Chapter 6: Connecting The Past To The Present:How Does Andalus Apply To Us Today?
Centuries have passed, nations have changed and yesterday’s victors are today’s losers and vice versa. After the loss of Al Andalus, the first Islamic land lost to the kufaar, we, as Muslims, from the western most part of the Islamic Maghrib to the Philipines are humiliated daily by living under kufr law and being killed and slaughtered without end. Our rulers are traitors and our scholars have neglected their duty of inciting towards jihad and hijrah. How did it all come to this? What is causing these ailments and how do we fix it? To understand this, we must fast-forward from the 17th century to the 21st century and reach a point where we have a context by which to understand our world today in light of the crimes committed by the kuffaar yesterday and our cowardice and hypocrisy.
In 1639, the Uthmanis and the Safavids negotiated the treaty of Qasr-e-Shireen which delineated the borders between the rival powers, leading to a lull in tension between the two. Coupled with the failed siege of Vienna by the Uthmanis, the Uthmanis were forced to sign the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699. The agreement ended the fourteen year long conflict between the Habsburg Empire, (i.e. Austria), and the Uthmanis, (along with the Uthmani war with the Poles which lasted between 1672-1676) and forced the Uthmanis to give up most of their territory in Hungary, Transylvania and Slavonia while Podalia was returned to Poland. Further north, the Russians had also negotiated borders with the Uthmanis by ratifying the Bakhchisaray Peace Treaty which delinated the Uthmani khilafas borders with Russia after a series of Russian attacks in the Crimea.
Events rapidly deteriorated further with the Uthmani khilafa’s declaration of war against the Russians in 1768. After a series of campaigns, the Uthmanis lost due to the Russian army and naval operations along with revolts breaking out in Egypt and Syria in 1771. War broke out once again with a joint Austrian and Russian army in 1788 and the Uthmanis lost once again, and as a result ceding the Crimea and numerous other northern territories to Russia. This was the beginning of the dismantling of the Uthmani khilaafa and one in a series of reverses which would ultimately destroy the Uthmanis.
Russia continued to harass the Uthmani khilafa by inciting internal revolts in its domains. In between the next war, the Crimean war broke out between Russia and the Uthmani Empire, (with a host of European allies such as France and the UK). The Uthmani coalition prevailed. Russia once again in 1877 declared war and once again it won and had successfully pushed the khilafa out of Bulgaria, Romani and Walachia, (and many European nations were supportive of Russia in its success). Russia grew bolder still and launched an invasion of the Kavkaaz, (Caucuses), in 1817 in a protracted siege that lasted till 1864. The Muslims mujahideen, under the command of Ghazi Mullah, (a friend of the famous mujahid Imam Shamil), Gamzet Baig and Haji Murad led the jihad against the Russian occupiers. Imam Shamil was to follow in their footsteps as he became the leader of the jihad and Imam of Dagestan and Chechnya and led the fighting from 1834-1859, engaging in tactical guerilla warfare against the Russians, (as his descendants are doing uptil this very day against the same tyrannical kaafir enemy). In the end the territories that were previously under Uthmani control, such as Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Dagestan and Adyghe were now under Russia control and would remain so, in some cases, until this very day. The Chechens would face even more hardship under Stalin as he relocated the entire population of Chechnya to Siberiaon and he suspected that they were helping Hitler during World War II, (which is, in any case, untrue, as many Chechens were fighting against the Nazis and not with them). Many died and many were put to slave labor, only to be allowed to return back to Chechnya during the Kruschev era. Bit by bit Russia gnawed away at the northern territories of Islam, (and were not satisfied with this as they attempted to extend their sway deeper into the Muslim world with their invasion of Afghanistan in 1979), while the rest of the kafir world continued what they had been trying to do for four hundred years or more, and that was the subjugation of Islam.
In European affairs, by the end of the turbulent 17th century, European powers, (France, Britain, Spain and Holland), negotiated the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 which ended the costly War of Spanish Succession and negotiated peace within the powers of Europe, allowing them time now to focus their energies elsewhere, (such as eastwards towards the Uthmani khilafa). As a result, Spain lost all of its overseas possessions except for the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, its African possessions and Cuba. It would seem that the Christian powers of Europe were merely uniting further and burying their differences while the Uthamani khilafa and the Muslim world kept getting mired deeper into problems as a result of European unity and their own disunity. However, this analysis is only parly correct as the Major powers of the time had much to worry about, such as the American Revolution of 1775-1783 which sapped the resources of the British. Moreover, the British, (and the rest of Europe), were waging full scale war on Napoleonic France during the Napoleonic wars of 1803-1815. Keeping in mind what was said earlier about the 18th and 17th centuries as the age of militant capitalist mercenaries, the 19th century was a period where the reigns were pulled back and control of these trading companies was taken back into state hands. This was the case with the East India Company in 1858, as the British government, from that point onwards, took control of the operations of the Company.
