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The unfolding events in Palestine, particularly in Gaza, are revealing the true nature of people’s beliefs and convictions.
For the Palestinian people, this ordeal has demonstrated to the world their unwavering faith in Allah, their resolute commitment to the truth, and their courageous resistance against the terrorist Israeli state. In many ways, the Palestinians have become a symbol of faith and an example by which the faith of others is measured.
Conversely, the actions of the terrorist Israeli state in this conflict have exposed their lack of humanity, empathy, and compassion. One may even go so far as to label them as devoid of any semblance of humanity, viewing them as malevolent forces.
A brief note on Islamic scholars and rulers
The issue of Palestine has also provided insights into the true nature of Islamic scholars.
Those who have remained silent and failed to condemn the actions of Israel, or at the very least, express solidarity with Palestine — particularly in countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and others — have raised questions about their alignment and loyalties.
Likewise, scholars who appear to be closely tied to their respective governments are seen as having compromised the principles of Islam.
Additionally, the Palestinian issue has shed light on the reality of Muslim rulers, especially in the Gulf states, who are often seen as hypocritical, self-centred, and seemingly disconnected from the concerns and well-being of their fellow Muslims.
Failure of Western and European approaches towards Muslims
With the above being said, in this discussion, I would like to briefly address the historical and contemporary attitudes of the European and Western establishments towards the Muslim community.
I want to highlight how they have either failed to address our concerns or have not taken our sensitivities into account, thus ignoring the concerns of Muslim society.
Additionally, I would like to emphasise three key points that our community should consider in order to ensure that our voices, concerns, and sensibilities are respected and that we are treated equally, like any other community.
It’s important to note that within the Western world, there are compassionate individuals who have shown their support for Palestine in recent demonstrations.
However, the focus here is on the leadership within the West, particularly those who are involved in Middle Eastern affairs and have, in the eyes of many, failed to adequately address the unfolding events in Palestine. These events may prompt us to reconsider how we engage with institutions, paving the way for a re-evaluation of our positions and future actions.
Western response to Russia and Ukraine exposed deep-seated biases
The onset of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine offered a revealing glimpse into the mindset and true face of the Western establishment.
It exposed the latent racism that exists within Western societies and their real opinions about others.
Numerous reporters and news agencies were swift to comment on the perceived lack of legitimacy for a war of this nature in the West. War and destruction, in their view, were attributes typically associated with the East, while the Western world prided itself on its reputation for civilisation. 
The narrative implies that war and destruction are deemed exclusive to the East, with the notion that such events should not occur in the West!
Whites before Blacks when boarding buses in Ukraine
Disturbingly, there were instances where Ukrainian soldiers reportedly discriminated against Black members of the Ukrainian public, allowing White Ukrainians to board buses ahead of them. 
This discriminatory conduct highlighted the deep-seated biases within the Western establishment.
Furthermore, at a more governmental and official level, Western nations were swift to condemn Russia in the harshest terms for its actions in Ukraine, labelling it as uncivilised and evil for its invasion.
Alarming change in language on Palestine and Israel
When it comes to the situation in Palestine, the language and tone from the West has changed dramatically.
This shift reveals a distorted image rooted in pure racism, an underlying belief in the superiority of Western nations over others. The contrast in their responses to different global conflicts underscores the deep-seated prejudices that persist within Western societies and the inconsistency in their moral stances.
Western superiority complex
In his book Decolonizing the Mind, Sandew Hira emphasises that the Western world has frequently considered itself superior. 
This sense of superiority has made it challenging for them to view other people as equals, especially when it comes to different cultures.
In literature and in politics
Consequently, they have consistently displayed discomfort in embracing alternative cultural perspectives.
And this superiority complex is evident in their literature, such as in Joseph Rudyard Kipling’s White Man’s Burden and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.  
And also, in the political sphere, such as in Arthur James Balfour’s lecture on 13 June 1910 and, more recently, former Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed the view that multiculturalism has not succeeded.  
Cameron believes this is due to what he sees as an excessive tolerance for communities living separately with distinct values. In this perspective, one is expected to adopt and assimilate British values for acceptance, leaving no room for other values. This perspective suggests a mindset that still reflects shades of imperial nostalgia. 
Blacks, Jews, and now Muslims
The existing superiority complex has rebranded itself through various political and social movements such as the Alternative für Deutschland party, France’s National Rally (formerly known as National Front), and others.
