This article is a few months old, and has made its rounds on the net, but given its relevancy, worth reading again... stay tuned to this site for more on the Tony Blair Foundation, and their supporters....
The complete article is available here, below are selected excerpts.
God save the Deen
Since the events of 9-11, there has been a relentless campaign launched to reform Islam to transform it into something more palatable to Western society. The vision is a secular and cultural Islam at peace with the world through her submission to her oppressors rather than to Allah; an Islam devoid of jihad, shari’ah and khilafah – the very things we are commanded by Allah to implement in order to establish Allah’s deen on this earth. Detailed studies such as that of the RAND Corporation in the US outline the means towards achieving this goal. A 2003 report by RAND entitled Civil Democratic Islam categorises Muslims into four categories: fundamentalists, traditionalists, modernists and secularists. Its recommendations include
- financially supporting and promoting the modernists and their viewpoints
- supporting the traditionalists against the fundamentalists
- promoting Sufism
- challenging the fundamentalists’ interpretation of Islam, revealing their links to jihad groups, demonstrating their inability to rule, portraying them as terrorists and encouraging journalists to dig up dirt on them
- encouraging division among the fundamentalists
- selectively supporting the secularists and discouraging the secularist alliance with anti-US forces on such grounds as nationalism and leftist ideology
A joint Home Office and Foreign Office document from 2004, Young Muslims and Extremism, indicated that a similar strategy was at play in Britain. Codenamed ‘Operation Contest’, the document speaks of measures through which government endorsements could be used to promote certain elements within the Muslim community such as supporting “moderate” Islamic media outlets, promoting Muslim organisations, individuals and forums that are seen as government friendly, and encouraging “moderate” Muslims to challenge the “extremists”.
Much of this has occurred in the context of the Radical Middle Way Project, a speakers tour funded by the Foreign Office through the Home Office with the objective of fighting extremism or in other words, pacifying Muslims. One example of how this Project is being used to turn people away from struggling for justice will suffice. A few months ago, a sister I know, who is very active in campaigning against injustices at home and abroad, was bought tickets by her friends to attend three lectures by a leading speaker of the Radical Middle Way Project. Her friend told her they believed she was becoming too “extreme”. I would describe this sister as many things – active, passionate, radical – but extreme, hardly. If it’s because of her belief in jihad, shari’ah and khilafah that she is extreme, then the vast majority of Muslims are extremists, and I will proudly add my name to that list.
Shockingly, while the government has repeatedly harped on about the need for British Imams, it is funding this roadshow of scholars flown in from places as diverse as US, Canada, Yemen and Mauritania. One should not question the intention of the scholars themselves but it does seem that they have allowed themselves to become pawns of the government, being manipulated by it to complete its agenda. The roadshow has served as a platform to bash so-called Wahhabi groups in the most cynical manner, as we begin to divide ourselves even more upon the lines our enemies have drawn for us. In doing so, these speakers ironically take on the very characteristics they so vehemently attack.
Running alongside all this has been the pop-nasheed culture, which sister Yvonne Ridley has already spoken volumes about so I will not delve too deeply. Suffice it to say that the culture is symbolic of the inferiority complex we suffer, wishing to be more Roman than the Romans themselves, entertaining ourselves for the sake of entertainment. The end result of all this has been a dilution of the deen of Allah, a weak and pacified Islam willing to accept the status quo in which Muslims are oppressed and subjugated; an Islam in which Muslims are content to sing and sway the night away to nasheeds, to concentrate on bettering their life in the West and to condemn the actions of their brothers and sisters who courageously resist occupation and oppression with whatever they have. Even making dua for them now has become a crime – how long before we are told by our imams not to even pray for the mujahideen?
As an antidote to post-7-7 syndrome, British Muslims themselves organized their own roadshow (Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in Britain) earlier this year in which scholars, community leaders and activists who have grassroots support in their communities spoke. This wasn’t about foreign imams telling British Muslims how to behave in Britain; this was about British imams, born, raised and resident in this country, speaking to British Muslims. Despite the record turn-outs for the tour, no support or even sign of recognition was forthcoming from the government as in addition to condemning terrorism, Muslims were told not to forget about Palestine, to continue to be active and to stand up for justice, irrespective of the consequences. The masses heard the message and are sure to spread it.
Slowly but steadily, more and more Muslims are waking up with the realisation that it is not terrorism or extremism that is being targeted but Islam itself. Our enemies will continue to attempt to divide us and to reform Islam as they have done throughout the centuries. But we must always bear in mind our Lord’s words that “they plot, but Allah also plotteth; and Allah is the best of plotters” (Surah al-Anfal; 30)