastern Europe amongst other places. Torture was being outsourced.
In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American’s loss of control led them to employ the services of Blackwater (rebranded to Academi). This private military company engaged in indiscriminate killing and targeting, including civilians. In one incident trigger-happy operatives mowed down 17 Iraqi civilians. The company’s chief employee in Pakistan, Raymond Davis, was arrested after he killed three civilians in a Lahore market. Then a network of CIA / Blackwater operatives was revealed across Pakistan. It became clear, much of the sectarian bombings and violence in the country were being instigated by the US.
The Syrian civil war, that started with hope in 2011 soon deteriorated into a bloodbath. The counter Assad forces initially made immense progress, with groundswell support. The US, conscious of the dangers of an independent Syria sought to play a balancing role between the two sides. Allowing their agents in the Gulf States to feed one side and Russia and Iran to feed the other. It created a vacuum in Iraq allowing the formation of Daesh. By this it kept the civil war in balance and enabled international public opinion to develop against the anti-Assad forces. The ensuing catastrophe and annihilation has been down to US action – not – as they have allowed it to be claimed, a lack of indecision or inaction. The US watched on as their policy unfolded, with over 300,000 killed and millions displaced.
The last two hundred years have been ones where this Ummah has been the subject of murder and barbarism on an industrial scale. The Muslim Ummah’s blood has become cheap at the hands of Western states who manipulate our lands like a chess player moves his pawns. And so after Paris, what we should be asking is not why a minority of Muslims have adopted the same brutal methods of the West but how amazing it is that an Ummah of 1.8bn can show such restraint?
This is because the vast majority of Muslims, recognising the sheer injustice meted out on this Ummah are restricted by Islam and governed by the Shari’ah rules that prohibits the targeting of non-combatants and civilians and established the highest norms of behavior and conduct when confronting injustice, following the method of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
“Allah does not love those who overstep the limits.”