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Intervening in Syria – A Warning to Western Governments

For over forty years, the Syrian people have been subjected to repression and massacres on an industrial scale. It is within the last two years that the situation has nose-dived into one of the worse modern day tragedies. At least forty thousand people have been killed with hundreds of thousands subjected to torture or imprisonment; large swathes of the country have been rendered a barren wasteland.

During this period, the western world has been looking on, making little or no attempt to alleviate their suffering. However, just as the Syrian people are about to take over Damascus and the regime is nearing complete collapse, the West is suddenly taking intervention very seriously. In some ways they are right to do so; the country will most likely end up in the hands of Muslims, just like it did in Egypt and other countries awakened by the Arab Spring. Syria is the second most important country in the region. It has long borders with the Zionist state of Israel. Despite public rhetoric, it is not surprising that in November of this year, Amos Gilad, head of Israel’s Diplomatic Security Bureau, warned of a possible “Islamic empire” if Bashar al-Assad were to be ousted. For him, and most likely his government, removing the Syrian leader would lead to a “devastating crisis for Israel.”[1]
It has not been the consistent extent of devastation that has moved the West towards a position of intervention; rather, it has been the Asad regime threatening to use chemical weapons that they considered as crossing a “red line”, changing the calculus for intervention, in the words of President Obama.[2] They have further expressed a concern for groups like the ‘al-Nusra Front’, who are being labelled as al-Qaeda affiliates.
The western world has maintained a hypocritical posture with Syria, often claiming it to be part of an ‘Axis of Evil’, while at the same time colluding between security agencies in the rendition and torture of suspects. One only need to remember the case of Maher Arar and indeed many others, to know that the western world has used Syria to its own advantage when needing an ally willing to torture.
As I write this article, the Asad regime is bombarding the bakeries in the lands that he lost control of and the people are finding it extremely difficult to survive in this cold winter. It is in this circumstance that the hypocrisy of the western world’s commitment to humanitarian crises is at its most obvious. This of course, must be juxtaposed with the hypocrisy of the Muslim nations surrounding Syria, many of whom are waiting for permission from their western allies before providing much needed assistance.
The propping of dictators in the Middle East has now finished The West are in crisis as their allies who suppressed any true Islamic sentiment within the region, have all systematically been removed, now leaving a vacuum within which the true identities of the region can flourish. The West’s newfound keenness for intervention in Syria could be seen as an attempt to find another puppet who can secure their interests.
It would be better for the western world to think of their strategy carefully in relation to Syria. Already the losses they have suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan have had a major impact on their position as a global leader. It would be better for them to think along the lines of assistance through humanitarian aid, rather than humanitarian intervention.
The bill for their interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan will grow to the astronomical figure of $2.00 trillion by 2017, according to CBO Congressional Budget Office[3]. The numbers can be argued many ways, but the real question is of course “Is it really worth it?” Are they achieving what they say they want to achieve? Are they building an empire or hastening the decline of one, as people across the world see how unethically they are acting. Syrian intervention will increase this budget for yet another unethical reason, and the results of that may go well beyond the borders of Syria.

“No to ‘peacekeeping’ forces in Syria,” was the slogan announced for weekly Friday protests, according to the Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page; compare this to when Syrians were calling for military intervention last March. Moreover, Syrians have acquired more weapons than before and are better trained to use them. A form of intervention that seeks to limit the true self-determination of the people, could result in a fallout that would be catastrophic to western interests in the long term.
Syria must be mature enough not to allow anyone to hijack the victory they are achieving by their blood. They should be united in their stance – no western intervention, under any name or justification. They should acknowledge the favour of Allah above everything else, be thankful to Him only and rely on Him alone. In the Qur’an, we read the following

“So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers. If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so   good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers). And that Allah may test  (or  purify)  the believers  (from  sins) and destroy the disbelievers”.[4]

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[1] See http://www.bikyamasr.com/48585/israel-warns-of-islamic-empire-in-middle-east/
[2] See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20583966 and http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=295290             
[3] http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/10/24/us-iraq-usa-funding-idUSN2450753720071024
[4] quran 3:139-141

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

7 comments

  1. Syria.
    Although I am totally against this Ba’aathi/Nusairi govt. as well as it’s druze, chrisitian, ismaili etc. allies, some causion has to be exercised.The Shi’ite axis of Iran, Hizbullat with the nusairis’ is a cause for concern in the region. Anyone who dares accuse anti-assad elements of being pro-US is a fool. Did not Iran, and by extention her allies, benefit from US invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq?

  2. Mohammad Abdul

    Intervention of any sort is a disaster
    The reason the West is now talking about intervention is because it realises that the Islamists rebels who want Khilafah are now winning the battle and the West can not allow them to get into power hence using the chemical weapons as a smoke screen.

    Humanitarian intervention by the West will be used to hijack the revolution hence we must make clear that no sort of intervention is required from the West.

  3. Capt(Rtd)
    You can get more accurate info from www. press tv/crescent international.

  4. Mohammed Sadiq

    hypocritical sheikhs, useless article
    the Saudi’s paid to attack iraq, Iraqi’s were better off under Saddam Hussain, i know he wasn’t perfect. The so called ulamah were fast to give a fatwa against the Assad,it seems to me you sheiks are pushing the Saudi ideology( whatever it is), they are definately the enemies of Islam. i don’t see a fatwa against the attacks on Afghanistan or support for the Taliban or when israel attacks Palestine, i don’t see support for Iran when it makes a statement from an islamic perspective against the west. Gaddafi spoke the truth against the gulf countries and the west,the country was strong economically, so what if he did not have a big beard, he took pride on being a muslim (Allah knows better, he is the judge, you are here only to convay the message) you sheiks have alot to answer to allah for, your hyprocasy is so evident, allah give the Irany leaders true guidance. as you saudi following Sheiks are scared to speak the truth. just my thoughts. Allah know better.

  5. Why do we keep getting upset about the west not doing anything?
    As MUSLIMS, we should know by now that they never had our best interests at heart, only Allah had our best interests at heart, He is our Wali, He is our Maulaa, He is our Wakeel.

    وَلَن تَرْضَىٰ عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ
    “And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion.” (2/120)

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا بِطَانَةً مِّن دُونِكُمْ لَا يَأْلُونَكُمْ خَبَالًا وَدُّوا مَا عَنِتُّمْ
    “O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship.” (3/118)

    So, kuffaar in general will always have/display emnity towards Islam and its people, so don’t be shocked by it, only a few amongst them will be sympathetic or righteous.

    مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
    “Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” (3/110)

    Just open the Qur’aan and see what Allah, the All-Knowing, Knower of Al-Ghaib has said about them. He exposed them for us out of His Mercy.

  6. Why do we keep on saying that the West is being ‘hypocritical’? It is ideological.

  7. Mashallah. good article!

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