Islamic Renaissance

A Voice for the Muslim Freedom Struggle

Who is a Colonised Muslim?

nak paris shooting

When it comes to speaking about the violence towards Muslims, he says “But brother, perfect yourself first!” & “Do you even wake up for fajr?” And he forgets about every commandment of God that says uphold justice and fight oppression, and the stories of the prophets who fought tyrants.

When it comes to violence from Muslims, all of a sudden he is the champion of human rights, holding khutbas on the matter, organising talks, producing videos and memes quoting every ayah in the Quran that states killing innocent people is wrong and narrates every story where prophets showed mercy.

Do not be fooled by such a Muslim. If he truly valued human life, he would show consistency, speaking about all injustices. The colonised Muslim is reactionary, only speaking when he is under fire, fearing for his own safety.

This type of Muslim is in servitude to our oppressors, not God. God commands we speak the truth and stand for justice regardless of who it’s for or against. There is no clause, no small print, no condition attached.

Our oppressors on the other hand, expect us to speak the “truth” when Muslims react violently to their violent foreign policy and expect us to remain silent when they commit terrorism in the Muslim world. And that is what the colonised Muslim does, quoting the verses of the Quran when Muslims react violently – never when we are brutally murdered.

This is why newspaper help to make trends like #YouAintNoMuslimBruv and #NotInMyName go viral.

It conditions us to dance to the tune of our oppressors – it teaches Muslims how to react. As long as we’re apologising and reinforcing the its-an-interpretation-of-Islam narrative we will not be whipped by our colonial masters, but if we step out of line and highlight it had nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with foreign policy, be prepared to be labelled an “Islamist”, “Jihadist”, “Extremist” and any other propaganda word that will make it easier to discredit you at best, or at worst exile and drone you.

So all those Muslims trending the apologetic hashtags, shouting at the top of your lungs “Islam means peace” – whilst we are the biggest victims of terrorism – give yourself a pat on the back. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, you just reinforced a narrative that justifies the killing of Muslims.


What’s the point of Milad-un-Nabi?

I know this is a very sensitive discussion, nevertheless, I have decided to write on this topic. First of all, I would like to make it very clear that I am not coming from a sectarian point of view; the debate about the permissibility of celebrating Milad-un-Nabi is not exactly my forte.  So rest assured, this is not a sectarian rant. However, this is an analysis on those who celebrate this festival.

Before I explain my analysis, I would like to summarise the character and behaviour of our noble prophet (saw).

Even before prophethood, Muhammad (saw) was a man deeply concerned about the oppressed and downtrodden amongst society. Tribalism had led to many injustices within society, specifically to women, orphans and the poor. With the advent of Islam, our Prophets (saw) zeal to help humanity increased. Let us not forget, one of the very first tasks of the Prophet (saw) was to stop the burial of female infants.

The Prophet (saw) was a living manifestation of the Quran. His entire character was moulded by the teachings of the Quran. His mission on earth resonated with his innate desire to help humanity, to implement justice; “[Prophet] Say, ‘I believe in whatever Scripture God has sent down. I am commanded to bring justice between you.'” [42:15]

The prophet (saw) further epitomised this with the following hadith: “Not one of you truly believes until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.” The prophet (saw) acted upon this Hadith to such an extent, that he constantly used to cry for his Ummah.

Yet today, when that very same Ummah is undergoing genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass murder, we turn a blind eye to it. We are ready to dress, eat, sleep and walk like the prophet (saw), yet refuse to act upon the mission of establishing justice which he was sent with. We are ready to celebrate his birthday out of the love we have for our Prophet, yet we ignore the very Ummah he loved most.

And this is what bothers me; every year I see thousands upon thousands of people gather to celebrate the birth of Muhammad (saw) yet refuse to defend the Ummah of our beloved prophet. They are ready to celebrate Milad-un-Nabi, yet they ignore the cries of the oppressed and the command of God: “Why should you not fight in God’s cause and for those oppressed men, women, and children, who cry out, ‘Lord, rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors! By your grace, give us a protector and give us a helper!” [4:75]

It is not enough to just make Dua; we must tie our camel first as per the Hadith of our Prophet (saw). It is not enough we give our Zakat, these are specific commands that do not override other obligations from God that command us to fight oppression and uphold justice.

