Posted from Asghar Bukhari
I am going to tell you a tale of two story’s and one of them could get you killed.
The first is the story of Western political elites. Their story is about Islam. They tell you that Islam (or if they can’t be honest ‘ Islamism’), is a threat to the world, that this medieval religion is violent and barbaric, a faith that leads to violence and one that the West must take action against in order to defend itself. It is a story that inevitably leads to a clash of civilizations.
It is repeated in newspapers & news channels in the Western World every single day in various subtle ways and as a result white westerners believe it.
Muslims also tell a story, and it also involves Islam. This is the one that could get you killed. They tell a story of an American Empire pushed by Israel and its lobby and old European hatreds into yet another war against Muslims. In their story the West had been waging wars to uphold their manufactured borders across the Muslim world that allowed them to control and dominate the region and kept that order maintained them by propping up ruthless dictators. The resulting deaths and broken lives now measured in their millions.
The Muslim story was not unlike the story Muslims had told each other for decades, ever since the fall of the Muslim political expression - the Ottoman Empire. But there were two key differences in this story. Over the decades many Muslims had lost faith in nationalism. In all too many cases it had brought them nothing but misery. The borders the West had forced Muslims to live under since 1922 had inevitably and inexorably lost their legitimacy.
So they looked for another identity and found it in Islam. And as they gravitated to this new identity they no longer saw themselves primarily as Palestinians, Iraqi’s or Pakistani’s etc. Instead they started to identify themselves - as Muslims.
When I say a Muslim identity I do not mean a passive spiritual consciousness of people who practiced certain rituals. Internal religious understanding that demanded adherence to strict rituals but could change nothing about their world being destroyed, or the millions suffering as a result — apart from perhaps, giving some charity. An apolitical identity that Muslims took to after their defeat at the hands of colonizing armies.
Instead, what I mean, is a Muslim political identity was re-emerging. A consciousness was forming of who they were in this world. A people who were not passive spectators in a world controlled by others. A people who saw themselves as one community & not split into tribes by manufactured lines drawn in the sand by their colonial masters. In short a Muslim identity that was politically awakened. An identity that was not given by their colonizers but by themselves.
The other difference was, more and more of them were prepared to fight for it.
It is these two narratives that are at war in the world today. It is these two narratives that Western politicians, are using laws & wars to either uphold or destroy.
When the reader hears the words ‘hate preacher’ or ‘Islamist’ or Jihadist’ or ‘extremist’ — what they were really hearing was political propaganda for a political agenda. In truth it was nothing at all to do with real ‘terrorism’.
It was in reality to uphold a world order they had imposed upon the Muslim World after the first world war.
And Western Elites would go to extraordinary lengths to ensure the dominance of their narrative. Their order depended on it. Thus these propaganda words were weapons, they were used to legitimize the subsequent action they needed to take against those who spoke a counter narrative.
In Muslim countries this was easy. They simply got their local dictator to eliminate the citizen who expressed his beliefs too loudly. This is documented in the superb book Dirty Wars by Scahill and in the equally shocking book Cruel Britannia by Cobain.
But here in the UK the Government used subtler methods.
Black lists are complied, previously apolitical institutions like Universities and the Charity Commission are used to spy on and intimidate Muslims into silence. If that failed, calling them ‘extremists’ was a catch-all and could smooth the way to silencing them by putting them in prison or house arrest, ASBO’s, press vilification, black mail and harassment by the intelligence services. The power structure was guaranteed public support, they had been taught to fear these ‘buzz words’ surprisingly even Muslims were silent — no one after all wanted to be seen defending an ‘extremist’.
The average white non-Muslim would never truly understand either why his Government was waging wars abroad (or demonizing Muslims here) or why Muslims seemed to be ever more ready to take to violence themselves. It would all be explained away as fighting ‘terrorists’.
Am I saying that all these Muslims were freedom loving, liberal minded people? Of course not? But hell does not produce many poets and the Muslim world and its bombed out cities were as close to hell as you could get on this earth.
However there was a fly in the ointment for Western Elites. Muslims were increasingly becoming politically awakened.
The problem was the brutal force the West was using to maintain its order was in fact it’s Achilles heal. The more the West killed; kidnapped; tortured; demonized; brutalized; and the more they denied people the ability to choose their own destiny — or even speak about it — the more the Muslim story of oppression and their quest for freedom appeared to ring true.
If before it was just an abstract and interesting theory, it now came alive before their very eyes, and the insoluble proof lay in the dead bodies or broken families they witnessed — and thanks to the internet, millions were witnessing it daily.
And that is why the West cannot beat Al-Qaeda. Because it’s not Al-Qaeda they are fighting anymore. The story of the struggle is growing beyond a small group. Today across the world they are fighting young, committed angry men, from all walks of life, in Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Mali, Yemen, Kenya, Libya and the list is growing.
And these men and women are no longer willing to accept that they must live under Western backed dictators, in Western manufactured states and do not think their lives are cheaper than anyone else’s. They do not see it is their lot in life to see their people slaughtered by drones or kidnapped never to be seen again — they intend to stop it.
We can’t beat these groups by doing the very thing that made them take up arms in the first place. Violence begets violence.
Putting it bluntly.
Muslims are human beings. No human being can live under an unjust order for ever. Eventually they will fight to overturn that order — and that is exactly what they are doing.
And if you were a Muslim saying exactly what I have just said in this article …it could get you killed.