The Muslim community in the UK has become accustomed to the constant scrutiny the British government and media affords it. Hardly a week goes by without an attack on Islam , Islamic values and the Muslim community, everything from Halal meat to school governors are used as a pretext to vilify Islam. A day after Tony Blair urged the Western world to unify against the global ‘Islamist’ threat, the UK counter terrorism unit is calling upon Muslim women, in the UK to help them prevent young Muslim men going to fight in Syria. The “oppressed” mothers , wives and yes girlfriends of would be Muslim ‘Jihadists’ are being urged to confront and inform on the men in their lives if they feel there is a chance they might go and fight in Syria. In a continuation of the attempts to criminalise the very concept of a Muslim Ummah this latest move is a desperate attempt to convince the Muslim community of the governments narrative on Syria. A narrative which leaves the plight of the Muslims in Syria and elsewhere at the behest of the global powers which have stood by for the last three years as hundreds of thousands of Muslims have died in Syria, they have been cannibalised in the Central African Republic and forgotten in Burma.
Western agenda for Syria
Syria for the UK and the Western World has become a real problem in that they cannot be seen to be openly supporting the butcherer al-Assad while concerned that his removal will usher in an alternative independent Islamic Government. Thus changing the geopolitical landscape in the region. The the vast majority of those fighting on the ground in Syria do not want Western intervention as they know from Iraq and Afghanistan that liberation comes with the heavy price of colonial occupation with imposed systems and proxy governments. It is within this political no-win situation that the West have written a false narrative about how allowing the opposition to topple al-Assad will lead to an apocalyptic situation for the rest of the world, where no one will be safe from the “Islamist” threat. However such exaggerations comes even after al-Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons were given over to the West and which should have been destroyed by now. The real threat is to Western hegemonic control over the Arab and Muslim lands through the desire of many of the Syrian opposition to see an independent unifying Islamic government, Al Khilafah.
It is no secret that Britain and the rest of the Western powers fear the rise of Islam in the Muslim world, hence they spend their political lives promoting democracy and freedom across the Middle East simply bywords for secular capitalism. Therefore they have provided political and financial support for the SNC (Syrian National Council) insofar that they implement the Wests agenda in Syria. And if that fails, propping up secular dictators whether explicit in the case of Sissi or implicit in the case of al-Assad, who to serve their interests.
Muslim in Britain come to the aid of Muslims in Syria
It is into this mix of no-colonial geopolitics comes the efforts made by the Muslim community in the UK to aid their brothers and sisters in Syria, through words, charity, medical aid and with a small proportion physically going to Syria to fight. All these actions give hope to the people of Syria that they can withstand the onslaught of al-Assad and the complicity of the West with the support of the Muslim Ummah around the world even if Muslim governments remain inactive and continuing their servitude to the West. It is for these reasons, the fear of the establishment of the Khilafah and the loss of its geopolitical interests that the British Government finds the travelling of ordinary Muslim men going to fight in Syria so reprehensible. This is why so much pressure has been applied on the Muslim community, why charities or doctors travelling to provide humanitarian aid to those brutalised by al-Assad’s regime are now being investigated and the very act of caring for your Ummah being criminalised
False narrative of radicalisation
The reasons being given for effectively asking Muslim women to spy on their loved ones include the potential for radicalisation whilst in Syria, the dangers of going to a war zone and the call to aid Syrian Muslims via mainstream charities. It should be noted that according to the British government’s rather loose definition of a radical, those wishing to travel to fight in Syria fit that category before they leave as do those who wish to travel with aid convoys. The notion that being in Syria will somehow create a generation of would be terrorists in the UK does not stand up to scrutiny. If seeing war and suffering is indeed a cause for radicalisation then surely the same thinking should apply to the many non-Muslims who travel to Syria as part of humanitarian organisations. Yet only Muslims are the suspects!
The truth is political interests come before human life, whereas the young men who travel to Syria sacrifice perfectly comfortable lives in the UK to go and help their brothers and sisters, the UK government would rather see lives lost in Syria and maintain the delicate balance of keeping al-Assad in power. When it suited the UK government many Muslims were encouraged to travel from the UK to Libya and fight against Gaddafi only a few years ago, there was no prosecution of them when and if they returned. Libya was no less a ‘radical’ environment than Syria with those fighting Gaddafi including Abdelhakim Belhadj a man whom the UK secret services labelled a terrorist not long before the Libyan uprisings.
Even non-Muslim Brits have and still do, go to fight for causes they believe to be just, during the Spanish civil war many went to fight against the fascist regime of Franco including George Orwell, to this day Jewish men go to Israel to be conscripted into and fight for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). A force that many across the globe including those in the political class in Britain see as nothing more than a by-proxy terrorist organisation. However the police, government and media do not see these men as anything other than fulfilling a right of passage that any British Jew should be afforded, the right to ‘protect’ his own even if it is at the expense of propping up an illegal occupation and the killing of innocents.
If radicalisation does exist in Britain, it exists amongst those who have been sent off to far away lands to fight for the sake of the corporate and political interests of their country, it is because of this that they return and carry out Islamophobic attacks against Mosques and individuals. Having been indoctrinated by the hate speech of colonial occupation, it is of little surprise that they act violently towards the very people they were told were the enemy in lands far away. Even many in the UK are concerned with the high numbers of British ex soldiers currently in the criminal justice system (20,000 veterans).
Every week (or even daily) we see some new initiative that attempts to criminalise key aspects of Islam. Through attempting to call on mothers or wives of Muslims to spy and report on their loved ones they have once again create suspicion on the entire Muslim community in the UK. The aim is to silence the Muslim communities support for the Syrian uprising and to criminalise key concepts such as Shariah, Khilafah or the concept of the global Muslim Ummah.
Therefore as Muslims we must be reminded that we must stand by our Islamic values and not allow them to be changed or modified. We must speak up for those in the Muslim world who oppose secular dictators like al-Assad and expose the neo-colonial plans in Syria and elsewhere around the Muslim world. In addition we should resist attempts to criminalise and demonise those Muslims in the UK who have sought to help the Muslims of Syria. People may ask whether or not these people are innocent – but should be in no doubt as to the guilt of successive British governments in their anti-Muslim policies. We must not abandon those families who have become victims of draconian politicised policies that have made Britain a police state for Muslims.