Though I am not here to argue whether celebrating Milad un-Nabi is right or wrong, I cannot comprehend why those who claim to love Muhammad (saw), refuse to act upon the greatest Sunnah of all time; to uphold justice,  “We sent the Messengers, with clear signs, the scriptures and the balance, so that people can uphold justice.” [57:25]

My intention is not to offend those who believe in celebrating Milad-un-Nabi. My intention is to awaken those who profess to love our prophet (saw), to the plight of his Ummah. Because those who celebrate the day the greatest man to ever walk the earth was born, cannot claim to love him, unless they are continuing the mission he left us with.

We Still Live In An Age Of Empire

2017: The Age Of Empire

The more books I read, the more I realise we still live in an age of empire. I know, at first it sounds absurd, but it’s the truth. You and I just don’t know because we live in a fantasy world, we live in our small bubble, we only care about our immediate lives and our immediate relationships, and we never stop to consider the bigger picture. And that’s precisely why I’m here to help you see the bigger picture.

Before I explain further, let us first define what an empire is:
Supreme political power over several countries when exercised by a person or group”

From the oxford dictionary definition of the word ‘empire’, we understand that if the ultimate political power over several countries is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals, it is classed as an empire. We also understand that an empire can only be established through imperialism [a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means]. Though in the past Empires expanded by establishing direct control, today they establish indirect control that secures their imperial interests.

How did this happen?

During the period of colonialism, Western imperial powers created an International Western Power Structure in their colonies. This was achieved in a number of ways such as installing and funding dictators, arming mercenaries, economic invasion, cultural colonisation, occupations and ideological hegemony.

This power structure is still being maintained till this day. I would like to prove the above with a few facts and anecdotes:

The occupation of Iraq, which was in direct violation of the International Law, robbed it of its natural resources. The entire economy of Iraq, except oil, was up for sale for foreign capital, combined with a free-market shock therapy programme, pre-empting the decisions of any elected government of Iraq. This is referred to as a ‘managed’ form of democracy where key economic and strategic decisions are taken in advance by the occupiers. As Seamus Milne explains in The Revenge of History, “The US will willingly hand over power only once it is confident of controlling the political outcome.”

The American government have also supported dictators in Iran, Libya, Iraq, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Arabia and many more countries. And if these countries try to resist the power structure, they are either invaded or overthrown. In 1954 the American government overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran. In 1965 the American government backed an attempted military coup in Indonesia, and in 2012, the second largest funded military by the US government, the Egyptian military, overthrew its democratically elected leader. On 9/11 – no, not 2001 but 1973 – the American government supported a military coup in Chile that cost 3,197 lives.

However, that is not all. Not only have western elites overthrown democratically elected governments, but have also provided arms to their puppets. The British government alone is responsible for approving arms worth £2.3 billion to 16 states since 2009. The American government has also sold arms as well as backed warlords in Somalia and Afghanistan. In fact, the international arms trade is worth $1.07 trillion a year. And of course, many of these arms are sold to dictators in the East who use them to suppress revolutions, just as we saw in the recent revolutions in the Muslim world, where Muslims were demanding their freedom.

Furthermore, western elites have also provided mercenaries to protect their puppet dictators. In the 1960’s David Sterling, a British Army officer, set up an organisation called Watch Guard, whose job was to provide African and Middle Eastern leaders with a private army of British mercenaries. Their task was to prevent the leaders who David Sterling approved off from being overthrown.

Through this power structure, western imperial forces are still able exploit and control their colonies and thus indirectly maintain their empire. So though they may not be physically present, they still have “Supreme political power over several countries”. (As per the oxford dictionary definition provided above) That being said, the American government does have over 1000 military bases around the world.

What we must understand is that the gruesome, barbaric world we used to live in still exists. The age of empire never ended, the venture of empire has continued and expanded. 2016 is the age of empire. The world didn’t evolve, it simply adapted.


The Celebrity Scholar Complex

scholar hand kissing

What I’m about to say, may not be easy to swallow, but my conscience demands that it is said. In a society where scholars have been given the status of infallibility, a status that was not even accorded to the first four caliphs of Islam, what I’m about to say will be considered heresy.

But it must be said. If there is any hope for our community to succeed in reclaiming our greatness, our leaders must be held to account.

