Islam and the West (2)

Islam and the West (2)

II THE CONSPIRACY AND ITS CORRELATES
I am sure we have established the Conspiracy of the West against Islam. What remains is to enumerate the various manifestations of this conspiracy. Apart from the military efforts, which failed woefully,(1) other areas of the manifestation of the conspiracy are in the following:
EDUCATION
Through colonization the West attempts to acculturate the Muslims by way of its education system, which plays down the Islamic principles and inculcates Euro-American ethos. This is one avenue through which the West has created the westernized elite in various Muslim countries who have become vanguards of European cultural penetration into Muslim lands. Just like it happened in many colonies, this education, to start with, started and ended with the three R's - writing, reading and arithmetic. It was a restricted education but through the Missionaries, it was meant to be an instrument of conversion to Christianity and a means of creating a Europeanized and later Americanized natives. It is perhaps the strongest weapon of the West.
2. LEGAL SYSTEM
In various Muslim lands where the West had a foothold, it eroded the legal Principles of Islam by the abrogation of the aspects of the penal Justice of the shari'ah and imposed its own, criminal code. It has always grudgingly allowed the civil aspect of the shari'ah. This erosion of the shari'ah is systematically aimed at a neutralization of the all-pervading influence of Islam in the Muslim life. With its (western) education and the inculcation of its civilization, the West presents anything western as best. Its man-made law with all its natural deficiencies is supposed to be superior. And with all its contradictions and its unabashed protection of the power that is and the establishment, canon law is imposed on Islamic law. The problems associated with this imposition are the sources of contention in many Muslim lands today.
3. FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Since the ultimate aim of imperialism is creating the enabling environment for the development of capitalism, colonization is the highest level of imperialism. The main thrust is integrating various parts of the World into world capitalism. Usury and profiteering are main features of capitalism, and they are a negation of the Islamic financial system. After the era of the monopolistic practices of the oligopolies (The multinational corporations), we are now in the era of globalization where the frontiers of states are brought down to allow for the penetration of transnational capital. It is the 'conspiracy' of the transnational elite of the West with their collaborators in other parts of the world to concentrate the greatest part of the wealth of the world in the hands of the smallest part of the population of the world. AB Robinson points out, the Human Development Report 1992 has more than illustrated the perpetual imbalance that is created by the contradiction between neo-liberalism and polyarchy (American brand of democracy specially meant for the Third World. Actually, the report shows that the richest 20% of the world population receive 82.7% of the world's total- income. The poorest 20% of the world population receive 1.4% of the world total income. This is coupled with the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots in the individual countries. Nothing can negate Islamic social organization more than this.(2) The Muslims have been victims like others. Suffice it to say that this economic imperative informs western intervention in various parts of the World since the 19th Century. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, the West endeavored to entrench its financial system in Breton Wood institutions - the World Bank, International Monetary Fund etc. Globalization is its apogee in the 21st century.
4. INFORMATION
Starting with the Radio, then the Television, then the Cinema, then the Computer and now with the Internet, Information Technology has succeeded in transforming the so-called global village into the global sitting room. Events from the remotest parts of the world are reported to you instantly through the tube. So also are cultural influences in all ramifications passed on to you and your wards, challenging age-long values and practices and jeopardizing important institutions? One big target of this instrument is in the area of dressing (especially for women), drinking, (of alcohol), gambling and a myriad of other distinct cultural values on which Islam put much premium. The rate at which the West disseminates vices to the youth and even to all and sundry is alarming. In the tabloid, on the television, in the cinema and now on the internet, readers, viewers and browsers are free to 'suck in' into their system, such daunting negative influences like violence, pornography, drinking (of alcohol), gambling and a host of others. All these are taken for granted. But the fact is that the media of communication make the individual subscriber almost helpless. Communication has also afforded the West a press war on Islam especially in the area of spreading negative reportage on the Faith. We are all familiar with the negative connotation given to "fundamentalism" as an attribute of Islam and its movements.
5. NEO-COLONIALISM
On the political plane, countries of the West led by the USA continue to predominate in Muslim countries where they could influence policies, executing development projects and affecting the lives of Muslim peoples. Saudi-American relations are illustrative of this. Any Muslim state where this Euro-American domination has been resisted has been dealt with out-rightly through invasion, military bombardment, regime change and other means. Or such states become targets of negative propaganda. Illustrative of this point are Imam Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran, Iraq, Nasser's Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, to mention but a few.
6. PALESTINE
