The Labour MPs who voted for Syria Bombings

As most people now know there will be another war. Yesterday evening MPs in the House of Commons voted in favour of carrying out airstrikes over Syria. The United Kingdom is a sovereign country which is governed democratically, but despite this all Conservative MPs were instructed that they had to vote for this action whatever their feelings maybe.

So this leaves us with the major opposition, Labour, who were told by their leader Jeremy Corbyn that they had a free vote (despite his staunch, unwavering opposition to this war). So with hundreds of thousands of people writing to their Labour MPs imploring them to vote against this action, how did these Labour MPs vote?

Some 66 Labour MPs voted to back the Government in bombing ISIL terrorists in Syria, compared to 152 against.

A further 11 Labour MPs were absent from the vote, which ended with a huge 174 majority to authorise the RAF to extend airstrikes from Iraq to Syria.

11 members of the Shadow Labour Cabinet voted in favour of bombings whilst the Chief Whip Rosie Winterton abstained.

In 14 years of bombing the Middle East the United Kingdom has achieved nothing more than the deaths of innocent civilians and the strengthening of more and more terrorist organisations who use these bombings as a recruitment tool.

The complete list of Labour MPs who have voted to continue this horrible pattern of violence and the inevitable local repercussions can be found here

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

I write to you through the media because I want you and the non-Muslim British nationals to hear from the Lahore-Ahmadi Muslims how Muslims see the current political situation.

Prime Minister, I write to speak out for the innocent in Syria and elsewhere. For those who, when they lose their lives there will be few to shed tears, for the women and children who, after you start bombing them, will go without shelter, warm clothing or even food in the bitter cold. If this organisation is the only one to cry and cry out for them, we shall do so, knowing there is a power greater than you, which will one day decide between us.

Prime Minister, I write to you because the Holy Quran tells us: In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding, (12:111) whereas history tells us that the only lesson of history is that no one learns a lesson from history. And, despite the continuing killings of innocent men, women and children in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Turkey, Spain, France, the United Kingdom and the US, you are about to embark upon a course of further killings.

Prime Minister, you and your Secretary of State for Defence tell us that you are to embark upon this course to defend my country. Not so many years ago, another British Prime Minister said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that we needed to defend ourselves against those weapons. The US Secretary of State, Colin Powel, said the same to the Security Council. Despite efforts of loyal British Muslims, the British government embarked upon a misadventure, which unleashed a course of events that destroyed Iraq. Forget what Muslims said. The UN Inspectors told the British and the US governments that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but they were ignored. How then do you expect me now to believe or to trust what I hear from the British or the US government?

Prime Minister, tell us whether this policy of bombings and invasions has made the world a safer place? Are there more terrorist attacks now, or less? Actions of the Western governments have created terrorists and not eliminated them. And if you attack Syria you will create many more. The US Government has been bombing Syria and Iraq for over a year, Australia has been bombing Syria and Iraq, France has been bombing Syria and Iraq, and Russia has been bombing Syria. Please tell us how what you are going to do is different and will eliminate terrorism?

Prime Minister, when this bombing fails, what will you do? Will you put boots on the ground? The young men and women who set out on the road of life full of hope, will return from Syria, incapacitated and invalidated to be ignored by the British government. But then, they should expect no better from a government, which refused to give asylum to those Iraqis who helped them after their invasion of Iraq.

Prime Minister, what is the international plan for what will follow? Will vultures fight over the carcasses of dead women and children and ruins of Syria or will you ignore it, just like you ignored Afghanistan and more recently with Libya? You will not make these lands any more ‘land fit of heroes’ than did Lloyd George make Britain when incapacitated soldiers returned from trenches to live on the streets. As the Holy Quran says: “Behaving proudly in the land and planning evil. And the evil plan besets none save the authors of it. So they wait for naught but the way of the ancients. But thou wilt find no alteration in the course of Allah; and thou wilt find no change in the course of Allah.” (35:43)

Prime Minister, please help us because we are confused. At one time Gadhafi was a pariah. The British and the US governments bombed his house to try and kill him but ended up killing his young child. There was no uproar in the West about the murder of Gadhafi’s child. Gadhafi then offered the British government oil exploration rights and he became respectable and the French and the British ministers started visiting him. Yet, a short time later Gadhafi was bombed by Western air forces and that country destroyed. Are people there better off now? A year ago you were saying that it is President Asad whose forces should be bombed. Now you are saying President Asad should be left in place and it is his opponents, the people who you originally supported, who need to be bombed.

Prime Minister, a statute of Ghandi has been erected in the parliament to honour Ghandi’s commitment to non-violence. Your recent statements make me wonder if this was genuine admiration for non-violence or a cynical attempt to curry favours the Indian government for lucrative contracts. When we see that many countries in the region behave in the same, or worse, manner as the country you want to bomb and yet you support those governments and sell them arms and armaments worth tens of millions of pounds. When challenged you tell us that quiet diplomacy is more effective. Why doesn’t the same argument apply to Syria?