We live in a society where our scholars have gone from being the teachers of this Ummah, to the celebrities of this Ummah. We have scholars who suffer from a religious superiority complex and allow preferential treatment towards themselves.

Just the way celebrities walk upon red carpets in fame and glory, our scholars do the same; I recently watched a YouTube video of a scholar that left the Global Peace & Unity Event, he walked as slowly as the queen, waving his hand to all his followers, enjoying the limelight and reaping the benefits of fame.

Just the way celebrities are those important people that you want to take a picture with, because you think it will improve your level of importance, Scholars too have become the ultimate symbol of religiosity, if you are seen with a scholar, you can be sure that your friends will be shouting “MashAllah”.

Just the way touching a celebrity is like the biggest thing that can ever happen to you in your life, kissing the hands of scholars has become the pathway to ultimate holiness within the Muslim community.

And just the way a celebrity will probably never stop to acknowledge or talk to an average person, scholars make a point of asserting their celebrity status, by walking away whilst someone is speaking to them or completely ignoring their existence.

But how would someone like Hazrat Umar, (may Allah be pleased with him) who was once the leader of a powerful nation, feel about the behavior of our scholars?

An anecdote from his life gives us a pretty good idea. Umar once saw a man who, in order to show off his asceticism, pretended to be weak, and walked with an affected, feeble and overly slow gait. Umar struck him with a stick and said: “Do not cause our religion to die, for if you do that, then may Allah cause you to die!”

The author of his biography, Muhammad As-Sallaabee, explained what Umar meant: “when people begin to focus on the outward aspects of asceticism, and not on actual piety that is based on sound knowledge, they begin to corrupt the teachings of Islam.”

From this we can see that the behavior of our scholars, as harmless as it may seem, is detrimental to our religion. But not only is it detrimental to our religion, it is completely contradictory to the teachings of Islam.

Islam asserts the equality of all human beings and rejects the arrogance that is found in the celebrity culture of today. Islam has an extreme distaste for ego, fame and self-glory.

Hazrat Umar understood this, and this is why, despite being the leader of the Muslim Ummah, he lived just like his people, he ate with them, he wore the same clothes as them, and he even slept on the same floor as them.

That is not all, when Hazrat Umar came to know of an abandoned mother who had nothing to feed her children with, he purchased a sack of flour and some cooking fat, asked his companion Aslam to load it on to his shoulders, and set off to give it to her.

Aslam stopped the Amir and asked to carry his sack for him. Now, as the Amir of the Muslim Ummah, Umar could have easily agreed to this offer, but Umar understood this to be a breach of his leadership position. He understood that to benefit from a position that was entrusted to him by his people, was a grave sin.

Instead, Umar shouted, “May you have no mother! Will you carry the burden of my sins for me on the day of resurrection?” Umar never forgot that he came from Allah Almighty, and to him he would eventually return. He was the leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world, but he never once behaved in an arrogant and self-righteous manner.

And the status of our scholars today is nothing compared to the status that Hazrat Umar possessed; yet our scholars are guilty of allowing preferential treatment towards themselves, whilst Hazrat Umar never allowed himself to be treated differently to any other human being.

In fact, when Hazrat Umar was on his way to meet the King of Jerusalem, he was wearing his usual overly patched robe, and when Abu Ubaidah saw this, he expressed his fear. He feared that the people of the village would not treat the Caliph with honour because of how he was dressed. At hearing this, Hazrat Umar remarked: “Oh Abu Ubaidah, we were the most humiliated people on earth and Allah gave us honour through Islam. If we ever seek honour through anything else, Allah will humiliate us again.”

And indeed we were humiliated, and we are still being humiliated. It’s time we reflect on our state as an Ummah and acknowledge that we have failed to hold our leaders to account. And it’s time our leaders accept that they were put into positions of power, not to behave as the celebrities of this Ummah, but to nurture and guide this Ummah back to the greatness it once pioneered.

Politics is not a dirty word


I absolutely hate how stupid and thick the average person is. The word “politics” has deliberately been demonised in the average person’s vocabulary as “unpopular”/”uncool”/”boring”/”dirty”.

The point is to keep you enslaved, politics is about humanity, it is about lives, and it is about blood that is spilled in your name.

It’s funny, when I was young, my friends used to think I was “uncool and boring” for caring about “politics”. My passion for human life was seen as a craze. I would be asked why I would get so worked up about politics, why I was so serious about it.

