The Real Tragedy of the Two Adebos

When the names of the two Woolwich murderers came on TV last May, I thought the newsreader had pulled a goof. Perhaps he read the same name twice but there they were – Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. The Two Adebos whose names will be forever etched in British memory for their heinous crime. Lee Rigby the soldier who died without even having the chance of knowing what was going on. Then came the repercussions. The Islamophobes who were waiting for just such an excuse came out in force and while no lives were lost, the hatred towards Muslims was made very clear.

Today, The Two Adebos were sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. This effectively means that they will be spending the next forty-five years or so in jail. Adebolajo is 29 now and Adebowale is only 22 and yet they have sacrificed almost their entire productive lives for this act. That is the choice they have consciously made and although it is a tragedy, for me a bigger tragedy is still waiting to happen.

The real tragedy is Muslims who have nothing to do with this terrible act are now guilty by association. No, they did not declare support towards the murder. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Most Muslims rightlyexpressed outrage towards the act.  Ethically speaking, they are not at fault  but the association which will incriminate them is the tribal association. The two Adebos are part of the Muslim tribe. What do I mean by this?

In the old days when the Native Americans were proliferant and living freely in the Americas, they had a number of tribes. These tribes had their own types of clothings, even languages and signals. Knowing who belonged to which tribe was crucial especially in times of war because nobody wanted to end up hurting his own kith and kin.

The Muslim tribe operates along these lines. Did the Muslims consciously intend this? Probably not today’s Muslims who simply adopted the tribal elements from their forefathers but who knows how this evolved in the past? In any case, Muslims are very easily identified, like any Native American tribe in the past. Most Muslims are of certain colours, wear certain clothing (hijab and thobe), the males have uncut beards, they have certain names (Arabic ones being the most common), recite the Quran, using certain words as holy words and others. It is not difficult to identify a Muslim in British society indeed.

The two Adebos, like the many Islamofascists before them, have ‘helped’ to pull the Muslim tribe further into disrepute. They committed their heinous act most ironically in the name of Islam. Adebolajo even quoted (misquoted to be precise, please read my post on it here) the Quran on TV, much to my horror on that fateful day last May.

Now, the two Adebos have been locked away. What about their co-tribesmen, the Muslims? Many Muslim friends have said that they do not need to speak out against these kind of acts. I have to disagree – in an ideal world, people would be intelligent and discerning enough to know the difference but we do not live in that ideal world.

I must also say it would not be easy to extricate Muslim tribal signals from the Two Adebos either. Adebolajo for example publically quoted on television the Quran. Muslims recite the Quran day in day out and so can  we really blame anyone for thinking that Muslims are bound by their Holy Book to support terrorist acts?

I believe the Quran is strongly against terrorism and actually defines terrorists as rejectors of peace. It’s first mention of this rejection is within its first 20 verses. Very early in the text. Yet ironically, the people it comdemns quote from it (again I say it is misquote) claiming it commanded them to commit murder in the name of Allah. This ‘soldier of Allah’ moniker has been bandied about in the UK mainstream media that when one thinks of the Two Adebos, the phrase ‘Soldier of Allah’ immediately comes to mind.

We Muslims simply cannot remain silent and apathetic about this. If we wish for the privilege of freedom, we must come to terms with the fact we affect the very same tribal elements as the two Adebos and every other Jihadi. We read the same Quran, uttter the same word for God and most times even look the same! Rather than expect other people who are too busy (and maybe too apathetic themselves) to work out who is whom, let us be proactive.

We should get over all our own sectarianisms and come together and speak of the peaceful teachings of Islam. Publically denounce past scholars who have touted Islamofascism. Islamofascism seeks to install a global caliphate which rules over everyone. It was and has always been a pipe dream. A piece of convenient rhetoric for megalomaniacs to get unthinking Muslims to do their bidding. We need to expose that time and again so people know which is Islam and which is anti-Islam. Let us not wait for these acts to arise. The lesson of the Two Adebos was simply too expensive to be repeated.