Foreign Policy

Foreign Embassies in Muslim Lands

New US Embassy in Iraq

The US plans to build a huge embassy in Islamabad that will rival the recently completed US embassy in Baghdad. Historically, such foreign embassies were used by the colonial powers to destroy the Khilafah. Today, they continue this work by wreaking havoc in the affairs of the Ummah. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has commanded us to deal with other states in a specific manner and He has ordered us to admit foreign ambassadors into Muslim lands by giving them diplomatic immunity ONLY in their capacity as an ambassador and for the mission they were sent. The foreign embassies as they currently operate are haram and must be rejected by the Ummah. We must explain the reality of foreign embassies to our fellow Muslims, especially family members living in the Muslim world so that they may be aware of the danger they pose to our lands.

Last week, the media reported that the United States is planning to build a massive embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. According to the Miami Herald, “the plan calls for the rapid construction of a $111 million new office annex to accommodate 330 workers; $197 million to build 156 permanent and 80 temporary housing units; and a $405 million replacement of the main embassy building.” This project is in addition to the reconstruction of the consular buildings in Lahore and Peshawar. Jonathan Blyth, director of external affairs at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations in Washington, said in his comment about the project, “For the strong commitment the U.S. is making in the country of Pakistan, we need the necessary platform to fulfil our diplomatic mission. The embassy is in need of upgrading and expansion to meet our future mission requirements.” Khurshid Ahmad, a member of Pakistan’s upper house of parliament for Jamaat-e-Islami said, “This is a replay of Baghdad. This [Islamabad embassy] is more [space] than they should need. It’s for the micro and macro management of Pakistan, and using Pakistan for pushing the American agenda in Central Asia.”

Khurshid was referring to the gigantic US embassy in Iraq that opened in January of this year. According to FoxNews, the embassy is 104 acres which is approximately the size of 80 football fields! Like a small city in the United States, it includes a cinema, retail and shopping areas, restaurants, schools, a fire station, power and water treatment plants, telecommunications and wastewater treatment facilities and houses 1,000 employees in 6 apartment blocks. The International Crisis Group said about the embassy, “The presence of a massive U.S. embassy – by far the largest in the world – co-located in the Green Zone with the Iraqi government is seen by Iraqis as an indication of who actually exercises power in their country.”

The Muslim lands are littered with foreign embassies. While on the surface, these embassies may appear to be simple buildings upon which diplomats are housed, they are more often than not, used as a tool for foreign powers to gain access to the region, gather intelligence, spread secular-Capitalist values and exert political influence. As the role that these embassies play in the Muslim lands today becomes clearer, it is important to remember their involvement in abolishing the Uthmani Khilafah.

Role of Foreign Embassies in Destroying the Khilafah

When Britain and France lost hope in defeating the Islamic State through military force (i.e. the Crusades), they took a different direction and attacked the Islamic Ummah by using Western thoughts to shake her confidence in Islam. To achieve their aims, the Colonial powers turned towards an intellectual struggle. In 1625 they moved their base of operations from Malta to Beirut while also establishing a presence in Istanbul. The English and French embassies worked energetically with American institutions, such as the predecessor to the American University of Beirut (namely the Protestant College) in order to advance their objectives. The English and French embassies in Istanbul, Damascus, Beirut and Cairo worked actively in destroying the Khilafah.

For example, between 1912-1913 the European embassies assisted in creating nationalist parties such as the Decentralization Party in Cairo and the Reform Committee in Beirut. Between 1915-1916, Jamal Pasha, the Commander of the Uthmani Army in Syria seized documents from the French consulate in Damascus, proving that some Arab youth were perpetrating treason against the Khilafah by acting on the guidance of France and on the orders of Britain. The foreign embassies in the Khilafah worked at all levels of society, especially on the political and intellectual mediums to attract the youth, military and government personnel to secular-Capitalist thoughts. This effort had its intended effect – the hearts and minds of some of the Muslims became enchanted with the secular-Capitalist culture, while the general population of the Muslims began to doubt the suitability of Islam in the current age. These efforts were an important factor amongst others that led to the destruction of the Khilafah in 1924.

Foreign Embassies in Muslim Lands Today

While it is clear that in the past foreign embassies have played a pivotal role in shaping the thoughts and ideas of many of the sons and daughters in the Ummah, the present day situation has not changed. For example:

Azerbijan – In April 2005, the leader of the pro-government Motherland Party, Fazail Agamali, expressed his discontent with the US ambassador’s trips to the country’s regions, where he met activists of opposition parties. Faizal said, “This is not in line with the mandate of an ambassador, causes concern and brings about unpleasant talks and rumours.”

