The scale and immediacy of the politicisation of the Charlie Hebdo incidents last week necessitates an exposition on the issue that would otherwise be undeserving. People are killed everyday around the world in numbers and in circumstances that should put the events in France in perspective. The selective moral outrage displayed by some serves only to devalue the countless more lives lost every other day.
It seems some in Australia are arrogantly and irresponsibly heedless of the fact that provoking and insulting a people’s core beliefs is a matter that can only end in acrimony for everyone concerned. If that wasn’t enough, the biggest criminals of the world like Obama and Netanyahu are already seeking to exploit the events of last week for their predictable but nefarious purposes, despite the dust not settling and facts yet to be confirmed.
For these reasons, we would like to deliver clear messages to the politicians of Europe and to Muslims.
A Message to Europe’s politicians
1. The scale and tenor of the political response to the Charlie Hebdo incident reinforces Europe’s desire to intensify its constant pressure on Muslims. In a manner unprecedented in recent times, European powers have responded with an outpouring expressly encouraged by the political class, including the largest demonstrations in recent times sanctioned by officialdom, suggesting a callous and calculated exploitation of events witnessed last week.
2. These demonstrations cannot be analysed in isolation to the openly Islamophobic protests currently taking place in Europe. Their form may be different, but both rely upon the same underlying narrative that positions Muslims as the problem.
3. The attacks on the Prophet Muhammad (saw) have absolutely nothing to do with “freedom”. The appeal to freedom is a hollow slogan invoked each time the West seeks to deprive the Muslims of the very “rights” espoused under these slogans. Have we forgotten the banning of the Islamic headscarf in France, its brutal and murderous military adventures overseas or its friendly relations with the world’s dictators, all justified through an appeal to liberal doctrine? These attacks have nothing to do with freedom, but everything to do with neo-colonialism – and specifically countering the Muslim desire to free themselves from the shackles of centuries of European colonialism.
4. The actions of Charlie Hebdo have been rightly criticised by many sane voices in Europe. Scores of people of faith and no faith, with the slightest concern for societal harmony, have expressed their disapproval of the deliberate insult and provocation of a people’s core beliefs, warning that such actions will generate responses that are undesirable to communal harmony.
5. European powers should realise that theirs are not the only people who regard certain beliefs as sacrosanct. Muslims, too, have red lines over which no compromise can be accepted. Ignoring this fact is ignorance at best and blind arrogance at worst.
A Message to Muslims
1. Muslims do not need to be lectured about the sanctity of human life. We especially do not need to be lectured by the greatest criminals of the modern age.
There are some that question the apparent hesitance to condemn attacks such as those carried out at Charlie Hebdo. But the fact is that this reluctance is a conscious or subconscious desire to resist a vile, racist and narcissistic worldview that highlights and humanises European life but dehumanises and makes invisible non-European life. Our refusal to succumb to the woeful moral ambivalence of the West should be a cause for celebration, not a cause for condemnation.
2. Over the last two centuries, European powers have established a violent dominance over Muslims that not long ago would have seemed impossible. They have further successfully imposed their culture throughout the Muslim world, encouraging Muslims away from their Islamic core and laying the foundations for future political, cultural, military and economic subservience. The magnitude of this domination is truly unprecedented, leaving Muslims politically incapable in the face of an aggressor driven by toxic hatred and a violent racism.
But these powers are still not satisfied, and aim for a yet more comprehensive dominance that would render Muslims permanently impotent. For this to occur requires that Islam’s key foundations be forever removed from the hearts of Muslims, ensuring that what remains is nothing more than a hollow imitation of its former, noble self.
3. The last element in this struggle is the Muslims’ belief in, and dedication to, Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw). European and Western powers expect us to accept their freedoms as dearer than our Islam, giving Muslims only two options: accepting these freedoms as a base criteria for judgement, and thereby accepting their right to insult Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saw), or exposing ourselves to the wrath of the West’s political and military machines, at home or abroad. Just like the U.S. after 9/11, Europe is leaving no stone unturned in enforcing its secular agenda upon Muslims in the aftermath of recent events.
This perpetual and engrained motivation is aptly encapsulated in the eternal words of Allah (swt):
“And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back from your Deen, if they can …” [al-Baqarah 2:217]
4. The West’s unrelenting attacks on Islamic values are part of a long-standing struggle preceding the modern colonial era. The only difference today is that, unlike the past, Muslims find themselves exposed without political authority to defend their beliefs and interests. The establishment of a just Caliphate, with the true interests of all humanity at heart, is the only assured response to the unending crimes of European and Western powers harming both Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia
21 Rabi’l Awal 1436
12th January 2015