Among The Infidels
By Farooq Sulehria
February 06, 2013
Tahirul Qadri’s Canadian nationality has recently been a subject of intense debate. While our firebrand Sheikh-ul-Islam was stating that he was ready to sacrifice his life for his cause, curiously he did not really commit to renunciating his Canadian nationality. In peaceful Canada, he says, he is able to concentrate single-mindedly on his writings. Ironically, Sheikhs, Imams and Maulanas always seem to set sail to infidel lands every time they have to serve Islam.
There is this Mullah Krekar, a Kurdish-Iraqi cleric in Norway. He heads a terrorist outfit. He thinks all the states in the world are illegitimate. He advocates a global Islamic state (once he wanted Osama bin Laden as the caliph and Gulbaddin Hekmatyar as foreign minister of this state).
However, he had no Islamic qualms when his wife and children accepted the citizenship of the illegitimate, infidel land called Norway. He himself has been fighting his case in un-Islamic Norway to stay on as an exile, instead of moving to the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan that he praises so much.
Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, happily accepts petrodollars for the cause. In 1989, when he decided to go into exile, he opted for London. He spent 22 years there before he returned to his homeland following the success of the Tunisian revolution two years ago.
As a matter of fact, even a cursory list of sheikhs and Mujahids happily struggling for Islam amid infidels in western lands would be long. Let us restrict ourselves to some notable Jihadis in infidel exile.
For instance, we know the case of Syrian cleric Omar Bakri. Now 52, Omar Bakri arrived in London in 1986 and stayed there until 2005. He earned fame as leader of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir and later founded Al-Mouhajiroun, a split from the Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Before he was banned from the UK, he unscrupulously claimed £250,000 in infidel social benefits. While in the UK, he publicly praised the 9/11atrocity.
An important caveat is in order here. Despite millennium-old bitter theological differences, what unites our sheikhs and imams of different sects is their consensus on places of exile. Sheikh Yasser al-Habib moved to London in December 2004. In his absence, Kuwait revoked his citizenship.
And this is not a contemporary trend – that of our ascetic sheikhs and imams seeking refuge in the infidel west to serve the cause. The founding fathers of our Pan-Islamic cause, Jamaluddin Afghani and his faithful disciple, Muhammad Abduh arrived in Paris to launch their Pan-Islamist journal Al-Urwah al-Wuthqa.
This writer subscribes to the anarcho-Marxist notion of universal citizenship and understands very well that our sheikhs and imams arrive in the infidel west instead of landing in Saudi Arabia or Iran, because in the Muslim world the very basic human rights are missing. Not merely our mullahs, faithful from across the Muslim world prefer living amid the infidels of the west, instead of with their co-religionists.
In Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Pakistani workers may spend their lifetimes but they will never become equal human beings, let alone equal citizens. The freedoms one enjoys in Europe even as an exile, not just as as an equal citizen, will remain elusive in most Muslim countries for the foreseeable future. But the problem is that the same clerics have always sought to deny their Muslims and non-Muslim countrymen the freedoms that they and their families enjoy as exiles.
Farooq Sulehria is a freelance contributor.