Monday, 18 May 2020

East vs. West

بِاسْمِكَ اللّهُمَّ
For much of history the globe has been a battlefield for two zones of influence, one in the East and one in the West. This was certainly true during the early days of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam), when there was the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines) and the Sasanian Empire in Iran. The Believers in those days  naturally preferred the Christian empire to their west to the fire-worshiping, Zoroastrian empire to their east. This is alluded to in the holy Quran:

وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٤ بِنَصْرِ اللَّـهِ ۚ يَنصُرُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ
"That day the Believers will rejoice in the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the exalted in might, the merciful."
(Surah 30:4-5)

It is true that both the infidel powers of the East and West have frequently been a source of harm and enmity to the Muslims. But the harm and enmity to the Muslims which comes from the East is consistently worse than that which comes from the Christian West. The Crusades paled in comparison in terms of destruction wrought upon the Muslim world to the subsequent scourge of the Mongol Golden Horde under Genghis Khan and his successors. Likewise, the harm of Western European colonialism and American imperialism paled in comparison to the harm inflicted on Muslims by the Soviets and the Chinese.

Ironically, the mainstream narrative that has taken hold of much of the Muslim world is anti-West and favorable to eastern powers like Russia and China. The truth is, both Russia and China are bent on undermining Islam as much as possible. Witness Russia's bloody history in suppressing the Muslims of the Caucasus, siding with the Serbs in their genocide of Bosnian and Albanian Muslims, and recent intervention in Syria. China's persecution of the Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic groups is unspeakably horrific but virtually the entire Muslim world has remained silent, fearful of provoking the wrath of the "Dragon". The United States, on the other hand, which is presently the preeminent Western power, has, in general, been favorable to Muslims in its foreign policy, such as its material support to the Afghan Mujahidin in the 1980s, interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s, its liberation of Iraq from the secular, fascist, Baathist regime of Saddam, its liberation of Libya from the authoritarian, anti-Islamic regime of Gaddafi, its opposition to Syria's Baathist regime, and its speaking out in favor of Muslims persecuted in Burma and western China.
In summary, it is obvious that Muslims should prefer the Western power over the Eastern power in this world, in keeping with the guidance of the opening verses of Surat ar-Rum and because of the present geopolitical reality.

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