Dangerous Escalation by Mohammad Zeyaul Haque (JULY 21, 2009)

Muslims cannot afford to allow conflict to spread further, writes Mohammad Zeyaul Haque.

If the latest news reports about the North African branch of al-Qaeda issuing threats to China are true, Muslims all over the world have got more to worry about now. The French news agency AFP has reported quoting a report in a French newspaper that the said section of al-Qaeda has vowed to retaliate against China for its massacre of Uighuir Muslims of Xinjiang.

This branch of al-Qaeda is not familiar to newspaper readers, so nobody can say whether it exists or is the creation of the imagination of some Western intelligence agency’s game players. The way the news has been sourced looks rather unusual. Also, the West has a vested interest in driving a wedge between China and the Muslim world to curb the growing influence of China in Muslim lands. Western agencies have been known to be good at such dirty tricks.

It is interesting to remember that only a few years ago whenever Western intelligence agencies tried to convince al-Qaeda and assorted Islamic fighters in Pakistan and Afghanistan to extend their war into Xinjiang against China, they invariably refused to oblige. They used to say that even though they sympathised with Xinjiang Muslims they would not fight China, because “it is a friendly power”.

That situation somehow seemed to fit in with Samerel P. Huntington’s scheme of the “clash of civilisations”, in which China was shown to be on the side of Muslims, who would confront the West and its non-Islamic allies. The escalation of the Xinjiang struggle, and the putative al-Qaeda involvement, makes the situation particularly ominous for Muslim world’s relations with China.

One must note, however, that it is not Xinjiang alone where Muslims are at war. It is no longer Islam versus West, but Islam versus the Rest. They are against Russia in Chechneya-Daghestan, against China in Xinjiang, against India in Kashmir, against Israel in Palestine, against Britain in London, France in Paris and elsewhere, against themselves in Swat (Pakistan) and in rest of the Muslim world, and against the United States all over the world. Also, there are full-fledged Muslim insurgencies in Myanmar, Thailand and Philippines. Quite obviously, this is an untenable situation, and would not bring anything to Muslims, except sorrow.

There is no point in allowing conflict to spread further. Muslims can only ill afford such a project. The project must be rolled back as it harms Muslims instead of helping them.


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