When Abdul Maalik arrived at his local mosque in Manchester for Tarawih prayers on Saturday night, he was shocked at an announcement made by a committee member praising Prime Minister David Cameron for his recent Ramadan message. This is the letter he wrote to the mosque committee in response to the announcement.
Assalaamu’alaikum war-rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.
I am writing to inform you of my concerns regarding one of the announcements made at Tarawih last night (13/07/13). One of the mosque committee members (at least I’m assuming that this brother is part of the committee) stood up after the fourth rakaat of Tarawih and announced, while smiling, to the jama’a that our Prime Minister has conveyed Ramadan greetings to the Muslim community.
At first, I was waiting for a revelation of sarcasm. I was anticipating some appropriate response about the hypocrisy behind such scripted hollow words from Mr Cameron or anything resembling disapproval. The wait, however, was unfortunately futile.
Judging by the tone and manner in which the announcement was made, it seems that this brother honestly believes that David Cameron imbues sincerity and nothing but good intentions by saying such things. This Prime Minister is the same person who authorises the continuation of wars/occupations in the Muslim world under the spurious pretense of “war on terror” without impunity. And sees nothing wrong in violating the so-called sovereignty of countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan etc in this farcical war against “extremism” and “terrorism” without first adequately addressing why such events happen in the first place.
The blood on Labour’s hands had barely begun to dry before Cameron took over and continued to tow the same murderous foreign policy. And let us not forget the insidious anti-Muslim campaigns in this country e.g. the constant attempts to redefine Islam to make it more palatable and compatible with the British secular society such as “Prevent” and “Contest 2”. This isn’t some ordinary nice-guy Joe Blogg off the street. This is somebody who needs to be exposed and accounted for his government’s actions, both home and abroad.
I cast my eyes around the mosque to gauge the reaction and, Alhamdulillah, I saw some shaking heads, hopefully as a sign of mutual discontent. I’m glad to see that we haven’t been hoodwinked by Cameron’s patronising drivel.
After the apparent lauding of the PM, this brother then, however, proceeded to make du’a for the hidayah of Mr Cameron. Had this supplication not been preceded by the aforementioned extolment, then I would have been able to pray the remainder of Tarawih at peace.
Now, I’m anticipating some sort of justification for this brother’s statement by alluding to the UK’s involvement in arming the rebel fighters in Libya and other supposed beneficial support the British government have provided to the Muslim world. The reality is that the UK has a proven track record, which speaks for itself, where they back often oppressive and brutal dictators in Egypt, Libya, Saudi et al and care little about our affairs and political destiny.
The indisputable fact is the government and its allies only do such actions, not as a selfless philanthropic gesture, but to gain some sort of strategic advantage or to maintain its interests. Also, if we are going to take comfort in the words of Cameron, why stop there? Should we not also feel consoled by the Ramadan greetings of Obama and Netanyahu? If someone kills your whole family and then says “By the way, I wish you a happy Ramadan”, what attitude would you carry towards that individual?
I implore the members of the committee to review this announcement and, whether my interpretation of the brother’s announcement is correct or there has been a big misunderstanding on my part, to clarify and address the concerns that I (and I’m sure others) have at today’s Tarawih. As Muslims, we should be a lot more politically astute and less naive when events like this happen.
As respected leading figures within our community, it is only right that you provide us, especially the youth, with both Islamic culturing and the right framework of thinking towards current affairs.
JazakAllah khaire for your time.