Rt Honourable David Cameron,
Thank you for your congratulatory message to the Muslim minority of Britain. As the Prime Minister of this country I respect your stature and position.
Whilst I appreciate your act of congratulation, I do not extend the same to your message, which should not be a criticism on your part, as your message, just like your Munich speech, was most likely influenced or written by the widely despised Quilliam Foundation, or like-thinking neoconservatives.
Your Ramadan message wreaks of a colonialist stance. Celebrating the colonial abuse of the Muslims is not the model memory for Muslims to reminisce over. We are not unfamiliar with our history, our being collectively, British and Islamic histories.
Whilst your idea of reflection in the Muslim context may be to remember Indian Muslims who fought and died at the behest of British wishes either out of compulsion or delusion, we, the Muslim minority, recall, for example the impact of British imperialist economic policy on the Muslims in India, where, the coffers of the colonialists were protected and propped at the complete economic annihilation of India. All resources were either exported for the profits of the British or drawn to be used for an imperialist war. After the WWI and leading up to WWII, textile mills in India were forced to churn out clothes for soldiers. The common people could not procure clothes to cover themselves and women committed suicide as result. The economic persecution resulted in desperation to such an extent that naked men, women and children marched through the streets of Bengal in protest.
And whilst you choose to remember the faith driving Muslims to join British colonialist forces to fight a war which they had nothing to do with, we, the Muslim minority, also remember the thousands of Ulama who were, prior to WWI, imprisoned, killed and lynched on roads because of their faith, which was driving their freedom struggle against the oppressions of the British. We also remember the thousands of copies of the noble Qur’an burned by the British during this period. To compound this, we cannot forget the replete divide and conquer policies played out in the “Great Game”, driving a wedge between sectarian differences in India, and upon racial differences in the lands ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The Sykes-Picot agreement as well as the Balfour Treaty are markers of WWI-era colonialist Britain, and they provide the basis for the present-day crisis in al-Quds (which encompasses the land of Palestine).
We have never received an apology for the crimes committed by our country, but this is not that great a problem. What really takes the rip, Mr Cameron, is that we, the Muslims, are still being subjected to similar policies employed during the Colonialist rule. We are constantly forced to “denounce”, “take responsibility” and “fight” the “extremism” which is born, not due to Quilliam’s architected “Islamist” ideology, but out of the aftermath of British colonialist endeavours in Muslim lands, and the subsequent carving up of, and imposition of, secular nationalism upon these lands. British foreign policy continues to play a critical role as a causal factor of the (exaggerated) threat of terrorism and yet this is ignored, and reversed into an “indicator of extremism” – any Muslim who addresses foreign policy concerns is now seen as a potential extremist on the path to terrorism.
Today, Sufis are posited against Salafis, “moderates” against “hardliners”, “progressives” against “conservatives”. British policy has focussed on working along these arbitrary categories, despite it being emphatically condemned by UN Human Rights organs. The PREVENT policy has turned the Muslim minority into a bloc which is singled-out, surveillanced, and treated like the “other”. Our Islamic values are made alien; and those who live by these values are seen by you and your neocon friends in the cabinet as being in need of “British values” programming.
Your “British values” statements come off the back of a fabricated document, named after derogatory terms which are used to attack Muslims as fifth-columners or as the “Trojan Horse” of this society. Your Secretary of State for education has waged a war on Muslim majority schools in Birmingham; the fact that no evidence of extremism has been found should have defused this whole situation. Instead of reigning in the ideologically-driven Michael Gove, you have contributed to his narrative, and formulated your statement based upon this entire farce. Teachers have gone on stress-leave, reputations tarnished, an entire city community has become tense, and most significantly, our children feel scared, confused and distracted. Consequently, their education is suffering. The Muslims of Birmingham have been trialled, judged and socially punished by the media and your politicians for a premise which has now been found to be untrue. And you have added fuel to this fire.
Mr Cameron, many of the values you espouse as British have in fact a non-British etymology, yet these disparate milieus which have given rise to these values, are what have contributed to our understanding of “British values”. I would like to believe that Islamic values can contribute on an equal footing with other religions and philosophies to this country’s values and society. Leading by example is best, therefore, please do give consideration to the fact that this promotion of “British values” needs to happen amongst government officials first, many of whom fall into the PREVENT definition of “extremism”.
Perhaps, sir, you would consider us a part of this society not on the basis of compromised beliefs and selective histories which conform to the distorted and prejudiced perceptions of your advisers, but as human beings who also happen to be Muslim.