The Muslim ‘extremists’ are identified by their reaction, to the belligerent actions of the British government towards the Muslim countries. In contrast, the silent majority are labelled as the moderates, as if they represent a single viewpoint on the same issue. So, who really speaks for the moderate Muslims in the UK? Sometime back, it was the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). However, the MCB is gradually being marginalised and tainted as an extremist voice. One can speculate on the reason as being the failure of the British government to utilise the organisation effectively, in particular the failure to legitimise its foreign policies in the eyes of the Muslims.
Furthermore, the MCB did not compromise on certain basic aspects of Islam. Indeed, it would have been futile for the organisation to deny the obligation to have a Caliphate, the existence of the penal codes, the obligation to observe the Hijab; these are too well narrated in the Islamic textual sources. Similarly, the MCB also stood by the universal principle of the right to resist foreign occupation, which is also an integral part of Islam. They were not willing to issue one-sided condemnation for acts of resistance (or terrorism) from Muslims, whilst remaining silent on the atrocities committed on the people of Palestine and Iraq that predates 9/11 and 7/7!
Thus, the MCB is gradually being replaced by an amalgamation of certain Sufi groups as representative of the silent majority. But, the problem is, many of these Sufi groups tend to be spiritual, lack experience and the resolve to get involved in political affairs. When they do, it usually backfires. For example, recently a one-sided edict issued by Dr. Tahir Al-Qadri condemning all acts of resistance as terrorism, which made no reference to the Muslims facing Anglo-American terrorism on a mass scale, adding to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israelis. Such erroneous verdicts are not going to have any resonance amongst the Muslim population and it will be discarded.
In addition, the British government is eagerly promoting groups like the Quilliam Foundation on the back of these Sufi groups, as it manufactures a new voice of the moderate Muslims. This organisation comprises of a few individuals who flout their credential of being ex-extremists or ex-Islamists. Allegedly, they saw the light on the road to Damascus, or should I say on the road to Downing Street; it was worthwhile, they have been rewarded with cheque for 1 million pound perhaps that was the source of their vision, and thus they were born-again ex-extremists.
The British government is not on some benevolent mission to promote the opinion that best represents the silent majority of Muslims in the UK. After all, this can be easily established by simply asking them. Their mission is to manufacture an opinion that would suit its agenda, and enforce that on the silent majority, they would be bullied into submission by the propaganda process of the efficient ubiquitous mass media. Perhaps, the moderates would finally concur with Tony Blair, and admit their sins for having a false sense of grievance. Thus, the illegal war, and the killings of the Muslims in numerous places is a mirage, the only thing real is 9/11, 7/7 and of course, Iraq’s WMDs! In this information age, it is difficult to conceal the reality. In any case, historically, the Muslims always had an understanding of the real world. Whether they are radical or moderate, they knew the world was spherical, long before Christendom was struggling with Galileo or Copernicus!
Despite catapulting few individual from the Quilliam gang onto the mainstream media, they have virtually no following amongst the Muslims. More than a year has passed, and just as I predicted, the number of ‘Muslims’ (maybe I should say individuals with Muslim heritage), in their organisation has shrunk, still well below double digits. To inflate their appearance as a representative group they are deploying desperate measures; for example, they would announce their allegiance to any group that issues one-side condemnation of ‘terrorism’ whilst remaining silent on the Anglo-US terrorism in distant lands.
The media often characterises extremist organisations based on their viewpoint and numbers, the Quilliam Foundation certainly qualifies based on their numbers. In terms of their views, it is also an extremist organisation as it is at odds with the views of the vast majority of Muslims in the UK and the established rules found in the clear textual evidences. Such organisations have more in common with American-Israeli neo-conservatism then they have with Muslims.
Accordingly, the Quilliam Foundation support Anglo-US terrorism in distant lands, and modern day oil-piracy. They promote the fundamentalist policy of waging war for democracy and profit; and legitimise violence against the defenceless Muslims in Gaza, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. No surprise, that their works are promoted by those who are openly hostile towards Islam and Muslims.
Consider the following point to contrast the position of the real extremist organisations that ally with militant warmongering regimes, with the moderate Muslims comprising of the vocal and silent majority.
• The majority of Muslims want a world that is free from all types of terrorism emanating from individuals, groups and ‘states’, whereas the extremists are only calling for the cessation of the actions of non-state actors, whilst justify state-terrorism carried out through illegal invasion and disproportionate slaughtering of civilians.
• A nuclear free world is favoured by the Muslims, whereas the extremists favour a nuclear free Iran, and only give themselves the right to possess nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It is fact that chemical weapons were deployed in Fallujah, as a result today we see an alarming rise in the deformities of children.
• Far from being oppressive to women, Sharia Laws provide dignity, stability and honour to women; otherwise, the Muslim women would have made apostasy en masse in the west and in the east. The number of women entering the fold of Islam is larger than men. This is something the deceptive media of the extremists continues to conceal.
• The Muslims are in favour of fair enforcement of UN resolution to all nations chronologically. They are also in favour of the General Assembly to pass and enforce UN resolution, which would be consistent with democracy and fair.
• The moderate Muslims and most non-Muslims are in favour of greater equality of the distribution of wealth, protection for the weaker members of society, whereas the extremist favour raw capitalism, which exploits the weak and the vulnerable in society.
The extremist media has concealed the real extremists. For example, Israel can slaughter the civilian population in Gaza, and yet the children fighting back with rocks and stones are tainted as militants and terrorists. The militant neo-conservatism means, one can explode bombs for democracy but not for Sharia laws. Indeed, we live in a paradoxical world; the illiterate atheists proclaim complex scientific theories as the answer to everything, and concurrently accuse the believers of being blind followers.
Yamin Zakaria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published on 15/03/2010