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Refugee Crisis: Has Europe set an example for Muslim nations?

Refugee Crisis: Has Europe set an example for Muslim nations?

All of a sudden every media outlet is cross-posting the picture of the young child who drowned in the sea. All of a sudden the entire world is talking about Syrian refugees with many European countries posing as the world’s supreme ethical heroes, humanely conscious without bounds and sympathetic to desperate refugees from the very beginning, opening their borders for them, once and for all. All of a sudden the entire world is singing the praises of this ‘benevolence’, and ‘morality’, this rather “extra ordinary compassion”[1] displayed by Europe and Europeans in general, all the while lambasting the ‘rich Muslim countries’ that have failed to take on any refugees,[2] in a feeble attempt by some at linking this to Islām.

Sadly, no one is asking themselves: why the sudden explosion of sentiment? Is all of this just a coincidence? Let us start by adopting a memory longer than at least the past few weekends. Rewinding to just over a year after the March 2011 revolution erupted, hundreds of thousands of refugees had already fled to neighbouring Muslim Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey,[3] years before the world knew of anything called ‘ISIS’. Back then, western governments were struggling to respond to the Syrian regime’s use of nerve gas and the 20,000 civilians mercilessly killed by the brutal regime,[4] in fact, ‘moral’ European governments went just about as far as condemning the Assad regime at the UN General Assembly![5] As the revolution intensified, around 2,000 Syrians were fleeing their homes, and up to 300 were being killed every day,[6] whilst Europe failed to even move a finger. Systematic ethnic cleansing has since attempted to change the demographic setup of Sunni cities in Syria with hundreds of thousands displaced from their home towns. Many wonder if in fact this on-going tectonic shift of religious demographics is more than just an unintended consequence of policy decisions made by western powers, whose interests are incidentally threatened by burgeoning calls for self determination.

More astonishing is how the media has managed to knead the play-dough in our heads such that to believe that ‘ISIS’, who only gained momentum in 2014,[7] is the primary cause of this mass exodus; and the number of people ready to buy into this laughable narrative is a shame to our intelligence.[8] On the contrary, many of these ‘humane’ nations helped the Syrian regime quell the moderate opposition, carrying out airstrikes on anti-ISIS and anti-regime groups, including Syrian civilians.[9] Since then, compassionate Britain has bombed Syria, carrying out summary executions of its own civilians on the baseless justification of them threatening the UK.[10]

With now almost a quarter of a million killed,[11] Europe continues to turn a blind eye to Assad’s slaughtering of Syrians and the real reason for people’s exodus to Europe, refusing hands down to arm the people’s opposition or even impose a no-fly zone over civilian areas to shelter those very refugees.[12] This impulsive outburst of emotions, apart from seeming very synthetic and hardly effective, is stained with ulterior motives; the least of which is to justify that the UK continues in its bombing campaign to bring an end to some progression in Syria against Bashar, who lately publicly admit defeat,[13] but to end progression definitely not led by ISIS.

With all of this focus on the humane European nations, there is as one would expect little or no mention of the humane Muslims who received droves of poor Syrian refugees, without expecting them in return to “plunge the ‘grey gap’ in its aging workforce.”[14] In fact, with a GDP of less than 1% that of Germany,[15] Muslim and Arab Jordan has accommodated well over 600,000 refugees,[16] many supported and maintained by the already impoverished Jordanian civilians whilst Muslim Turkey hosts almost two million refugees,[17] despite no international laws stipulating that it does so,[18] but out of the religious drive of its government and people.[19] In fact:

95% of all Syrian refugees are spread between Muslim Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.18

No doubt a call for us to educate ourselves before happily being lectured by boastful morality. Not least some of the same neo-con mouthpieces that hail editors who just recently referred to drowned migrants as cockroaches, suggesting that the best solution is to burn all of their boats in North Africa.[20] Now that the UK government has finally snapped to reality, coming to terms with its “moral responsibility”, touchingly prioritising “vulnerable children and orphans”, it will accept 20,000 refugees over the next five years;[21] or, a Ford Fiesta full a day. The same number crosses into Turkey each weekend. In a passing note, this is despite Article 14 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”, whilst the aforementioned Muslim countries are not signatories, apart from Turkey that is absolved from hosting other than European Union refugees.

