The holding of yet another major conference in London to discuss Yemen’s future comes following the Christmas day bombing attempt of an American airliner. At a previous donor conference in 2006 in London, $5billion was pledged to Yemen with very little being disbursed, demonstrating once again that such conferences are increasingly PR junkets for Western politicians.
The agenda for the 2010 conference is set to tackle five key issues: terrorism and Al Qaeda’s increasing activity, the southern movement, the war against the Houthis, the political crisis between the government and the opposition, and the economy. However despite the stated agenda, the conference has very little to do with the future of Yemen and significantly more about Western government’s geo-strategic objectives in the region. We in Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain would like to make the following points:
1. Firstly, the Yemen Conference, like previous colonial run conferences, will institutionalise foreign interference in the country. Western governments continue their colonial doctrine to impose their foreign values by force in the Muslim world. Having witnessed the resurgence of support for Islamic governance in the region, western countries allied with their client state in Saudi Arabia want to open up yet another military front in the Islamic world. Following on from military occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as engaging in daily drone attacks in Pakistan, western governments believe that Yemen and Somalia should also now be brought into the fold.
2. Secondly, Western states remain fixated on the vast energy resources in the Gulf continuing their imperialist foreign policy over the last few centuries. With the added competition from China, and the increasing global importance of energy as oil runs out in the developed world, American plans to use Yemen as a base from which to continue to project her aggression upon the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen also provides a strategic location to control operations in the horn of Africa, something the United States with its ‘Africom’ command has been desperate to do.
3. Thirdly, the Saudi regime is simply a pawn in the Western plans in the region. Quick to flex its military muscle against the people of Yemen instead of seeking a political solution, the rulers in Riyadh become impotent when Israel drops bombs on Gaza.
4. Fourthly, Yemen is suffering due to chronic political mismanagement and the scourge of nationalism and sectarianism. Yemen does not need more Western aid or a dose of secular Western values. Political systems in the west are being increasingly exposed as hypocritical, controlled by corporate lobbyists, delivering unstable social models and irrelevant to peoples core needs. To truly solve the issue of separatism (a relic from colonial rule), to address the issue of the Houthis, to tackle Yemen’s poverty and corruption and to prevent frustration which translates into terrorism against innocents, requires transformational leadership. It is only the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) that can provide such leadership not western states with their discredited capitalist model.
A corrupt government supported by the West, a brutal civil and sectarian war to protect the privileges of a chosen elite, chronic insecurity for the ordinary citizen, brutal US missile strikes and a huge growth in unemployment are the key emblems of modern day Yemen. Western inspired solutions being presented at the conference will therefore exacerbate the current problems. Indeed the major problem in Yemen is not one of economic resources, or sectarianism but of political leadership. Yemen is neither a ‘basket case’ nor a ‘failed state’ and the main priority for the Yemeni people is to remove the failed Saleh regime. Unfortunately for its citizens they have been ruled over by a corrupt pro-Western leader for nearly two decades. The Saleh regime promotes political and security dependency on the West to cover its own inadequacies. It continually transmits the negative image that Yemen is a failed state a perpetual beggar, dependent upon Western largess rather than an independent nation capable of acting on its own, free of external influence. Unless the Yemeni people can rest their sovereignty from their own corrupt leadership and avoid the clutches of the West, they will not be able to overcome their current tribulations.
It is becoming increasingly apparent to the Muslims that the only system which takes account of all the ingredients needed for the Muslim world’s success – a stable economy, an accountable and representative executive, a system consistent with peoples’ Islamic values (not nationalistic or sectarian), independence from foreign control, and which prioritises people’s basic needs over the gains of a few or of private enterprise – can only be secured by an Islamic system. Furthermore, images of people taking the law into their own hands, sectarian violence, denial of women’s education and religious zealotry are the hallmarks of a local tradition, not the Islamic state. The Islamic Caliphate has an unmatchable record of becoming a melting pot for different nations and sects, embracing and propelling an ethos of learning and scientific innovation, granting rights to women and holding to account the rulers of the time.
Conferences hosted by Britain and America attended by these corrupt discredited rulers only serve to reinforce the colonial agenda of these countries in the Muslim world. It is only a matter of time when the politics of the Muslim world will be taken back by her peoples and an independent strong Islamic Khilafah State will be re-established.
11th Safar 1431
26th January 2010