At Hizb-ut-Tahrir America's 2018 Khilafa Conference, Dr. Abdur-Rafay said that the West has "launched a new Crusade – a much deadlier attack, with profound consequences, than just physical wounds," and that "the bloody Crusades to spread Christianity… was now re-energized to infuse secular liberalism upon Muslims." He accused Western governments and the media of linking any act of violence by a Muslim to extremism coming from a violent political ideology of Islam, and said that this narrative is a means of forcing Muslims to condemn violence, to prove their patriotism, and to adopt Western values. Abdur-Rafay said that this assault seeks to produce a "good Muslim" who believes in a secular, "American" Islam. The conference took place on April 29 in Palos Hills, Illinois.
The following are excerpts:
Dr. Abdur-Rafay: "The West realized that they could not defeat the Muslim nation militarily, so they launched a new Crusade – a much deadlier attack, with profound consequences, than just physical wounds. The aim of this new Crusade was to uproot Islam from the souls of the Muslims, to make it irrelevant in life's affairs, to reduce it to tedious rituals. This assault predates 9/11, it predates the war on terror. The battle for Muslim hearts and minds has been a project of the West since the 17th century. This assault on the Muslim mind, this assault on the Muslim mind, my brothers and sisters, is an existential threat to the Islamic nation. The bloody Crusades to spread Christianity, as they claim, and to resist the spread of Islam was now re-energized to infuse secular liberalism upon Muslims.
"The Muslim population was molded. They were molded like Play-Doh to have an inferiority complex, and view the West, and its secular ideas, as being superior to Islam and modern. Muslim scholars and intellectuals influenced by the West – they played a key role in forming the secular narrative on Islam.
"This endeavor to assault the Muslim mind was not solely a European project, not solely a cause of the European powers. Even in the Americas, Muslims brought as slaves from Africa – who, by the way, were well-educated imams and scholars who upheld Islamic values – these slaves that were brought from Africa were either forcefully converted to Christianity or were re-educated to adopt secular values.
"So a narrative has been established by Western governments and the media that is imposed particularly on the Muslims living in the West and globally. This narrative seeks to link any act of violence by a Muslim as being violent extremism coming from a violent political ideology of Islam. Then the Muslims are forced to condemn. They're forced to assimilate, to prove their patriotism, to adopt Western values. You have to like it, and you have to love it as well. Not just you're okay with them, you have to love these values. You need to reform Islam and redefine it so that it is palatable to secular liberalism. The forced conversion of Muslims in colonial America has now become the coerced conversion by secular narratives on Islam. Islamic terminologies like jihad, enjoining the good, forbidding the reprehensible, shari'a, etc. – they're all being redefined to fit the secular order. Hijab, women's rights, gender roles, laws on inheritance are all under attack. Moreover, we're being coerced, we're being coerced into accepting liberal values, into accepting feminism, and undermining Islamic injunctions on homosexuality and marriage itself. In the post-9/11 era, the battle for Muslim hearts and minds seeks to produce a good Muslim – a good Muslim who believes in a secular Islam and an American Islam."