So if nothing else, then this is a call for the Muslims not to fall for this drivel, or to reciprocate the Muslim-bashing adopted by neo-cons and Euro-supremacists alike. Let alone the nonsense of Syrians wanting to convert to Christianity for the lure of a £36 a week in benefits. Yes, there are severe shortcomings from everyone involved in fulfilling their duty towards our Syrian brothers and sisters, not excluding rich totalitarian regimes of the Gulf (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) whose response has been particularly abysmal. We are by no means defending the regimes that work more for foreign interests instead of representing the will of their peoples. But no one has or will ever be more at the forefront than the Muslim community of the world, who are in most places economically poorer but, in the UK alone, three times as charitable as people of other faiths and atheists.[22]

Even if our Ummah experiences times of weakness or disunity, it remains that no mutual mercy, no better values or humanity, no better principles or ideals will ever surpass those enticed by Islām and knitted into the fabric our Ummah, definitely always present and perpetually being acted upon even if the mass-media tries to overshadow this. Who else openly and privately sees the bond of faith closer than those of blood than the Muslims? Allāh says:

“And hold fast by the covenant of Allāh all together and be not disunited, and remember the favour of Allāh on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren.”[23]

The Muslim community will be at the forefront, as it has always been when providing the maximum support to our brothers and sisters as Allāh commanded us to do, and on a societal level, no one else has come close. No one is more selfless, ready to sacrifice personal comfort, compassionate and impartial than a Muslim who lives for the pleasure of Allāh. It never needed young Aylan Kurdi be swept onto his face for the innumerable individuals and NGOs to race to aid the Syrians. This is because a Muslim does not give “to show [off to] the world”21 after international pressure becomes unbearable, or for religious missionary endeavours, but rather:

“And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the poor, the orphan, and the captive, [saying] ‘We feed you seeking Allāh’s Countenance only. We wish from you no reward, nor thanks’.”[24]

They are just as humane in the presence of others as they are in their absence, all the same, as they were at the beginning of the revolution and as they are now. This sincerity is something that characterises a sincere Muslim and none other. And because the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) says:

“You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.”[25]

This by no estimation means that anyone who has been given the gift of Islām will follow its guidance, nor does it mean that those who have yet to find the light of Islām will not be generous, as we have seen in the way many individual European communities have responded. As for European governments, however, then I cannot help but recall a message from a well-known Syrian academic and activist recently:

“To those western governments who have accepted millions of refugees from Syria, I have a suggestion. Let the millions return to their home and in their place just take one from Syria—Bashar al-Assad.”

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/09/07/uk-europe-migrants-britain-idUKKCN0R71NM20150907

[2] http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/how-many-syrian-refugees-have-the-arab-worlds-six-wealthiest-nations-resettled-close-to-zero

[3] http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/09/07/uk-europe-migrants-britain-idUKKCN0R71NM20150907

[4] http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/20/world/meast/syria-unrest/

[5] http://www.un.org/press/en/2012/ga11207.doc.htm

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19740069

[7] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-29052144

[8] http://www.rt.com/news/314435-putin-isis-syria-refugees/

[9] http://www.aljazeera.net/news/arabic/2014/10/5/

[10] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/07/uk-forces-airstrike-killed-isis-briton-reyaad-khan-syria

[11] http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/07/us-mideast-crisis-toll-idUSKBN0LB0DY20150207

[12] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mouaffaq-nyrabia/isis-no-fly-zone_b_8015784.html

[13] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/26/syrian-president-public-speech-bashar-al-assad