Egypt – In May 2006, Egyptian lawmakers accused the US ambassador Francis Ricciardone of interfering in Egypt’s domestic affairs. MP Kemal Ahmed quoted Ricciardone as saying, “The US has interests and pays money to the Egyptian government, which must work to achieve those interests.” The US embassy denied making these comments. However, in March 2005, David Welch, American Ambassador to Egypt announced that $1 million would be granted to Egyptian NGOs that had ideas for democracy-building activities. The grant was a part of the Greater Middle East Partnership Initiative by the US which proposed a more active US involvement in Egypt.

Lebanon – Last month, the Head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary block, MP Mohammad Raad, said that US ambassador Michele Sison was meddling in the formation of the ruling majority election lists.

Kenya – Last month, US ambassador Michael Ranneberger was accused by the Kenyan MPs of “behaving like a governor” by mobilizing the youth across the country and bypassing the MPs.

The Hukm Sharai on Relations with Other States

With the insurmountable evidence supporting the notions of plotting and interference by foreign embassies and ambassadors in Muslim lands, one may ask what the hukm sharai is regarding relationships between the Islamic state and with other countries. The Islamic State’s relations with other states are built upon four considerations:

1. States in the current Islamic world are considered to belong to one state and therefore every effort should be expended to unify all these countries into one state.

2. States that have economic, commercial, friendly or cultural treaties with the Khilafah are to be treated according to the terms of the treaties.

3. States with which we do not have treaties, imperialist states and those states that have designs against the Khilafah are considered to be potentially belligerent states. All precautions must be taken towards them and it would be wrong to establish diplomatic relations with them.

4. With states that are actually belligerent states, a state of war must be taken as the basis for all dispositions with them. They must be dealt with as if a real war existed – with or without an actual armistice – between the Muslims and all their subjects are prevented from entering the State.

With respect to foreign ambassadors in Muslim lands, they are excluded from the rules of Islam being implemented upon them as they would be given diplomatic immunity in their role as an ambassador and for the mission that they were sent. This Islamic opinion is based on the actions of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم which is narrated by Abu Wa’il who said:

“This one [Ibnul Nawwaha] and Ibnu Uthal had once come to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم as envoys of Musaylima the liar and the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said to them: ‘Do you bear witness that I am the Messenger of Allah?’ They said: ‘We bear witness that Musaylima is the Messenger of Allah.’ Upon this the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم: ‘If I were to kill an envoy I would strike your necks.’ Since then, a tradition has been established stipulating that the envoy does not get killed.” [Ahmad]

This Hadith indicates that it is forbidden to kill the envoys that are dispatched from non-Muslim countries or subject them to any punishment related to their role as envoys. However, this is exclusively applicable upon those who have the capacity of an envoy, such as the ambassador. As for those upon whom the capacity of an envoy does not apply, (i.e. Consul, Commercial Attaché, etc) they would not have immunity because they do not have the capacity of an envoy. Furthermore, if the foreign ambassadors were to commit actions that go beyond the role of an ambassador such as murdering, stealing, propagating kufr concepts or trying to divide the Ummah, then they would be held accountable and a punishment determined by a judge would be issued upon them.

As for the foreign embassy buildings themselves, they operate today on the premise that the land upon which the buildings exist is a part of their land of origin. In other words, the US embassy in Pakistan for example, will be considered “American soil.” This implies that the laws from which the embassy originate will be implemented in that embassy. In the Muslim lands it is haram (forbidden) to have a set of rules or laws that take precedence to Allah’s سبحانه وتعالى Hukm Sharai based on His revelation:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

“Those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed, then they are the Kafiroon.” [Al-Maaida, 5:47]

As a result, it is haram to allow such foreign embassies to exist in our lands. The very thought of them should provoke our anger and outrage even more than the thought of bars selling alcohol in Muslim lands. When we read in the news about foreign embassies and ambassadors in our lands, we should remind ourselves of the roles they have played in destroying the Khilafah and the initiatives they currently lead to destroy any semblance of Islam in the Muslim lands. If we have family in the Muslim world that is employed by foreign embassies, we must discuss with them the Hukm Sharai. We should also explain the history and the current context of these embassies and ambassadors so that they will see them for what they really are and be aware of the ploys and tactics that are continually used to inflict damage on the Ummah.

May Allah سبحانه وتعالى allow us to see the truth for what it is and the falsehood for what it is.

تِلْكَ آيَاتُ اللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَ اللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ

“These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth. Then in which speech after Allah and His Ayat will they believe?” [Al-Jaathiya, 45:6]