Palestine is the location of the third most blessed masjid in Islam
Al Aqsa - the location of al-Isra and al-Miraj. It is the location where Salahadeen defeated the crusaders. This week it has witnessed further shame and defilement. By engaging in unjustifiable violence, factions on both sides in Palestine have readily sacrificed the unity of Muslims at the altar of bloody revenge and short term political expediency. They have handed a blank cheque to the Israeli occupiers and their international allies to further engage in their divide and rule strategy across the Muslim world. Within hours of the U.S. puppet Mahmood Abbas announcing his so-called emergency government, the EU, Israel and the US have all rushed to embrace him, capitalising on the disunity amongst Palestinians.
Sadly, Palestine is not the only location in the Muslim world where we see Muslim pitted against Muslim. Despite the vast majority of Muslims yearning for political unity under the banner of an Islamic Khilafah, key parts of the Muslim world are currently characterised by increasing instability and chaos. As a result of a brutal occupation, Afghanistan and Iraq have seen law and order completely break down, collapsing into internecine fighting between distinct groups, sects and tribes. In Lebanon there is a huge chasm between the government and the opposition. In Somalia, Muslims who want an Islamic system are being persecuted by some of their brethren supported by America and their client state of Ethiopia. In Sudan there is an appalling situation of inter tribal violence resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people in Darfur, supervised by a callous regime in Khartoum. In Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Nigeria, day by day we witness the reality of sham and corrupt democracies. Whilst in Egypt, Syria and the Gulf, we continue to see the brutal and despotic rule of dictators and kings.
It is clear that such violence and instability benefits no one apart from those who are currently illegally occupying land in the Muslim world. Their constant attempts to portray the Muslim world as systematically divided on sectarian lines are used for this purpose. They point to Lebanon and Iraq as examples of a growing Sunni-Shia divide, yet even a superficial view of these conflicts indicates that this is not the case. Iraq is currently witnessing a complete breakdown not based on sectarian lines, but due to political agendas egged on by some in the international community, who now favour permanent partition. For the British government, the American administration and the regime in Tel Aviv, the sight of Muslims killing other Muslims from Mogadishu to Kandahar is a gift, when they are otherwise in a dire crisis. Divide and rule has long been the perennial strategy for all imperial occupations from the days of the East India Company and the European colonialism that followed. In India, the British managed the political arrangements in such a way to fully exacerbate the schisms between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. In Palestine, the British mandate and the Balfour declaration laid the foundation for the current dispute between Muslims and Jews. The Americans despite having a $500 billion dollar defence budget now resort to providing arms to Sunnis in the Anbar province in Iraq to kill other Sunnis, a task they have failed to perform themselves.
Yet it is all too easy to blame this on outsiders, on the imperialists and their divide and rule strategy. Of course the current Anglo-American occupation and their support of brutal dictators have created failed states and consequently the necessary conditions from which such violence easily flourishes. However, every Muslim is accountable for their actions and it is their responsibility not to engage in unjust acts of violence and murder.
Muslims should be aware of the lessons of history. In 1099 the crusaders from Europe were able to overrun parts of the Khilafah at the time because it was weak and hopelessly divided. Instead of focusing on external threats and exporting the Islamic message they became inward looking and engaged in political squabbles. While they were busy attacking each other, Pope Urban’s army effortlessly conquered the holy city of Jerusalem and through their murderous exploits opened the gates of hell.
It was only when Salahadeen unified all the various entities, nations and tribes that Muslims were able with Allah's (swt) help to regain what they had lost 88 years earlier. Today’s reality is no different - if Muslims want to regain their self esteem, if they want to rid their lands of occupation, if they want to unify themselves under one banner then there is only one viable alternative and one solution to the current instability and chaos - the Khilafah. It is only the Khilafah that can marshal this Ummah’s resources and strength and rid the Muslim world from occupation. It is only the Khilafah that can effectively break down the barriers of sect, tribe and nationality and replace them with the higher values of Iman, taqwa and brotherhood. It is only the Khilafah that can look after the rights of minorities, of the poor, the needy, those in debt and those that have been incarcerated unjustly in the dungeons of the dictators.
In the Qur'an Allah (swt) tells us not to be divided, and warns of its consequences:
“And hold fast, all together, to the rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you for ye were enemies and he joined your hearts in love, so that by his grace, ye become brothers; and ye were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it”.
In this globalised world of instant communication, what happens in Gaza today affects not just the politics of Palestine or the Middle East, but also the politics of Bradford, Birmingham and London. Muslims are faced with three choices: they can either continue to participate in the corrosive politics of self-destruction, killing their brothers and sisters; or they can remain slumped in the politics of apathy ignoring what is going on; or lastly we can seek to contribute to change, following in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Companions, and those after them by joining in the world wide movement for re-establishing the Khilafah in the Muslim world.