The ideological war on Muslims
Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
The war of ideas
While on a tour to Europe in 2014, the former US President Barak Obama delivered a lecture in Palais Des Beaux-Arts, in Brussels. He told his elitist audience, “We must meet the challenges to our ideas and our international order with strength and conviction.”–(The Guardian, 31.03.2014). In the context of the recent exacerbation of cold-war polarisation, it was not a simple statement, it was a war cry. Human history is indeed the history of wars of ideas. But wars of ideas don’t remain confined within the ideological premise of books or lecture rooms, rather get bloody on battlefields. Because those who believe in “might is right” do not fight such ideological wars with ideas, instead, they deploy their all available lethal weapons against the believers of the opposing ideas. They use vile ideologies like fascism, nationalism, racism, white supremacism, imperialism, and intolerant religious views to poison people’s minds. Such use of violence against people of other ideas and faith not only exposes their political arrogance but also the deep moral and ideological perversion.
In annals of mankind, the most heinous crimes against people of great ideas and religious beliefs are the works of these immoral political, ideological or racist bullies. Genocidal cleansing of people of different religions, ethnicity, and tribe are the works of such criminals. Muslims of Spain, Buddhists of India, Red Indians of North America, and aborigines or Australia were almost cleansed by these genocidal killers. In ancient Egypt, Pharaoh mobilized his Army to kill Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and his followers only to annihilate their monotheistic faith.
The old Pharaohs died. But a new generation of Pharaohs has taken the charge –not only in Egypt but also globally. Hence use of violence against ideas and religious faith has never ended. The old Pharaoh could not kill unarmed Moses (peace be upon him), rather he himself got killed by Almighty Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. But the new Pharaohs are killing the unarmed people everywhere. General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi of Egypt killed more than two thousand innocent men and women on 14 August 2012. They were peacefully protesting against the military coup d’état against President Dr. Mohammad Morsi –the first elected President of Egypt. Shaikh Hasina of Bangladesh killed hundreds of innocent protestors in Dhaka on 5 May 2013. The recent statement of President Obama indeed reveals his determination to continue the same war on ideas with the full lethal might. And President Obama is not alone; all NATO countries and many others are pursuing the same war.
The new enemy
After the demise of the Soviet Socialist Union of Russia (USSR) in December 1991, President Obama and his NATO comrades don’t perceive any foreseeable threat to their geopolitical frontiers from any other country. But they recognize a threat to the ideological frontiers. They think it is from resurging Islam –the fast-growing religion in the world. Therefore Muslims –the followers of Islam is taken as the new enemy. President Obama emphasized that NATO countries must meet the challenge with full strength and conviction. Probably this is the most important message that he passed on to his friends during his recent visit to Europe. President Obama’s narratives on ideas and international order are not ambiguous. His idea –like any other western leader entails the beliefs, values, and lifestyles that are loaded with the capitalist, imperialist, and hedonist version of the worldview. His values and beliefs justify the military occupation of any country of the world, and dropping bombs and drone attacks on the civilian population. He and his predecessors practiced such beliefs, values, and ideologies in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other countries. The NATO countries do not possess any distinctive national ideological boundary. They share the same values, beliefs, ideology, and ethical norms. Indeed, they are united in faith and ideas. Hence all heads of the NATO states find the same incitement to applaud the USA bombardment on any country as cheerleaders. Their faith and values do not find any moral problem with Israeli bombardment on unarmed Palestinians either.
President Obama’s international order has a special political and security implication, too. It entails not only the west’s military, economic and political dominance over the world but also the protection of the artificial state of Israel and other artificial client Arab states that are created to protect the western interests. It aims at ensuring Israel a safe existence and sustaining an infrastructure of western exploitation. The current world order is in fact the legacy of western colonialism. It gives the state of Israel the unrestrained right to grab the Arab land as much as likes, and to expel the native Muslim population from their own homes. It also means giving Israel unlimited right to build nuclear bombs and deprive Iran and other Muslim countries of such rights. It also gives protection to the autocratic rulers of the artificial Arab states–as long as they show allegiance to the USA.
