(Editorial, Crescent International, 16-30 October, 1980.)
It is not a war between Iraq and Iran. It is not even an invasion of Iran by Iraq. It is a war against Islam by the enemies of Islam in the tradition set by Abu Jahl in Makkah 1400 years ago.
On this occasion the enemies of Islam are represented by the Ba’athists of Iraq. In support are the US, the Soviet Union, the European powers… But that is not all. Saddam Hussein is also acting for all other regimes in Muslim States. Those who have directly confirmed this are Kings Khalid, Husain and Hasan, and, of course, Anwar Sadat. The rest of the Muslim generals, colonels, presidents and prime ministers are silently in support of the war against the only Islamic State of modern times.
This is because Islamic Iran has fallen out of step with the post-colonial nationalist regimes. The Muslim Ummah today stands politically divided into nation States. This map of the Ummah has been drawn up by the colonial powers and handed to nationalist ‘fathers’ and ‘heroes’, whose parties, armies and feudal and industrial bases can only be secure in secular States. The masses who demand Islam can be fed on a diet of peripheral ‘democratic’ Islam. In the meantime these regimes have pursued policies of wholesale westernization in the societies through ‘education’, import of foreign films and television shows, commercialism, consumerism, and political, economic and social subservience to the west.
For them Islam as a political force can only mean one thing the demise of the Muslim nation-State and the abolition of feudalism and capitalism. Islam will also mean the direct participation of the masses in the process of government and the emergence of a new style of leadership. The emergence of a successful Islamic State on the map of the world will ultimately mean the end of the world of imperialism and exploitation as we know it today. An Islamic State — in Iran or anywhere — will transform the world as surely and as totally as the State of Medina transformed the Arabian peninsula fourteen hundred years ago. During the transformation the Islamic State will be repeatedly challenged, as was the Medina of the Prophet, upon whom be peace. The Islamic State will suffer triumphs and reverses, as did the original Islamic movement. The process of the establishment of the Islamic order will be no different today from what it was then.
This war is neither the first nor the last. When the alliance against Islam fails through such front men as Saddam Hussein, new plans for invasion and subversion of the Islamic State will be hatched and launched.
Whose responsibility is the defence of the Islamic State? The only answer is that it is the responsibility of every Muslim wherever he or she may live. Having said that, it is also easy to recognize that the opportunities for the defence of the Islamic State vary. Muslims living within the boundaries of the Islamic State carry the immediate military and other physical burdens. But the duties of those outside the Islamic State are no less.
But, unfortunately, the western media, supported by the secular media in Muslim States, has succeeded in isolating the Muslim masses from the Islamic State. The euphoria created by the Revolution 20 months ago has been successfully dissipated and the traditional Shia-Sunni divide has been restored. New fears on racialist lines have been created and aired. To a point the Islamic State too may have failed to do all it could have done to reach the Muslim masses. Some parts of the Islamic movement have also been lukewarm in their support of the Islamic State.
This puts an enormous burden on those who can see through the game of Muslim rulers and their imperialist patrons.
What can we do? We are not as helpless as it would appear. To start with, a substantial portion of the Ummah lives as minorities in Europe, North America, India, Southern Africa, in the Far East and elsewhere. Mercifully, we are free from the shackles of ‘Muslim’ States. We must mobilise our material and intellectual resources in defence of the Islamic State. We must establish new centres of Islamic excellence as outposts of the Islamic State. The lie can be nailed and we have the capacity to nail it.
(Editorial, Crescent International, October 16-30, 1980. Reprinted in Issues in the Islamic Movement vol 1, 1980-1981 (1400-1401), London: The Open Press, 1982, pp. 71-73.)