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Islamophobia

The Product of a Clash of Civilisations


You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your
personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those
who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who
ascribe partners to Allah, but if you persevere patiently, and become Al-Muttaqoon
then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs, and that is from the great
matters, (which you must hold on with all your efforts)." [TMQ Ale-Imran: 186]
Today we face an important test that will determine the future of Muslims in this
country and how Muslims are perceived by others in Western society. In the post
September 11th era, one can find more than ever, that there is a trial of Islam and
unlike most trials where the defendant is innocent until proven otherwise, the verdict
of guilty has already been passed and Muslims have since then been eager to present
the defence of their Deen.
Muslims are accused of being terrorists, violent, backward, oppressive towards
women, ignorant and uncivilised, barbaric, inferior and unable to engage in
productive debate; a rigid people caught in their ancient ways that are incapable of
producing a positive contribution to the changing face of humanity.
Without doubt in today's climate, to be a Muslim in Britain or elsewhere in the West is
to be under suspicion with every move monitored and scrutinised. It is to be under
threat and at the receiving end of prejudice, discrimination, and alienation as well as
being open to verbal abuse and physical attack.
In the last two years there has been an alarming rise in 'Islamophobia', with many
incidents of anti-Muslim prejudice being widely documented by NGOs. In total there
have been 674 reported cases and many others that have not been officially reported
out of fear of reprisal, including three allegations of anti-Muslim motivated rapes. In
all the cases documented, 51% fell under the category of serious and violent crimes,
28% under the category of verbal and written abuse, 16% were psychological pressure
and harassment, 3% under the category of discrimination and 2% miscellaneous.
Some of the incidents reported included the following:
1. Muslim adults and children were attacked physically and verbally. They were
pelted with fruit and vegetables, hit with umbrellas at bus stops, punched, spat at and
publicly doused with alcohol.
2. In Manchester a 20-year-old Muslim woman was battered about the head and body
by a young white man, with a hammer on a crowded tram.
3. A woman in Swindon was hospitalised after being beaten with a metal baseball bat
because she wore Khimaar (headscarf).
4. In Glasgow, a 20-year-old female student was assaulted with a bottle whilst on a
bus by a man who called her a "Muslim bas***d."

5. Two Cambridge University students had their headscarves ripped off, in broad
daylight outside a police station.
6. Saba Zaman, who in July 2001 had her scarf pulled off and two of her ribs broken
in Tooting, London, was stopped and searched by the police three times in as little as
two weeks.
7. A woman and her children were chased into their home in Swansea by up to eight
men who called them terrorists and then threatened to bomb their house. Foyzul Bari
age 47, a businessman, said he returned home to find his family "shocked and shaken"
by the incident.
8. A girl aged seven at a West London primary school, was told by dinner ladies that
Muslims were killers.
9. There was an attempted arson on a Muslim nursery in Surrey whilst the children
and their teachers were still inside.
10. Dog excrement and fireworks were pushed through the letterboxes of Muslims
and bricks were thrown through their windows.
11.In West London shortly after September 11th, an Afghan taxi driver Hamidullah
Gharwal, was attacked and left paralysed from the neck down by three passengers in
his cab.
12. Mosques and Asian-run businesses around the country were vandalised.
13. Nine pigs' heads were dumped outside a mosque in Exeter. Many mosques were
said to have not reported attacks because of the fear of reprisals.
14. Muslim graves have been desecrated.
Certainly the above incidents are a rude awakening for the Muslims amongst us
buoyant with their pride in British citizenship, nationality and identity. Through the
attacks and discrimination that ensued on the street level, in the media and through the
institutionalised 'Islamophobia' displayed by the UK government the message was
clear; Islam is the enemy and you are a Muslim. For whilst all of the victims in these
incidents have had nothing to do with the attacks on September 11th, they have been
nonetheless painted with the same brush and targeted mercilessly.
Today the trend continues. During the colonial war on Iraq, attacks against Muslims
increased again. In a council estate in Wrexham, 200 men with metal bars, knives and
petrol bombs began to attack Kurdish asylum seekers calling them terrorists, with one
man severely hospitalised as a result. In Portsmouth, an Iraqi woman was subjected to
abuse, firstly by being threatened and then attacked by two white men with baseball
bats, for wearing Khimaar (headscarf) and then having her home vandalised by
pelting with bricks. In June of this year, Awais Alam aged 45 from Walthamstow and
a father of three, was beaten to death by two white men because he refused to accept
their racist and anti-Muslim remarks.