Palestine remains the quintessence of Western conspiracy against Islam and an eternal indictment of the West in its double play. In the execution of the first World War, Britain (the then World Greatest Power), promised the Arabs independence if they would fight against the Ottoman Empire, their overlords. This promise applied as well to Palestinian Arabs (Muslims and Christians). At the same time and in Western characteristic double-face, Britain promised the European Jews the creation of what it called a Jewish National Home in Palestine. This was in 1917 (Hence, the 1917 Balfour Declaration). This promise, it must be noted, was given in response to the pressure of International Zionism, which was the response of the Jews in the Diaspora to the inhuman treatments they have had from Europe, the West. So, the inadequacy of the Judeo-Christian civilization, the failure of Christendom to be its brother's keeper must be ameliorated by denying Islam, the Muslim peoples, their own rights.
III CONSEQUENCE AND CAUSE
The consequence of the two centuries of Western domination of the Muslim peoples; subjugation of their lands and onslaught on their cultural values is very obvious. The Muslims have lost confidence in themselves. They erroneously attribute the successes of the West to science and technology. They succumb to the temptation and the trapping of materialism, which is the cardinal philosophy that drives Western civilization. They fall for the unrestrained freedom entrenched in individualism and liberal democracy, which promises capitalist prosperity through the economics of the free market. The Muslims began to doubt the superiority of their Islamic culture and the profound achievements of their Islamic civilization in the sciences, in literature, in politics, in military strategy, in family relations, in social cohesion and in collective effort. More devastating is their helpless acquiescence to the Westphalian nation-statism jettisoning once and for all the universal state of Islam. This consequence has been grave and it has demobilized the Muslims, deadening their sinews so much that they seem not to know what to do.
Yet, the seriousness of the situation is such that it has imposed on the Muslims the need to wake up to the cause of Allah for their own sake. It is a call for Jihad in the cause of Allah. Muslims need to wake up to their duty to defend their stronghold from the formidable attack of the West. This cause should be on all fronts. The Education system in all Muslim lands should be consciously guided by a policy that sets out to create true Muslim educated citizens who are mindful of their responsibilities to Allah. Education is a serious matter. It is a cardinal principle of socialization. Through education, the cultural values of a people are transmitted down the generations. Any people that neglect education and allow the dissemination of just any ideas to its youth is gravely endangered. Muslims cannot afford to be despondent. Islam has always put a great premium on education. The present generation is being careless by leaving the education of its younger generation to whatever comes up from its adversaries.
The shari'ah should be entrenched in all Muslim lands as the supreme law. There is a need to be cautious in those states like Nigeria, where a substantial part of the population is Muslim, but where anti-Islamic sentiments are strong from the Christian members of the population. But we cannot give up the struggle until the rights of the Muslims to their own legal system within the purveyors of the Constitution are realized.
Muslims should endeavor to entrench their own Islamic financial system. They should showcase the possibility of running an interest-free banking system. The JAIZ endeavor is a step in the right direction in Nigeria.
Islam and Muslims must of necessity exploit the possibilities inherent in Information Technology. Every Muslim must be computer literate and participate actively in the dynamic world of Information Technology. The cyber-world is open to everybody. Muslims should harness its potentials to further the cause of Islam, disseminate Islamic ideas and ideals and promote Islamic cultural values.
Muslims should conscientiously participate actively in politics. This they should do with a mind to better the lots of the people, to show that through their attitudes Islamic precepts of governance are possible. In any case, Muslims must be empowered politically and economically to be able to withstand the problems inherent in neo-colonialism and the questionable "promotion of democracy", which is the vogue in the world today. There is no gain saying it that the USA is actually promoting 'polyarchy' in its so-called promotion of democracy (Robinson 1996).
Muslims have it as an obligation to identify with the Palestinian Arabs who have been under siege of West-supported and West-sponsored Zionism since 1917. This is a problem we cannot afford to abandon to our Arab brethren. They are divided well enough. The West has put a strong wedge in the Arab line of resistance. Moreover, Muslims all over the World have the duty as an Ummah to do something about the Question of Palestine. It is a task that must be done! If all Muslim peoples in all lands will let their governments know that they are serious about the Question of Palestine, these governments will consider the Question in their respective foreign policies.
CONCLUSION
This paper has attempted to establish the fact of the conspiracy of the West against Islam in the military, education, legal, financial, information, and national political and international political systems. We have also tried to proffer solutions to these problems for us as Muslims to regain our dignity and lift the siege, which has been used to hem us in. Like Salahuddin al-Ayyubi before us, all that we need is a "Siege of the Besieger". Doing this we shall triumph and regain our freedom. But it requires dedication, determination and diligence. We should remember, "Allah does not change the condition of a people unless and until they changed the condition of their souls". In the same vein, "Allah does not change His blessing that He has bestowed on a people until they changed what is in their souls''.(3)

NOTES:

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1. (Oluwatoki 2001: 16)

2. (Robinson 1996: 340-341)

3. (Qur'an 8:53)