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Are petrodollar-rich Muslims responsible for Muslim-on-Muslim oppression?
Tuesday September 3, 2013 11:38 AM, Kaleem Kawaja,

In the later half of the 20th century the structure of colonists supported by the wealthy elite across most of Asia crumbled like dominoes. Peoples' governments, whether by elections or revolutions, replaced the oligarchs and aristocrats. This happened in the Muslim countries in south Asia and southeast Asia also, but the Arab Muslim countries remained an exception. In the Aarab countries the authoritarian super rich and dictators continued to maintain the rule of their extended families or cronies.

However, in January 2010 the phenomenon called Arab Spring was born in Tunisia and soon it spread through Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, installing elected peoples' governments. But a few months ago this year the wealthy Muslims of the petrodollar states entered into a conspiracy with the Egyptian army to throw out the popularly elected Ikhwan ul Muslimeen government in Egypt with an army government.

This coalition of the Egyptian army and the petrodollar rich Arab Muslims has not only replaced the elected Ikhwan government, it has also indulged in massive across the board brutalizing and massacre of supporters of Ikhwan, in an inhuman display of ferocity that has not been seen in Egypt in several generations. Ikhwan's supporters are mostly the poor and working class Egyptian Muslims. It is reported that a couple of thousand Ikhwan supporters have been killed in unprovoked and wanton shooting by security forces on popular assemblies of unarmed Ikhwan Muslims protesters.

By their own admission these petrodollar rich Muslims have provided $12 billion to the Egyptian army and have pledged to provide many more billions of dollars to the army to uproot and destroy Ikhwan, millions of their supporters, and the political movements of the poor Muslims of Egyt that comprise about half of the country's population. For many decades now in the petrodollar rich Muslim countries absolutely no civic rights or political representation were permitted to the ordinary Muslims.

Now these neo-rich Arab Muslims are extending their iron fist authoritarian rule to Egypt, the most populous Arab-Muslim country by literally buying the Egyptian army's decisionmakers. This phenomenon of wealthy Muslims killing and oppressing poor Muslims' desire for a say in their government by actually killing thousands and imprisoning hundreds of thousands and disbanding the political parties of the poor Muslims, is an unprecedented human rights violation and brutality that reminds one of the dictatorial regimes in Germany and Italy in the 1930s and 1940s.

At the same time some Muslim activists in Southasian countries who have been receiving stipends and largese from the petrodollar Muslims for decades, and who previously tried to gain publicity among poor Muslims in their countries by claiming to speak for them are now totally silent. As the most awful repression and human rights violation of poor Muslims in Egypt rolls through, these activists are looking the other way as if nothing has happened. Indeed they are trying to pass the blame to other countries.

Indeed we are witnessing a very shameful situation for the Muslim ummah at large where rich Muslims are killing and oppressing poor Muslims who hve done absolutely no wrong in order to monopolize power and wealth. A few families in the petrodollar states have tried for decades to buy influence in poor Muslim countries. But now they are refusing to allow basic civic rights to the poorer segments of population who are in very substantial numbers.

If you look at the Muslim-on-Muslim oppressions in other Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, you again see the imprint of the petrodollar rich Muslims inhumanly brutalizing the common and poor Muslims and the minority Muslim sects by the majority sects.

Without doubt this massive oppression of human rights of poor Muslims by the petrodollar rich Muslims may encourage countries where Muslims are already suffering, for instance Israel, to continue to deny basic civic rights to them. At the global level the voices of Muslim human rights activists may be dimmed by this brutal Muslim- on- Muslim oppression for years to come.

Kaleem Kawaja is a Washington based activist. He can be contacted at

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