[14] http://www.dw.com/en/tapping-refugees-to-combat-germanys-labor-shortage/a-18688541

[15] See tradingeconomics.com

[16] http://syrianrefugees.eu/?page_id=87 (as of 2014)

[17] http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2015/6/15/world-leaders-abandoned-millions-of-refugees

[18] http://syrianrefugees.eu/?page_id=80

[19] http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2015/6/18/erdogan-to-break-fast-with-syrian-refugees

[20] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/19/katie-hopkins-migrants-vermin-darkest-history-drownings

[21] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34171148

[22] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/21/muslims-give-most_n_3630830.html

[23] Qur’an 3:103

[24] Qur’an 76:8-9

[25] Sahih al Bukhari on the authority of al Nu’man ibn Bashir

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.

22 comments

  1. ameela momoniat

    Assalam aleikum

    JazakAllah Khair Shaykh Haitham for this excellent article and shame on the Gulf States who turn the other way whilst our Muslim brothers and sisters flee to the West.
    Having our ulema speak out on today’s issues is VERY important. Muslims are going astray in their aqueeda and feeling under pressure as to, what and who is responsible for all the chaos we are seeing. Many so called ulema just remain silent, afraid of speaking the truth, either in matters of aqueeda or current affairs and politics, as Islam does not separate the these issues.

    I remember reading in the bio of Imam Ahmed rahimahullah, that Imam Ahmed was taken with his companion to answer the charges brought against him, but his companion died on the journey. And Imam Ahmed rahimahullah said, his heart weakened when he prayed janazah on his companion. And then he heard a very gruff voice saying “who is Imam Ahmed?” and the guards pointed in his direction and this man said “Don’t you dare say what they want you to say, because the whole Ummah is watching you. And if you lead us astray we will all stand on Yawmil Qiyyamah and we will say Imam Ahmed lead us astray. Don’t you lead us astray” And he left. And Imam Ahmed said he was shocked and asked who is this man? And the guard answered, some bedioun who came down from the mountains. And Imam Ahmed said immediately my heart was strengthened. And the rest we know. Rahimahullah.

    So likewise in today’s times of fitna we look towards our righteous ulema in all matters. JazakAllahKhair Shaykh Haitham who always addresses the issues effecting Muslims in today’s troubled times in aqueeda and current affairs.

  2. Shelly Belaribi

    Lets praise where praise is due yes mistakes have been made on all sides but here especially Germany should be applauded for its hospitality. Also it is right you point out the inaction of the middle eastern government, namely the gulf states are a shamr to Muslims and islam. I for one appalled at their silence.

    • This is correct. Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon should be praised and helped. The gulf states should be criticised and shamed. They have more responsibility towards Syrians than Europeans. The sad fact is hundreds of thousands have risked their life to travel Europe for safety. This fact cannot be denied. Why? Because while Jordan and Turkey my offer safety from the war, they don’t offer a future which the refugees feel they can have in Europe.

      Muslims need to be truthful to this fact.

      The gulf states are stupid beyond limit. Just for their selfish gain they could have accepted tens of thousands of young educated Syrians who having suffered hardship would have given a huge boost to their host country!

      • Assalamu alaikum

        Referring to your statement:
        ‘Because while Jordan and Turkey my offer safety from the war, they don’t offer a future which the refugees feel they can have in Europe.’

        Any evidence for this?

  3. To take one of Haitham al-Haddad’s more preposterous allegations:
    “the same neo-con mouthpieces that hail editors who just recently referred to drowned migrants as cockroaches, suggesting that the best solution is to burn all of their boats in North Africa.[20] …
    [20] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/19/katie-hopkins-migrants-vermin-darkest-history-drownings

    what paper or journal does Katie Hopkins edit?

    • We understand its a tough argument Hector… But your focus on words is only making you sound sillier

    • It doesn’t need to refer to Katie Hopkins, as she and her ‘editor’ are facing criminal charges for the same comment!

