Written for 5pillars UK
Dr Abdul Wahid, chairman of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, asks when will Muslim states step up to their responsibilities and liberate Palestine and Kashmir.
Many were shocked at the images of the past few days and hours. A few will have been following events going back over the past few weeks. But unless we look at the events in their complete political and geopolitical context we cannot hope to learn lessons and help the Palestinian people in their plight, nor take up our role as Muslims should do as part of this Ummah.
The horrific scenes of armed occupying Zionist troops launching an assault on worshippers – including women, children and the elderly, violating the sanctity of Al Masjid Al Aqsa – was a shock to many.
Others, however, have been aware of the escalating problems in Al Quds over the past few weeks.
So-called “Israeli settlers” have made their aims to occupy areas of East Jerusalem – which the Western powers call “Arab East Jerusalem,” as if only this small portion of land is legitimately theirs! Their aggression has rarely been so bold and arrogant. They march through the streets calling en-masse for “Deaths to Arabs.” They raided Palestinian homes smashing windows. They threw people out of their own homes, literally stealing them with impunity, as their own security forces watched them doing so.
As the plan of the settlers and authorities to occupy yet more neighbourhoods became more apparent, particularly in the Al Quds neighbourhood known as Sheikh Jarrah. Palestinian families who were breaking their fasts in public places were openly attacked.
But despite the hostility, young men, elderly women and even children have refused to be intimidated by the aggressive, arrogant Zionist occupiers and the support from their gun-waving, grenade-throwing security forces.
The images shared with us daily on social media will have been rightly shocking. Yet it was on a trip to the Blessed Land two years ago that I learned the full extent of what has happened over the decades.
The Zionist occupiers, not content with the stolen land “bestowed” upon them by the UN – nor with the stolen land occupied by them in violation of the UN since 1967 – have not merely expanded their settlements into colonies stretching for miles in areas that are supposed to be part of the Palestinian Authority; they have clear designs on taking the whole land house-by-house, neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood. The same pattern is being followed across Palestine, and it seems very clear the holy sites, like Al Aqsa itself.
Sometimes land is bought by U.S.-owned corporations. There have been cases where treacherous intermediaries from places like the UAE would buy properties from Palestinians, then sell them to occupiers.
But most commonly this programme was conducted with a pseudo-legal process, claiming properties and land as having disputed claims, or not complying with building regulations. Then, after these processes, the land or property was stolen.
The process has been most extreme in cities like Al Khaleel (Hebron), where the old part of the city around the Masjid has been securitised beyond belief to protect the occupiers – and where people have seen the masjid move from a “shared” site of worship to effectively being fully under Zionist control. This appears to be the blueprint for the plans for Jerusalem.
Traitorous Muslim states
All of this is horrific, but not the real problem
As sickening as these people are, the real problem is not the occupiers – not the settlers, nor the troops, nor the politicians. They are beneath contempt, but they could not do what they do without backing.
The real problem are the ones who have secured their occupation in the region. Turkey, Egypt and Jordan have had the longest standing relations with the Zionist entity – with security cooperation, diplomatic and trade links. Occasionally the politicians in Ankara and Amman say some words about the “excesses” but generally the cooperation remains.
Then came Trump’s Deal of the Century. Instead of pretending that there was an even handed approach, Trump said it how it was. Previous U.S. Presidents had said Jerusalem should be the capital of the Zionist entity (including Obama) – Trump moved the embassy. Previous U.S. governments had sat idly by as the colonisers advanced in their plans – Trump legitimised their colonisation. And to cap it all, he arranged for the private relations that existed between some of the Arab regimes – UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco – to become normalised, promising trade and wealth for all.
Biden has notably not backtracked on this key area of Trump’s policy.
It is against this background that the Zionist occupiers have become ever-more emboldened and shameless.
(In a similar – though much smaller way – when Muslim politicians or government backed Imams enjoy good relations with Zionist occupiers, they further embolden them, because they allow themselves to be duped them that they are not anti-Muslim or anti-Palestinian, just interested in peace and security).
But what does this have to do with Kashmir?
Well, one can see a potentially similar approach in Kashmir. The U.S. would love nothing more than a strong India to counterbalance the dominant regional power, China.
Hostilities with Pakistan do not help achieve this goal. So, imagine when one reads the words of General Bajwa – Washington’s man in Islamabad – earlier this year when he tempted his listeners with the promise of economic rewards from resetting relations with India and “settling” (meaning surrendering) the Kashmir issue.
Bajwa said: “Stable Indo-Pak relation is a key to unlock the untapped potential of South and Central Asia by ensuring connectivity between East and West Asia. This potential however, has forever remained hostage to disputes and issues between two nuclear neighbours. The Kashmir dispute is obviously at the head of this problem. It is important to understand that without the resolution of the Kashmir dispute through peaceful means, the process of sub-continental rapprochement will always remain susceptible to derailment due to politically motivated bellicosity. However, we feel that it is time to bury the past and move forward. But for the resumption of the peace process or meaningful dialogue, our neighbour will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in Indian Occupied Kashmir.”
One can only imagine that if these plans were realised – and that the people of Kashmir did not even have the voice of the political class in Islamabad on their side (never mind the fact that the political class avoids discussing liberation) – what impunity Modi and his like would have to commit even more atrocities in Kashmir.
Where do we go from here?
It is only by understanding this geopolitical context – and not merely the immediate colonising atrocities – that people can hope to even pray for the right solution, never mind work for it.
The region was thrown into oppression and chaos by a shake up of the region after World War One – when the lands were occupied, divided, secularised and ruled by client regimes; and the Zionist entity implanted to create a colonial outpost for the West in the Middle East.
It is only a similar political shake up that will rectify the problem – uniting the lands and resources and people, under a sincere Islamic leadership, that has the political will to liberate Palestine and establish the only kind of rule that has ever created stability and harmony for Muslims, Jews and Christians in the region.
It is only armies of a state that can liberate a state-level military occupation.
That is what Salahuddin (may Allah have mercy on him) did centuries ago. That is what the people of Palestine cry out for today – and that all of this can only come with the re-establishment of the Khilafah, on the method of Prophethood.
Although Muslims should raise their hands in dua for the Muslims of Palestine, our actions and our dua should be calling for the right solution. And every prayer or action that is build upon working for the correct solution – even if it is just raising awareness of the problem and solution to transform the region, or openly shaming the governments in the Muslim world for their complicity – is better than a thousand vague actions which accept the situation as it is today. It is no good sympathising with the Palestinians but then legitimising their oppressors and those who collude with them.
The brave Palestinian people see themselves as guardians of the land and the holy places- not conceding even when their leaders do.
Meanwhile, the rest of us, especially those with the ability to change the situation and rescue the people, should feel humiliated and shamed by their steadfastness, and our inaction in terms of trying to change the situation.
وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَـٰتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ وَٱلنِّسَآءِ وَٱلْوِلْدَٰنِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلْقَرْيَةِ ٱلظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَٱجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَٱجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا
“And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper” [Surah An-Nisā – 4:75]