Missing the point
“When the Mujahiddin come … every good Moslem must help the Mujahiddin always.”
By Gary Scarrabelotti*
In its editorial “Democracy is the right stuff,” The Australian (15 July 2010) tried to tackle Hizb ut-Tahrir, a “radical Islamic” group that had held a conference in Bankstown, in Sydney’s south west, over the previous weekend.
Its speakers called on Moslems to shun democracy and reject participation in Western political parties. It denied the legitimacy of Western governments and parliaments. It condemned Australia as “god forsaken” and urged Moslems to fight for an Islamic empire: the caliphate.
To this broadside The Australian made reply.
At first, it dismissed Hizb ut-Tahrir as little more than a font of “eccentric” ideas that were “fair enough” to spruik so long as spruiking was the name of the game. But, then, by way of second thoughts, it occurred to the editorialist that Hizb ut-Tahrir might be tossing around not just ideas but hand grenades. Potentially they were a threat to millions of Muslims the world over.
And not to us?
Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a movement of “eccentrics”. It is a rational and intelligent network made up of people who have a clear objective and, given their assumptions, an intellectually coherent religious, cultural, political and strategic vision.
What Hizb ut-Tahrir does is to exploit the lack of intellectual rigour and cultural integration in Western countries to develop an Islamic fifth column whose avowed purpose is to destroy us.
The reason why the rest of the Moslem community – with rare exceptions – is mute in all this was explained, in another context, to a young army officer by an elderly Moor during an interlude in the Rif Wars in Spanish Morocco. The scene was a winding narrow street in Xauen during its evacuation by the Spanish in 1926.
The old fellow upbraided an immaculately turned out officer – who greatly admired the martial qualities of the Moroccans – for going to war with the Riffians and then abandoning the local people. The Spaniard returned fire with a lecture on the benefits western civilisation to which the canny gent made this reply:
“You don’t understand. Don’t blame the natives for everything that goes wrong. You look at the Moors, but all you can see is their robes. You don’t know the inner reasons of our behaviour: you will never know them. When the Mujahiddin [holy warriors] come – that’s the reason you can’t understand: every good Moslem must help the Mujahiddin always. There isn’t a village that does not succour or shelter them, directly or indirectly, some with arms, others with gifts, the most timid ones with their silence. This is the Mujahiddin’s right of asylum.” (Brian Crozier, Franco: A Biographical History; London, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1967; p. 81.)
Bankstown is not Spanish Morocco, but the principles operative in the two theatres are the same. In the long run, an Islamic community will yield to the holy warriors, when they come, their “right of asylum”.
Banging on about democracy having the “right stuff” is vanity and delusion when that same democracy has seen fit to let its enemies strike root within the gate.*Gary Scarrabelotti is the Managing Director of Aequum: Political & Business Strategies. This article is an edited version of one originally published on HenryThornton.com