by Laura Stuart
Monday, March 5th, 2012
As the Arab Spring has rolled across North Africa and the Middle East unseating dictators such as Mubarak, Ben Ali and Ali Abdullah Salih, the Kings and Emirs of the Gulf States and Morocco have remained firmly on their thrones.
Street protests are not allowed in Kingdoms such as the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. Since the advent of the Arab Spring, Islamic Scholars, especially in Saudi Arabia, have issued fatwas that protest has no basis in Islam. The Prophet Mohammed p.b.u.h. warned the scholars to keep away from the rulers lest their religion became corrupt if they pleased the rulers or, if the ruler was not happy with their judgements, the scholars would be mistreated. The Muslim Brotherhood have always had a different opinion and used different evidences to support the legality of protesting against an unjust ruler.
One Scholar who has been prepared to speak out during the revolutions, despite the fact that he lived in exile in Qatar for many years, is the Egyptian Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi. When Qaradawi spoke out about Gaddafi that was fine by the Gulf rulers, but now a storm is brewing in the Emirates as he has issued a warning to the Emirs about the injustice of their action towards Syrian nationals in the U.A.E. who staged a protest.
As everyone knows (but some wish to deny) there is a massacre going on in Syria. The Syrian people have taken to the streets in protest against the oppression of Bashar Al Assad. Whilst the Arab spring in other Arab lands may not have been desirable to the State of Israel and their Western satellites, in Syria we have the potential for major disaster as the Shia crescent of Lebanon, Syria and Iran (with Russian and Chinese backing) battle to keep Assad in power, against most of the rest of the world. In this titanic quest for domination in the region, the human rights of the Syrians is forgotten.
Protests have been taking place outside Syrian embassies around the world for almost a year now. In the U.A.E. 2,000 Syrians went to express their anger outside the Syrian embassy in a protest for which they had not applied for a license from the rulers. They now face terrible repercussions. The Syrian participants have been summoned by the police to come in and sign a document pledging not to participate in future protests. It is reported that over a hundred have been ordered to leave the country.
The Gulf is full of hard-working foreign nationals yet they rarely ever gain citizenship and such citizenship if it is ever granted can easily be revoked. One Syrian man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was born in the U.A.E. since his father was there working before him, yet he too has had to leave, leaving his family behind until he can settle somewhere else. He fears repercussions on his family if he speaks out.
In a speech last night Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi told the Emirati rulers ……
–they (rulers) have power more than others—– All they have is money, Allah has given money to all humans not just to them alone, with money they can not control the lives of people. It is forbidden for them to sacrifice these families, around a hundred families , thrown in streets, are not these humans? If they do that with their own brothers in their lands, we can not deal with these people, especially in these circumstances. They need someone to care for them. It is an obligation on them (rulers) to care for them. All Muslims and Arabs are obliged to care for the Syrians. They are part of Gulf States Cooperation Council. How can they throw them out or ask them to leave? Some were striped of their nationality. That is very strange. I advise these brothers as an Arab Muslim as they are Arab Muslims, I have right on them and I have a duty as a Muslim Scholar, to advise the Muslim rulers to fear Allah, in their brothers, their fellow citizens, who they treat in a strange way, preventing some of them from speaking in journals or on TV or radio. What is that? Some are stripped of their citizenship and …. This is HARAM. That is not permissible. The rulers duty is not to control people, the ruler is a servant for the people.Saydina Abu-Muslim Alkhawlani addressed Mayawiah Ibn Abi Sufian: “Salam you servant”. People said to him say: “Salam Your Royal Highness” (IUHA AL AMIR). He repeated it several times. Mayawiah said “leave him : he knows better what he means”.The ruler is a servant to the ummah (world community of Muslims). He should not treat them as slaves. I ask Sheikh Khalifah the ruler of Emirates, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifah bin Zaid the son of the ruler and Mohammed bin Zaid the deputy of the ruler, I ask them to fear Allah and the ‘last day’. There is death and after death there is resurrection and after resurrection there is judgement, punishment, paradise and hell fire. Fear Allah in the people of Emirates. Those who live in Emirates, they have rights. They (rulers) should not cross the boundaries.Allah says : These are the limits of Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah – it is those who are the wrongdoers.
These are my first words and I may come back to it if the response is not adequate in another time or in jumuaa (friday) sermon.
In response to such a strong warning from Qaradawi the Chief of Police has said that they will arrest him.
The Gulf leaders should listen well to the Sheik, who is after all an elder and a learned scholar.
Yet again the killing and suffering of the Syrian people will continue as they fall victim not only to Bashar Al Assad but to the International power struggle over who rules Syria and even despotic Gulf rulers. Despite condemnations from Western leaders about the deaths of Syrian protestors, no one believes for one minute that they care at all for the human rights of the Syrian people beyond their own regional interests.