The despicable nature of the attacks on Norway have laid bare Europe’s deep seated hatred towards Islam and seriously belittles one of the main tenets of Western values – religious freedom. Breivik’s vilification of Islam is not an isolated event as the Western media would like to portray. On the contrary, Breivik’s demagoguery and Islamophobic views are a product of Western civilization that resonates with many in the West. This could be clearly seen in the way the Western media and her ‘experts’ quickly branded Islam and Muslims for the attack. Spurred on by this media frenzy against Islam, several Muslims in Norway were physically assaulted. As reported by BBC, Mehtab Afsar, secretary-general of the Islamic Council of Norway, said, “We heard some Muslims had already been beaten up in Oslo, and women who were scared phoned me asking for help”. The attacks against Norwegian Muslims only abated when the true horror of the terror crimes committed by the Christian fundamentalist, Anders Behring Breivik emerged.
Nevertheless, this did not prevent some European politicians from publicly expressing support for Breivik’s anti-Muslim views. Jacques Coutela, a member of France ‘s right-wing National Front party wrote: “The reason for the Norway terror attacks: fighting the Muslim invasion, that’s what people don’t want you to know”. Coutela also called Breivik “the main defender of the West.” In Italy, Francesco Speroni, a leading member of Italy’s Northern League and an ally/partner in Berlusconi’s conservative coalition, said “Breivik’s ideas are in defense of Western civilization”. Also, European parliamentarian Mario Borghezio told Il Sole-24 Ore radio station, “Some of the ideas he expressed are good, barring the violence. Some of them are great”. This is not the first time Italian politicians have endorsed disparaging remarks directed towards Islam. A few years ago, Italy’s Defense Minister, Antonio Martino, praised Fallaci, who wrote a book entitled ‘Anger and Pride’ in which she described Muslims as ‘vile creatures who urinate in baptisteries’ and ‘multiply like rats’.
No doubt such views are a conveyor belt towards radicalization, which eventual leads to the shaping of the Western government’s domestic policy against Muslims. The banning of hijab, the restriction on building of mosques, the blatant spying of Muslim communities, and the incarceration of Muslims without trial are just some of the draconian measures taken by Western governments.
The West claims that individuals are free to worship whatever deity they choose. But in practice, this leads to perpetual conflicts amongst people, as religious beliefs and practices professed by some can be interpreted as offensive and insulting to others. Hence, Western governments are constantly intervening in the disputes and resort to legislation to protect the religious rights of some people while at the same time depriving others. Often, the real benefactors of freedom of religion are those individuals, or groups, whose beliefs coincide with the interests of the government, or those who possess the ability to exert influence over the government. That is why so many institutions in the West are allowed to attack Islam because their fiery rhetoric and discriminatory policies are in full harmony with West’s unfinished war on Islam. However, if the Western media, or its numerous institutions, were to insult Jews, or the Zionist state of Israel, Western governments would swiftly adopt stern measures to restrict their insults.
Likewise, Western governments manipulate religious freedom as part of their foreign policy agenda to either pry open societies closed to Western values, or totally ignore religious freedom when it does not concur with their interests. In the case of the Arab uprising and the massacre of Muslims at the bloody hands of Western agents, the West has chosen to water down its response, as the protestors are avid supporters of Islam and not democracy. Such hypocrisy only serves to underscore the perception amongst Muslims that the America and Europe are solely interested in the utter destruction of Islamic values and practices.
Islam on the other hand, does not believe in the fanciful idea of freedom of religion, whereby a handful of men decide which beliefs are legally beyond reproach and which beliefs and practices are subject to unfettered criticism and legislation. Islam stipulates that life, honor, blood, property, belief, race and the mind are to be protected by the Islamic State.
All the citizens of this ‘Caliphate’ are guaranteed these rights, irrespective of whether they are Muslim or non-Muslims. Islam also protects the rights of non-Muslims to worship without any fear of retribution or vilification of their beliefs. The messenger (saw) of Allah said: “One who hurts a dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen of the Caliphate), he hurts me and the one who hurts me, hurts Allah”. Therefore it is prohibited for any Muslim to insult the beliefs of a non-Muslim, or to damage their places of worship. Islamic history is unrivalled in its ability to guarantee the religious rights of non-Muslims under the shade of the Caliphate. One only has to look at Spain and Palestine, to find that in the past Jews and Christians lived peacefully with Muslims.
As for Muslims living in the West or residing in the Muslim world, they must redouble their efforts to support the re-establishment of the Islamic state. For only the Islamic state is capable of protecting the rights of Muslims, whether they choose to live within the confines of the state or outside. Until the very last days of the Caliphate, the rights of the Muslims were protected. During the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Britain decided to stage a play, which depicted the life of the messenger (saw) of Allah in a derogatory manner. On hearing this Sultan Abdul Hamid II complained to the British government to put an immediate end to the play. The British government defended its decision to hold the play by citing free speech. When Sultan Abdul Hamid II threatened Britain with military action only then did Britain relent.