Despite these violent attacks and the environment of threat and intimidation that
Muslims are currently facing, the media irresponsibly as ever continues to fuel
'Islamophobia' through its unabated attack on Islam
'ISLAMOPHOBIA' IN THE MEDIA
Over the years we have read numerous popular press articles attacking Islamic
customs and culture. For example:
"You can be British without speaking English or being Christian or being white, but
nevertheless Britain is basically English-speaking, Christian and white, and if one
starts to think that it might become basically Urdu-speaking and Muslim and brown,
one gets frightened and angry because of our obstinate refusal to have enough
babies, Western European civilisation will start to die at the point when it could have
been revived with new blood. Then the hooded hordes will win, and the Koran will
be taught, as Gibbon famously imagined, in the schools of Oxford." [Charles Moore:
"Time for a More Liberal and 'Racist' Immigration Policy," The Spectator, 19 October
1991]
In an article published in The People entitled, "Slaughtering goats, burning books
mutilating teenagersand still they want me to respect their Muslim ways," Carol
Sarler writes, "With the wishy-washy excuse that 'it's their culture', we are supposed
to tolerate idiots slaughtering goats on streets in Kensington, groups of idiots burning
books on streets in Bradford and wealthy bigger groups building mosques on streets
everywhere."
And whilst not content with their anti-Muslim remarks alone, some even went as far
as to state that it is justifiable. The Daily Telegraph's Peregrine Worsthorne in an
article entitled "I Believe in Islamophobia" (1 March 1997) wrote: "To worry about
contemporary Islam is not mad. It would be mad to do otherwise."
Back then, Islamophobic attitudes were more or less centred around themes and
prejudices of Islam being inferior and uncivilised, and Muslims being raving barbaric
lunatics who like to make animals suffer and behave like "demented yoyos bobbing
their heads up and down on a prayer mat" as described by The People newspaper.
Today however, after 9/11 the fears instilled in the public about Muslims in the press
are more disturbing and the resulting prejudices more frightening. It is no longer only
about fear of cultural differences and customs that we are now labelled as "terrorists,"
in the minds of many and a threat to the fabric of Western society which must be
stopped.
More recently, the BBC drama series "Spooks" depicted a Mosque in Birmingham as
home to a terrorist cell, recruiting children to commit terrorist attacks in British
schools and playgrounds; the consequence of which was further attacks on mosques
and Muslims.
The Daily Telegraph, under the heading, "A religion that sanctions violence" depicted
Islam as a major threat to peace. The Daily Express's Carol Sarler wrote in reference
to the Quran: "Now as far as I am concerned, this is no more than a bloodthirsty little

book that is firmly rooted where it should have stayed - in the times and values of the
early seventh century when it was written." She further went on to say in reference to
the advocates of "Multiculturalism": "they seek allowance for cultures other than
the indigenous to be accepted in their entirety - and the bottom line is that when it
comes to Islam, the acceptance is something a liberal cannot properly offerWe are
not allowed to pick and choose: love the food and pinch the kohl but reject the beaten
wives, hate the suppression of women and find repugnant the Halal butchery."
On the 22nd October 2002, the Evening Standard's Brian Sewell wrote in an article
under the heading "A noose around the globe", "The fact remains that Islam has
always been militant; the urge to conquer and convert began with the great imperial
thrust of Mohammed himselfAnd what will Islam gain? It will secure the old
certainties of poverty, disease, the suffocating conformism compelled by the beatings,
amputations and hideous executions of Shari'ah law."
INSTITUTIONALISED 'ISLAMOPHOBIA'
Such attitudes would not have been tolerated had they been about Jews or Sikhs.
Newspaper editors would think twice before printing anything considered even mildly
discriminatory towards them, for these are minorities protected by the law. Unlike
Muslims, each is considered to be an ethnic group and a "race" and therefore
protected by the Race Relations Act 1976.
Today even the BNP (British National Party), realising the blatant gap in the law has
changed its racist rhetoric, as it now has a much more appealing message to the
masses, a more saleable product, enabling it to win seats in local councils and gain a
foothold into local politics. "Islam out of Britain," is its recent campaign for which it
has set up an "Ethnic Liaison Committee" to allow anti-Muslim elements from the
Sikh and Hindu communities to participate.
The discrimination against Islam and Muslims has resulted in a person being able to
print, distribute and openly call for the killing of all Muslims and then admitting it
openly, as with the case of James Sinclair, a 31 year-old fork-lift truck driver from
Peterborough. His leaflets urged people to find, beat and kill Muslims as well as burn
mosques. For this he was sentenced to only 82 days in prison. In addition to this the
Judge had the audacity to state, "there is no evidence any violence was provoked by
these leaflets" to justify the light sentence, whilst ironically the same legal system
sentenced Sheikh Faisal to nine years imprisonment under some little known
Victorian law.
Muslim teenagers can get prison sentences of 4-9 years for rioting in reaction to racist
provocation and attacks, whilst rioters in Belfast are given fines and sentences as
lenient as 6 months for throwing petrol bombs at the police.
The UK government continued to hark on about Saddam's oppression of the Kurds as
justification for invading and colonising another independent state whilst it placed
Kurdish asylum seekers including women and children in detention centres, which are
in essence Category 2 prisons, accusing them of "slumming."

