SHAFAQNA – It is often that mainstream media has told us over the decades that Islam has sat the root-cause of world terrorism – the inspiration even of this narrative Takfiri groups have held, so that they could sow destruction upon communities and still call themselves righteous.
Here, mainstream has played right into the hands of radicals and warmongers, leaving people to suffer the consequences.
It is often too that Muslims have been dismissed by mainstream and politicians such as Theresa May for example, over the many and grave crimes they had to endure by the hands of Terror’s armies and those who claimed to defeat them.
Terror today has many names: al-Qaeda, Daesh, the Taliban, Boko Haram … but the hate that powers its exclusionism is very much the same.
Caught in between two violence, two hatred, and one needs to say two intolerance, Muslims – whether Sunni, Shia, Sufi or Alawite, have suffered the greatest of injustices, that which denies a people’s its humanity.
Branded a dangerous minority by those who long ago deviated from the path set forth by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), those we now call: Wahhabi/Salafi/Deobandi clerics; Shia Muslims have been the main victims of Terror’s ambitions against Islam. One cannot divorce radicals’ desire to assert themselves absolute over Islam and the genocidal campaigns its clerics have run over the decades.
From Pakistan to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen Shia Muslims have been pursued, persecuted and ostracised … all without so much of a murmur of reproach from the world community.
We must have realised by now that money and political alliances have meant that the world was taught to overlook the pain of Islam’s many communities to better please Saudi Arabia. The same Saudi Arabia that has allowed, and even encouraged its clerics to spread hatred and sectarianism from their pulpits by calling for the death of non-Wahhabis.
King Salman said in May: “Our responsibility before God and our people and the whole world is to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism wherever they are… The Iranian regime represents the tip of the spear of global terrorism.”
What King Salman really meant by his attack of Iran is that Shia Islam poses an existential threat to Wahhabism. What Wahhabism is really pushing for is the disappearing of all religious minorities to its blade.
What Wahhabism/Salafism is really looking to promote is the idea that a faith can be equated to a nationality and then an argument for war made against it.
Anti-Iranianism today has become synonymous to anti-Shiism – such is the reality that Wahhabism constructed atop Saudi Arabia’s gold.
Wahhabism/Salafism it is time we realise wants every community to think itself in exclusion of others, and in hatred of all differences. If we look at the way Islam was split into two camps: Sunni Islam versus Shia Islam one can only imagine what future Saudi Arabia envisions for religious communities.
Why think in division at all? Why not respect that people amy hold different beliefs and different traditions and that their truth does not take away from ours?
Why refuse people when we want ourselves to be accepted?
More troubling still has been the effect that such exclusionism has had on our ability to empathise with others in their hardship.
Whether we care to admit or not it remains nevertheless painfully true that Muslim blood sits still a disposable commodity when compared to that of the western world. While too many world capitals stand willing to drape themselves in the flag of martyrs’ blood should the fallen be claimed in Europe or in America, most have been blind to Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan …
Too many lives have been lost for any of us to consider our personal pain to be all there is … Terror is trying to reinvent our reality and so far we have allowed it. It is only when we will see in others the rights we demand for ourselves that we stand a chance at defeating this evil.
Terror holds no faith … Terror does not speak on behalf of Islam and Islam’s school of thoughts.
Terror follows Terror’s agenda and its road is paved with the blood of the innocent.
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna