Muslims Criminalised for Caring for Muslims in Syria
It is three years since the peaceful yet powerful call against the regime of Bashar al-Assad was met with a violent and merciless response from the regime. Now, the British government has started criminalising those who oppose Bashar’s regime. Has something changed? Are they now declaring openly that they are on Bashar’s side?
In fact the stance of global powers like Britain has remained unchanged. From the outset they have done little to hasten Bashar’s departure, rather prolong it. Politicians like Hillary Clinton and William Hague were measured in their criticisms; even saying that he was a reformer. As his horrific crimes escalated, they simply suggested he should step aside. The missions of Lakhdar Brahimi and Kofi Annan only stalled for time, paying lip service against the Bashar’s use of chemical weapons.
The truth is that they fear losing control of a region that has been under their influence since the settlement of the Sykes-Picot agreement in World War One – a region that is strategically important for its closeness to Iraq, Turkey and the Zionist occupation of Palestine.
For all this time, they have searched for an alternative to Bashar who will secure their interests. Yet all their plotting and planning in Geneva, Qatar and elsewhere has not succeeded in fabricating an opposition that has any credibility with the people.
This stance by the West in the face of al-Assad’s mass murder has meant that Muslims in Syria have become very sceptical of any western-linked politicians, suspicious of their political moves, and came to rely upon Allah alone. From the earliest days their chants have been Islamic, their protests carried Islamic titles and brigades were given Islamic names. Even their declared aims for a post-Assad Syria have been overtly Islamic.
Bashar’s opponents are labelled as ‘extremists’ and ‘Islamists’ in a derogatory fashion and their shortcomings are exaggerated in comparison to those of the regime. They have now started arresting Muslims in Britain who have travelled to Syria to help alleviate the suffering; on suspicion of supporting ‘terrorism’. Even Muslim charities have been investigated simply for sending sadaqah to the refugee camps.
This criminalising of Islam and attacking of the opposition is a message: a message to those in Syria to bow down to Western colonial interests or continue to suffer under Bashar – and a message to those in Britain that they are expected to be more concerned about British foreign policy interests than the suffering of the ummah in Syria.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam! Our community must take the correct stand regarding the Muslims in Syria.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ
“You are the best ummah brought out for mankind. You enjoin ma’roof (what is right) and forbid munkar (what is wrong) and believe in Allah” [aal-Imran – 3:110].
1. Being part of this ‘best ummah’ means we are privileged and obliged to care for what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Syria. So, we must continue to care them with our prayers, our sadaqah and our voices.
The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said
يخذله ولا يكذبه ولا يخونه لا المسلم أخو المسلم
A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim. He should neither deceive him nor lie to him, nor leave him without assistance.
So we should not abandon the families in the UK who are being punished for sending sadaqah to alleviate the suffering of Muslims in Syria, whether individuals or charities. In particular, even if some people in the community might consider that it is unwise for Muslims in Britain to go, or that their help is best given in other ways; we should never condemn those who go there with an Islamic motivation to help the Muslims of Syria as being ‘criminal’ or ‘terrorists’, in accordance with the colonial British policies of the day.
They are today being called ‘extremists’ – just as Muslim women who wear Niqab, or Muslim men and women who sit separately in public events are being called ‘extremists’. This is all part of government’s the ‘Prevent’ policy – a policy of compulsion to their ‘deen’ of secular beliefs, liberal values, colonial foreign policies and a Capitalist world of nation states.
The real target of this and other attempts to criminalise Muslims who are motivated by Islam is to change the criteria for right and wrong from being the halal and the haraam, to being the liberal public opinion; thus forcing Muslims to conform to secular values here and overseas.
أَفَنَجْعَلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ كَالْمُجْرِمِينَ مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ
“Would We make the Muslims the same as the evildoers? What is the matter with you? On what basis do you judge?” [Al-Qalam: 36]
2. Enjoining ma’roof and forbidding munkar means being vocal in speaking for what is correct and against what is wrong – even if the Home Office and Foreign Office detest what we are saying and they use lies, smears and bullying to try to silence us.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا
“Believers! Fear Allah and speak words straight to the point. He will amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great achievement” [al-Ahzab – 33:70-71].
We should ask the politicians what business they have in criminalising Islam and Muslims? Does a serious government spend its efforts chasing people who never brought any harm to people in Britain – or should they catch thieves and rapists? Does a serious government chase after Muslim charities that gave sadaqah for Bashar’s victims – or clean up the corrupt world of finance that almost wrecked the global economy?
We should vocally oppose and expose today’s regional power games by global powers that interfere in the region, in particular their efforts to manufacture an opposition in the Geneva summits. Those who created the problems in the region should have no role in fixing them.
Furthermore, we should vocally support the desires of Muslims in Syria to replace the current oppression with an Islamic system; by redressing the propaganda that such a system would worsen the sectarianism unleashed by al-Assad or oppress minorities. Indeed, it is only the Islamic system – the Khilafah – that unified all people in the region for centuries before it was fractured by Sykes-Picot, Balfour and a host of other regional power games of the Western powers. It was because of this Khilafah system that Christian and Jewish communities were protected and maintained in Bilad al Shaam.
3. Finally, and most importantly, we should trust in Allah alone and recall at all times:
إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ اللّهُ فَلاَ غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا الَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّن بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكِّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
”If Allah is your helper none can overcome you, and if He withdraw His help from you, who is there who can help you after Him? In Allah let believers put their trust” [aal-Imraan 3:160].
Hizb ut-Tahrir, Britain
13th Jumaad I, 1435
14th March, 2014