In newly independent America, the landmark Naval Act on 1794 was enacted, by which the US Navy as we know it today was created. The reasons for the treaty were actually due to Moroccan mujahideen harassment of US trading vessels in the Mediteranean. Just as soon as the treaty had been signed America deployed its navy to defend its shipping vessels against French pirates in what is known as the Quasi war of 1798-1800. In fact, Americas first real and declared war was against Muslims in 1801 in the form of the Barbary wars, which were waged against the Uthmani governerates of the Maghrib, (i.e. Morocco, Algeria, Libya). One of the major battles of this war was the Battle of Derna in 1805 CE where American land forces invaded the Libyan city. Consequently, Muslims of this city have never forgotten the Americans and have an undying hatred of them. In fact, many of the righteous youth of this city have come to Iraq in disproportionately high numbers to carry out martyrdom operations. The Americans negotiated a number of capitulations with the Uthmani governor and went away thus. However, mujahideen had time to rebuild their forces and since both Europe and America were once again occupied with their own affairs, the governor of Algiers, Umar Bin Muhammad decided to declare war against the Americans a second time in 1815 to avenge the humiliation the Muslims had suffered in their prior defeat. However, this time around, it was not only the Americans they would fight, but a coalition which included the British and the Dutch. The kuffaar grew so bold that they bombarded the city of Algiers for 9 hours straight, imposed peace conditions on the Muslims, (one of them was to stop Muslims taking slaves, which in the case of a defeated enemy, is an Islamic right). Even in this loss, it is highly possible that the sons of Andalus not only fought the Spanish and their European allies, but were now even fighting the Hubal of this age, (America)! As a result of these victories the European powers got bolder and started planning how to occupy these Muslims lands and eventually Algeria and Tunisia became colonies of France in 1830 and 1881 respectively, while Libya would remain in Uthmani hands till 1911, when the Italians launched an invasion of Libya to occupy it. In spite of the mujahideen of the Sanusiyyah and their heroic struggle against the Italians, under the leadership of Umar Mukhtaar, they were defeated in the end, leading to a protracted Italian occupation which lasted till the end of World War II. Morocco would be occupied jointly by the French and Spanish in 1911.
In the Philipines, the kuffar grew bolder, and the British had established a base in the Sulu Archpeligo in 1762, and it seemed that the rush to carve up Muslim territory had arrived in the Philipines. In any case, the jihad continued against the Spanish kuffaar with waves of Istishhaadiyoon attacking the Spanish fortresses. Here is an account of a raid carried out by the mujahideen:
“During the year 1883, juramentados ran wild in the streets of Jolo and hardly a day passed that did not see Spanish soldiers killed by these fanatics. Montero, in his “Historia de la Pirateria del Mindanao y Jolo,” preserves one incident for us:
‘The second of July, 1883, three juramentados [Istishhaadiyoon] succeeded in penetrating the plaza of Jolo. They entered a Chinese store for the purpose of making purchases and when no one was looking, drew their krises and hurled themselves upon various officers who were seated at the door of the establishment. With the very first blow, Lt. Don Pedro Bordas of the Disciplinary Company was killed and Lt. Caledonio Manrique of the same company mortally wounded and died in a few hours. Dr. Juan Dominguez of the sixth regiment and a soldier of the guard were seriously wounded, the latter dying the next day. They further wounded another private and a corporal,’ (ibid).”
No matter what precautions they took, (increased patrols or creating more checkpoints), the raids continued:
“On one occasion a Moro [Muslim] entering the town passed through the guard in regular fashion, and upon leaving later in the day, drew out cigarettes to offer the guard as he was recovering his weapons. The guard was diverted from his usual vigilance by this offer and its watch relaxed for a moment. The Moro seized his barong [axe] and in a flash beheaded one of the guards. Two more guardsmen received fatal injuries and the fourth was crippled for life in that mad moment…(ibid).”
The Spanish replied back with merciless killing against civilian populations. However, the Muslims began quarreling with each other, and as a result, the jihad was losing its momentum. However, in 1898 the Spanish American war took place that resulted in a Spanish loss on the battlefield, and also in terms of its colonial possessions, (as it lost all its possession to the United States). The only possessions it chose to keep were its African possessions such as Ceuta and Melilla. In effect Spain left, but in return, the Muslims were now occupied by the Americans. They exchanged the old crusaders for the new ones. The Americans were undoubtedly more clever than the Spanish and thus did not only fight with their weapons but gave false promises to the Muslims of not interfering in their deen. They even managed to convince the Uthmani khalifa that the Americans were not looking to convert the Muslims. In return Abd Al Hameed II, “…issued a decree to the people of the territory, [Mindanao], to support the United States of America, which the Muslim population promptly accepted, (Bal, 406).” This might seem a strange stance from the khalifa that is remembered for his famous stand on not giving Palestine to the Jews, but alas it is true, as after this decree, the jihad ground to a halt.
