2011 will be remembered as the year of the peoples protests, with millions coming to the streets of cities across the Middle East calling for the corrupt governments to go. Protests have taken place in Western cities for different reasons: student tuition fees, Greece’s austerity measures; and over this weekend against the killing of Mark Duggan in London which has triggered a spate of riots, every night since, right across the capital.
Protesters in the Middle East have suffered the wrath of their governments for their actions. Many thousands have lost their lives in Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Egypt but the protests have continued with a sense of dignified determination. This is in stark contrast to the protests in the Western world which have ultimately turned into a chaotic frenzy of mindless violence against not only the authorities but private property and public amenities.
The scenes of chaos and destruction from the student fees protests in London earlier this year have been surpassed with the violence and looting of those in Tottenham in London. After the protest over the death of Mark Duggan in police custody (not for the first time a black man has been killed in police custody), youth in Tottenham decided that it was time to create havoc. The riots have not simply been a case of pent up anger at social deprivation and poor housing coming to the surface it was an en-masse act of criminality.
It cannot be denied that the capitalist system has failed the minorities of London just as it has across the UK. However whereas the people of the Middle East reacted to deaf ears with determination and more zeal, Western freedom meant that those in London choose to just loot and burn establishments totally unconnected with their grievances.
The scenes of burning buildings in Tottenham and rioting spreading to Enfield is not surprising considering the capitalist creed’s inability to create social harmony and a sense of individual responsibility. Even if the flawed argument of social deprivation is entertained it speaks volumes that the down trodden must burn half their own high street to make their voices heard, so much for the power of the democratic ballot box.
As the magnitude of the economic failure of capitalism is starting to hit home the already shaky social morality of the West is beginning to unravel. The rise of the far right across Europe coupled with the violence in Greece and the UK are just the tip of the iceberg, as life becomes more difficult scenes such as those in Athens and London will become more frequent.
The Western world so accustomed to living the life of Riley through their colonialism are now suffering the same problems that places like Africa have for decades. The only difference is that capitalism is only good for creating materialism within the masses. It totally fails to teach them patience when times are difficult. The fuel protests of a few years ago which led to fighting over loaves of bread in supermarkets were then a reminder of the inability of western society to cope with even minor hardship.
To see the polar difference between Islam and capitalism you need only look to the suffering Muslims of Somalia, who are literally starving to death. Men and Women are walking for days on end to find just a meal for their dying children, some of the scenes are unbearable.
Despite all their suffering they have not lost their dignity and resorted to looting food stores en-masse they have put their trust in Alllah (swt) and held on to the dignity the Islamic values give them.
One can only imagine what those in London would do faced with a situation like that in Somalia.