The international drama being played out over Western intervention in Syria is a farce. The West, with its disasters in Afghanistan and Iraq, wants military strikes and is keen to show Russia, responsible for the worst human rights abuses in Chechnya, as intransigent.
To show the apparent strength of feeling, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power recently employed strong diplomatic words in condemning Russia. Power said “Russia continues to hold the Council hostage and shirks its international responsibilities.”The apparent disagreement is over who was responsible for the recent chemical weapons attack in Ghoutah. The US, France and Britain blame the Syrian regime while Russia believes the evidence presented is not credible.
In deciding whether or not to support western intervention in Syria we need to question the motives. Humanitarian reasons recently cited by US, British and French diplomats have to be doubted given the Syrian conflict has seen more than hundred thousand dead and, while the killings in Ghoutah are deplorable in the use of chemical weapons, they are a tip of the iceberg in a conflict that began in March 2011 with the brutal Syrian regime bombing whole towns and villages causing millions to flee their homes.
Recent examples of the West intervening in Muslim countries have been disastrous too. The US led invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 have been utter failures and have done little to stem the killing. In fact death tolls continue to rise to this day in both Afghanistan and Iraq while the Western occupation, far from being short lived, now stretches to over a decade. Western intervention has not only prolonged the conflicts but expanded them beyond Afghanistan and Iraq to the borders of Pakistan and Yemen, creating wider and deeper regional instability. And Western military strikes are seldom without collateral damage with the killing of hundreds of innocent women and children.
Russia though can hardly claim the higher moral ground given its scorched earth military annihilation of towns and cities in Muslim Chechnya.
On the question of Western intervention, from Islam Muslims should not seek protection from a non-Muslim nation. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has forbidden us from seeking such help:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ
“O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.); they are Auliya of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for Auliya, then surely he is one of them.” [TMQ 5:51]
And Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:
“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, unless you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return.” (Al-i Imran 3/28)
Similarly, Allah said: “O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them”, until, “And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.” (60:1)
The evidences in the Quran are supported by the saying of our noble Prophet Rasul’Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم who said: “Do not seek light from the fire of the polytheists.” [Ahmed]
Thus, Western intervention in Muslim lands has not brought peace but more death, destruction and greater misery as recent examples of Afghanistan and Iraq painfully illustrate. At the same time, Islam is very clear on this matter with many verses in the Quran emphasising that Muslims should not seek help, protection or friendship from disbelievers or the enemies of Islam and the Muslims; and anyone who does that has gone far astray from the Straight Path