The Elephant in the Room – Abdassamad Clarke

The elephant in the room is of course not Islam, since the Muslims are everywhere under occupation, being bombed, killed and driven from their homes by warfare or famine, often the consequences of geo-politics or globalisation.

The issue that will not go away is the imperial power of the US as the foremost representative of the banking hegemony. It is easy to get this out of perspective and only see it as an issue of nation-states, which is a kind of modern personality politics, but there is no avoiding first of all looking carefully at the US and its role in geo-politics.

Until extraordinarily recently historically, the US was slaughtering its native peoples and driving the survivors onto reservations to eke out their existence in humiliation and poverty. Now the market economy has rewarded them with casinos and nuclear waste dumps.

At the same time, utilising the racist early version of manifest destiny called ‘the white man’s burden’, untold numbers of black people were taken as slaves in brutal conditions to the Americas where they were to languish right until today, still being regarded as slightly less than human in spite of the language of civil rights and the successes of people whom black people themselves regard as ‘coconuts’: Colin Powell and Barak Obama et al.

Since its civil war, the US has basically insisted on being at war elsewhere on the planet rather than face the divisions in its own society. I don’t think there has been a year since in which the US has not been in multiple theatres of war across the earth.

That the absurd and now belligerently violent conviction of manifest destiny should have grown out of the religion of ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘love those who hate you, and do good to those who mistreat you’ is something much more significant than mere hypocrisy, although hypocritical it certainly is.

It has grown out of three key elements of perverted Christianity: Pope Urban’s decision to launch the Crusades because he recognised that without them the young second sons of the European Normans would cause civil strife, but in the process legalising a barbaric attitude to the ‘other’, of slaughter ill-befitting the religion of love. Thus when Vasco da Gama burst into the Indian Ocean its inhabitants were simply unprepared for the barbarity unleashed on them, just as the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas were in no way prepared for Columbus and Cortes.

The second element, though less dramatic, is indeed more serious. With the ‘reconquest’ by christians of Andalus, the ‘reconquista’ being a myth based on the lie of occupation by Arab Muslims whereas the indigenous people had gladly embraced Islam, a new principle emerged that was to mark out christian politics from that day onwards and which we have not yet learnt to deal with: the lie. Christianity learnt to lie and justified it to itself as a part of its manifest destiny. Of course, such a course of action can only redound upon the liar, and to all intents and purposes genuine christianity as representing the teaching of Jesus, peace be upon him, no longer exists except, paradoxically, among the Muslims who are the only people who could really be said to love and follow him.

The third principle was to break contracts. Every deal that Ferdinand and Isabella made with the Muslims was broken at the behest of the church and with their holy sanction, and this has continued as a principle of ‘christian’ power politics to this day, one of the most shameful episodes of it being the breaking of every single treaty made with the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

The unexamined issue here is the motive force of usury finance, the loans made by Italian bankers to the Crusaders, by Dutch bankers to the Conquistadores, and now the massive banking finance that finds one of its most profitable outlets in military hardware (more than half of the US economy, the other half of which is credit/debt) and the other in simple inflation of the money supply through various types of leverage. This is a weapon that was unleashed against the ‘enemy’ but which has simply devastated the host body.

Since it is Islam that still holds to the prohibition of usury that would outlaw this monstrous system, then it is Islam that must be demonised even if few Muslims have deeply understood the issues involved and even if most Muslim states and business, and many individuals, are as involved in usury as anyone else.

So this calls into question the source of this co-ordinated campaign of lies against Islam and Muslims which is not at all what it seems to be.

Interestingly, some of the people who have suffered most from this history have been ordinary European and American christians, who have been treated as cannon-fodder and virtual slaves and who today are basically consumer outlets for banking debts, and who are now seeing the vanishing of jobs in the usurious industrial culture and the repossession of their houses.

