“It is unfathomable how American military personnel in Afghanistan could decide to burn copies of the Koran. Muslims consider destruction of the holy book blasphemous. A decade after the United States intervened in Afghanistan; all American forces should know that.”
— New York Time Editorial.
The callous burning of the Quran by bigots in the American military has spawned numerous protests across Afghanistan that hitherto has left 29 people dead and scores wounded. Obama’s half-hearted apology has only added fuel to the incessant outrage expressed by ordinary Afghans who widely perceive America’s occupation of their country as a wholesale onslaught on Islamic values. Only few weeks ago, US troops were caught on camera smiling and urinating on dead Afghans. The vilification of Afghans and their Islamic values is not limited to these incidents alone. Mutilation of dead bodies, horrific abuse of prisoners in Bagram, rape of young girls, mindless civilian massacres have become the hallmark of America’s malicious crusade in Afghanistan. No matter how hard America tries to downplay this vitriolic incident, the latest episode is a vivid reminder to the rest of the world that barbarism and not emancipation from tyranny is a hallmark of America’s war machine.
One would have thought that having spent over a decade fighting wars in the Muslim world, US soldiers would at the very least, be accustomed to the cultural sensitivities of Muslims. But no, we find the complete opposite. Wherever the American military intervenes, it leaves behind a trail of death and destruction with rancorous behaviour unworthy of a leading nation that also prides itself on tolerance. Look for instance, the indiscriminate killings of unarmed civilians by US drones and Special Forces in Pakistan, or the immunity granted to Raymond Davis for his cold blooded murder of Pakistanis in broad daylight. This clearly undermines America’s penchant for disregarding human rights it so evangelically preaches to the rest of the world. Take America’s war in Iraq as another example: the cruel humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the senseless killings of unarmed civilians in Haditha are portent reminders about the fruits America’s Iraqi occupation. Yet despite such uncivilized acts perpetrated by America’s military, its soldiers are lavished with praise and their crimes against humanity are overlooked. At the end of last year, US President Obama told troops coming home from Iraq: “As your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I’m proud to finally say these two words.”
Worse still, there are no serious efforts by America’s political establishment or senior officers to change the uncivilized conduct of US troops. Wherever US troops are stationed, the Pentagon immediately seeks immunity from prosecution as a mandatory condition in exchange for security pacts, or military aid. In other words, there are no repercussions for the evil acts committed by US soldiers against indigenous populations. If by chance a US soldier is found guilty, sham trials are convened by the US military (the conclusion of Haditha massacre trial early this year) to ensure that punishment does not fit the crime. The US military goes to great length to instill savagery within its personnel by making certain that barbarism is institutionalized. The recent National Defense Authorization Act passed by the US senate epitomizes such measures, which legalizes sex with animals and permits sodomy. As the US military is committed to preserving its barbarian code and despicable values, one can only imagine what type of training the US military imparts to nations around the globe. So what is the root cause behind such reckless behaviour that defies human logic? The explanation that ‘a few rotten apples’ are to blame, is no longer plausible and does not merit a discussion. Nor can America’s military culture be held solely responsible for nurturing a generation of young men and women who show scant respect for foreign cultures and people. On the contrary, the military culture is based on the very foundations that the rest of American society is built.
The sole driver for such behaviour is freedom, which is the bedrock of America’s cherished ideals and responsible for shaping popular culture, corporate culture, social values and ethics. It is on this very basis that the military in Western countries, especially in America is responsible for moulding the attitudes of its military personnel. Men and women, fed from a young age on a diet of freedom enlist in the army as defenders of freedom, undergo weapons training and are eventually deployed overseas. Here, they find themselves in a different environment; laws and restrictions of the home country no longer impinge on what one can say and do and the weapons in their possessions makes them feel that they can finally say and do whatever they desire. Naturally, the indigenous populations’ beliefs, values, property, life and dignity are quickly trounced upon–”all in the name of freedom.