There is a genuine concern that the history of discrimination against people of colour may yet repeat itself. In the past, Black communities experienced discrimination, followed by the Jewish problem, and now it’s the Muslim problem.  
The stance taken by the Western world on the issue of Israel and Palestine reveals their true intentions when it comes to matters concerning the Muslim community. To be candid, they appear indifferent to our concerns, seemingly viewing us as unequal to them. It’s evident that a hierarchy exists, and there are unsettling undertones of racism toward Muslims by the establishment. 
Moriscos in 16th century and fourth-class citizens in 21st century
It seems that Muslims are now regarded as third or even fourth-class citizens. The calls for freedom and equality that should apply to all appear to have been disregarded.
The view of Muslims as a group, especially in Europe with its long history of racism and instances of violence against those they deem different or inferior, raises concerns.
It’s not unreasonable to conclude that challenges still lie ahead for the Muslim community in Europe and the West. 
There is a widely held concern that likens the current situation faced by Muslims in contemporary Europe to the Spanish Inquisition. Matthew Carr, in his book titled Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614, mentions this,
“Throughout the two-and-a-half years that I spent writing and researching the book, it was difficult not to notice certain parallels between Spain’s 16th century Morisco question and the contemporary European Muslim problem.” 
The occasional use of racial slurs and derogatory name-calling, such as “Paki” or “You look like a ninja” towards our sisters can be hurtful.
And often, we may choose to overlook such incidents.
However, what we have witnessed from our leaders and the broader establishment is a complete disregard for the emotions and sensitivities of the Muslim community. These experiences have led to questioning, to some extent, our sense of belonging.
Nevertheless, it’s important to recognise that Britain remains our home, a country to which we belong.
This is how we ought to respond as a collective
In response, we must now amplify our voices even further and instigate substantial changes in our relationship with the establishment.
We need to make adjustments in order to be heard, recognised, and respected, just like any other community.
It is a part of our Islamic teaching that our circumstances will not change, unless we change what is within ourselves.
In this regard, Allah (May He be exalted) says,
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا۟ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” 
In his commentary on this verse, the esteemed scholar Maulana Muhammad Shafi (1897-1976) provides the following notes,
“According to a common explanation of this verse, no positive revolution appears among a people, unless they themselves do not correct the conditions around them to bring about that positive revolution.” 
The renowned Urdu poet Zafar Ali Khan (1873-1956) also conveys a similar message in one of his couplets,
خدا نے آج تک اس قوم کی حالت نہیں بدلی۔
نہ ہو جس کے خیال میں اپنی حالت بدلنے کا
مولانا ظفر علی خان
“To this day, God has never changed the condition of a people who have no plan of changing their condition themselves.” 
It is high time that we raise our voices loudly to ensure our feelings, sensitivities, and rights are respected.
We actively contribute to society, something we should take pride in. As one of the most generous contributors in British society through our businesses, we make substantial contributions to the British gross domestic product (GDP). 
Our response is essential to counter the racial and discriminatory attitudes held by certain members of our political establishment.
Remember the politicians who let down the Palestinian people
The first point we should be mindful of is — when the Palestinian issue subsides, and Allah grants victory to the Palestinian people — we must not forget those who supported the inaccurate historical narrative, from politicians to social institutions.
When the time for voting arrives, and we must choose our leaders, we should not revert to old, forgetful ways.
Instead, we should critically evaluate those who claim to represent us and consider their actions when we needed them the most. When we need a strong voice, we must reflect on it and use our votes to convey that we will no longer accept a dismissive attitude. We deserve and demand the same level of respect and consideration as other communities.
Our interests should guide us, and by interests, I don’t mean just immediate concerns but also international matters. This way, we can ensure that our government pays attention to our concerns within the Muslim community.
Unfortunately, there are individuals within our community who, due to their unwavering loyalty to a particular party or its policies, overlook the needs of Muslims. It’s essential for conscientious Muslims to recognise that the power lies with us, the public, and as Muslims, we possess significant voting power to select leaders who truly represent us.
There were Muslim politicians who shamefully and cowardly chose not to align themselves with the correct narrative. We must keep them in mind the next time they come seeking our votes. We should hold them accountable for their actions and abandonment at the time of our needs. Our votes will convey a powerful message, and they will take notice when they require our votes the most.
