- By Wakil Abu Mujahid
After almost a decade long court battles, five Muslim men were finally extradited to the US, a move which was akin to a legalised version of the “extraordinary rendition” with which we are now all too familiar. Babar Ahmad, Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary (an Egyptian national), Abu Hamza and Khaled al-Fawwaz (a Saudi national) were all hurriedly flown off to the US from an RAF air base within a few hours after the High Court rejected their final appeals, as though it was a staged legal drama and the flights were destined to depart!
David Cameron made no secret of his pleasure in seeing these men sent off to the US “super-max” prisons when he said, ”I’m absolutely delighted that Abu Hamza is now out of this country. Like the rest of the public I’m sick to the back teeth of people who come here, threaten our country, who stay at vast expense to the taxpayer and we can’t get rid of them.”
Throughout the past decade in their legal battles against extradition, many Muslims (and non-Muslims) have repeatedly asked the British authorities to charge and try these men here in the UK, which the British government refused due to lack of concrete evidence. Yet, they were sent to the US on the ground of the UK/US extradition treaty, a basis which holds no weight insofar as the campaigners are concerned. So how should we perceive this move to extradite these men? Was this simply a straightforward legal procedure the British had to follow?
Since 9/11 the West has been engaged in a war against Islam and Muslims, as a result of which, we have witnessed a proliferation of practices such as torture, extraordinary rendition (the practice of outsourcing torture to third counties), mass arrests, Guantanamo style detention without trial and daily vilification of Muslims and Islam.
The Western media outlets and politicians of all political persuasions and parties have created a hostile environment whereby Muslims are treated with suspicion and effectively portrayed as potential terrorists. The media and politicians routinely fan the flame of anti-Muslim prejudice. This hostile anti-Muslim climate fuelled by mass demonization has created a society based on prejudice. A parallel justice system is operating, which permits passing terrorism legislation specifically to punish Muslims as though Muslims are second class citizens in Western states.
As an example of the media’s duplicity vis-à-vis Muslims, the British held the Paralympics 2012 to showcase their “tolerance” towards people with disability. The media was trumpeting Britain’s culture of inclusiveness, tolerance and success. Yet, the same media hypocrisy when it comes to Muslims was glaringly obvious! Abu Hamza, who is also disabled, was paraded daily as the evil pirate, Captain Hook, who had to be captured and punished! The media did not bother to afford him the same level of respect and sensitiveness, which non-Muslims would have received. Such is the level of duplicity in the media and amongst mainstream politicians that the concept of respect is dispensable in the case of Muslims.
Muslims are routinely incarcerated without trial for many years, and even in the courts, judges are bowing to the media pressure, and consequently, Muslims are receiving disproportionately harsh prison sentences and judgments. As a result of media propaganda and pressures from politicians, the so-called “rights” in Western criminal justice systems are not afforded to Muslims and hence Muslims are effectively viewed as “guilty as charged” and “guilty until proven innocent”.
The cases of Babar Ahmed, Abu Qatada, Abu Hamza and many others confirm that the courts, whether at national or European level, are too prepared to extradite and thereby legalise rendition of Muslims, knowing full well that they will face inhumane treatment in the recipient countries. To this end, the so-called human rights law in the form of the ECHR provide no protection to Muslims.
These cases further demonstrate that in the face of Western political interests, all options, including bare injustice, are available against Muslims. The democratic mantra of “due process” is hypocritically suspended when it comes to Muslims. However, in the face of such blatant injustice, Muslims should not despair and instead find solace in the words of Allah سبحانه وتعالى because the perpetrators on the Day of Judgment will find no helpers when Allah seizes them! Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,
مَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ حَمِيمٍ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ يُطَاعُ
“There will be no friend, nor an intercessor for the Zalimun, who could be given heed to.” [Al-Ghaafir, 40:18]
وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ نَصِيرٍ
“And for the Zalimun there will be no helper.” [Al Hajj, 22:71]
Let us be certain that those who commit injustices against the vulnerable will one day face the justice of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Allah grants respite to a wrongdoer (i.e. postpones taking action against a tyrant) but when He seizes him, He does not let him go”. Then he صلى الله عليه وسلم recited verse 102 from Surah Hud, ”Such is the Seizure of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His Seizure is painful, and severe”. [Bukhari and Muslim]
In addition, the façade of democratic participation in the West does not come to the rescue of Muslims. The so-called Muslim MPs, e.g. Sadiq Khan, did not aid the likes of Babar Ahmed. Even obtaining over 150,000 signatures on petitions did not afford Babar Ahmed a parliamentary debate, which normally only requires 100,000 signatures. This proves, if evidence was ever needed, that democratic participation has little or no effect whenever Western interests conflict with the interests of Muslims whether at home or abroad.
Furthermore, Muslims must not forget that the criminal rulers in the Muslim world are totally indifferent to the plight of Muslims, whether in the West or in the Muslim world. Not a single ruler came to the aid of Babar Ahmed or the others. By contrast, when Western citizens are put on trial in the Muslim world, Western states routinely apply pressure on such regimes to secure their release, in which they often succeed.
Today, there is no justice for Muslims anywhere in the world. However, only the Khilafah will facilitate true justice because the shari’ah is the law of the Creator. The Khilafah based on the shari’ah will be a just state for all, Muslims and non-Muslims. The Ummah must demand and work for the Khilafah, which is the real solution to our dire situation today.