Freedom is a fanciful idea and always leads to disputes and violence. The West claims that individuals are free to do whatever they choose and indoctrinates within its populace the desire to be free. But in practice this leads to unending conflicts amongst people, as the views expressed by a few, or behaviour exhibited by some, can be interpreted as offensive and insulting to others. Hence, Western governments are persistently intervening in disputes and resort to severity of the law to protect the freedoms of some people by depriving others of their freedom to express thoughts and behave in a certain way. Often, the real benefactors of freedom are those individuals or groups whose views or conduct coincides with the interests of the government, or the powerful capitalists who possess the ability to exert influence over the government. That is why so many institutions including the military establishments in the West are given free rein to attack Islam because their fiery rhetoric and discriminatory policies are in full harmony with West’s unfinished war on Islam. However, if the Western media, or its numerous institutions, were to insult Jews or the Zionist state of Israel, Western governments would swiftly adopt stern measures to restrict their insults.
On foreign policy matters, Western governments manipulate freedom to either pry open societies closed to Western values, or totally ignore freedom when it does not concur with their interests. In the case of the Arab uprising and the continued massacre of Muslims at the bloody hands of Western agents like Bashaar Al Asad, the West has chosen to water down its response, as the protestors are avid supporters of Islam and not democracy. Such hypocrisy only serves to underscore the perception amongst Muslims that the America and Europe are solely interested in the utter destruction of Islamic values and practices.
Islam does not believe in the whimsical idea of freedom, where a handful of men decide which thoughts and behaviours are legally beyond censure, and which thoughts and practices are subject to criticism and can be tried in a court of law. Islam stipulates that life, honor, blood, property, belief, race and the mind are to be protected by the Islamic State. All the citizens of the Caliphate are guaranteed these rights, irrespective of whether they are Muslim or non-Muslims. Islam also protects the rights of non-Muslims to worship without any fear of retribution, or vilification of their beliefs. The Messenger (saw) of Allah said: "One who hurts a dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen of the Caliphate), he hurts me and the one who hurts me, hurts Allah"
Therefore, it is prohibited for a Muslim to insult the beliefs of a non-Muslim, spill their blood, harm their places of worship and desecrate their property.
The Islamic history is unrivalled in its capacity to guarantee the religious rights of non-Muslims under the shade of the Caliphate. At the time of Omar bin Al Khattab (R.A), the Islamic army conquered Syria, but quickly returned the Kharaj collected from Homs a town inhabited by Christians and Jews. The Muslims reasoned with the non-Muslims that they were returning the money as they were unable to protect their life, blood, honour and property from the regrouping Roman army. So impressed were the non-Muslims that they said, “We like your rule and justice far better than the state of oppression and tyranny in which we were. The army of Heraclius we shall indeed, with your ‘Amil’s’ help, repulse from the citv." The Jews rose and said, "We swear by the Torah, no governor of Heraclius shall enter the city of Homs unless we are first vanquished and exhausted!" Saving this, they closed the gates of the city and guarded them. The inhabitants of the other cities – Christian and Jew – that had capitulated to the Muslims, did the same, saying, "If Heraclius and his followers win over the Muslims we would return to our previous condition, otherwise we shall retain our present state so long as numbers are with the Muslims." (Kitab Futuh al-Buldha of Ahmad ibn-Jabir al-Baladhuri, trans. by P. K. Hitti and F. C. Murgotten, Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, LXVIII (New York, Columbia University Press,1916 and 1924). The protection of non-Muslims under the Caliphate continued for centuries, and Christians and Jews lived under the protection of state, once their lands were opened to Islam. During the rule of Sultan Muhammed the Conqueror, the sultan pledged to protect the Christians and Franscisan monastery in Fojinica after the conquest of Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 28 1463. This pledge was stated in the official firman as:” No one shall disturb or give harm to these people and their churches! They shall live in peace in my state. These people, who have become emigrants, shall have security and liberty. They may return to their monasteries which are located in the borders of my state. No one from my empire notable, viziers, clerks or my maids will break their honour or give any harm to them! No one shall insult, put in danger or attack these lives, properties, and churches of these people! Also, what and those these people have brought from their own countries have the same rights…” (Light Millennium: A Culture of Peaceful Coexistence: The Ottoman Turkish Example by Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu).
The only way to prevent the West and her surrogates from attacking Islam and humiliating Muslims is to re-establish the Caliphate. The rights of the Muslims were protected, until the very last days of the Caliphate. During the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Britain decided to stage a play, which depicted the life of the messenger (saw) of Allah in a derogatory manner. On hearing this Sultan Abdul Hamid complained to the British government to stop the play. The British government defended its decision to hold the play citing free speech. But when Sultan Abdul Hamid threatened Britain with military action Britain immediately relented.