Killing Muslims: Perceptions Versus Realities
Perception: The "West" is Killing Muslims
There is a constant refrain amongst Western Muslims: they are angered by the "West" killing Muslims and blame racism and Islamophobia but ignore the fact that far, far more Iraquis have been killed by Muslims, Syrians killed by Muslims, Kurds killed by Muslims, Afghanis killed by Muslims, Bangladeshis killed by Muslims than have ever been killed by "the West." Far more Palestinians have been killed by other Muslims than have been killed by Israelis. In fact the greatest danger to Muslims is other Muslims. Only in the West are Muslims safe. Is this deliberate blindness?
JIHAD: a story of the others is a 2015 documentary film by Deeyah Khan questioning former radical Muslims in England as to their radicalisation.
Many of the interviewees claimed their radicalisation was caused by the killing of Muslims. They appeared to have no understanding of the different causes of the conflicts involving Muslims (some of which are still ongoing) and that many involve only Muslims killing each other. This seems to be caused by ignorance rather than hypocrisy. Muslims are killing, and in living memory have killed, far more Muslims than non-Muslims have killed Muslims. But if this was known to these young Muslim radicals-to-be it was ignored and as far as I know no young Western Muslims have banded together to protest Muslims killing each other. They prefer to blame the Great Satan - the Americans and the Jews.
I was born in 59, the first war with India happened in 1965. So I was 5 or 6 years old. I remember when I was 8 taking a vow to kill a Hindu, any random Hindu even to go out in the streets and just randomly stab, just because somebody is a Hindu. Then '71 war happened with Pakistan to liberate Bangla Desh which was very graphic in terms of the atrocities committed and then I saw dogs eating dead bodies and walking around with bullet wounds crying for help. My neighbour upstairs and downstairs were taken away and shot and they were pleading with us "Oh please help us." Then I was about 11 or 12 years old, that's when my elder brother was murdered so that very much affected me because I was very close to him. I lost 22 of my relatives and I hear horror stories about them and though it was 30-40 years ago I mean it affects me more now because I can visualise, imagine. A dozen of them were taken out of their houses and their throats were slit.
Actually the 1959 Indo-Pakistani war didn't just "happen". The Muslim army of Pakistan invaded India and the battles were fought by regular army troops far away from Bangladesh. He suggests he was radicalised as a child by the murders of many family members during the Bangladeshi War of Independence. However, it was the Pakistani army of Muslims that attempted genocide against the Bengali Muslims and the Indian Army of Hindus who defeated the Pakistanis and saved the Bangladeshis.
Shahid Butt was inspired by the horrors of the Bosnian War to fight though it didn't bother him that he would inflict the same horrors on non-Muslims. He believes peace will be achieved by creation of a Caliphate and imposition of Shariah Law. Butt and Muntasir obviously have no idea that the Bosnian war occurred because the Serbs remember only too well 500 years of living under the Caliphate and Sharia. 500 years of oppression, devshirme, extortionate jizyah tax, dhimmi status and massacres of Christian freedom fighters. Nor would they have any idea that far more Muslims in Palestine have been killed by other Muslims than by the Israelis and that Israel itself was only created because of constant Muslim attacks on Jews trying to live legally and peacefully in what was then Palestine. They probably have no idea that the genocidal Muslim invasions of India are the long-term cause of current fighting in Kashmir.
The 1980's jihadist shown in a b&w clip explains the difference: "You feel that you are doing what the prophet Muhammad and his companions did some fourteen hundred years ago."
"What I feel here when I come here is a sense of satisfaction," he continues, "because every time I'm in Britain, I go to study circles, I go to lectures, I go to talks, and I feel in my heart that something is empty. I watch the TV and tears roll down my face, when I see the Muslims in Bosnia, Muslims in Palestine, Muslims in Kashmir, and then I come here and you feel a sense of satisfaction. You feel that you are fulfilling your duty. You feel that you are doing what the prophet Muhammad and his companions did some fourteen hundred years ago."
Up until 2003 Iraq had been ruled by a megalomaniac dictator, Saddam Hussein for the previous 24 years. During that time he had begun a war with Iran that resulted in 1,000,000 dead Iraqis and Iranians. He had invaded Kuwait, attacked the Kurdish minority with poison gas and oppressed the Shia majority population of Iraq. The death toll was extraordinary.
In 2003 an army of mainly U.S. soldiers invaded Iraq and quickly defeated the Iraqi army and took control of the country with a minimal number of deaths to combatants and civilians. Given freedom from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis immediately began internecine warfare with the Sunni minority especially violent in their bomb attacks on majority Shia mosques. If President Bush really believed Islam was a Religion of Peace he must have been terribly disppointed to find they used the freedom he had given them to start killing each other.