The allegories between the ‘War on Terror’ today and this war in the Philipines even apply to the tactics used as the Americans then decided not to fortify themselves at the old Spanish Fortress in Zamboanga but rather build a series of small enclaves deep in Muslim territory, (or as we would refer to it, Forward Operating Bases):
“The American forces under the command of Captain S. A. Cloman, made no such mistake. The concrete block house was converted into a storeroom and the troops soon convinced the Moros that they had no intention of being confined to the stone walls of a fortress.
Expeditions were conducted to all of the small islands of the southern group and American law made itself felt in districts never penetrated by Spain. Many islands were found where Moro children had never before seen a white man, (ibid).”
Americans seem to have learnt from their experience in the Philippines in their wars against Muslims across the world, as the tactics are eerily similar. As enticement for Muslims to integrate into the American enforced legal system, they offered private land ownership to the Muslims:
“Private land ownership was introduced, in order to help the Moros transition to a more individualistic society from their traditional tribal society. Each family was given 40 acres (16 ha) of land, with datus [nobles/emirs] given additional land in accordance with their status. Land sales had to be approved by the district governments in order to prevent fraud, (ibid).”
They even created an educational system, (based on the American curriculum ofcourse), where the English language was encouraged:
“An educational system was established. By June 1904, there were 50 schools with an average enrollment of 30 students each. Because of difficulties in getting teachers that spoke native languages, classes were conducted in English after initial training in that language, (ibid).”
The Americans then went after their core specialty, and encouraged the Muslims to busy themselves in trade and the dunya, and to lay down their arms and end their resistance against the Americans:
“Trade was encouraged in order to give the Moros an alternative to fighting. Trade had been discouraged by banditry, piracy, and the possibility of inter-tribal disputes between Moro merchants and local customers…Starting with a pilot project in Zamboanga, a system of Moro Exchanges were established. These exchanges provided Moro traders with warehouses and temporary housing in exchange for honoring a ban on fighting within the exchange…These Exchanges proved highly successful and profitable, and provided a neutral ground for feuding datus to settle their differences, (ibid).”
The Americans then proceeded to massacre the remnants of the mujahideen in the mountains in the battles of Bud Dajo in 1906 where approximately 1000 Muslims, (including many women and children), stood to resist the American forces. Only six survived the continuous machine gun and artillery fire on the peak. Here below is a trophy shot taken by US troops after their victory, (notice the sea of dead bodies):
Another tactic which is also similar today is that the Americans had no qualms about recruiting Muslim troops to fight the mujahideen, (a clear parallel can be drawn with the Awakening Councils in Iraq). They came to be known as the Philipine Scouts:
“The organization of a company of Moro [Muslim] soldiers presented certain difficulties, as it was known that a service rifle and belt of ammunition could be sold for as much as 1000 pesos in the interior of Mindanao. The fact that a Moro has to pay a heavy dowry when he marries might furnish a good reason for many Moros wishing, to enlist, with the possibility of deserting with a rifle to be sold to secure funds for marrying the chosen girl.
In spite of these unfavorable considerations, however, twenty recruits were sworn in on February 24, 1909. In addition to the regular oath of enlistment, the men were sworn on the Koran by a Moro Pandita [Qadhi]. By the end of October, the organization of the company was complete…
When the company of Philippine Scouts finally took the field, it became famous for its activity in quelling the Moro guerilla warfare. In the main, the men proved loyal to their oaths. The company lost eighteen men, thirteen rifles and 1050 cartridges through desertion. All of the rifles were recovered and all of the deserters were apprehended or killed. The heads of two of the deserters, Uru and Rumaub, were brought in a sack to the American headquarters.
The Philippine Department assigned the Scouts to subdue the fierce and warlike Moro tribes on the island of Mindanao, and to establish tranquility throughout the islands. In the 1930s, Philippine Scouts, along with the 31st Infantry Regiment, saw action at Jolo, Palawan.
They also fought alongside the Americans in World War II, (ibid).”
As for their tactics on deterring Istishaadiyoon, their strategy was novel, (and countries such as Israel have taken it up in contemporary battles against the mujahideen:
“Not the least discouraging of the efforts against juramentados [Istishaadiyoon] was carried on by Colonel Alexander Rodgers, Governor of Jolo.
All Moros who ran juramentado were killed and laid out in the market place with slaughtered pigs placed above them, (ibid).”
At the Battle of Bud Bagsak in 1913, 900 Muslims, (including women and children), were mercilessly slaughtered. Subsequently, after the Americans left, after World War II, the Muslims were now under the oppression of the native Catholics who have abused and tyrannized the Muslims of Mindanao, while the whole Muslim world watched. After Independence the Catholic government expanded the,
“…government-sponsored Christian Filipino immigration from northern provinces to the Muslim South. Demographic data from a single municipality–Kapatagan– in the province of Lanao del Norte in central Mindanao illustrate the scale of the post-war influx of Christian migrants
There were about 24 Christian settlers in the Kapatagan area in 1918. By 1941 their number had risen to 8,000 and by 1960 there were a total of 93,000 immigrants. By 1960, Christian immigrants vastly outnumbered the 7,000 indigenous Muslims still living in the area, (Mckenna).”
