By Abdul Sattar
December 3, 2019
The recent terrorist attack in London has sent a shiver down the spine of the Muslim community living in the UK besides raising important questions for British society, the West and the Islamic World.
The attack, which claimed the lives of two innocent people, has also brought Pakistan into the spotlight, providing an opportunity to anti-Islamabad elements to use it against the country. Isis has reportedly claimed responsibility for it.
It is not the first time an extremist has targeted innocent people in an insane attack; several such attacks have occurred in the last 19 years. White radical groups are using this incident to carry out a deleterious propaganda against Muslims and the Pakistani community, fuelling more anger against a minority whose loyalty to the states where they are living is already being questioned by xenophobic elements and anti-immigrants politicians. Some such politicians took to Twitter and other forms of social media to spit venom against Islam and Muslims. Others are trying to portray Muslims as trouble-makers. This is likely to fuel more anger against the community.
Attacking innocent civilians cannot be justified on any ground. Neither religious nor law allows anyone to target innocent folks. It is true that Muslim countries have been invaded by Western ruling elites to plunder their natural resources. It is a fact that Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya have been destroyed partly because of Western policies. It cannot be denied that the policies of the West towards the Middle East and some other Muslim states are creating anger and fury among the Muslim youth but that cannot serve as an excuse to attack ordinary men, women and children in Western cities.
Muslims in invaded states have a right to defend themselves against an illegal war but targeting those who have nothing to do with such reckless policies of the Western ruling elite is outrageous. It will do no service to Muslims. Instead, such attacks will create anti-Muslim frenzy which will only harm the mass majority of the Muslim population in Western countries.
Muslims all over the world need to ask if other states or communities also responded in the same way when they were attacked by the Western ruling mafia. The Vietnamese lost more than three million people. Some estimates suggest five to seven million perished in the illegal invasion of that country by the mighty American state. It faced barbaric carpet bombing that wounded millions besides destroying several cities, towns and villages of the hapless country but did we ever hear any Vietnamese crushing innocent people under a vehicle? Did any man from that devastated country stage any terrorist attack in American or Western cities? The Vietnamese fought against the invaders inside their own country, teaching a tough lesson to the arrogant American empire and attracting mammoth support from students, labourers and women groups from the West. Such support forced Washington to withdraw its troops from the invaded state.
It is not only Muslim countries that suffered colonisation, oppression and invasions. The entire Latin America was colonised by Spain. Brazil suffered at the hands of Portugal. The US, New Zealand, Australia and Canada are said to be modern settler states where the indigenous population was more or less wiped out. It is claimed that around 20 to 80 million people were decimated during these invasions. The heart of these people has brimmed with acrimony for decades or possibly centuries but even this bitterness did not prompt them to attack innocent civilians. Their resilience prompted many white people to confess that their ruling elite ruthlessly exploited these gentle folks.
A number of Western intellectuals and historians do not consider Columbus and other explorers as heroes, but as mass murderers and plunderers. The non-violence of the indigenous people created a wave of sympathy for them, creating a situation whereby conscientious people in the settler states demonstrated great solidarity with them.
So, Muslims have to come up with peaceful means of resistance. After all, there are millions who waged such a non-violent struggle when Afghanistan was invaded. They took to the streets in Western capitals and several parts of the US to condemn this invasion. The illegal invasion of Iraq also triggered a wave of anger across the world. Close to a million people gathered in London to protest this war. People in other Western countries also condemned George W Bush and his tedious acolytes for an invasion that is said to be responsible for the killing of more than 2.5 million Iraqis. Perhaps it was this great show of solidarity and the struggle of anti-war activists that prevented the British ruling elite from staging an outright invasion of Syria – though they managed to carry out a covert attack on the hapless Arab state through their Jihadi proxies.
The British ruling elite and war-mongers sitting in Washington need to realise that their reckless policies are only fuelling more hatred against the West. While these ruling elites are under heavy security, it is the common Western people who fall prey to fanatical religious groups, some of whom were recently used by the West in Syria against Bashar al-Assad. The policy of regime change has strengthened fundamentalists in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
If the West continues to sow the seeds of chaos, it will also come back to haunt it. It is important for the Western ruling elite to respect the sovereignty of every state and put an end to this policy of regime change that has decimated more than 555,000 people in Syria and pushed Libya towards destruction.
The Western corporate junta should also revisit its blanket support for the brutal policies of Israel. The brutalities of Tel Aviv are fuelling outrage, serving the interests of radical Islamic groups who are brain-washing Muslims youth with the images of innocent Palestinian children and women being ruthlessly crushed by the settler state of Israel.
Muslims living in Western countries need to realise that shouting for Shariah in a non-Muslim state is a recipe for disaster. Which country can allow a tiny group to impose its laws on the vast majority? Muslims living abroad have the best opportunities to make it to world-class educational institutions like Oxford and Cambridge and excel in science and technology but instead of availing this opportunity, many Muslims living in the West have been sending their kids to religious seminaries in Pakistan, Egypt and other Islamic states where they are taught a medieval syllabus that has no value in the job market.
Such education also creates a sense of guilt among them, creating a situation whereby they start thinking that the West is brimming with obscenity and debauchery. So Muslims also need to revisit their overall attitude towards the societies where they have been living for generations. They should remember that such societies not only helped them when they badly needed it but also opened the doors of relative prosperity for them.
Abdul Sattar is a freelance journalist.
Original Headline: Beyond the London attack
Source: The News, Pakistan