Very disturbing news are emanating from ORLANDO, USA – A gunman identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen killed at least 50 people and injured 53 others in a gay nightclub in Florida early on Sunday before police shot him dead in what US authorities described as a “terrorism incident.” A senior FBI official said there were suggestions that the gunman might have had leanings toward Islamic State militants but that this required further investigation. One Peter King of Homeland Security Committee has said he was Afghani and had weapons training. As Omar set on his destruction, in three hours, a squad of officers stormed the club and shot dead the gunman.
According to Orlando Police Chief John Mina, at least one officer was injured in the gun-battle but the decision to storm the club saved at least 30 lives. The suspect was carrying an assault-type rifle and a handgun as well as an unidentified “device.”
“Do we consider this an act of terrorism? Absolutely, we are investigating this from all parties’ perspective as an act of terrorism,” said Danny Banks, special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. When asked if the FBI suspected the gunman might have had inclinations toward militant Islam, including a possible sympathy with Islamic State, Ronald Hopper, an assistant FBI agent in charge, told reporters: “We do have suggestions that the individual may have leanings toward that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively.”
It was the second deadly shooting at an Orlando night spot in as many nights. Late Friday a man thought to be a deranged fan fatally shot Christina Grimmie, a rising singing star and a former contestant on “The Voice”, while she was signing autographs after a concert in the Florida city.
In the wake of these attacks, and previous attacks in the West, everyone is justified to ask the simple question “Is Islam violent?” You can’t dismiss this question as pure rhetoric.
Islam is neither an outdated anchorite philosophy nor a dead ideology. It is practiced by a large section of humanity with deepest faith and conviction. In this age of secularism and western democratic concepts that are dominating the global thoughts and practices, a strange friction constantly prevails between the advanced West, other followers and Muslims. Should we not check the parameters set by Islam and the principles introduced by West?
Till the creation of Israel and the defeat of Arabs in 1967, this world was a different place. The Osmania Sultanete of Turkey, at one time one of the greatest powers upon earth, had been disintegrated and Europeans races were fighting amongst each other. To wash down the sins of German holocaust, these collapsing superpowers created a new entity in the heart of Palestine – Israel that has driven out the original inhabitants of land – the poor Palestinians from their houses. These victims of Western cartography never gave up. They kept their fight against Israeli occupation and the struggle is still going on. West make some noises against Israel time to time as eye-wash but the solid clandestine support is ever ready for Israel in every form. There lies at the bottom, the roots of all violence that we see between West and Muslims.
The struggle of poor Palestinians against Israel took violent forms as each action of protest was brutally suppressed with disproportionate force. There is no light at the end of this dark tunnel and there is no end of violence. It is a vicious circle. As most of the Muslims nations are militarily weak and disunited, the ordinary Muslims all over the world keep a close watch at the connivance of West and find themselves helpless in the developing scenarios. None of this is normal.
The struggle against suppression was given a perverted name – Terror without defining the State Terror and Genuine Protest.
The term ‘terror’ got currency as a symbol of violence and, the act of suppression by a strong state was called Self Defense. Terror and suppression have been transmuted into War, a normalized war — violence — against primarily civilian populations. Others dominating races have learned a lot from Israel about the tactics to contain and crush the genuine aspirations of masses.
Taking the clues from the plight of poor Palestinians, the violent political groups like Talebans and ISIS/ISIL that were originally the product of West, embarked upon doing all sorts of unimaginable things in the name of Islam. If we go deeper into the their history, these Western-Arab-Afghan Frankensteins are inspired by Wahhabism that is obscurantist fundamentally anti-intellectual tradition, a perversion in the name of Islamic .
Ibn Abdul Wahhab lived from 1703 to 1792 and founded the tradition of Wahabism based on the idea that Islam has been corrupted and changed by so-called Muslims from a religion of pure monotheism to a superstitious culture of saint- and grave-worship that is known as around the world as Tolerant Islam or Sufism. These Wahabis believe that 14 centuries of science, arts, literature, philosophy, religious and non-religious scholarship — all aspects of Islamic civilization, or any civilization for that matter — are fundamentally corrupt and must be done away with. Anything not explicitly sanctioned by the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) is considered an innovation (bida) that must be purified — far too often by violently removing it from the face of the earth.
The tyrant Saudi dynasty provided the succour to this ideology to keep their population under tight leash, This royal family goes back to Muhammad Ibn Saud (d.1765), a tribal chief of Diriyyah (near present day Riyadh). He did strike a deal with Abdul Wahhab, who would be given religious sponsorship in Arab lands under Ibn Saud’s rule and religious legitimacy to Ibn Saud’s political authority.
Khaled Abou El Fadl, in his book ‘The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremsits’ writes: “Historical sources describe horrendous massacres committed by Wahhabi forces in the eighteenth century all across Arabia.” The Saud-Wahhab alliance became the cornerstone of the present Saudi kingdom, established in 1932 with the long-term support of the British, who had wanted to gain a foothold in Arabia and destroy the Ottoman caliphate (both had been achieved by then).
Today, the Talebans, Boko Harams, ISIS, Jesh and Sipah-e-Sahaba of Pakistan have been systematically butchering Shia Muslims, non-Wahabis and non-Muslims and justifying their acts in the name of Quran and Trditions (Hadees) and “People of the Book”. ISIS’ Wahhabis argue that idolaters must either become Muslim or they must die.
The irony is that whole Islamic world had connived and failed to make any protest when in the name of purifying Islam of “idols,” the Saudi government systematically demolished the major sites of Islamic heritage in Mecca and Medina or elsewhere such as the Jannat-ul-Baqi, Jannut-ul-Mava where the graves of the household of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and important Islamic personages were dotted. There has also long been serious talk of destroying the Prophet’s tomb, which according to Wahhabi doctrine would constitute an “idol,” but they haven’t yet done so, no doubt over fear of major backlash from Muslims worldwide. In and upon these sites’ places, the government of Saudi Arabia has been erecting enormous grotesque towers of modern materialism. Clock Tower of Mecca is sheer waste to copy the West. In this modern world where everyone moves with a mobile that shows the time, what was the need of this Satanic Tower? It is a waste of national wealth and a monument of royal folly.
Keeping abreast of the mindless cruel Wahabi traditions, Talebans and the ISIS have been demolishing major sites of religious and cultural significance of all religions including Islam. The Western powers know well that the money to all these fanatics has been coming from Arabian Shikhs’ coffers. These rulers and rich sheikhs are the God Fathers of these brutal out-fits.
ISIS is not following Islam but it is blood-soaked face of a religion that has no historical or intellectual substance. How come the ‘The West’ which considers itself the beacon and bastion of democracy and secularism willingly supports dictatorial Wahhabi regimes as their state policy?
There lies the crux of the problem, the answer for the question – Islam is really violent? No sir, it is the opportunist West that keeps changing the goal posts to maintain its domination and gyrating it policies to serve its selfish economic interests. It does it all so that people living in other countries must live to serve their interests. Israel and the Middle East Royalties, the patrons of ISIS and Taleban are just the pawns in the big game, a bulwark in that process. The West is riding the Tiger. You reap what you sow !
By Naim Naqvi