While members of the British government have been celebrating and expressing how proud they are that Britain was instrumental in “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” members of the Muslim community, in Britain and all over the world, have been exasperated at the audacity and shamelessness of one of the worst crimes of the past century.
The colonial interests of Britain at the time meant ignoring any sentiments for the plight of the Jewish population of Europe, as is falsely claimed was the motivation behind the Balfour Declaration. That was then, and nothing has changed since then; other than the weakening of Britain’s international standing, such that it now plays second fiddle to America in their joint quest to colonise the world.
Britain had been encouraging the migration of the Jewish people to Palestine since the early 19th century. In 1840 Lord Palmerston writes to Lord Ponsonby, British Ambassador to the Ottoman Khilafah:
“It would be of manifest importance to the Sultan to encourage the Jews to return and settle in Palestine because the wealth which they would bring with them would increase the resources of the Sultan’s dominions; and the Jewish people, if returning under the sanction and protection, and at the invitation of the Sultan, would be a check upon any future evil designs of Mehemet Ali (of Egypt) or his successor… I have to instruct Your Excellency strongly to recommend (to the Ottoman Government) to hold out every just encouragement to the Jews of Europe to return to Palestine.”
As Britain’s interests in the Middle East evolved, by 1916 together with France and Russia, they were secretly carving up the body of the Ottoman state between themselves – Palestine was to be internationalised. After Russia betrayed the secrecy of the Sykes-Picot agreement, the Jewish leaders in Europe protested against the idea of internationalisation of Palestine because it contradicted the idea of a Jewish national homeland, so Britain assured them that internationalisation was merely a tactical step. The 1917 Balfour Declaration promised British support for a “national home for the Jewish people,” while at the same time demanding that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” This vague wording was typical of the British colonial style, as aptly expressed by Lord Palmerston to Parliament in 1848:
“We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
The British vision was a sectarian state in which Jews were a sect, and Palestine was not to be their own, as a Jewish state, as they claim today.
A century on, the British “one state solution” has been forgotten and it is claimed that “international opinion is nearly unanimous that a two-state solution, including a sovereign Palestinian state, is the best if not only way forward in the century-old conflict over historical Palestine”.
What is most surprising after all of the past century’s experience with the Zionist occupation in Palestine, and its Western supporters America and Britain, is that it is not seen to be the colonial project that it is. Moreover, the tool most often used to defend the crimes of the Zionist entity, is the very body that Muslims often expect to provide the solution, namely the United Nations.
The United Nations has been and remains a colonial tool of the major powers, and it enabled the occupation to capture the blessed land and embarked on its division. It fell silent on the massacres by the Zionist entity, rather it endorsed them against the people of Palestine. Is it possible for a sane person to demand fairness and justice from it?
The “two state solution” as endorsed by the United Nations, promoted by America and now Britain, adopted by the Palestinian Authority and now Hamas, aims to recognise a permanent border between a Palestinian entity and a Jewish entity, which will of course recognise and endorse the century old occupation of the blessed Palestinian land. While the two sides to the negotiations squabble over the 1967 borders, one must ask about the land occupied in 1948, or indeed a century ago by the British. Is not all of this in need of liberation?
Winston Churchill made his view clear when he said:
“I do not admit that the dog in the manger (a reference to the Palestinian people) has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time.”
Palestine is a land blessed by Allah سبحانه وتعالى and is associated with the aqeedah of Islam and associated with the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ. It is the land blessed by Allah with His words and verses and Allah made it obligatory on the Muslims in the East and the West to protect and defend it and work for its liberation.
ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ
“And whoever honours the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts” [Al-Hajj:32]
The great concern that Muslims have for the blessed land and its people must be accompanied by an even greater concern for the future of Palestine and how it shall be governed. The discussion should not only be about who has authority, but about how that authority is exercised.
Let us not forget that the colonial project that brought the Zionist occupation to the Middle East, also brought the divided secular states of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and so on. The same colonial West also trumpet the call for greater democracy in the Middle East as yet another tool to distance Muslims from Islam.
It is worth, therefore, remembering the real meaning of democracy here in Britain, and ask whether this is the future that the long suffering Palestinian people have envisioned. Perhaps before we fall into line supporting yet another of the colonialist designs for the Middle East, we should ask ourselves whether we really do want this for our brethren in the blessed land.
- With democracy a small, elite political class will simply replace a ruling family and corporate interests as a substitute for family patronage.
- Democracy in Britain means a system of creating fear and xenophobic hatred of others. The media and politicians created the Brexit mess, as they did the Scottish independence movement, and the Northern Irish troubles, on the basis of nationalistic loyalties and simple base racialism.
- Democracy in Britain leaves corrupt council officials to ignore fire safety advice which lead to the inferno at Grenfell tower, killing over 80 residents.
- Democracy in Britain encourages materialism above all else, leaving people to literally fight each other, when their material interests are threatened.
- Democracy in Britain leaves a Muslim hating elite group to make laws and change laws to force their secular values and beliefs upon Muslim children in schools.
- Democracy in Britain, the world’s financial capital, allowed an elite group of bankers to nearly ruin the world’s economy, then get away with it, even profiting from it hugely. While the ordinary people are left paying for their greed for decades to come.
- Democracy here means voting for a party who makes countless promises before the election, then reneges on virtually all of them, when they go against the interests of the powerful capitalist elite.
- Western democracies unashamedly push democracy as the alternative to falling dictatorships having propped up the same repressive dictatorships for decades.
As the British people are once again contemplating the horrific crime of the First World War, wearing poppies and solemnly remembering the phrase “Never Again”, we should not lose this opportunity to contemplate on the horrific crimes of the past century, which will continue into the next century, if we do not learn the lessons of the past.
Dr Nazreen Nawaz from Hizb ut-Tahrir, put it very well, when she wrote: “As Muslims, we should also say, “Never Again!”…..“Never Again!” to putting our hopes in an impotent organisation to protect the blood of this Ummah! “Never Again” to having trust in a body that failed to safeguard the lives and rights of Muslims in countless lands – including in Gaza, Kashmir, Syria, and Central Africa! And “Never Again” to backing a path of action which distracts from the true solution to ending these tragedies against our Ummah. Indeed, the Prophet ﷺ said,
«لاَ يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ»
“The believer should not be stung from the same hole twice.”
The truth is, that despite the plans of colonialists, such as Britain, their destruction of the Ottoman Khilafah – the Islamic State of the day, their attempts to divide the Middle East among themselves, their attempts to divide the Muslims with the establishment of the Zionist entity, and their continuing attempts to prevent the return of the Rightly Guided Khilafah to the Muslim lands, in spite of all of this Allah says:
وَيَمكُرونَ وَيَمكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيرُ الماكِرينَ
“They plan and Allah plans, and Allah is the best of planners” [Al-Anfal: 30]
وَاللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَى أَمْرِهِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
“Allah is in control of His affair. However, most of mankind do not know” [Yusuf: 21]
The Messenger of Allah said:
“This matter (Khilafah) will continue after me in Al-Madina, then (move to) Al-Shaam, then to the Peninsula, then to Iraq, then to the city (Constantinople), then to Bait-ul-Maqdis. So if it reaches Bait-ul-Maqdis, then it would have reached its (natural resting place); and no people who remove it (i.e. the capital of the Khilafah) from their land will ever get it back again.” (Narrated by Ibn ‘Asakir, from Maserah b. Jalese).