New Age Islam
Sat Jan 16 2021, 01:08 PM


Islam and the West ( 2 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islam in Europe: Fear and acceptance of Islam going hand in hand

By Sohail Arshad,

Despite the anti-Islam campaign and intense propaganda by the Zionists, the interest in Islam growing by the day and the number of people converting to Islam is increasing rapidly. The conversion of Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth to Islam in November last year sprinkled cold water on the anti-Islam propaganda run by the western media. Prior to that prominent personalities of the west proved the truth of Islam by converting. Md Ali Clay, Mike Tyson, Yusuf Islam and Indian Poet Kamala Suraiyya are some bright examples. In 2002, Italy’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia converted to Islam. In fact, millions of people like him in Europe have sought refuge in the shadow of the religion of truth impressed by its simplicity and spirituality. In the fifth decade of the last century, Baba Saheb Ambedkar had decided to convert to Islam along with thousands of his Dalit followers. But he made one mistake. He apprised Mahatma Gandhi of his decision and sought his advice. Gandhiji persuaded him not to embrace Islam by telling him that the curse of caste and race also plagued Islam. He asked Ambedkar which Islam he was going to embrace. Shia Islam or Sunni Islam, Deobandi Islam or Bareillvi Islam.

It is said that Lenin too was impressed by the principles of equality and the rights of the labourers in Islam and wanted to make Islam the official religion of Soviet Russia. When the Americans got to know about it, they swung into action and prevented Lenin from implementing his decision.

The wheel of time moved on. Soviet Russia disintegrated and Islamic renaissance took place in the newly formed states. Islam also spread in many European countries as well but the governments and the media in those countries tried to promote Islamophobia by blaming terrorism and extremism on Islam.

The Islamic world incurred irreparable damages due to the 9/11. Afghanistan’s economy collapsed due to the US invasion of the country and the Afghans killed each other. But at the same time, a surprising phenomenon emerged: after the 9/11, the curiosity about and interest in the study of Islam increased among the non-Muslims of the European countries. They showed special interest in the study of the Quran and millions of copies of the Quran were sold within weeks after 9/11, creating huge demand in Islamic literature. But the Western media which is obviously dominated by the Jews has been trying to downplay the phenomenon. Not only that, it has waged a propaganda war against Islam to keep its people away from it. In 2002, the popular English magazine Newsweek made Islam and Christianity its cover story and presented Islam in negative light. Moreover, it also published Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) sketches that hurt Muslim sentiments. In 2006, a newspaper in Holland published the Prophet’s (PBUH) cartoons sparking off waves of protests by Muslims the world over. In 2010, a blasphemy campaign titled ‘Draw Muhammad Day’ was launched on Face-book. In other words, an anti-Islam and blasphemy campaign is launched internationally every four years to hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims and also to create an atmosphere against Islam but to their dismay, Islam’s juggernaut has been rolling unhindered.

The wrongdoings of the Muslims themselves are responsible to a great extent for the hatred of Islam among the Christians and Jewish society, promoting Islamophobia which resulted in legal and illegal steps against the Quran, the hijab, minatets and mosques in Europe. Terrorist organizations like the Al Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban and Al Shabab painted a horrible picture of Islam before the non-Muslims. Shia-Sunni confrontations have gripped the entire Muslim world. Suicide attacks by one sect on the processions, schools, places of worship and hospitals of the other have become the order of the day. Terrorist organizations in Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen have been unleashing violence in the name of Islam. Slicing off of women’s nose and ears by Taliban on the slightest pretext is very common in Afghanistan. Attacks on the places of worship of the Hindus, Christians, Shias and Ahmadis and the slaughter of minority sects are considered a part of holy jihad in Pakistan. The western society is very scared of Islam because of these incidents and the Western media promotes Islamophobia by presenting such wrongdoings of these misguided groups of the Muslims to the non-Muslim society.

The question then arises: how come hundreds of thousands of Europeans have embraced Islam? The answer is simple. The individuals born and brought up under the decadent western culture and civilization are devoid of spiritual peace. Unbridled freedom, waywardness and unrestricted love of physical pleasures and material luxuries have robbed them of their mental peace and spiritual tranquillity. Therefore, they are madly in quest of peace of mind and heart. In these circumstances, it was the responsibility of the Muslims to provide them with the spiritual leadership. But the Muslims did not build their character individually or collectively so as to attract non-Muslims towards Islam as their predecessors did. On the contrary, they scared them by showing them their violent face.

The majority of those who have converted to Islam in Europe have discovered the truth of Islam thanks to their own study and research. They have embraced Islam not by studying the Muslim society but being influenced, impressed and overwhelmed by the wonderful teachings of Islam. The Muslims did not make the efforts they should have done on individual or collective level for spreading the message of Islam. The people interested in Islam look for Islamic literature in English, German, French and other European languages but they are not available easily. In the given circumstances, we the born Muslims cannot shrug off our religious responsibility. Today there are very few ulema who can write articles and books on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Islamic teachings in English and other European languages.  Therefore, the work is being done by the neo-Muslim Europeans in much better way. Today enemies of Islam writing hate material against Islam are many but there is a scarcity of people who can write authentic books and articles in English in order to remove misconceptions about Islam. Take the example of English daily.

A blasphemous article allegedly against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had appeared in the Deccan Herald in December 1987. Thousands of Muslims had gathered at the office of the daily to protest against the article. When the mob went out of control, the police resorted to firing killing eleven Muslims. This resulted in state-wide communal tensions. But a few days before this incident, the Times of India had decided to publish a special supplement on the Prophet (PBUH); it did not get even four writers who could write excellent articles in English on the Prophet (PBUH). The supplement was compiled with old and published material. These two incidents show that Muslims suffer from a protest-and-complain-complex. The community that can produce thousands of protesters but cannot produce four genuine writers is bound to be a loser.

Therefore, the real job of spreading the message of Islam among the non-Muslims is being done by the Christians who have converted to Islam. They are writing articles and books in English and even making documentary films on the life of the Prophet (PBUH). Some of the writers are those who have converted to Islam but do not have the courage to announce their conversion because of the fear of the government and the society. Urdu writer Mohammad Hasan Askari writes about some such authors in a letter to Shamsur Rahman Farooqui. Rene Guenon (Islamic name Sheikh Abdul Wahid Yahya), Frijoshuon (Islamic name Issa Nouruddin) and Martin Lings are some of them.  People are now aware of their Islam but there are still many who write under their Christian names because if they make their Islam public, firstly they will face opposition and secondly their writings will be rejected as propaganda material. Mohammad Hasan Askari writes:

“The Muslims in Europe generally do not write their Islamic names nor do they announce their Islam. I know about a few people who if make their Islam public, will perhaps be arrested. Or at least they will have to starve. But there are some people who do not hide their Islam. The most important thing is that the moment they come to know that someone has become a Muslim, they start opposing him.”

Askari further writes:

“ It’s a strange coincidence that Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi had said in his majlis in 1928 that he could see that the saviours of Islam would now rise from Europe. Almost around the same time Rene Guenon had started writing (on Islam) profusely.”

We perceived English as a language associated with kufr and therefore prevented Muslims from reading and learning it. If we had considered it a medium for spreading Islam among the non-Muslims, we would have done great service to Islam. If we had learnt English, German, French and other European languages with the purpose of spreading the message of Islam, we would have fulfilled our religious obligation. Islam is the religion of Allah. He has entrusted the task of its propagation on us. If we did not honour our responsibilities, Allah is not dependent on us. He will raise Islamic preachers from Europe and pave the way for its spread the world over. But then we won’t deserve any rewards.

Sohail Arshad is a regular columnist for New