The Christian government in Manila peripheralized the Muslims in Mindanao and used legal ruses to deprive them of land:
“The Bureau of Lands recognized land rights on the basis of priority of claim filed, not priority of occupation. It was not unusual for individuals to obtain legal titles, either intentionally or unintentionally, to already-occupied lands. In such cases, the legal owners were mostly (but not always) Christians and the previous occupants ordinary Muslims, (ibid).”
The same policy of migration continued, (as it has in Turkestan under the Chinese), and continues till today. However the mujahideen continue to fight in the jungles of Tawi Tawi and Basilan and those brave heroes that have given their all parang sabil deserve our aid and attention as our Muslim brothers primarily, but secondly, as Muslims who are oppressed and are involved in a battlefield which most Muslims have forgotten about.
The Americans have now reestablished themselve in Zamboanga in a training and intelligence capability, to aid the kafir Philipino army in fighting the mujahideen of Abu Sayyaaf. Many of their operations, (with the aid of the munafiqeen Muslims), have resulted in the deaths of the founder of the group and the mujahid, Abdul Razak Janjalani who fought not only the Philipines, but in Afghanistan during the Afghan jihad, and numerous leaders of the mujahideen.
The Americans have also instituted their previously tried and tested tactic of using economic inducements for Muslims to lay down their arms, or not even think about picking them up. One example of this, (other than governmental aid given to the Philipino government), is the United States Agency for International Development program for Growth with Equity in Mindanao, or more commonly know as the GEM program.
In Somalia, the country was divided between the British and the Italians jointly occupied the country as part of their agreement during the Berlin Conference of 1884. The story of the Berlin conference is an interesting story in and of itself, in that it was organized at the request of Portugal to settle territorial quarrels with Spain and was organized by Germany, (who had an intention to expand their global and colonial role, especially in Africa), and attended by other colonial powers. In other words, it was a conference that tinkered with the rights and fates of hundreds of millions of people around the world, (predominantly Muslims). In this room, countries were carved up and deals were made while we slept, blissfully unaware of the designs of the kuffaar, just as we are asleep today. Italy would go on to invade the British portion of Somalia just prior to World War II.
As time passed, the Uthmani khilafa, which had been in a state of decay since the mid 1700’s was now almost totally collapsed after the end of hostilities in World War I. They had been allied with the Germans and were thus bound to pay reparations and lose territory to the victors. Moreover, during the war, the British had orchestrated the ‘Arab revolt’ wherein the Uthmani khilafa lost control over almost all of their territories in the Hijaz and Najd. In 1916, the Sykes Picot agreement secretly divided the Uthmani khilafa to the European victors, in preparation of the defeat of the khilafa. The divisions of the Modern Middle East lay in this map:
Around the same time, the Balfour decleration was isssued from the British government to Lord Rothschild and his group, the Zionist Federation. It stated:
November 2nd, 1917.
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour”
The source and beginning of the story of the disaster which we call the state of Israel, begins from this statement. Britain’s favorable stance towards the creation of the Jewish State made it incorporate the main idea of the Balfour declaration into the Treaty of Sevres, in 1920.
The Treaty of Sevres in 1920 which was ratified by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, and shaped the modern Middle East as we know it and the modern Turkish state. The secret Tripartite Agreement was signed during this period as well.
It is well worth having a look at the Treaty of Lausanne, especially Section II, Article 37 which talks about the ‘Protection of Minorities”:
- Turkey undertakes that the stipulations contained in Articles 38 to 44 shall be recognised as fundamental laws, and that no law, no regulation, nor official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation, nor official action prevail over them.
- The Turkish Government undertakes to assure full and complete protection of life and liberty to all inhabitants of Turkey without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion.
- All inhabitants of Turkey shall be entitled to free exercise, whether in public or private, of any creed, religion or belief, the observance of which shall not be incompatible with public order and good morals.
- Non-Moslem minorities will enjoy full freedom of movement and of emigration, subject to the measures applied, on the whole or on part of the territory, to all Turkish nationals, and which may be taken by the Turkish Government for national defence, or for the maintenance of public order.
- Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities will enjoy the same civil and political rights as Moslems.
- All the inhabitants of Turkey, without distinction of religion, shall be equal before the law.
- Differences of religion, creed or confession shall not prejudice any Turkish national in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, as, for instance, admission to public employments, functions and honours, or the exercise of professions and industries.
- No restrictions shall be imposed on the free use by any Turkish national of any language in private intercourse, in commerce, religion, in the press, or in publications of any kind or at public meetings.
- Notwithstanding the existence of the official language, adequate facilities shall be given to Turkish nationals of non-Turkish speech for the oral use of their own language before the Courts.”
And thus we find the institution of dhimmah being destroyed and finally now, the kafir was equal to a Muslim.