War against Islam
The main objective of this US-led war against Islam is not to annihilate Islam. It is to dismantle or diminish Islam’s influence on Muslims’ cultural, political, economic, and social life. They allow Muslims to live with the rituals of Islam, but not with the full teachings of Islam. They wish Muslims’ cultural, ideological, and political conversion to the west and to comply with its imperialistic global agenda. President Obama’s current war is not against Russia, China, India, or any other world power. Rather he begs their partnership and cooperation to pursue the agenda of war on Islam. Prof Huntington –the writer of “The Clash of Civilization” advised the same. In response to such a call, the US invasion in Afghanistan and Iraq received full support from Russia, China, and India. The USA army never fire a single bullet against these countries. But in last 50 years, they fought many wars against Islam and the Muslims. The war is still on-going. Apart from their own war, the USA and its NATO partners also support every war of Israel - the worst bully in the Middle East. Russia, China and India also commit the same crime against the Muslims living in these countries. Hence, like Israel’s Gaza invasion, Russia’s war in Chechnya, China’s atrocities against Uyghur Muslims, and India’s occupation of Kashmir did not get any condemnation from the USA and its NATO partners.
After the collapse of communism, Islam emerged as the only ideological force that presents a viable alternative for the moral, spiritual, cultural, economic, and political ills of mankind. It is the only surviving Divine Truth –in fact, the continuation of the same monotheistic faith that was promoted by all prophets of the Divine chain –starting from Adam (peace be upon me) to Muhammad (peace be upon me). A Muslim has a religious obligation only to practice this Divine Truth. Any compromise on this premise or deviation from the assigned responsibility can only bring the demise of his own belief in Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Such a compromise or deviation only amounts to treason against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Therefore, the religious obligation makes a Muslim life-long defender of the Divine faith. He considers his politics, intellectualism, and war as important instruments of fulfilling such Divine obligation. Hence, wherever Islam exists in its prophetic form, there also exist millions of its defenders. Hence the enemies of Islam cannot go unchallenged in any of the Muslim lands.
Islam enters into a Muslim’s heart not only with a format of five-time prayers, month-long fasting, hajj, and zakat. It presents a comprehensive Divine prescription that reconstructs every sphere of human life. Politics, education, culture, socio-economy, warfare, or other issues of life don’t stay outside Islam’s domain. Jihad comes in their midst as the natural outcome. Jihad is Islam’s defensive arm. Since the enemies of Islam want a cakewalk over the Muslim lands, they do not like the combative mood of the Muslims. They call it political Islam. Since they want an overwhelming dominance on the Muslim land, they want their full surrender -not only in political, economic, and military fields but also in cultural and ideological domains. This is why in surrendered land, the practice of jihad and Islamic law (shariah) –the two inseparable parts of the Muslim life has no place.
The west’s own radicalism
President Obama and his NATO colleagues showed that they are not ready to reconcile with the Divine obligations of the Muslims. This is the west’s worst form of radicalism. They want to make their own ideas and values dominant even in Muslim lands. Such an aggressive attitude of the NATO countries makes war against Islam inevitable. They ask the Muslims to restrict their practice of Islam only within the premise of prayer mats and mosques. This way they want to keep the political, cultural, judicial, economic, and other areas of the state free from Islam, and to reserve for their own occupation. For the implementation of sharia law, the USA and the NATO partners are not ready to give Muslims any space -even in a predominantly Muslim country. They label it as religious extremism. And any effort for that is described as terrorism. The western scholars –like a mufti, have even started lecturing on the fundamentals of Islam. They claim that the practice of Islam must be restricted only within the premise of private life, and emphasizes that Islam has nothing to do with people’s political, educational, cultural, or economic life. They label such limited practice of Islam within the confines of the mosque and private life as true Islam. They conveniently forget that Muhammad (peace be upon him) –the prophet of Islam was not only a religious head, but also the head of the Islamic State for ten years. Along with building mosques, he also organized numerous jihad against the enemies. He did not confine the practice of his faith in his private life, rather made it the state policy. The law he implemented in the Islamic state, was nothing else but the Qur’anic law -called sharia. The Muslims of all ages possess no other superior mission or objective but to follow the same prophetic tradition. Only this way a Muslim man or woman can claim to be a true follower of Islam and its great Prophet (peace be upon him) and becomes a part of the Ummah. Otherwise, he or she becomes a deviant from the true path (siratul mustaqeem).