But they failed to understand. I wasn’t the crazy one, they were. The average human being is a slave that walks around wearing the freedom badge. But wearing the freedom badge doesn’t make you free.

No I am not normal, no I am not like you, no I don’t fit in. Yes I am angry, yes I am depressed, yes I am overwhelmed by the condition of the world. Yes I do feel lost and alone most of the time, but I’d rather have that then to sell my humanity like most human beings have.

It’s like what Allah says in the Quran, they only wrong their souls. Their soul demands them to live for a cause that is greater than themselves, that is the only road to freedom. But they chase poison wrapped as freedom.

You throw the word “politics” around like it’s a dirty word or an obsession of mine, but the truth is it’s about lives, it’s about the future of this world, and it is the greatest service to God.

Humanity can only advance when human beings realise that happiness can only be achieved collectively.

We can only achieve happiness when we realise we were never sent to achieve our purpose alone, the human purpose was always collective, we must become one before we can reflect the oneness of God and fulfill our mission.

The New Year & The Happiness We Seek With It


Sometimes in life, you have to choose, there’s an easy way and then there’s the hard way, and the easy way isn’t always the right way. When we are born, we are all born with innocence, with an innate conscience that helps you to differentiate between right and wrong, but as we grow older, we become corrupted, we begin to chose the easy way over the hard, and we forget about the importance of right and wrong.  We just become living bodies with dead souls.

When we were created, we were given both body and soul; both have needs that need to be fulfilled. But as we grow older, we start to feed the body and abandon the soul.

Today, we spend most of our lives earning money, wearing nice clothes, thinking and concentrating on our financial and material future, forgetting the purpose that our soul came to fulfill.

Deep within us all, there is a purpose, a reason for our life, all of us have a purpose to fulfill, we all came into this world as a piece of the full puzzle, and if we remembered to be true to our inner calling, we would all fulfill the objective that humanity craves: happiness.

But the problem is that we have become so obsessed in finding happiness for ourselves that we have forgotten that the soul finds happiness in giving, and not in taking.

True happiness is the realization that you have made a difference to someone, that you have made someone smile, that you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

As we will be celebrating the blessing of a new year, we will be setting goals for ourselves, we will be thinking about the home that we want, the relationship that we want, the job that we want, and in chasing all of our material callings we will once again suppress the cries of our soul.

Rather, we should seek to set goals to find true happiness, to be grateful for the home we already have, the relationships we already have, and seek to bless others with what we would want for ourselves, after all, isn’t that the spirit of our faith, to love for others what we love for ourselves?


To Hell With ‘Palestinians’


Wherever I look on social media I keep hearing, ‘Palestinians this’ and ‘Palestinians that,’ TO HELL WITH ‘PALESTINIANS’!

Before you throw your computer at me, wait. I’m not advocating against the movement for freedom, I’m simply highlighting the flaws in our recent uproar. There is so much wrong with the recent Muslim reaction to Palestine and here’s why:

Number 1: It’s Palestine and NOT Gaza. Get it right.

Whilst the Zionist occupation wipes Palestine off the map, we wipe it off the minds of people by using the word Gaza and not Palestine. It is in the interest of Israel to force us to forget 65 years of history, to think that we are fighting for a little strip called Gaza and not Palestine. If we continue to fall for such tactics, how will the generations to come fight for their freedom? They cannot fight for something their ancestors forgot, and thus the battle was lost before it even begun.

Number 2: It’s not #FreePalestine it’s #FreetheUmmah and it’s not “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” it’s “from Burma to Palestine, Muslims will be free”. Get this right too!

Demanding our freedom and self-determination within the borders constructed by our colonisers is a trap. You’ve been falling for the same trap for almost a century; it’s time you woke up.

Why are you succumbing to your nationalistic identities? Are your oppressors killing you because you’re an Arab, a Kurd or a Turk? Or are they killing you because you say, “God is One”? We all know that we are demonised and oppressed because we are Muslims, so what strikes me the most is when we naively demand our freedom as Arabs, Pakistanis and Palestinians.

We are so colonised that we demand our freedom based on the very borders that were created to oppress us. It’s like a bird trying to break free within a cage. It makes no sense.