With World War II, the new international framework of laws and regulations were created, such as the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention, International Court of Justice, World Trade Organization, IMF and the host of international laws that are now seen as ‘universal.’ These laws were imposed upon us too leading to the removal of the Shariah as the guiding principle for the life of Muslims. Interest/Riba now became an accepted part of commercial transactions in Muslim countries, (you simply have to walk down the streets of Deira in Dubai to see the variety of different interst based banks line up). ‘Tolerance’ was now required of other faiths by Muslims as it was part of International ‘norms,’ and finally, abidance by International law, (or as it is known, the Law of Nations), is a must, which in effect ends the practice of ghazawaat upon the kuffaar into their territory in short intervals, and even jihad itself. However, as Shaykh Abu Musab As Suri noted on the attitude of the kuffaar upon International law and its relation to the Muslim region of Central Asia:
“They follow international laws except when applying them to these regions [Muslim central Asia]. This strategic ability to break or obey international law is, of course, in their hands and Allāh knows best, (Suri, 31).”
Thus began a series of firsts. It was the first time that the Ummah had been without a khilaafah since the beginning of Islam. It was the first time that the Ummah was being forced and coerced on such a massive scale to accept kafir law.
Turkestan, that long forgotten Islamic land, has been under occupation and oppression since the 17th century by the Russians and Chinese. During the communist period, many Ulema fell for the false and empty promises of the Communist party and collaborated with it. The result was disastrous, wherein now Muslims in this region are oppressed to an extent unimaginable. In fact, in ordinary practices such as Hajj, the Chinese government interferes and appoints a Communist party approved guide for the trip, (undoubtedly an intelligence officer that would report all that was talked about during the Hajj to the Chinese authorities). The litany is long against the Chinese government and Shaykh Abu Musab As Suri summarized them thus:
“First: Restricting the exercise of religious rites and to prevent the spread of the teachings of Islam and to avoid the next generation having an Islamic identity.
Second: Maintaining laws that prevented people from exercising their legitimate human rights of education and freedom of expression. Other methods used were surveillance, beatings, arrests and even murder.
Third: The confiscation of the wealth of East Turkistan and depriving the indigenous people of their riches, along with the imposition of a life of poverty, destitution and neglect on them due to the country’s lack of economic development.
Fourth: Deceiving the world by the ‘establishment’ of an ‘autonomous’ East Turkistan which the Chinese managed from behind the scenes, and implemented by their Turkistani hirelings and their successors.
Fifth: Flooding East Turkestan with Chinese migrants who occupied the places of residence and work of the indigenous people.
Sixth: Carrying out nuclear tests in occupied Turkestan, which resulted in damage to the environment with poisons and the spread of disease among the Turkistani people.
Seventh: The publicly acknowledged policy of forced birth control, along with the maximum penalties for violators of this policy.
Eighth: Encouraging marriage between Turkistanis and Chinese, (ibid, 38).”
When the Cold War arrived, we began our existence as ‘pawns’ in the superpower rivalry that ensued over fifty years after World War II. All our leaders and intellectuals would run from one side to the other, never waiting to think that the answer to our problems was in Islam. All we had to do was to open the Quran. It was only after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, that the Muslim Ummah began to wake up out of its slumber and began to realize the extent of the problem and, on the other hand, its solution, which was Islam and jihad. Muslims from all over the world came to finally begin to discharge their duties as Muslims of jihad fee sabilAllāh, as it was, and is, fard ayn. The flames of jihad spread across the lands, from Afghanistan to Kashmir, Pakistan, Mindanao, Indonesia, Thailand, Somalia Bosnia, Iraq, Turkistan and ofcourse, the Maghrib. I did not forget Palestine, and who could, when over fifty years we have been derelict of our duty to liberate this sacred Islamic land. How could we, as an Ummah, possess almost two million troops in our armed forces across the globe, but yet not be able to free Palestine from the sons of apes and pigs? We watched as they bombed over and over again, first it was Jenin, then it was Gaza and where will it stop?
Andalus ties into this because it was the first Islamic land that fell. It was because of the very diseases that caused it to fall, such as excessive love of ease and comfort and avoidance of jihad, that we are suffering the predicament that we are suffering.
And as time went on, Muslims began coming closer to their deen, but yet they had not solidified their stance in their Aqeedah. Therefore, some individuals and groups during the 1990’s moved towards creating Islamic political parties as a compromise between the secular system and the Islamic. This point cannot be emphasized enough, that there can not be compromise in following Islam:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ادْخُلُواْ فِي السِّلْمِ كَآفَّة
O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly
Predictably these parties attracted many, and their leaders sincerely believed in their cause and were good brothers, albeit with a flawed approach. The classic example we should all study is the example of the FIS, or Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria. Many Algerian brothers had fought during the Afghan jihad and had returned home to find that their countries were in terrible shape. In the aftermath of the Afghan jihad, Muslims around the world had begun to practice their deen more than they used to do and thus the key component of public support for Islamic change was present in Algeria. Thus, with the formation of the party in 1989, Shaykh Abbas Madani and Ali Belhajj decided to contest national elections in 1990. In fact they swept the local elections with 54% of votes cast, taking 46% of town assemblies and 55% of wilaya assemblies. It even managed to secure 93% of towns/cities of over 50,000. After a large peaceful demonstration in 1991 against the governments redrawing of electoral districts, (a move designed to lessen the votes that could be garnered by the FIS), the government arrested Madani and Belhajj having already arrested a number of lower-ranking members. The party, however, remained legal, and passed its leadership to other members. On December 26, 1991, the FIS handily won the first round of parliamentary elections; with 48% of the overall popular vote, they won 188 of the 231 seats contested in that round, putting them far ahead of rivals.
