The Queen’s diamond jubilee has exposed Muslims and Muslim organisations as being complicit in the collective amnesia around the crimes of the British Empire.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) sent out a press release stating that British Muslims are “deeply grateful” for the Queen’s long interest in her Muslim subjects. It must have been this interest that kept her silent during the two wars waged against the people of two Muslim countries: Iraq and Afghanistan. It must be this interest that maintains the Queen’s silence with regards to the complicity of the British in Israel’s destruction of Palestine, or in the face of rising Islamophobic and Fascist groups such as the EDL.
Shockingly, this gratefulness is not reflected on the ground. From London to Birmingham to Manchester, the majority of Muslims have expressed little or no interest in the Queen’s jubilee. I heard of no Imam thanking the Queen or being “deeply grateful” to the Queen during their Friday sermons. I have seen no street parties in Muslim areas of Birmingham celebrating Her Royal Highness’ 60th year on the throne.
There are a minority of Muslims that are falling over themselves to please the establishment and sign up to a colonial notion of tolerance and integration. Maybe the MCB and these other Muslims have forgotten about the stolen jewels on the Queen’s crown, the British flags that once flew over the lands of their forefathers planted by an occupying British army and how colonialism still lives on in the shape of the occupation of Afghanistan. Maybe they have also forgotten that the last time a diamond jubilee was celebrated by a British monarch, it was an excuse to consolidate British imperialism and the presence in India. Even if the MCB and their friends are blind to history surely they can find it objectionable that a £32 million party is been thrown for someone that lives off tax payers, whilst people across Britain are losing their jobs, facing pay cuts and watching their services disappear. And if they are all blind to this, then surely these Muslims cannot ignore the knighthood of Salman Rushdie, a slap in the face of every Muslim colonial servant that is celebrating this taxpayer funded decadence.
The only major media channel that seems to have shown some sort of context to the Queen’s diamond jubilee is Al Jazeera with a report about members of the West Indian community that first came here that want an apology from the Queen for their treatment.
I spoke to an imam of a Mosque in Birmingham and asked him about his opinion of these Muslim organisations that are celebrating the jubilee. He said simply, “they’ve lost the plot”.
These organisations would be better off, at the very least, demanding that the Queen cut back on her extravagant expenditure, advise her to return her stolen jewels like the Koh-i-noor diamond, for her to apologise for all the blood spilt by the British empire, the rape, the stolen land and resources as well as the decades of subjugation in the name of the crown.
Yet again, these so-called representative Muslim bodies and individuals have shown how out of touch they are with the vast majority of ordinary Muslims on Britain’s streets. These organisations and individuals prefer to kiss the hand that beats them in the hope of finding a seat at the elitist table asking for government handouts and seeking recognition for themselves. These self-serving interests are worth nothing in their eyes without the rubber-stamped approval of Her Majesty.