Unfortunately for us, our oppressors are not as naive as we are. Analyse this recent tweet from a Zionist Soldier and you will see that he believes he is killing Muslims and not Palestinians.


So why do I keep saying our colonisers constructed these borders? Well, let me introduce you to two men, Mark Sykes and Francois George-Picot. These British and French Government Officials took out their rulers one day and drew lines on the world map in 1916, culminating in the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement that split up the Muslim world into pieces of land. This is where you get your patriotic nationalities.

Do you think I’m exaggerating? Let me put it to you this way, in certain parts of the Muslim world, for example between Pakistan and Afghanistan, we have no physical borders, but because this agreement made this piece of land into two separate entities, we’ve had it engraved deep into our psyche that these are separate nationalities, and we therefore ignore that in this struggle for freedom, our only identity is Muslim.

For example, we have forgotten so easily that the reason for the Israeli occupation is because of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which gave this piece of land to the Zionists in the first place. And the reason why our Ummah did not stop this from happening then, is the same reason we cannot stop it from happening now. It’s because we allowed our oppressors to shift our allegiances to our nationalities rather than our religion.

And after almost a century of being in this mess, one verse in the Quran could have stopped this turmoil from happening, if only we had reflected on the words of the Almighty:

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not be divided” [3:103]

You see, Allah has already given us the solution, but we’ve allowed our sectarianism and nationalism to make us deaf, dumb and blind.

Even the Prophet abhorred such allegiances as he said: “He who calls for Asabiyyah [Nationalism] has bit on his father’s genitals.” [Sahih Al Jami’ No. 5209]

It has been 98 years since the Sykes-Picot Agreement and we’re still biting on our father’s genitals!

I say to hell with the Palestinian Identity and all other nationalistic identities imposed upon on us by our oppressors. Whilst the world is paying attention to our oppression for once, we are failing by allowing them to forget the greater cause, the cause for the Muslim freedom struggle.

Whilst Palestine is no doubt the heart of this struggle, this is not just about Palestine, this is about one people, under one God, in one struggle: The #GlobalMuslimFreedomStruggle.

Muslims Can’t Unite – Get Over It!

muslim unity

Yes, we’ve all heard it many times before, as a community, our biggest weakness is that we can’t unite on anything to save our lives! And no, that’s not an expression; we literally cannot unite to save our lives.

We can’t decide how to fold our hands in prayer, we can’t decide whether or not our Prophet is dead or alive in his grave, and we certainly can’t decide on which day we’re celebrating Eid!

But have we really attempted to solve this issue from an objective standpoint? We are quick to point our fingers at each other, we blame “Muslims” for not uniting, but if you ask any Muslim what the Ummah needs most, they will all say: “unity”.

Can you think of a single Muslim that doesn’t want unity? You probably can’t, and if that is so, this begs a question: If we all want unity, then why are we so divided?

Maybe the answer lies closer to home. What if the greatest obstacle to our unity is you? Yes you, but not just you – each and every one of us. In our obsession of wanting unity, we have never stopped to think that our own behaviour prevents unity.

We are the only community that has become so obsessed with their own theological beliefs, that we condemn any one who differs with us to hell. And if that’s a bit of an exaggeration, (even though I don’t think it is), we can safely agree that we want to rip each other’s heads off.

But here’s the thing, if that’s your definition of unity, it’s not about to happen, so get over it! We will never ever unite upon one sect, follow one interpretation, and agree on every little theological debate. It’s a dream you shouldn’t even have in cuckoo land. We need to get over ourselves, the world doesn’t revolve around us, everyone will not agree with us.

If we really want unity, we need to learn some important lessons from the past. In the history of Islam, we have never united on one theological belief, apart from the time of our Prophet (pbuh). And that’s because whenever the Ummah was confused about an issue, the Prophet received divine revelations from Allah. So unless you have a direct line to God, I think it’s time we recognize that those days are behind us.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, you see after the Prophet (pbuh) passed away, the first four caliphs had disagreements, they didn’t always agree on policies, forget agreeing on small issues, they had disagreements on major issues that impacted the future of Islam, but they learnt to accept their differences, they learnt to consult each other and then accept what was mutually decided. They learnt to stick together.

Even after our caliphs, the four imams and the schools of thought that followed them differed. We have always had disagreements, our history is proof of this, and if we had disagreements at the time of our Caliphs and Imams, why are we surprised that our disagreements have only increased? Surely this was to be expected?