The French backed Algerian army saw the seeming certainty of resulting FIS rule as unacceptable. On January 11, 1992, it cancelled the electoral process, forcing President Chadli Bendjedid to resign and bringing in the exiled independence fighter Mohammed Boudiaf to serve as a new president. A state of emergency was declared, and the government officially dissolved FIS on March 4. And thus even after playing by the ‘rules’ they were pushed aside and were not allowed to achieve victory due to the servitude of the government and Military to the kuffaar. In the end armed resistance began by the men of the FIS and a new group, the GIA, or the Islamic Armed Group. The resistance was to devolve into an all out civil war where Algerian military intelligence would carry out black flag operations and murder tens of hundreds of people in random villages and make it look like the GIA did it. The GIA initially kept the resistance within the bounds but eventually their excessive takfir made them lose support even within circle of mujahideen groups and shuyukh.
Better still, we should look no further than the Muslim Brotherhood, (Ikhwaan Al Muslimeen), in Egypt. They have spent decades as part of the Egyptian political process, and in fact are an outlawed party. Muslim Brotherhood members run for elections as independents and are not even allowed to indentify themselves with their party. They get arrested for the slightest of offenses that offend the Pharoah, Husni Mubarak. If you are familiar with Egypt and Egyptians, you will know that whenever a religious brother has to go back to Egypt, he has to always trim or shave his beard so as to not be arrested by the police in Egypt, on charges of being a terrorist on account of the person’s long beard!
The same principle applies to the Jaamat e Islami in Pakistan which has been participating in Pakistani politics for decades, and although their leadership claims small tactical victories, they have lost the strategic battle, in that, in their attempts to implement Islam in Pakistan, they have to commit shirk and join the parliament and obey its secular rules and regulations. They have to agree with the judgements of a law other than Allāh’s. They flaunted their success in maintaining the Hudood laws as part of Pakistani law, and now, even that has been repealed. The Jaamat e Islami is not the Jamaat of Mawlana Mawdoodi, and I shudder to think about what he might say if he saw it today with its disgraceful leadership and its love of compromise.
However, in our time, the example of Hamas is very pertinent. Hamas, as we all remember, was elected through the legal and internationally accepted election process in 2006. Without even qualifying their statements, the American President and his staff started calling Palestine a terrorist state, wherein Hamas remained a terrorist entity. Following this logic, would this not make the people, who willingly voted Hamas into power, terrorists also? It appears that is the conclusion the Americans and Israelis have come to, (without saying it, ofcourse), and have thus decided to teach the Muslims of Gaza a ‘lesson’ for being Muslim and wanting to practice their deen, by bombing them to the stone age.
On the other hand, to get into power, Hamas had to renounce Istishadee operations. It also openly consorted with countries such as Iran and Russia and took them as their allies all in the name of balancing international politics and gaining support. While conversely, they murdered and arrested members of Jaish Al Islam, going as far as rescuing a BBC journalist, Alan Johnston, who had been taken hostage, in order to attain the freedom of Shaykh Abu Qatada. So all around, there was no gain in going into the democratic process and compromising on the Islamic principles. Hamas was not, and still is not, accepted by the west as a legitimate entity and will not until they give any semblance of Islam and become an Islamized version of Fatah. As Allāh (SWT) says:
وَلَن تَرْضَى عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلاَ النَّصَـرَى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَى وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَآءَهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَآءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ
Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad ) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the guidance of Allāh (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) that is the (only) guidance. And if you (O Muhammad ) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an), then you would have against Allāh neither any Wali (protector or guardian) nor any helper
More disasters struck the Ummah during the 1990’s as King Fahd of Saudi Arabia allowed US troops into Saudi as part of Operation Desert Storm, allowing them, in effect, to stay for a prolonged period to protect the Saudi government not only from Saddam, but also from its own people. Moreover, now since the jihad in Afghanistan was over, treacherous Muslim governments unveiled themselves and showed their true colors, revealing that they were not waging jihad fee sabilillah, but rather jihad fee sabilAmrika. One of these governments was the government of Pakistan which began to round up Arab and foreign mujahideen residing in Pakistan. In spite, of the fact these people all had legal residence papers issued by the Pakistani government, they were still deported back to their home countries where they were inevitably imprisoned, tortured and perhaps even killed. Something identical to this had occurred in Bosnia after the jihad was over, and due to pressure from the international community upon Bosnia, they were forced to expel some of the foreign mujahideen, (as this was one condition of the Dayton Peace accords).