The west ignores the crucial fact that Islam cannot be truly practiced without the full implementation of the prophetic traditions. The practice of sharia and jihad is an indispensable part of that. An iota of non-compliance to prophetic tradition is indeed the deviation from true Islam. With such derailment, a Muslim becomes an enemy against his own faith and register his place in the hellfire. This is the core teaching of Islam. But the west doesn’t want that Muslims should practice such fundamental beliefs of Islam in even a Muslim land. They like to see the deviants taking full control. They wish that the Muslims should comply with the Western ideas, lifestyle, and world order, not with the prophetic Islam. Adherence to prophetic tradition is labeled as extremism and backwardness. While denying the Muslims the right of practising Islam in their own country, the western arrogance goes to the extent that they are desperate to take their own cultural and ideological frontiers inside the heart of the Muslim lands. They demand that the Muslim countries should have opened borders for the unfettered practice of Western law, their economics, their culture, their values, and even homosexuality and same-sex marriage. What could be the worst cultural and ideological imperialism than that? Can Muslims swallow such non-Muslims’ interference in their own affairs? Does Islam allow that? Can Islam survive amidst such cultural, ideological, and political occupation? To encounter such occupation, Islam prescribes its own weapon -the obligatory jihad for all believing man. Thus, the incompatibility of western extremism with Islam makes a perfect recipe for unending war in almost all Muslim lands. Indeed, such a war against Islam is already ongoing in many parts of the Muslim World.
The Islamic obligation
Allah Sub’hana Wa Ta’ala reveals, “He it is Who has sent His Apostle with the guidance and the true religion, that He may make it overwhelming over all other faiths –although the polytheist may not like it.” –(Sura Saf, verse 9). Such revelation came three times in the Holy Qur’an. Allah Sub’hana Wa Ta’ala’s own vision thus gets fully expressed. Such a revelation gives a clear message to every believing man and woman that the Qur’anic teachings are not for mere recitation but for full implementation. A Muslim thus gets his life-long vision, mission, and objective from such Qur’anic guidance. Muslims’ politics, preaching, educational policy, judicial policy, war, and all sacrifices become a vehicle for that. With such a Divine vision, Islam emerged as the most powerful civilizational force from the very beginning. It played the most significant role in the whole history of mankind to change its course. It could go beyond the ethnic, linguistic, geographic boundary; and within a short period of time, could take millions of people of Asia, Africa, and Europe out of darkness (jaheliyah) towards the Divine light. In Muslims’ life, the source of inspiration to make a huge sacrifices in bringing such a civilizational change indeed lies in Allah Sub’hana Wa Ta’ala’s revelation. The Muslims are faith-bound to comply with such a vision of their own Lord and execute the prescribed role.
But the west does not show any sign of reconciliation with such a Muslim vision. So, the problem lies with the west. Their denial of Muslim’s right to the full practice of Islam with its sharia gives birth to the clash of civilizations between the west and the Muslims. As long as the west is stubborn in its attitude of non-reconciliation with such a core belief of Islam, there is no chance of cessation of this ongoing civilizational war. Surrender is not an option for the Muslims; such a surrender is tantamount only to betrayal against Allah’s expressed wish. Such a betrayal leads only to hellfire.
Hence, as long as Muslims remain faithful to Allah Sub’hana Wa Ta’ala and His Qur’anic revelation, the war may only change its frontiers but it will continue unabated. The west’s problem lies in their own ignorance. They have fully failed to understand Islam’s core beliefs and Muslims’ binding obligation. These are the red lines that a Muslim can never cross. Due to such ignorance, their dealing with the Muslims is very wrong, humiliating, and provocative. They appreciate even homosexuals for their aberrant sexual orientation and practice but are not ready to permit Muslims to practice shariah –the Divine law that was practiced in Muslim countries in the whole span of their history till the colonial occupation. What an arrogance that they even label such core beliefs of Islam as backwardness, barbarity, and terrorism, and target them for total destruction! What can be more insulting to Muslims than such toxic vilification of their faith? The USA’s arrogance is not only in its insistence on the sustenance of its dominance over a unipolar world but also for singular world order and value system -which never happened in the whole span of human history.