As time passes, we will only become more diverse as a community, so if we truly hope to achieve unity, it’s time we understand what unity requires. You see, unity comes from accepting our differences, not condemning them. You can’t blame anyone for not following the same version of Islam as you, none of us can.

But what we can unite on is the fact that we all want what’s best for our Ummah, we all want to see our Ummah free from oppression, we all want to see Islam represented as the great faith it actually is and we all want to co-exist peacefully.

Imam Khomeini once said, “Muslims are busy bickering over whether to fold or unfold our arms during prayer, while the enemy is devising ways of cutting them off.” This quote really summarises our state as an Ummah, and unfortunately, despite everything I have said in this article, I know that some of you are having a hard time dealing with the fact that I have just quoted a Shia Imam.

But let me explain something to you, I don’t agree with everything that Imam Khomeini believes, and I don’t think I will find anyone I can completely agree with, but what I can appreciate is the things I do agree with, and I won’t shy away from quoting someone when they speak the truth just because I can’t agree with them on everything. And the sooner the Muslim Ummah develops this form of tolerance, the better it will be for all of us. Because if you can’t live amongst Shias/Sunnis/Brelvis/Salafis – just remember you will be killed with them.

It’s time we get over our differences. It’s time we leave the job of condemning people to hell to the greatest of all Judges and start doing the job we were entrusted with. It’s time we unite in a global struggle for our freedom.

Why Malcolm X Was Assassinated

malcolm x

I finally understand why Malcolm X was assassinated. I can finally comprehend why he is still demonised till this day – why all civil rights leaders are celebrated as heroes except him. This is because his struggle is still relevant till this day, it still threatens those in power.

At first I thought he was labelled as an ‘extreme’ civil rights leader because of his unapologetic approach, unlike other civil rights leader he didn’t advocate a ‘turn the other cheek’ pacifism, but a “I don’t even call it violence when it’s self defense” approach.

As for those who accuse him of being racist, during his earlier period in life he simply adopted the same attitude as was given to him by the predominant white community. However, towards the end of his life, after visiting Mecca for pilgrimage and experiencing people of all colours coexisting peacefully, he abandoned his ‘all whites are devils’ attitude.

My analysis, however, was far from the truth. Only recently, whilst watching one of his lectures, did I realise why he was assassinated and is still demonised today. It was a speech he delivered six days before his assassination:

This speech lays the foundation of the new journey Malcolm X was embarking upon before he was killed. Malcolm X understood that to truly liberate human beings from oppression and slavery, the power structure that is keeping them enslaved must be destroyed. And the only way to defeat a global power structure was through a global movement against the power structure. This is why he attempted to unify the ‘Afro-American community with the African community, and then these two communities with the Asian community.’

Malcolm X was a powerful individual who yielded global influence. If Malcolm X had succeeded in galvanizing all coloured people to challenge the existing power structure, the oppressors of the world would not be able to oppress, exploit and plunder the wealth of the poor. Unfortunately, before his vision could become a reality, he was assassinated.

It is this very International Western Power Structure, that enslaved, and still is enslaving the African continent, that is still exploiting the Muslim world and beyond. It is still coloured people who are subjugated by this power structure.

In order for us to truly appreciate the sacrifice Malcolm X made with his life, we must continue his struggle against the imminent threat of this power structure.

To learn how to become a part of the movement that will defeat this power structure, watch The Road to Freedom now.

Thoughts on ‘Is Islam Being Criminalised?’ Event

is islam being criminalised

I was unable to attend the Is Islam Being Criminalised? event due to the location, however, just as the event was starting, I realised it was being streamed live so I decided to tune in and jot down some of my thoughts.

Firstly, I must commend every speaker that attended; each played their part to educate the Muslim Ummah on different aspects on the war against Islam.