The two dogs that bear the most blame for these acts are Rafidhi Shia Benazir Bhutto who, by the grace of Allāh, got what she deserved as ample payback. The other character in this plot was Rehman Malik, who was the chief of the Federal Investigation Agency at the time. He was the point man for the FBI teams that ended up capturing Ramzi Yusuf in Islamabad and Aimal Kansi as well. He was the one that helped in capturing countless mujahideen and their helpers, only to turn them over to the kuffaar. He also happens to be the Minister of Interior today.
However, there were also good things that occurred in this era. The mujahideen that had fought during the Afghan jihad had now gone back to their home countries and began to incite the youth to wage jihad against their tyrannical regimes at home and, if need be, to go abroad and aid their brothers in the deen elsewhere. As a result many jihads began during this time such as in the Philippines, Thailand and Bangladesh. Moreover, many of the youth had come to gain training in Afghanistan to further their military skills, resulting in a generation of Muslim youth that were now very familiar with the military arts, unlike any generation before it. We saw the beginning of the global jihad during this period with operations carried out against the Americans in Nairobi, Dar Al Salam, the USS Cole, Khobar Towers and many other operations. The distinction between Arab and non Arab faded away, and the artifial boundaries created after World War I by the international framework of treaties, where Indonesian mujahideen would execute an operation to aid their brothers in Afghanistan, or that Arab mujahideen would fight alongside, and also under the command of, Afghanis.
There was also the American intervention in Somalia in 1993, where the mujahideen of Al Qaeda were present, and dealt a humiliating blow to America prestige as they defeated American Special forces, (both Delta Force and Army Rangers), in Mogadishu in the famous ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident. In addition, the twin jihads of both Bosnia and Chechnya began during this time. The jihad in Chechnya, with its famous leaders, such as Khattab and Shamil Basayev, need little explaining to most people as the deeds of these mujahideen speak louder, than any description. The jihad in Chechnya ofcourse continues till this very day.
As for Bosnia, it was the first jihad after the Afghan jihad, and many that had missed the opportunity at going to Afghanistan, decided to depart for Bosnia. Additionally people were incited towards jihad with the stories of the shuhada and the miracles bestowed upon the Mujahideen from Allāh. People witnessed miracles bestowed upon the mujahideen, such as the Battle of Tishin in October 1992, where a mere 25 mujahideen defeated 200 or so Serbian Special forces troops. However, this jihad was also the time where we got to see for the first time, the methods by which America and the west stole the ‘fruits’ of jihad from the mujahideen.
During the time that the Dayton Accords were being signed, the Bosnian national army, (which included the mujahideen, which were by now officially part of the Bosnian army as a separate brigade), in conjunction with Croat forces were now on the counter offensive against the Serbs. The counteroffensive was led by General Atif Dudakovic of the 5th Corps and General Muharem Alagic of the 7th Corps. Most of the men of this brigade consisted of refugees whom had lost everything, and even had to bear to see systematic rape of the daughters, wives and mothers by the Serbs as one author writes, “…this was done not at random by unruly soldiers, but deliberatly, as a matter of policy….(Roncevic, 48).”
By September 1995, the 5th Corps had “…inflicted heavy defeats upon the force of the Serbian General, Ratko Mladic, (ibid).” In October of the same year, the 5th Corps succeeded in liberating the towns of Bosanski Petrovac and Bosansak Krupa. Simultaneously the 7th Corps was making its way from central Bosnia towards its north-west. The Bosniak forces were now within range of taking the second biggest town under Serb control, Banja Luka. However, pressure from Washington made the Croats stop their advance while the Muslims too were told to stop under the threat that “…NATO had issued a serious threat of imminent airstrikes on the Bosnian Army positions should the operation continue, (ibid, 49).” So after three and half years of fighting, the west essentially had saved Serbia and in effect, had justified its crimes. One Bosniak, (which means Bosnian Muslim), writer wrote:
“It is important to emphasize that before the Dayton Accord, the aggressors controlled a smaller part of the occupied territory than what they were awarded by this agreement [Dayton]. Only hours or perhaps days stood between them and a heavy defeat in Western Bosnia…in doing so, they [the west] have thwarted the Bosnian Government’s counter offensive and prevented the final defeat of Serb Facism in Bosnia Herzogovina, (ibid, 50).”
As part of the Dayton agreements, Article III, paragraph 2 says that “all foreign Forces, including individual advisers, freedom fighters, trainers, volunteers and personnel from neighboring and other States, shall be withdrawn from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” It deliberately only mentions Bosnia and not Croatia or Serbia. Without saying it, they were asking the Bosnian government to evict the mujahideen, while not mentioning the Christian volunteers that fought on the Croat side for instance. One example, is of an English volunteer that fought on the Croatian side during the war, Simon Wells. He too was a ‘foreign fighter’ but is now part of the Police force in Britain, living peacefully, without fear of going to Guantanamo or being rendered ‘extraordinarily’ to some black site in Eastern Europe.