      • Haitham al-Haddad’s note specifically refers to an article on Hopkins.
        Mazin Janil: Haitham al-Haddad’s comments specifically focus on the word cockroaches.

  4. The smiles and laughter of toddler Aylan are no more
    His lifeless body washed up on the Mediterranean shore
    The worlds collective humanity compromised
    In the wake of a community demonised

    Children and mothers pass under razor barbed wire
    Even as the grey suits build the walls still higher
    Carted off on trains like cattle
    Just as they thought they had escaped the battle

    Carted off to refugee camps
    To enclosed spaces notorious for rising damp
    With all the connotations of a concentration camp
    Of a bygone fascist era

    The worlds collective humanity compromised
    In the wake of a community demonised
    The smiles and laughter of toddler Aylan are no more
    His lifeless body washed up on the Mediterranean shore

  5. Thanks for this excellent article, and placing events in to context. ‘Have you seen how they (disbelievers/ rejectors of truth & justice) like to take credit for what they haven’t even done.’ Quran(3:118)

  6. What sort of a finger would you have wanted Europe to lift when the war broke out? Invade? Western boots on the ground? That didn’t exactly go down well in Iraq did it?
    You accuse European nations of turning a blind eye to Assad now – well what would you like them to do? Bomb Assad’s forces and pave the way for those psychotic, murdering, raping nut jobs in Isis to take full control of the country?
    Yes Isis only began gaining momentum in 2014 but it is now late 2015. A huge proportion of the refugees in question are Iraqi – are they supposed to be fleeing Assad too? Get a grip.
    And then you start rambling about neo-cons and (here’s a new one) ‘Euro-supremacists’.
    What is a Euro-supremacist? Name one. Give one example, one fact to back up this nonsense.
    Which ‘editor’ described refugees as cockroaches? In which publication? When did they say this?
    Who said they should ‘burn the boats’?
    Is it supposed to be surprising that Jordan and Turkey have taken in more refugees than Germany? They’re neighbouring countries for heaven’s sake. What on earth do you expect?
    At least in Europe the refugees will be integrated into society provided with homes and education and given the chance to work and make something of their lives and not left to rot in refugee camps for generations to be used as a political statement.
    Yes educate yourselves – but with facts not poisonous, ranting propaganda. And make up your own minds, don’t let others make them up for you.
    Or did I miss the part in the Koran where it says lying through your teeth and treating your fellow Muslims like morons is a Godly thing to do?

    • Only a matter of time before the trolls came out of the woodwork. Throwing in the predictable gish gallop will not really work for this site, too many people who actually read the articles you lot troll under to fall for it.

      “What sort of a finger would you have wanted Europe to lift when the war broke out? Invade? Western boots on the ground? That didn’t exactly go down well in Iraq did it?”

      False dichotomy fallacy. You’re either supporting Assad, supplying arms, selling him sarin, sharing airspace with him, or you’re bombing civilians to shreds? Nice try… Despite being under no obligation to, the article does indeed give examples, for those talented enough to get past the second paragraph (impose a no fly zone, etc.).

      “You accuse European nations of turning a blind eye to Assad now – well what would you like them to do? Bomb Assad’s forces and pave the way for those psychotic, murdering, raping nut jobs in Isis to take full control of the country?”

      ^ another false dichotomy fallacy. You’re either Assad, or ISIS. Insidiously ignoring or moronically unaware of the fact that Assad is engaged in fighting those in the opposite side of the country to ISIS—the alliance of moderate rebels that make up the people’s resistance.

      “Yes Isis only began gaining momentum in 2014 but it is now late 2015. A huge proportion of the refugees in question are Iraqi – are they supposed to be fleeing Assad too? Get a grip.”
      ^this is another logical fallacy, tu quoque. Ignoring your convenient lack of statistical significance and just going by your emotion fuelled by gruesome ISIS media coverage, the fact that refugees are fleeing from other countries has no bearing over the argument concerning Syria. Even in choosing a distraction you flopped—ISIS in Iraq are a direct consequence of the illegal invasion in the first place by those you are so obediently defending.

