Ayyuha’l-Walad! Lesson Six. Syria and the UAE – Two Concentration Camps
Syria. The inexorable end of the shi’a tyranny founded on atheist Baathism draws near. The dictatorship must be made to understand that what they think is law and government and constitution are to the world the blind workings of absolutist terror.
A third of Hama was raised to the ground. 20,000 men, women and children were massacred by the Assad clique. It has not been forgotten – it has surfaced. The Assads must leave. The Baath Party must be abolished and the shi’a control of both government and mosque ended.
The Syrian nation must know that when the Ikhwan plotted the uprising in Hama they TOLD the shi’a mullahs in London what they meant to do! The mullahs begged them to wait – first, they said Saddam then after that Assad. Of course, Iran needed Assad’s Syria – it was their only door out into the world. So it was that when they prepared for the uprising, Assad already knew and was able to obliterate a city and its occupants.
The Ikhwan, like the Baathist-shi’a are Syria’s past. There awaits it the revival of its great tradition of Fiqh, pure Tassawuf and an alliance with Turkey. Given the isolated nature of the Syrian nation and its macabre Stalinist government (which one dares to stop clapping first?), it is vital that the Muslims worldwide protest and support the Muslims in Syria against their shi’a-Baathist regime.
Muslims from all over South Africa are gathering on Saturday night at the Habibiyya Soofie Masjid in Ladysmith to recite the Nasiri Du’a and ask Allah to give an opening to the Syrian Muslim oppressed masses. It was this great Du’a which led to the end of French occupation in Morocco. The Baathist regime should be very afraid. Start packing.
If Syria is bound in slavery by an absolute Stalinist secret police system thus reducing the country to a national concentration camp parallel with the Indian State’s policing and murdering citizens in Kashmir – our other prison camp is another sort of hell. To understand it you have to have read Huxley and Orwell and know their grim foretelling of future slave societies.
The ‘United Arab Emirates’ (translation from the Arabic is actually the ‘United States of Arabia’) is a new high-tech low-life community or rather double community – a body of ex-Muslim modernist capitalists in total play-mode. Next to them, a body of foreign migrant workers, unpaid or underpaid, without papers or their own (confiscated) passports, working all-day in any heat without medical aid or supervision. Modern slaves building a playground for the world’s capitalist elite – a zone without rules and without fear of recourse to law.
The Emirates is the abysmal bottom of today’s Arab world. No democracy is going to rescue the Tunisians or the Egyptians – for it is the liberal capitalism of the Emirates that daily condemns hundreds of Pakistani, Indian, and Indonesian Muslim workers to slave labour. There are no suicide-bombers in the U.A.E. only the weekly suicide of a worker in despair of his salary, his work conditions, his foul dormitory and his future.
Let us take a closer look at Shaykh Muhammad Al-Maktoum’s country. His membership of the Jockey Club obliges him to treat his horses humanely. His membership of the Islamic Conference permits him to run a mass set of prison-camps for workers.
Population 2009 U.A.E.:
- With civic rights, passports and travel documents: EMIRATIS 21%
- Expatriates from West, passported and documented: WESTERN EXPATS 8%
- Without civic rights under restraint of expulsion:
- INDIAN 27%
- PAKISTANI 20%
- BANGLEDESHI 8%
- OTHER ASIANS 16%
This breakdown is of an overall population – free-elite and a slave mass – of 8,300,000.
Detailed analyses place the ‘free’ Emirati nationals today at 16.5% of the population.
The ‘worker’ slaves are bound by the Kafala System not to move from their job to another one, and are ‘tied’ to their employer. There is a nationalist (racist) wage scale so that for the same job the salary will decrease with the top nationals getting up to three times that of the lowest.
The scale is:
- TOP – Westerners: European, American, Australian & G.C.C Arabs
- Japan, Korea, Singapore (almost as tops)
- South Africans, Russians, East Europeans, Central and South Americans and non-G.C.C. Arabs
- Filipinos, Thai, and other Asians
- Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and other Africans
The building workers work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wages are around 370 AED ($100) per month.
Employers house workers in dormitories known as labour camps, usually on the edge of urban zones.
In Al-Quoz and in Sonopar in Dubai the typical dwelling for an average construction worker is a small room (3.5m x 3m) which must take up to eight workers.
Al-Quoz Camp has 7,500 migrant workers sharing 1,248 rooms. The camp is built next to a sewage plant which has leaked right into the accommodation. The norm is overflowing toilets and lack of privacy in washrooms.
Withholding of wages is commonplace. One Dubai construction company declared: “We only hold back salary for 45 days as surety in case of runaways.” The annual death rate of Indian workers from 2006 to 2008 has risen from 1,284 to 1,420, with suicide playing a large part in the increase. The workers have to go on working in temperatures well in excess of 40˚celcius.
Around 5,000 construction workers per month were brought into the emergency department of the Rashid Hospital in Dubai, during July and August 2004.
