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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Should Muslims be supporting the ‘forbidden' conflict in Syria?

It is exactly 3 years since the peaceful yet powerful call against the regime of Bashar al Assad was met with a violent and merciless response from the regime. Now, the British government has started criminalising those who oppose Bashar's regime. Has something changed? Are they now on Bashar's side?

In fact the stance of global powers like Britain has remained unchanged. From the outset they have done little to hasten Bashar's departure. Politicians like Hillary Clinton and William Hague were measured in their criticisms saying he was a reformer. As his horrific crimes escalated, they simply suggested he should step aside. The missions of Lakhtar Brahimi and Kofi Annan stalled for time. They made lip service against the Bashar's use of chemical weapons.

The truth is they fear losing control of a region that has been under their influence since the settlement of the Sykes-Picot Agreement in World War One - a region that strategically important for its closeness to Iraq, Turkey and the Zionist occupation of Palestine.

For all this time, they have searched for an alternative to Bashar who will secure their interests as well as retaining credibility with the people. Yet all their plotting and planning in Geneva, Qatar and elsewhere has not succeeded in fabricating an opposition that has any credibility with the people.

This stance by the West in the face of mass murder has meant Muslims in Syria came to rely upon Allah alone - and have become very sceptical of any western-linked politicians and suspicious of their political moves. From the earliest days their chants have been Islamic. Their protests carried Islamic titles and brigades were given Islamic names. Even their declared aims for a post-Assad Syria have been overtly Islamic.

Yet, only now Bashar's opponents are labelled as ‘extremists' and ‘Islamists' and their shortcomings are exaggerated in comparison to those of the regime. They have now started arrested Muslims in Britain who have travelled to Syria to help on suspicion of ‘terrorism'. Muslim charities have been investigated for sending sadaqah.

This criminalising of Islam and attacking of the opposition is a message: A message to those in Syria to bow down to Western interests or suffer under Bashar - and a message to those in Britain that they are expected to be more concerned about British foreign policy interests than the Ummah in Syria.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam! Our community must take the correct stand in supporting the Muslims in Syria.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says

((كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ))

"You are the best Ummah produced for mankind. You enjoin ma'roof (what is right) and forbid munkar (what is wrong) and believe in Allah." [Ali-Imran: 110]

1. Being part of this ‘best Ummah' means we are privileged and obliged to care for what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Syria. So, we must continue to support them with our prayers, our sadaqah and our voices.

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said

«المُسْلِمُ أَخُو المُسْلِمِ، لَا يَخُونُهُ وَلَا يَكْذِبُهُ وَلَا يَخْذُلُهُ»

A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim. He should neither deceive him nor lie to him, nor leave him without assistance. [At- Tirmidhi].

So we should not abandon the families in the UK who are being punished for their support for Muslims in Syria - whether individuals or charities. In particular, even if some people in the community might consider that it is unwise for Muslims in Britain to go, or that their help is best given other ways; we should never condemn those who go there for an Islamic motivation as ‘criminal' or ‘terrorists'.

They are being called ‘extremists' - just as Muslim women who wear Niqab are called ‘extremists', or Muslim men and women who sit separately in public events. This is all part of the ‘Prevent' policy - a policy of compulsion to their ‘deen' of secular beliefs, liberal values and a Capitalist world of nation states.

2. Enjoining ma'roof and forbidding munkar means being vocal in speaking for what is correct and against what is wrong - even if the Home Office and Foreign Office detest what we are saying, and they use lies, smears and bullying to try to silence us.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says:

*يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

"Believers! Fear Allah and speak words straight to the point. He will amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great achievement." [al Ahzab: 70-71]

So, we should ask the politicians what business they have in criminalising Islam and Muslims? Does a serious government spend its efforts chasing people who never intended any harm to people in Britain - or should they catch thieves and rapists? Does a serious government chase after Muslim charities that gave sadaqah for Bashar's victims - or clean up the corrupt world of finance that almost wrecked the global economy?

Also, we should vocally oppose and expose today's regional power games by global powers that interfere in the region, in particular their efforts to manufacture an opposition e.g. in Geneva summit. Those who created the structural problems in the region have no credibility in fixing them.

Furthermore, we should vocally support the desires of Muslims in Syria to replace the current oppression with an Islamic system; by redressing the propaganda that such a system would worsen the sectarianism unleashed by Assad or oppresses minorities. Indeed, it is only the Islamic system - the Khilafah "Caliphate" - that unified all people in the region for centuries - before it was fractured by Sykes-Picot, Balfour and a host of other regional power games by global powers. It is because of this system that Christian and Jewish communities were protected and maintained in Bilad al Shaam.

3. Most importantly, we should trust in Allah alone and recall at all times:

((إِنْ يَنْصُرْكُمُ اللَّهُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِنْ يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَنْصُرُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ))

"If Allah is your helper none can overcome you, and if He withdraw His help from you, who is there who can help you after Him? In Allah let believers put their trust." [Ali-Imran:160].

H. 13 Jumada I 1435
M. : Friday, 14 March 2014


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