      “And then you start rambling about neo-cons and (here’s a new one) ‘Euro-supremacists’.
      What is a Euro-supremacist? Name one. Give one example, one fact to back up this nonsense.”
      ^this fallacy is called personal incredulity. Doesn’t need any comment.

      “Which ‘editor’ described refugees as cockroaches? In which publication? When did they say this?
      Who said they should ‘burn the boats’?”
      ^I guess you didn’t get as far as reference number [20]

      “Is it supposed to be surprising that Jordan and Turkey have taken in more refugees than Germany? They’re neighbouring countries for heaven’s sake. What on earth do you expect?”
      ^Straw man, implying the argument was that it is surprising, rather than what the argument actually was—relevant information to break the prevalent white-saviour-narrative.

      “At least in Europe the refugees will be integrated into society provided with homes and education and given the chance to work and make something of their lives and not left to rot in refugee camps for generations to be used as a political statement.”
      ^Finally, a sensible comment. Congratulations.

      “Yes educate yourselves – but with facts not poisonous, ranting propaganda. And make up your own minds, don’t let others make them up for you.”
      ^Oh, the irony…

      “Or did I miss the part in the Koran where it says lying through your teeth and treating your fellow Muslims like morons is a Godly thing to do?”
      ^No, no such part exists. Same when it comes to carefully crafted logical fallacies to distract attention away from perfectly reasonable propositions.

  7. Balanced article, thank you for reminding us.

    And I hope that the Ummah does not fall into this inferiority complex.

    We need to be “trained” not to….characteristics of “izzah” need to be re-implanted in our youth

    …any ideas on how we can specifically train young ppl today, so they don’t fall into inferiority traps?

    • The best is to (i) Practice your faith (5 pillars). (ii) Read Quran on a regular basis with meaning. (iii) Mix with people of morality and who are aware of their postion in the universe/ know that this life is fleeting and they have to return to God for judgement and that life is the true/ enduring life. (iv) Give yourself up to God (don’t trespass Gods limits/ commit major sins) and God will educate you/ guide you, and allow you to see past the hot air/ innuendo/ nonsense that is peddled in some narrow/ limited quarters. (v) Take every opportunity to do what ever good deeds you can (for the sake of God)…. Although I need to do alot more, I have done some token aspects of the above, and it works. And all praise belongs to God.

    • The best is to (i) Practice your faith (5 pillars). (ii) Read Quran on a regular basis with meaning. (iii) Mix with people of morality and who are aware of their postion in the universe/ know that this life is fleeting and they have to return to God for judgement and that life is the true/ enduring life. (iv) Give yourself up to God (don’t trespass Gods limits/ commit major sins) and God will educate you/ guide you, and allow you to see past the hot air/ innuendo/ nonsense that is peddled in some narrow/ limited quarters. (v) Take every opportunity to do what ever good deeds/ help others as much as you can (for the sake of God)…. Although I need to do alot more, I have done some token aspects of the above, and it works. And all praise belongs to God.

    • There are many words you could use to describe this article. ‘Balanced’ however is not among them.
      ‘poisonous’, ‘paranoid’, ‘innacurate’, ‘propoganda’, ‘hate-fuelled’, ‘drivel’, ‘moronic’, ‘ranting’ or ‘drivel’ would be better.
      And perhaps you should consider telling young people the truth rather filling their heads with supremacist, hate-mongering nonsense. couldn’t hurt could it?

  8. MashaAllah excellent clarification of the situation.

    In the UK if you want to help Muslim orphans (refugees and others) sign up at http://www.fostercarelink.com a Muslim fostering agency who can help you. Foster carers are quite well paid to help with the cost so don’t be put off by that.

    JazakAllah khair

  9. Hussain Fahmy

    Guilty conscience pricks the mind or the hypocrisy of publicity.

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