Before I provide my thoughts on the event, I would like to quickly recall, to the best of my ability, what each speaker spoke about:

  • The first speaker, Nasir Hafezi, outlined government strategy,
  • The second speaker, Abdullah Andalusia, gave examples of current affairs and offered practical steps Muslims can take, comparing us to the civil rights movement in America, and stating that we must take political action such as peaceful protests, civil disobedience, debates and engage with the community,
  • The third speaker, Sheikh Suleiman, gave Islamic arguments to prove it was necessary to stop the demonisation and oppression of our community,
  • The fourth speaker, Muhammad Jhangir, gave practical examples of how government strategy works,
  • The fifth speaker, Moazzam Begg, explained that this is not a war on terror, but a war on Islam – this is apparent from the fact that no other community is being demonised and sidelined other than us,
  • The sixth speaker, Imam Haitham, spoke about the importance of being patient in times of tribulation,
  • The last speaker, Reza Pankhurst, gave practical steps we can take as individuals. He explained that Hizb Ut Tahrir are providing media training for Muslims to help us on how we can deal with responding to the media,

As we can see, it was a brilliant overview of what we face as a community and this event really helped raise awareness of the need for action.

Now at this stage, I would like to offer some of my thoughts that I believe can help solidify the message of this event, and include certain components, which I believe to be necessary. Please note that my intention is to share my analysis, and I would encourage others to also critique my thoughts, so that we can move forward and build understanding.

As an Ummah, we are well aware of the oppression facing us, every individual, to some extent, understands we are being demonised and oppressed around the world. This event helped to create urgency and a need for action.

However, I felt we could have used more detail on the practical steps and milestones that we must aim to achieve, as a community, if we are to create a movement for our freedom.

As a community, we do not have a strategic solution based upon the geopolitical context of our time. In order for people to act, they must believe that their actions will have a positive impact; they must understand how their individual roles, and their individual actions, fit in to the bigger picture.

Currently, we are individual activist trying to do ‘some good work,’ not an organised movement demanding our freedom and self-determination.

There is a process through which a movement is formed, where people are able to demand their rights, as a single unified body. The first step in creating a movement is to create a cause.

Currently, there is no CAUSE for Muslims to join, thus, we are only individual activists. To create a movement we must have a narrative. What makes a narrative different from a story is that it has a vision and thus a pathway.

Currently our story is a suicidal one, it is all about our oppression and what we have lost, but a narrative empowers a community by creating demands, a vision, inspiring them to reclaim their greatness. If this vision is broad enough, it will mean that despite our differences, we will for the first time, be able to agree on something and galvanise ourselves into a movement.

In order to galvanise their people into a movement, other oppressed communities have also used narratives in the past, thus this is a tried and tested tool that works. I was pleased to see Abdullah Andalusia mention the Civil Rights Movement, because we really need to analyse this period of history and learn from it.

Malcolm X once said, “the greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organise a sleeping people around specific goals, you have to wake the people up first and then you’ll get action.” Therefore, before our movement can become a reality, we must ensure we have awakened our people. Without politicising our community, our community will be too asleep to take action.

This event helped to do just that, to awaken our community, however, the audience were not urged to educate each other further. As we know, our community is apolitical, we are a sleeping people, asking us to take political action is futile at this stage.

We appreciate the milestones to the road to freedom is not a linear process, however, our main priority at this stage should be to create a cause, a narrative and tackle any obstacles preventing us from unifying into a movement.

Therefore, we must critically analyse what is preventing Muslims from demanding their freedom and self-determination. Upon a closer inspection, we realise that many ‘practicing’ Muslims use Islam to justify their passivity. Though Islam is a faith that demands we strive against injustice, there is a widespread belief in the Muslim community that demands that they “perfect themselves first” or “do the basics first.”

This idea is closer to western individualism, than it is to Islam. Though speakers like Sheikh Suleiman spoke about the Islamic obligation for standing up for justice and the oppressed, there were no direct refutations of such ideas, and more importantly, as part of the solutions, the audience, which was approximately 500 people at the event and another 1500 watching online, were not told about the urgency of tackling such beliefs within the Muslim community.

You see, most of the Muslim community is disillusioned by the thought that anything practical can be achieved whilst living in Britain. As we understand, this is due to a lack of our understanding of the geopolitical context we live in and the importance of the ideological war. If Muslims were to be part of a greater movement and understand how their individual roles fit into a global struggle for freedom, we would find the Muslim community more willing to act.

I hope my thoughts have benefitted the organisers of the event, and also those who attended.

Islamic Renaissance has also put forward a lecture that attempts to map out the road to freedom, and the solutions that we can work towards as a community. We would also appreciate your feedback, so that we can find a common ground as a community.