There are thousands of men and women, held without trial or even after acquittal, for long stretches. Many are forced to sign confessions for crimes they did not commit. Many prisoners become psychotic due to inhumane treatment and abuse.
In May 2010 hundreds of workers marched from their Sharjah Labour Camp to the Ministry in Dubai demanding to be sent home. They claimed they were unpaid for over six months and were kept in squalor. The authorities finally sent home 700 stranded from Sharjah’s Al-Sajar Labour Camp.
All this takes place in an economy currently outstripping Western Europe and America in terms of wealth, and China in terms of growth. The Emirates has 37 shi’a television channels.
Now – the outrage of the Emirates is not this, here understated, social crime. The outrage is that the small coterie, 16.5% of the population, call themselves Muslim, fast and pray.
Something, clearly, has gone profoundly wrong.
It has gone wrong with its people – that tiny ruling minority, but it has gone supremely wrong with its leadership. Two personal experiences may prepare us for our diagnosis of the Emirates sickness.
As we planned the 4th Conference of Maliki Fiqh the proposal came from the then Head of the Shari’ah Court of the Emirates, Shaykh Al Mubarak, that he ask Shaykh Zayed to host it in Abu Dhabi. The brilliant intellectual framework of the Conference was designed by the Sultan Al-’Ulema, Shaykh Shadhili An-Nayfar of Tunis.
He helped Shaykh Al Mubarak gather all the great Maliki Fuqaha and together they planned to present – not the Malik of the madhab but rather Imam Malik, Imam Dar-al-Hijra, and the school of the ‘Amal Ahl-al-Madinah. The primal and original source method of Islamic Fiqh.
At the prestigious opening Shaykh Zayed publicly said that he would rule by the Shari’at.
On day two of the Conference we were met by officials of the Diwan of the Ruler. The papers were not to be read out, the subject not to be discussed. Instead we and those distinguished scholars were to sit silently and listen to a declaration by a personal representative of Saddam Hussein who had come to ask us to support Iraq’s war against Iran. We sat grimly as the speaker, dark suit, black shirt, white tie, informed the mute ‘Ulema that this was not of course, a fight between Muslims and shi’a, oh no! It was between Arabs and Persians. The Conference was discreetly scrapped.
The second personal note. I came across an article in the English speaking Gulf newspaper insulting the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The author implied that the Qur’an was not a Divine Revelation. The author was a highly paid resident doctor of medicine from India. I took the text to Shaykh Al Mubarak and said that this was a grave matter. He ordered an Arabic translation of the offending article. When we reconvened he said that the article was criminal and ordered the doctor’s arrest. He was tried and found guilty. There came a pause in events – a sentence had to be passed. The Indians were outraged – India would not allow sentence to be passed. Shaykh Zayed bowed to the hindu leader and simply banished the criminal from Abu Dhabi, back to India. The Emirates had withdrawn protection of the Rasul!
What these two personal experiences showed to me was that the modern Arabs had been so busy taking on the modalities and values of modern techno-society that they had completely lost the Deen in all its civic and spiritual identity.
The school of the ‘Amal Ahl-al-Madinah had to be silenced. Saddam was the excuse. Later they gave their airports as bases to bomb him to smithereens.
The school of ‘Amal, of Madinan practice meant exposing the whole capitalist-development of oil-based and dollar-paid activity called the U.A.E.
Thus at that moment, just out of reach lay the vista of social justice and its practical application. Jizya for the non-Muslims.
The Madinan practice of treatment to workers.
The strict and compassionate rules of slaves – tied to a house not a project.
The rules of trade. The rules of the market. The rules of the caravan (moved product).
And finally the great missing pillar. It had been removed and the whole Islamic edifice had collapsed.
Zakat is not a sadaqa for the poor, any more than Ramadaan is just not eating and drinking, or Hajj is just standing on ‘Arafat.
Zakat had two necessary conditions, and on these the Islamic ethos remains utterly dependent.
One – Zakat is ordered by an Amir. He appoints Zakat collectors. It is collected according to its rules and there is no ‘corporate’ avoidance. Ownership devolves on individuals.
Two – There has to be a value-based instrument of currency. Traditionally in the first days of Islam under the Khalifs it was the Islamic Dinar of gold and the Dirham of silver. Zakat, in other words, implies a whole non-usury economy based on trade parameters clearly laid down for all to see in Imam Malik’s al-Muwatta and the great Sahih.
Nothing to do with ‘going back fifteen hundred years’ – a totally viable, existentially liberating model of human trade which in itself restores trust between men. Where did the hell of the Emirates begin? It began on that day when the oil company handed Shaykh Zayed’s brother, then the amir, his cheque in payment for the first official extraction of crude. Dismayed, he handed back the piece of paper and demanded his payment in gold. Zayed was made the Amir, taking over the rulership. He had accepted the cheque. And that is how all of Arabia fell into Kafir hands.
We must start again.
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