Tony Blair claims to be sensitive to Muslim concerns about the war on Iraq and yet
Mohsin Khan, 24, a reservist RAF pilot, who refused to fight in the war and says as a
Muslim he cannot fight other Muslims, was arrested and charged with being "absent
without leave."
The UK Home Secretary David Blunkett boasts about "multiculturalism" and then
calls political Islam "intolerance in the guise of cultural difference."
'ISLAMOPHOBIA', CAPITALISM AND ISLAM
Certainly this dread and hatred of Islam should come as no surprise, as this is an
Ummah caught in a struggle from day one to make Islam a beacon for humanity to
follow. As a result, over the centuries, Muslims have been both feared and detested by
some, as much as they have been welcomed and loved by others, for the Sunnah of
the Earth is that truth and falsehood will continue to clash until falsehood is no more.
"Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood (disbelief), so it destroys it, and behold,
it (falsehood) is vanished" [TMQ Al-Anbiyah: 18]
The anti-Muslim prejudice that Muslims are subjected to is nothing more than a
manifestation of this clash of civilisations between Islam and Western Capitalism. It
began with the Crusades, which led to the colonisation of Muslim lands, to the
destruction of the great Khilafah and the establishment of despotic rulers chosen by
those who consider Muslims as the enemy, to suppress the Deen. Today it is expressed
through the West's so called "war on terror".
It is no coincidence that the demonising of Muslims began just as the threat of
Communism began to recede, for Islam remains to be the only ideological challenge
left to confront Capitalism. The "red menace" of Communism is no more and Islam is
what threatens this decadent ideology and by all accounts this Deen is a formidable
enemy. Willi Claes, former Secretary General of NATO, once said:
"Muslim fundamentalism is at least as dangerous as Communism once was. Please
do not underestimate this riskat the conclusion of this age it is a serious threat,
because it represents terrorism, religious fanaticism and exploitation of social and
economic justice." [A TV interview reported by Inter Press Service 18 February 1995]
And hence Muslims will continue to live under intimidation in the West because of
this. They will experience prejudice and alienation despite the reassurances given by
the British government and its praise of Islam as a great religion. Indeed this is within
itself a policy of the "carrot and the stick." The carrot of Muslim Lords and MPs and
the stick that if you reject Western politics you are an extremist and fundamentalist
who will be open to attack by right wing extremists. The carrot of new rules to allow
Muslim male police officers to wear turbans and women officers to wear Hijab with
their uniforms and the stick of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001
where Muslims can be arrested and detained without evidence or charge. The carrot of
'Halal mortgages', more mosques, Islamic schools and the stick of Islamophobic
media institutions that depict mosques and schools as terrorist breeding grounds
resulting in violent attacks against them and hence a fear by mosque committees to
discuss political Islam and the Ummah's affairs.

Carrot and stick, checks and balances until Muslims sever themselves away from the
global Ummah. Until they consider themselves British before Muslim, until they
accept the Western politics and reject the Islamic politics, until they integrate fully
into British society, until they assimilate and dispose of Islam from their life's affairs
as one disposes of the old, dirty and tattered clothes.
"Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their
religion. Say: "Verily, the Guidance of Allah that is the (only) Guidance. And if you
were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of
Knowledge (i.e. the Qur'an), then you would have against Allah neither any Wali
(protector or guardian) nor any helper" [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 120]
Muslims must be engaging not defensive, they must be initiating not reactive.
Muslims must challenge these prejudices and stereotypes since that is the only way
that non-Muslims around can ever see Islam in a different light.
Muslims must enlighten themselves with the Islamic culture, broaden their knowledge
about Islam and instil pride in the youth with it. Let them know of Islamic history, the
greatness of the Islamic way of life, the glory under the Khilafah and the pivotal
contributions to science and humanity. Muslims must share these treasures with
Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Muslims must also familiarise themselves with the exploitative and decadent
Capitalism so that they can refute it and challenge its falsehood. They must show its
colonialist foreign policy and oppression of others and destroy it intellectually.
Treat the womenfolk as Allah (swt) ordered, with kindness and compassion. Honour
them, treasure them, protect them for they are the "vessels of value" that tomorrow's
generation nourishes on today. Let the Kafir learn from Muslims how women are
honoured and respected in contrast to how they are treated in Western society today as
sex objects, abandoned single mothers and battered wives where today in Britain
according to senior Metropolitan police officers, there are around 35,000 cases of
domestic violence per month, while most incidents go unreported.
Indeed, now more than ever in these perilous times all Muslims must be ambassadors
of Islam. They should not fear reprisals or intimidation, aggression or discrimination,
when threatened with being stripped of citizenship or racist backlashes by the
advocates of integration. Remember Allah's (swt) words:
"Is not Allah Sufficient for His slave? Yet they try to frighten you with those besides
Him" [TMQ Az-Zumar: 36].
Peregrine Worsthorne in the early 1990s said, "Islam was once a great civilisation
worthy of being argued with. But now it has degenerated into a primitive enemy fit
only to be sensitively subjugated."
He is half right and now it is up to Muslims to prove once again through their efforts,
by intensifying the Da'wah and working for the return of Islam and the reestablishment of the Islamic State. That of surety it remains the greatest of
civilisations and the only civilisation able to solve humanity's affairs, manage society
and bring peace and prosperity to this Dunya. Z

Waleed