MUSLIM HISTORY: In 1920, the newly manufactured nation of Iraq that the British had created was tiring of British rule. Although they claimed they were guiding a new state towards independence, the Empire had instead installed puppet leaders. turning the place into a de facto colony.
Iraq is the product of a lying empire. An invention of colonial masters. The British carved it duplicitously from ancient history and thwarted Muslim hopes, it was seized by destroying the Muslim Ottoman Empire. In its place they created a nation from the dunes of Mesopotamia and the mountains of Kurdistan at the end of the first world war. Unsurprisingly, anarchy and insurrection were there from the start.
The British responded with gas attacks.
Fed up with their imperial overlords, the Muslims - the British called them 'Iraqis' turned to revolution, only for the British to unleash wave after wave of atrocities against them.
First the RAF conducted nighttime bombing raids on civilian targets. Then they deployed chemical weapons against the fighters, gassing whole groups of them. But the real horrors came in the aftermath, when the victorious British decided to use collective punishment against the offending tribes.
From that point on, any tribe that caused a fuss would have one of its villages randomly annihilated. Specific orders were given to exterminate every living thing within its walls, from animals to rebels to children.
Other villages were subject to random searches. If the British found a single weapon, they would burn the place to the ground, destroy the crops, poison wells, and kill livestock. They’d sometimes target weddings to terrorize the population.
Churchill was particularly keen on chemical weapons, suggesting they be used "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment". He dismissed objections as "unreasonable". "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes _ [to] spread a lively terror _" In today's terms, "the Arab" needed to be shocked and awed. A good gassing might well do the job.
Conventional raids, however, proved to be an effective deterrent. They brought Sheikh Mahmoud, the most persistent of Kurdish rebels, to heel, at little cost. Writing in 1921, Wing Commander J A Chamier suggested that the best way to demoralise local people was to concentrate bombing on the "most inaccessible village of the most prominent tribe which it is desired to punish. All available aircraft must be collected the attack with bombs and machine guns must be relentless and unremitting and carried on continuously by day and night, on houses, inhabitants, crops and cattle."
"The Arab and Kurd now know", reported Squadron Leader Harris after several such raids, "what real bombing means within 45 minutes a full-sized village can be practically wiped out, and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured, by four or five machines which offer them no real target, no opportunity for glory as warriors, no effective means of escape."
In his memoir of the crushing of the 1920 Iraqi uprising, Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer L Haldane, quotes his own orders for the punishment of any Muslim found in possession of weapons "with the utmost severity": "The village where he resides will be destroyed _ pressure will be brought on the inhabitants by cutting off water power the area being cleared of the necessaries of life". He added the warning: "Burning a village properly takes a long time, an hour or more according to size".
In short, the British deliberately targeted civilians in a campaign that lasted the better part of half a decade, all because a few Muslims had dared to ask for their land back.
Ask yourself this - what has changed? And when will you as a Muslim be allowed to choose how you live, your Government, your self determination?