The NATO strategy
For its ongoing war against Islam, the USA and the NATO members have their own strategy. Apart from its 28 formal member states, this anti-Islamic axis has thousands of informal members and partners. These informal members and partners are playing a crucial role in their fight against Islam. The war of ideas doesn’t have any clear-cut battleground and frontline. It runs through every land and takes place in the intellectual premise of every man and woman. It is truly global. Any man or woman who does not comply with western morality, values, and world order is considered a potential threat against the west. The Islamists are well known for such non-compliance and hence become the real target. In the USA and in many NATO countries, close monitoring of these Islamists and their detention in cages is a routine phenomenon. Hence infamous prison at Guantanamo Bay finds enough reasons to survive and proliferate. Hence the US bombs, drones, and missiles were dropped not only on war fields but also on caves, mountains, houses, and madrasas in Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. In fact, wherever they find a religious scholar or activist preaching Islamic ideas with a view of the implementation of sharia become a preferred target.
The so-called international world order is indeed the work of the western colonial power for their own interest. It has been designed to assign Muslim countries a vassal state-like status. To make such status a permanent feature of the Muslim world, the western imperialists needed to divide the Muslim heartland into 22 Arab states. The defensive power of a country diminishes with the decrease of its size; hence, dividing a Muslim country has been a definite strategy of crashing the Muslims’ backbone. To stop the emergence of any Muslim state as a global power, such a fragmentation process is still ongoing. Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan –these larger Muslim states have been fragmented as a part of the same project. If the countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, and UAE achieve per capita income 1000 times more than that of the USA, that will not change their status of a vassal state. When Obama and his NATO colleagues tell about defending the international order, he means to defend such divisions of the Muslim world. They are not ready to give a Muslim country the right to merge with another. They will not allow any Muslim country to increase its territory by a single inch. Saddam Hussain was a beloved man of the west. He was supplied with weapons of mass destruction –even chemical bombs to kill his own people or Iranians. The west was very happy as long as he was engaged in killing his fellow Muslims. But when he tried to increase the territory of Iraq by annexing Kuwait, he became the enemy of the west. Since he crossed the red line set by the west, NATO decimated the whole of Iraq.
Sustenance of occupation is the strategy
The Muslim countries have already been the occupied land of the west in one form or another. The colonial occupation has ended. But the cultural, educational, economic, and ideological occupation still exists. Due to such foreign occupation, the Muslims cannot practice their own faith in their own land. Neither can they merge together into a larger state. Dividing walls in the name of artificial states have turned their undivided land into a collection of virtual prison cells. Like the prisoners, they cannot help each other either. Hence, while the people of Gaza were bombed by the Israelis, the dwellers of the prison state of Egypt could not open gates to receive the injured Muslims brothers. For the same reason, initially, the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar could not get ready access to Bangladesh. The government of Bangladesh needed to be pressurised for that.
It is a great shame on Muslims that sharia –the Qur’anic laws are outlawed in almost all Muslim countries. As a result, more than one and a half billion Muslims cannot practice Allah’s obligatory commandments. What can be a bigger betrayal of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la than such non-compliance? In the early days, when the Muslims were not more than a few thousand in the village of Medina, but the situation was not so helpless. They could enjoy the privilege to practice full Islam. The absence of sharia in Muslim countries is a colonial and post-colonial phenomenon. Before the colonial era, the Muslims had autocrats but could practice sharia. Such non-compliance with sharia is indeed restricting them from becoming full Muslim, thereby forbids them from getting His full mercy.
To sustain such a status quo, the USA and its NATO allies want to maintain such occupation at any cost. To minimize the cost of occupation, they have developed partnerships with the dictatorial regimes of the Muslim states. These autocratic regimes, too, need western support for their own survival. Thus there works a framework of mutual collaboration between them. This is why the west promotes and protects autocracy in the Muslim World. Hence, the removal of the elected President Dr. Muhammad Morsi and the military took over in Egypt receives so applause in the western capitals. When President Obama talked about defending the ideas and the world order, indeed he meant defending this occupation. 1st edition 06/04/2014; 2nd edition 16/08/2021