International Affairs — 16 April 2012
Response to Cameron’s Speech in Indonesia

Dear Mr Cameron,

Your speech on Thursday 12th April 2012 in Indonesia was arguably one of the most dishonest and hypocritical political speeches I have ever heard.

Your trip to Indonesia may have been meant to be as a salesman on behalf of the British arms industry, but your speech certainly established you as the ‘Del-Boy’ [1] of international diplomacy.

For the product you went to sell to the Muslims of Indonesia – outside of the bombs, guns, military aircraft, surveillance and intercept equipment – was democracy; and you failed to tell the people of Indonesia the whole story on democracy.

You did not tell them that within the past few weeks you have come under fire for your relationship with big business. You forgot to tell them that such is the intimate relationship between business and politics in the UK (or in any capitalist country for that matter) that the former co-treasurer of your party was caught on camera apparently offering access to you and chancellor for donations to your party of up to £250,000. You didn’t remind them of the ‘Cash for Honours’ affair that stained the last government’s time in office – or similar matters afflicting other of your predecessors.

Was it this form of government you wanted to invite them to embrace? Like that in Putin’s Russia or like that in India, which is riddled with corruption? Like that in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Italy or Greece?

Democracy, Mr Cameron, as you well know, is a system where government is of the people, by the people and for the rich people, corporate elites and land owners. It is a system where policy is beholden to these factions because if you did not comply with their requests they would harm your party, your term in office and your future prospects. They would decline to pay you the donations you rely upon to fight elections; they threaten to pull business out of Britain, so damaging your economic strategy; and they may not offer you the lucrative consultancies and directorships like those your predecessors now enjoy. In the words of Mark Twain “Only a government that is rich and safe can afford to be a democracy, for democracy is the most expensive and nefarious kind of government ever heard of on earth.”

Your second act of dishonesty was to leave the impression that the ability to have rich political debate and to secure the rights of minorities was exclusive to democracy.

If I were able to speak to the Indonesian people, I would ask them why they wanted a system like that in Moscow, Delhi, Westminster or Washington – when they could have something far better.  For they have the precious legacy of the Quran & Sunnah (teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)) to guide them: the Quran & Sunnah that allowed elections before you had heard of them in secular Europe.

The Shari’ah of Islam secured the rights of minorities when you persecuted them in secular Europe; it made justice “binding upon all, from the crowned head to the meanest subject; a law interwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned, and most enlightened jurisprudence that perhaps ever existed in the world” in the words of the former parliamentarian Edmund Burke. Not even the Caliph is above the law (unlike a King or Queen in England). It made accounting the ruling executive a duty on people, and not a right to be taken up or left as and when people want to.

If I were able to speak to the Indonesian people, I would say that it is not just that they deserve better than the secular democracy Cameron is encouraging, it is that holding on to Islam in all facets of life is a duty upon as Muslims – and we shouldn’t expect anything except degradation in this world and the next if we neglect that duty.

But perhaps your hypocrisy was greater than your dishonesty. It was when you disparaged those people you felt were enemies to democracy – authoritarian regimes, corrupt elites, tribalists and extremists.

Do you think people are blind to Britain’s support for authoritarian regimes? Only a year ago, you went on a similar arms selling trip across the Middle East, selling equipment to regimes –like those in Saudi Arabia & Bahrain – who use that equipment to repress their own people.

Do you think people have forgotten your cosy relationship with Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi, and how until only a short time ago you were appeasing Bashar al Assad?

Do you think people didn’t notice the recent trip your government made to visit Islam Karimov, who presides over one of the most repressive and evil regimes in the world?

We have already mentioned the hypocrisy on the corrupt elites with whom you dine and take policy advice, but we haven’t touched the ’tribalists’ you warned of. Would these be those who are responsible for the growing racism and violent intolerance towards minorities in secular democratic Europe? Or like those whom you allied with in the European parliament, accused of being from the far right of politics?

You spoke of extremists who opposed debate, yet it was you who called for the banning of my party, which works to change Islamic societies via a wholly non-violent method, who challenged you to debate. You also failed to tell people that in Britain, in the name of fighting ‘extremism’, you treat Muslim citizens as second-class citizens, locking them up for years, without charge or trial or even showing them the evidence against them.

I am well aware that the reason Britain, the United States, and other capitalist governments sometimes promote what they call freedom and democracy, make deals with dictators and regularly attack Islam, is because a real Islamic government would end the West’s colonial hold on Muslim countries.

The people of Indonesia will not be unaware of the inaccuracies of this speech – which is why increasing numbers from across the region support the inevitable re-establishment of the Caliphate – despite your best efforts to oppose it.

 

Abdul Wahid

 

Dr. Abdul Wahid is a regular contributor to New Civilisation. He is currently the Chairman of the UK-Executive Committee of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain. He has been published in The Times Higher Educational Supplement and on the websites of Foreign Affairs, Open Democracy and Prospect magazine. He can be followed on Twitter @abdulwahidht  or emailed at [email protected]  

 

[1] ‘Del-Boy’ is a fictional British comic character, who is a salesman famous for being untrustworthy.

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