Dilly Hussain shares his thoughts on the biggest news stories that have been trending this week. In the first edition of his weekly memo, he covers Egypt, Bangladesh and Maajid Nawaz’s “new appointment” as a journalist for BBC Newsnight.
I was tempted to just go “Rambo” on the whole flight MH370 hype, but realised that whether it was the Taliban, Pakistani ISI or aliens from Mars that abducted the plane, it was the qadr of Allah (swt) that it went missing. Facebook, Twitter, friends and family just can’t stop talking about it. Even my grandmother who’s eighty-something was quizzing me about the Malaysian aircraft and whether I knew anything about its whereabouts!
However, I find it ironic that American satellites that can locate an Al Qaeda nail clipper in the Sahara Desert were unable to track the plane. If there’s one lesson we can take from this, it’s the tawakkul in Allah (swt) the families of the Muslim passengers have in comparison to the relatives of the Chinese passengers, who are adamant that the Malaysian authorities are hiding something.
Now, onto this week’s news…
Pharaoh Sisi and the witch-hunt of Muslim Brotherhood
On Monday an Egyptian court sentenced at least 528 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to death on charges related to violent riots in the southern city of Minya last August, including the murder of a police officer.
One can’t help but ask the question – how big was this officer? Was the policeman King Kong or Godzilla reincarnate that it took more than half a thousand men to kill him?
No doubt, this is one of many (expect more) ludicrous episodes of injustice to come out of Egypt in the regime’s witch-hunt against the MB since Mohammed Morsi’s removal via a military coup.
And if that wasn’t enough madness for a week, General Sisi (the modern day Pharaoh who destroyed the tourism industry and economy in the space of a year) decides to stand as Egypt’s president – having eliminated his opposition with the barrel of gun (a gun hand-crafted in the US and Saudi Arabia), ordered the deaths of hundreds without fair trial and imprisoned thousands more who opposed him.
Muslims living in the West should not hold back in publicly calling a spade a spade. What took place in Egypt last summer was a military coup, instigated by militant secularists, supported by Al Azhar and the Salafi Nur Party, carried out by the Egyptian army and overlooked by the US.
The MB have faced similar persecution in the past, namely under Gamal Abdel Nasser. What the future holds for the Muslim world’s veteran Islamist movement is unclear, especially with events unfolding in Syria and Qatar’s uneasy relationship with Saudi Arabia due to their support for MB.
Maajid Nawaz’s debut as “BBC Newsnight reporter”
I had promised myself that I wouldn’t let this section exceed 300 words because this Uncle Tom already consumes a lot of our precious telly and social media time. The BBC’s fixation with the Quilliam Foundation’s Maajid Nawaz is becoming so ridiculous that they might as well come out and declare that he is the only Muslim community leader in Britain they recognise.
On Monday night, the former Islamist turned “free speech martyr” was given the privilege of airing a six minute package for Newsnight with all the usual suspects talking gibberish – his female equivalent Sara Khan, the apostate Maryam Namazie, and Omar Quddus, a gay Muslim who’s been living a double life due to death threats (yawn).
After Nawaz’s video ended, the circus show entitled “Who speaks for British Muslims?” began with Mo “Who the hell is he?” Ansar and Mehdi “the Messiah” Hasan. Mehdi did well in grilling Nawaz with the little time he had, but I kept in mind that he’s a master showman, a crowd winner, and if you scratch beyond the surface, there isn’t much difference in the Islam he advocates to the one Nawaz does – a secular, liberal, polluted and compromised Islam.
Muslims immediately took to social media. On Twitter the hashtag #BBCNewsnight #CouldntYouGet (then some absurd individual to speak on behalf of Muslims – Netanyahu and Hitler were my favourites) started trending within an hour.
So maybe we can expect genuine Muslim leaders to be invited to shoot a video for the BBC without doing an internship? I didn’t hold my breath.
The next evening, BBC3’s Free Speech show had Nawaz on the panel playing his violin about being a former radical, reformed Muslim and how the police had a gun to his head when he was a teenager…you’ve heard this all before right? I’ll save you the trouble.
Many notable Muslims have refused to share a platform with Nawaz, including the editor of 5Pillarz Roshan Muhammed Salih who believes an absolute boycott will get him off our screens, whilst others have strongly suggested that to boycott him would leave him unchallenged to do and say as he wishes.
I sway towards the latter, that only capable Muslim leaders who can dismantle Nawaz ruthlessly without compromising on core Islamic principles should go forward in such a noble task…in the meanwhile, a generation of online Muslim “trolls” continue to expose Nawaz.
Sheikh Hasina’s attempt to revive Bangladeshi nationalism
Wednesday 26th March marked the 43rd anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. The war of 1971 is a very sensitive topic for many Bangladeshis, and it’s not uncommon to find Bengalis here and abroad that remain very bitter towards their Pakistani brethren.
It is an undeniable fact that thousands, if not millions, were butchered in cold blood by the Pakistani army, but no one denies that. The issue is with those who desired to remain as a part of Pakistan with legitimate Islamic reasons. I have been called a “Razakar” (a Bengali agent of West Pakistan’s army) because of my desire to have remained a part of Pakistan by people I know.
To be frank, how “independent” and “free” is Bangladesh? It has remained an Indian proxy since 1971 and dances to the tunes played in Washington and London like T20 cheerleaders to a six. The sour truth of this break-up between two brothers is that the only winner was India, who didn’t have to worry about a unified Muslim state on its eastern and western flank.
So how did Hasina celebrate independence day? Considering she’s been busy with so many murders and corruption scandals, what better way to distract the sheepish masses from an illegal election victory than to break a Guinness World record for the biggest choir singing of a national anthem?!
254,681 Bangladeshis gathered in the capital city Dhaka to sing “Amar Shonar Bangla Ami Tomai Bhalobashi” (My Golden Bengal, I Love You). Sorry to burst all the patriots’ bubbles, in case you haven’t realised, Bangladesh still remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with the wealth gap between the rich and poor ranking top 10.
Before some wise-guy (or wise-girl) decides to pounce on my dislike for Bangladeshi Independence Day and my genuine feelings to have remained as a part of Pakistan, I make it very clear that the 50 plus Muslim nation states that exist, their so-called “independence” was merely a transition of one ruling tyrant to another.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) spoke against the disease of nationalism in numerous Ahadith. I shall mention one,
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“Undoubtedly Allah has removed from you the pride of arrogance of the age of Jahilliyah (ignorance) and the glorification of ancestors. Now people are of two kinds. Either believers who are aware or transgressors who do wrong. You are all the children of Adam and Adam was made of clay. People should give up their pride in nations because that is a coal from the coals of Hell-fire. If they do not give this up Allah will consider them lower than the lowly worm which pushes itself through dung.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)
The Messenger of Allah (saw) was pretty emphatic on this issue right? It is solely on the Islamic prohibition of such sentiment and feelings, do I openly declare my dislike for the notion of the modern nation state.
That is all for this week folks!