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Where is the ‘Ummah’ now?

7 September 2015

5:29 PM

7 September 2015

5:29 PM

I have just returned from a trip abroad to find Britain and Europe in a state of madness. I will not reflect on any connections between these events. But perhaps a reader could enlighten me as to why in recent days Britain and Europe appear to have decided that Syria’s refugees are entirely ‘our’ responsibility. Other than a generalised sense that we are all human beings, Europeans are about as far down the list of those responsible as it is possible to be.

Neither this country nor any of our European allies have made any significant intervention in Syria’s civil war. So why should Hungarians and Slovakians, Austrians and Poles be expected to bear such a significant responsibility for this?

Whenever Britain or America or Israel do have any involvement in any Islamic country we hear a very great deal about the ‘Ummah’. The OIC and the Arab League, for instance, never miss an opportunity to talk about the brotherhood and unity of the Islamic nation and how much any ‘hurt’ or offence to any part of this entity hurts and offends the whole.

Well Iran and Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and almost every other Muslim country in the Middle East have been involving themselves in the Syrian civil war for four years now. Many have sent fully-equipped armies of their own to fight intra-Islamic rivalries in the homeland of the Syrian peoples. And yet it is Europeans who are falling for the idea that because of this, it is our responsibility – not theirs – to pay for the mess they have created.

Well it seems to me that at the very least we should ask these countries ‘Where is your “Ummah” now?’ Sure, Jordan and Lebanon are grudgingly having to cope with plenty of refugees from Syria. But not one of the Gulf States – not one – has a resettlement programme for a single Syrian refugee.

And while the Iranian President lectures the Hungarians and other Europeans on our ‘shortcomings’ in this regard, how many Syrians has Iran let in? How many Syrians has Saudi Arabia given Saudi citizenship to? Neither country being uninvolved in Syria’s descent into madness…

There is much to be mulled over in all of this. But one thing I think we can all take away is that the ‘Ummah’ is a croc. There’s no such thing. It’s just a trick to beat Americans and Brits and Israelis with as and when it suits. That much is clear. But why some Europeans are falling for the idea that it is entirely our responsibility to clear up the Arab world’s self-created mess is still a question I would value readers’ opinions on.

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