On the other hand, the mujahideen, which had fought as part of the legal armed forces of Bosnia, (as part of the ‘Mujahideen Brigade’), and given legal Bosnian citizenships by then Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović, were now being evicted from Bosnia, as part of Dayton. Moreover, with the beginning of the ‘War on Terror,’ former mujahideen in Bosnia were rendered to Guantanmo for fighting in and trianing for a war that the West had supported! Brothers Abdel Hadi Mohammed Badan Al Sebay Sebay, Umar Rajab Amin, Adel Ben Mabrouk Bin Hamida Boughanmi, Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah, Omar Amer Deghayes, Bensayah Belkacem, Sabir Mahfouz Lahmar, Mohammed Nechle, Mustafa Ait Idr, Lakhdar Boumediene, Boudella Al Hajj, are some of the names that are known of Muslims in Bosnia that were in American custody at Guantanmo, sometimes on the most absurd of charges, (such as that of Adel Ben Mabrouk bin Hamida Boughanmi, that “he lived in a Bosnian Mujahedin village”). However, in December 2008, Boudella al Hajj, Mustafa Ait Idr and Mohammed Nechle were released back to Bosnia after serving almost 8 years in Guantanamo for fighting a legitimate struggle for freedom. It really comes down to one reason, and that is because they were Muslim. I say this not out of rage, but rather because of fact. Volunteers that fought on the side of the Fascist dictator Franco during the Spanish civil war against Communists in Spain in 1939 came from all over the Catholic world such as Ireland and elsewhere. Foreign brigades were set up exclusively for these men. Yet, even though Facism was the enemy of the day, and is not looked upon highly today either, these men were never prosecuted for War crimes at the tribunal at Nuremburg in 1945, nor were they branded as ‘terrorist,’ during the occurrence of fighting or post facto.
Finally we come to the blessed attacks on New York and Washington and the start of the ‘War of Terror.’ I do not wish to recount what happened from 2001 till now, but rather I would like too address the misconceptions people have about the mujahideen through the prism of the current ‘War on Terror.’ The first misconception most Muslims have had during this war, is that the Mujahideen could not possibly defeat the mighty American army due to its technological prowess. However, I beg to differ, as first and foremost, Allāh is the giver of victory, and not JDAM bombs or Predator drones. Secondly guerilla warfare is designed to fight numerically and technogically superior enemies, and Muslims over the centuries have used this type of warfare in the forests of Chechnya and the Philipines, or in the deserst of Libya or in the hills of Garnata. One numerical example needs to provided to clear up this point:
“In Algiers, in the 1950’s, the French were defeated in spite of having a similar predominance [number of men in the armed forces vis a vis the insurgents]. In the troubles of 1919-21, the 3,000 strong IRA succesfully engaged 43,000 police and troops…The 10:1 ratio [ratio of occupying forces:insurgent forces] gained wide currency…in Vietnam. In 1965, however, Taylor proclaimed that a superiority of 25:1 would be neccesary to defeat the Viet Cong, (Miller & O’Sullivan, 120).”
In other words, every Mujahid is the equivalent of 10-25 normal US soldiers! These are established military facts and the Americans know that if they even wanted a chance at defeating the mujahideen, they would need upwards of 200,000 troops in Afghanistan alone, let alone Iraq, Somali and elsewhere. However, even with that quantity of troops, Allāh would still be the Grantor of victory.
I wanted to make numerous points about the false accusations against Sheykh Usama and the Mujahideen, using recently declassified documents, but alas, my time has run out. I can only say that we need to fight our Wahn, and have tawakkul on Allāh, and perform our duty. I will end on a few lines from a nasheed for the brothers and as a reminder to them of what needs to be done:
حور العين تناديني
فدعيني أمـــاه دعيني
لا تبكي دموعكـ ياأمي
عن دربي لا لن تثنيني
أمـــاه طريقي قد وضحت
والقلب يسير به فرحا
حرب وجهاد متقد
ودم بالعزة قد نضح
أمـــاه فديني يحترق ُ
ويريد رجال قد صدق ُ
فدعيني أصنع بدمــائي
فجر يحمر به الأفق
Remember the words of Ikrimah Ibn Abu Hishaam at the Battle of Yarmook:
“Khalid! Please step back; you accepted Islam before me and have succeeded in attaining a lofty status…Just leave me alone today, so that I can compensate for my sins and absolve myself, (Ghadhanfar, 167).”
With that said, I have made my decision to act out my duty and to not fall prey to the mistakes of the people of Andalus, but:
What about You?
وآخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين، وعلى آله وصحبه الطاهرين الطيبين، وعلى من اتبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين
 This means mountain in the native dialect
 Surah Baqarah, Ayah 208
 Surah Al Baqarah, Ayah 120