By Irfan Ahmad, New Age Islam
May 30, 2013
Michael Adebolajo’s heinous and inhuman act is being analysed in many ways. It is being seen as the latest modus operandi of the Muslim terrorists. The last terrorist attack in Boston was also committed by two people. The act in Woolwich was also carried out by two men. Does this point to some strategy of the terrorist outfits in the US and the UK? While in Boston, two brothers from Chechnya were the killers while in Woolwich, two Africans made the kill. How can all this be explained?
This shows that as the Western nations have been taking new steps and changing their strategy to deal with terrorism, the terrorist organisations have also been playing smart by changing the modus operandi to catch these nations unawares. Since bomb blasts are readily termed as acts of terrorism the world over as also in the US and the UK, the terrorist and extremist outfits have now adopted the policy of using kitchen tools and domestic weapons to avoid being labelled terror acts and showing it as simple expression of anger of individuals against the foreign policy of the Western nations.
Partly they have been successful with the incident that could happen anywhere in the world. The slitting of throat of someone by someone else could be considered a common crime in the world today. But by killing the British soldier in broad daylight and very cleverly proclaiming on camera that the murder was carried out as a revenge of the beheading of Muslims in Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, they have succeeded to turn the focus towards the foreign policy of the UK and the US.
This may win them some sympathisers among Muslims as did Mumtaz Qadri of Pakistan by killing Salman Taseer for defending a Christian woman and calling blasphemy laws black laws. But such acts do not serve Islam or the Muslims of the world today. These youth who are influenced by the forces who are chasing the mirage of establishing a global Islamic caliphate with the use of force are a misguided and uneducated lot and do not understand the world situation or the repercussions of their deeds. Nor do they understand Islam. By merely reciting Bismillah before killing a Muslim as in Salman Taseer’ case or shouting Allahu Akbar after slitting the throat of a non-Muslim as in Lee Rugby’s case, one cannot claim to have done a religious and righteous deed.
The acts of Faisal Shahzad did not change the foreign policy of the US nor could the acts of Tamerlane and Jauhar could change it. Therefore, the act of Michael Adebolajo will also not force the UK to change its foreign policy. On the contrary, these acts will only make life difficult, if not hell, for the peaceful Muslims living in Europe. Most of the people from Asian countries including Pakistan have migrated and are still have the dream to migrate to the European countries where they enjoy greater human, religious and democratic rights and better opportunities for growth and progress.
Already there was a backlash from the right wing organisations of the UK and attacks on mosques, Muslim individuals and Burqa clad women have skyrocketed. Young people like Michael, Feisal, Tamerlane and Jauhar and all those who are waiting in the wings to slit the throat of some European could have served Islam and Muslims if they had stood up against the massacre of Muslims in Muslim countries on a daily basis. For example, Karachi has turned into a slaughter house where Muslims are killed on a daily basis, including on Fridays and festivals. In Iraq, only yesterday more than seventy people were killed on sectarian lines. In Syria, Shias and Sunnis have been killing each other in the most brutal way and raping women of the opposing sect and taking them prisoners of war. Even the governments of Muslim states like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria have become active participants in this sectarian war in which more people have been killed by Muslims themselves than perhaps all the Muslims killed by the NATO forces put together as the numbers will rise in this unending battle.
The foreign policy of the UK, US and other European countries must be questioned as they have been destroying the Muslim world for their own economic and political interests. They have been using the terrorism ploy to further their politico-economic agenda in the Muslim world. It is their policy that has generated the mass hysteria among the Muslims against them and people like Michael and Jauhar have been taking up kitchen knives in desperation. So, while chalking out plans to deal with the likes of Michael, the UK and the European countries should also do some introspection. But at the same time, it is the duty of the Muslim countries as well to deal with these terrorist organisations originating and flourishing in their lands with the overt and covert support of the government forces.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to free death sentence convicts and send them to join the jihad in Syria is one such example of promoting radical, extremist and sectarian ideas by Muslim governments among their citizens. Thus when the established and elected governments of Muslim countries have been legitimising such violent and separatist mentality among the youth, incidents like Woolwich and Boston cannot present any surprise. They are bound to happen. Only these acts can be legitimised by providing the cover of retaliation against the foreign policy of the UK and the US but at the bottom, it is the general mindset of hate and violence which is at work. If it is not against a Muslim, it is against a British because the hate and separatist and exclusivist mentality will find its expression anywhere.
In this battle of jihadists, internet has come as a handy tool through which they are making a devastating impact on the Muslims youth the world over. They are not circulating hate material against the US and the UK only, but against other sects and schools of thought among Muslims as well.
There are a number of Jihadi magazines which have found internet as a useful medium of dissemination of their ideological information. The gullible Muslim youth is swayed by this hateful content and targets the section against whom the content he reads. If he reads the content against the Shias, he turns against them and makes it his mission to eliminate them. If he reads the content against the atrocities committed by the NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, he makes his mind to inflict the same damage to the Westerners to avenge the death of his brethren in Islam. And in this battle, every such Muslim youth has become a holy warrior in his own right. He does not have an aim and a vision. His mission is just to meet violence with violence and kill whoever comes his way. And terrorist outfits like Al Shabab, Boko Haram, Al Nusra, Al Qaida, Taliban and other smaller terror shops give these misguide and desperate youth a platform to release their desperation and give them a sense of achievement. But the fact is that, they do nothing except shedding some blood on earth and causing some more damage to the image of Islam and to the interests of the Muslims in non-Muslim lands.
In fact, the whole Muslim world today is lacking in purpose and direction. They are still confused about who a Muslim is and therefore have not been able to unite as an Ummah. In this situation, the Muslim youth are also confused and try to form an idea according to their own limited understanding about who Muslims are and who are not. When they take revenge for the Muslims of Iraq, they are not clear for whom they are taking revenge, for Shias or for the Sunnis? For those who want democracy or those who love caliphate? For the Salafi Muslims or for the grave-visitors?
The ideology of violence and sectarian and communal hatred that the terrorist organisations, Salafi governments and lone preachers have instilled in the minds of the Muslim youth all over the world will continue to inflict damage to the Muslims themselves even if all the European nations withdraw from all the Muslim countries as has been witnessed in Iraq. In fact they will create situations when only European countries will be able to resolve their mutual religio-political conflicts with their force as happened in Mali and as is going to happen in Syria. The Jihadi outfits in Syria as well as Muslim youth like Faisal, Jauhar, Tamerlane and Michael Adebolajo are eagerly looking forward to the supply of arms and ammunition from the same NATO countries they so intensely hate to fight their own Muslim brethren. What a confusion and dilemma of the Muslim Ummah.