University student and political activist Anila Malik argues that the “counter extremism” group Student Rights online articles show the ugly truth that lies behind a wider anti-Islamic agenda.
A recent article titled “Shady Al-Suleiman to speak at FOSIS” was published by SR in an attempt to ostracise the Muslim speaker Al-Suleiman from Australia. He was described as an “extremist” preacher who promotes “jihad” “hate” and “intolerance”.
Additionally, SR focused on comments made by Mr Al-Suleiman in regards to the conflicts in Gaza, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq, unsurprisingly out of context. It’s perturbing that should any Muslim speak of their brethrens’ suffering in the Muslim world they are labelled as an “extremist”. What would occur if they were to mention the nature of capitalism’s foreign policy within such lands, being purely motivated by resources, wealth and strategic gains? Would they then be labelled the “conveyor belt” to hate or truth?
I went on to read another SR article entitled “Women’s rights used to promote Islamist ideology to students.” In essence the article was about how SR have been cataloguing a number of events which appear to be promoting feminist ideas, yet in reality are a cover for an “authoritarian” Islamist ideology. How bizarre! Muslim women, who disagree with the secular liberal discourse and believe it has led to the exploitation and misery of women, are accused of promoting an “intolerant view of Islam”.
What happened to the voice of reasoning, where reality is studied based on rational deduction? Why should debate on these topics not be encouraged even if Islam is presented as an alternative for abuses facing women globally?
The article on “gender segregation” was such a desperate attempt to keep anti-Islamic rhetoric at the forefront of their campaign and I’m hoping all readers can see that it’s an attempt to clutch at straws to deem Islam as the “bogyman”.
We should not be surprised that opportunists like SR will use the Woolwich incident as bait to further malign Islam and Islamic belief. This is a further attempt to push Muslims into a corner to accept a twisted westernised version of Islam so that it fits in with the liberal template. It’s an attempt to halt any discussion based upon the simple truth of the Qur’an and Sunnah that contradicts their creed and values.
These are but futile attempts to fill our hearts with fear and intimidation so we stop discussing topics like the meaning of brotherhood, unity, oppression, and the obligation for Muslims to follow Allah’s commands; as we don’t want to be labelled as “extremist”. Furthermore, these attacks are designed to create hysteria within the non-Muslim readers that Muslims, who choose to live according to the beliefs of Islam, have become radicalised and hence are walking on the path to “violent terrorism”.
Unfortunately these kind of accusations are not isolated to SR alone but also peddled by politicians and mainstream media. The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair commented in his weekly column in the Mail on Sunday on the killing of the British soldier, Lee Rigby, stating the murder is proof that “there is a problem within Islam” and went on to say that “there is a problem within Islam – from the adherents of an ideology which is a strain within Islam. We have to put it on the table and be honest about it”.
Tony Blair, the war criminal and the one who still has the blood of children in Afghanistan and Iraq on his hands, has forgotten his own history. This is the same man who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent humans, most of them children, women and elderly, who were killed without good reason. So where is the problem?
State terrorism is okay, especially when it’s in the name of liberal democracy and it’s against Muslims and Islam, after all we are but “collateral damage” (words spoken by Madeline Albright regarding Iraq). After the constant wars and occupation being witnessed on a daily basis, unfortunately a few individuals are wrongly driven to respond to the constant attacks against Muslims in a manner that clearly is not permitted by the Shariah. So rather than bringing to the debate the nature of capitalist foreign policy, politicians and the media, groups such as the SR will use the “blame Islam” game to take the attention away from the reality of the colonial intentions, its failed values, and occupation of Muslim lands.
Dear Muslim readers, we are living in testing times and it reminds me of the hadith of Muhammad (saw): “There will come a time called patience days. To hold onto Islam at that time will be like holding onto an ember of coal. Those people who work for the deen at those times will receive the reward of 50 men”. Holding on to your belief and values is like holding onto “the hot ember of coal” but insh’Allah let’s be strong and not feel intimidated and continue our good work.
Dear non Muslim readers, before making a judgment on Islam and whether it equates to extremism and terrorism, look past the rhetoric and hype drummed up by the media, politicians and groups like the SR. Speak to your Muslim friends, colleagues, neighbours and allow them to explain what Islam is really about and why justifying foreign policy is the real reason for attacking, demonising and maligning Islam.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of this website.