During September 2012 Muslims carried out a noisy, violent protest in Sydney. There were many articles in the press justifying this protest including one by Mohamad Tabbaa for the Sydney Morning Herald titled He's my brother - why angry Muslim youth are protesting in Sydney which included the following rationale:
The reference to corpses made by these protesters is not at all surprising to anybody who has worked closely with the Muslim community. They are referring to those killed in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; they are referring to the many children killed by US drone attacks; they are referring to the Rohingya Muslims burnt to death in Burma; they are referring to Uyghur Muslims being persecuted in China; they are referring to the daily oppression of Palestinians; they are referring to the war on terrorism which they see as targeting Muslims; they are referring to Kashmir, Guantanamo Bay, Chechnya, and the many other places around the world where they witness injustice and persecution.
So no, this is not entirely about some poor-quality YouTube clip. These youth are basically protesting against the broader context of islamophobia, within which this clip is not only being produced and propagated, but also defended as freedom of speech. Beginning to make sense?
De-radicalising Muhammad: A speech by Tom Holland, chaired by Katrin Bennhold of the New York Times, at the Hay Festival for left wing liberal elites.
Just as in the early 16th century the printing press and the efforts of translators such as Luther and Tyndale served to democratise knowledge of the Bible, so in the 21st century has the ready availability on the internet of the Quran and the hadiths in the vernacular enabled rappers, security guards and schoolgirls all to bandy scripture. To complain that quranic verses which mandate crucifixion or beheading are being cited without reference to the traditions of Islamic jurisprudence is to miss the point. It is precisely because Isis militants imagine themselves the equivalent of Muhammad's companions, blessed with an unadorned understanding of God's commands, that they feel qualified to establish a caliphate.
It is not merely coincidence that IS currently boasts a caliph, imposes quranically mandated taxes, topples idols, chops the hands off thieves, stones adulterers, executes homosexuals and carries a flag that bears the Muslim declaration of faith. If Islamic State is indeed to be categorised as a phenomenon distinct from Islam, it urgently needs a manifest and impermeable firewall raised between them. At the moment, though, I fail to see it.
Ms Bennhold: I would say as a journalist who has been studying this from a very different angle, you know, interviewing people on the ground, former jihadis and people who are toying with the idea of extremism, my sense of it is that theology comes into it almost, you know, it's kind of a thing that comes into it at some stage but the first and possibly most important thing that I take away from my interviews is grievance. So there is a sort of sense of collective humiliation amongst Arabs amd Muslims in general, that they haven't been in charge of their own destiny for the last 200 years, that they've been run by colonial powers and then the hapless regimes left over by them and then that collective humilation meets the individual frustration, sometimes in the West experiencing racism or discrimination and this is sort of amplified by a steady stream, a daily stream of horrific images of dead Muslim children and from Syria to Gaza to Burma and it's that sense of deep grievance to me that drive the extremism or creates the fertile ground. The theology to me doesn't seem as central as you make it sound.
Reality: It Is Muslims That Are Killing Muslims
The killings in Syria have been nearly completely perpetrated by Muslims - Sunni, Shia, Alawites and Druze. After all, they're the people doing the fighting. The 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict caused by Hamas rocket attacks, targeting Israeli cities and infrastructure, lasted seven weeks. The Israeli strikes, the Palestinian rocket attacks (4,564 rockets) and the ground fighting resulted in the death of slightly more than 2,000 people, mostly Gazans. Hamas deliberately places rockets near schools and hospitals to maximise the deaths of Palestinian children. Hamas rightly considers publicity about dead children their most important source of their support in the West. In the last 20 years of attacks on Burmese Muslims only a few hundred people have been killed. While Western Muslims may be radicalised by the media images of dead Muslim children the perpetrators and causes of these deaths are nearly all Muslim.
The problems facing young Muslims in Britain are no different to those facing young Sikhs, Hindus, West Indians or non-Muslim Africans and yet none of these immigrant groups are joining terrorist groups and attacking the societies in which they live and in many cases were born. Sikhs and Hindus have far greater historical evils perpetrated on them by Muslims than Muslims have by Britain, USA, France or any other Western country. And yet Suicide Sikhs are not letting off car bombs in Tehran or Kabul.
Calling them radicals or fundamentalists does not alter the facts. Jihadis are attempting to commit the same violence, terror and conquests that Muhammad did and using Muhammad and the Companions and "Rightly Guided Caliphs" as their role models.
Click here to see a list of deaths in wars involving Muslims since 1950