Mosques, institutions, and community groups must amplify Muslim voices
Secondly, we must address social issues from our mosques, making them a hub for informing the community about current events. The Friday khutbah should include updates on the lives of Muslims.
Moreover, our mosques should collaborate with other institutions to stay informed and connected with contemporary developments. They should be more than just places for daily prayers; they should play a significant role, as they did during the time of the Prophet ﷺ.
Simultaneously, we should seriously consider establishing think-tanks, institutions, and organisations that advocate for the rights and concerns of Muslims.
While some organisations are already doing excellent work, we should support and collaborate with them, seeking their guidance to expand into other social areas where we can make a difference in highlighting Muslim concerns.  
Muslim unity is crucial to our continued existence
Thirdly, as Muslims living in Europe, especially in Britain, we must give utmost importance to the unity of the Muslim community. By unity, I mean coming together on issues that are generally accepted within the broader Muslim legal and theological framework. 
We need a unified voice, setting aside our differences.
It is in these differences that some individuals take advantage, and we should refrain from attempting to reconcile legal and theological discussions within a public platform. Instead, we should leave this task to scholars and thinkers.
It’s important to recognise that historically, these differences have often been the root cause of disunity. This disunity becomes evident when situations like Palestine or other social issues affecting Muslims arise, and our voices are disregarded because we do not speak with a single, unified voice.
If we fail to grasp that our voice will only carry weight when we unite in a single, cohesive manner, and if we don’t extend support to one another, addressing our concerns both at home and on the global stage will remain a challenge.
We must work within the framework of the Islamic brotherhood that Islam has established, transcending barriers of race, culture, social status, economics, and language.
Without unity, we risk becoming fragmented, and I fear what the Nigerian writer Niyi Osundare (1947) said in his poem Not My Business may materialise. 
- Western establishment may remain muddled on Palestine for the rest of time, but we as Muslims need to ensure a united response.
- Make politicians work for our interests by reminding them of the power we hold as a large swath of the electorate.
- Share this article, check out part one if you have yet to do so, and keep an eye out for the third and final segment.
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 Dovi, V. (2022). The treatment Africans are facing in Ukraine is despicable, but why are we surprised? Retrieved November 31, 2023. Available at https://www.euronews.com/2022/04/01/the-treatment-africans-are-facing-in-ukraine-is-despicable-but-why-are-we-surprised
 Hira, S. (2023). Decolonizing the Mind: A Guide to Decolonial Theory and Practice. Amrit.
 Kipling, R. (1899). White Man’s Burden. In McClure’s Magazine.
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 Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. England: Penguin Publisher. (see page 31, Arthur James Balfour’s lecture on June 13, 1910)
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 Mitchell, P. (2021). Imperial Nostalgia. Manchester University Press.
 Golding, L. (1938). The Jewish Problem. Penguin (First Edition, 1 Jan.)
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 Jones, O. (2022, January 27). Islamophobia isn’t just a Tory problem – it runs right through British society. The Guardian. Retrieved October 30, 2023, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/27/islamophobia-tory-british-society-media-anti-muslim-racism
 Davies, N. (1996). Europe: A History. Harper Perennial.
 Carr, M. (2017). Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614. Hurst & Co Publishers
 al-Qur’ān, 13:11
 Maulana Muhammad Shafi. 2008. “Ma’ariful Qur’an.” Karachi: Maktba-e-Darul-‘Uloom, Volume 5, p. 201.
 Khan, Z. A. (1937). Bahatistan. [Online] Available at: https://dn790006.ca.archive.org/0/items/in.ernet.dli.2015.439756/2015.439756.Baharistan-Part-12.pdf
 Mueen, S. (Ed.). (2013). The Muslim Pound: Celebrating the Muslim Contribution to the UK Economy. The Muslim Council of Britain.
 Organisations such as Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), CAGE, Islam21c, Sapience Institute, and others.
 Qureshi, Muhammad Saddique. (1900). The Role of the Mosque in Islam. New Delhi: International Islamic Publication.
 A recent publication by the scholar, Dr. Haitham al-Haddad focuses on the Aqīdah al-Tahawiyyah and highlights the widely accepted theological principles that promote the unity of Muslims based on the fundamental doctrines of Islamic theology.
 Osundare, N., & Lugumba, S.M.E. (2002). “Heinemann Ed. Books (Nigeria)” (1st ed.).