Prime Minister, loyal British Muslims advise you “Forgive and enjoin good and turn away from the ignorant (who advocate violence) (The Holy Quran, 7: 198-199) and after that “Continue then in the right way . . . And be not inordinate. . . . incline not to those who do wrong. (11:112-113)

Prime Minister, I doubt if you this letter to do but like Pilate I wash my hands and let the blood of the innocent stain yours. I will sit and watch unarmed civilians being bombed and killed by your bombs or the cold or starvation. As tears run down my face, I will not take up arms. Rather than seek revenge, as you are doing, I will repeat these words of the Holy Quran “I shall pray to my Lord to forgive thee. (The Holy Quran: 19:47), for the murder of innocent women and children you are about to embark upon.

The Ahmadiyya Association for the Propagation of Islam (Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam) was established in 1914 at Lahore to promote Islam in the West. In the UK it operated the Shahjehan Mosque in Woking until early 1960s. It’s new UK headquarters is at the above address. In 1924, it built the first mosque on the Continent at Berlin. This mosque is now recognised by the German government as part of German heritage. From its European, and other centres around the world this organisation has taught that Islam promotes peace, harmony and mutual respect between all communities and nationalities.

US Government launches crowdfunding campaign to help Syrians

Salon is reporting-

The U.S. launched a campaign this week on Kickstarter — a crowdfunding website on which people around the world can donate to fund proposed projects — to help provide aid to Syrian refugees. All proceeds will go to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the leading international body on refugees.

It is staggering that a country that spends around $600 billion on its military would think it appropriate to launch a Kickstarter campaign to ask ordinary citizens to raise aid for the millions of Syrians who have been displaced as a direct result of US decisions in the region. 

Having spent over $3 billion to bomb Syria in a year, you would think they could spend some of the federal budget to help those innocent civilians who have been left with nothing as a result, but as this abhorrent fund raising campaign shows, the US Government has its priorities all wrong. 

Poland rejects Muslim Refugees

The Independent is reporting;

Thousands of protesters have gathered in several Polish cities, as right-wing groups rallied against plans to resettle refugees in Europe while counter-protesters marched in solidarity with those seeking safety.

Around 10,000 right-wing protesters clutching the national flag assembled on the streets in the capital of Warsaw on Saturday, and chanted slogans including “Today refugees, tomorrow terrorists!“ and ”Poland, free of Islam!“.

Whilst the Polish Government has said it will only accept two thousand refugees over the next two years it has already allowed a private group to bring in 60 Christian families with the Prime Minister saying

Christians, subject to barbaric oppression in Syria, deserve today for a Christian country like Poland to react quickly and come to their aid.

This Christian only policy follows in the footsteps of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia whose Governments have annoumced a Christian only policy of settling refugees.

But as the NYTimes points out;

In the 1980s, during the period of Solidarity’s struggle against a Communist military dictatorship, over a million people escaped Poland, and were received and accepted in the West. And it wasn’t only the West that helped: During World War II, Iran took in over 100,000 Polish refugees fleeing the Soviet Union.

It seems that Poland has forgotten how in its time of need a Muslim nation was there to help, perhaps reflecting on this would help the Polish Government in accepting more than just two thousand refugees in the next two years. One can hope but in this age of rampant Islamophobia I highly doubt it.

Turmoils of Syria

Syria

Every dictator knows that, when he starts making concessions, he is at his most vulnerable.

It is an exquisite torture for the regime in power. Each gesture, each freeing of political prisoners, each concession – and the crowds demand more. Yesterday, it was President Bashar al-Assad who was under torture.

Had he not lifted the state of emergency for Syrians? Had he not allowed them permission to protest peacefully – albeit with permission to be obtained 24 hours in advance – and released a token number of prisoners? Had he not scrapped the hated state security court? But no such luck.

In Damascus, in Hama – that ancient city that tried to destroy Bashar’s father Hafez with an Islamic uprising in the February of 1982 – and in Banias and Latakia and Deraa, they came out in their tens of thousands yesterday. They wanted 6,000 more political prisoners freed, they wanted an end to torture, an end to the security police. And they wanted Bashar al-Assad to go.

Syria is a proud country, but Tunisia and Egypt were studied by the Syrians (if not by Bashar himself – a big mistake). If the Arabs of north Africa could have their dignity, why couldn’t the Syrians? And an end to the monopoly of the Ba’ath Party, while they were at it. And free newspapers; all the demands that they thought would be met 11 years ago, when Bashar walked behind his father’s coffin and friends of the President told us that things were going to change. This was a confident new state under Bashar, they insisted.

But they didn’t change. Bashar found that family and party and the massive security apparatus were too strong for him, too necessary for him. He failed. And now that failure is self-evident: in the tear gas fired at the crowds in Damascus; in the live rounds reportedly fired into the crowds in Hama, that dangerous, frightening city wherein there is not a man or woman over 30 who did not lose a relative or friend 29 years ago.

Bashar al-Assad is a tough guy. He stood up to Israel and American pressure. He supported Hezbollah and Iran and Hamas. But Syrians had other demands. They cared more about their domestic freedom than battles in Lebanon, more about torture in Tadmor prison than fighting for the Palestinians. And now they have marched with that ultimate demand: the end of the regime.

I’m not sure they’ll get it yet. The Syrian Ministry of the Interior was playing the sectarian card again yesterday; the protesters were sectarian, they claimed. There may be some truth in this; but it is a small truth. The people on the streets of Syria want change. They were not, to be sure, in the vast numbers that Egypt produced to rid themselves of Mubarak; nor even the numbers of Tunisians. But it has begun.

An article by Robert Fisk from The Independent