So my only counsel in the debate with the new rightists and their hate-filled rhetoric against Islam is that you cannot argue with liars, although you can certainly discuss with intelligent people who have genuine doubts and critical points to make, and you cannot make contracts with people whose religion forgives them in advance for all sins and which sanctions every lie and crime against the ‘infidel’, i.e. the ‘other’.

Again, the lies against Islam are becoming increasingly desperate since perfectly ordinary black, red and white people everywhere are beginning to see through them and are flocking into Islam in ever greater numbers. An even greater number of ordinary Christians and Jews, who are not convinced about Islam as the choice they must make for themselves, are now aware that the Muslims are not their enemies and that an amity is more than possible between them. All these people are much more convinced by their own experience as neighbours than by the rantings of the propagandists and their hate-filled rhetoric, because the world is tired of hate and tired of lies.


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Abdassamad Clarke is from Ulster and was formally educated at Edinburgh University in Mathematics and Physics, and in Cairo in Arabic and tajwid and other Islamic sciences. He accepted Islam at the hands of Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi in 1973. In the 80s he was secretary to the imam of the Dublin Mosque, and in the early 90s imam khatib of the Norwich Mosque, where he is currently an imam and teacher. He has translated the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (jointly with Muhammad Abdarrahman), which was published by Turath Publishing at the end of July 2004 and a number of other works from Arabic: al-Qawl al-mu'tamad fi mashru'iyyat adh-dhikr bi'l-ism al-mufrad by Shaykh al-Alawi on the standing in Shari’ah of using the divine name in dhikr, which was published by Diwan Press as first part of The Two Invocations and since republished by Madinah Press, The History of the Khalifahs (the chapters on the Khulafa ar-Rashidun from as-Suyuti’s Tarikh al-Khulafa), the Complete Forty Hadith (translation of Imam an-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith along with the Imam’s explanation of their fiqh and linquistic usages) and Kitab al-Jami’ by Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (published as A Madinan View), Rijal – narrators of the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, all published by Ta-Ha Publishers of London, Kitab al-athar by Imam Abu Hanifah and transmitted by Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybani (Turath Publishing 2006), The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (a translation of Jami' al-'ulum wa'l-hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, published by Turath Publishing 2007). In addition he has edited Aisha Bewley's translation of Ibn Hajar's abridgement of at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, Ibn Taymiyyah's al-Kalim at-Tayyib both published by the UK Islamic Academy, Dr Asadullah Yate's translation of al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, published by Ta-Ha Publishing and a number of other works. He is currently engaged with Suád Østergaard on a translation of the Qur’an into Danish, the first volume of which translated in collaboration with Jakob Werdelin, comprising Surat al-Fatihah, Surat al-Baqarah and Surah Ali ‘Imran, was recently published as Den gavmilde Qur’an: en fremlægning of de tre første suraer by Havens Forlag of Copenhagen. Translations yet to be published include Traditions of the Sunnah (Athar as-sunan) by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Ali an-Nimawi (jointly with Mawlana In'amuddin), to be published by Turath Publishing Ltd. Among his unpublished translations are the Sciences of Tafsir comprising portions of Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi’s Qur’anic commentary at-Tashil li ‘ulum at-tanzil, in particular his introductory sections on the essential elements of the sciences necessary for tafsir. He is author of a number of children’s books, The Year of the Elephant, The Great Victory and The Last Battle all of which are on the sirah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as well as The Story of Stories about the Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, in which he drew a great deal on the commentary of Ibn Juzayy, may Allah be merciful to him. He has also a poem God is Dead published in the Minaret journal of Stockholm, Sweden, and an as-yet unpublished collection of short stories called Tales Are Like That, and a novel called The Wings of the Butterfly. Abdassamad is a teacher of both adults and children in Qur’an recitation (tajwid) and meanings, Arabic language and the deen in general, most recently having organised and taken part in a conference under the auspices of Islamic Events of London on the History of the Islamic Khalifate, and having given discourses in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Jena, Weimar, Copenhagen and the Midlands. 18 April, 2007 0:03

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