Published in August 2005 issue of Prospect Magazine
Taseer: Clearly you have a sense of an enemy. What is the face of this enemy? Is it America?
Butt: At the moment, America.
Taseer: Who else is part of it?
Butt: You have an apparent enemy and a hidden enemy.
Taseer: The apparent enemy?
Butt: The American enemy. As far as I’m concerned, you have America spearheading the attack, followed by Britain, France, the EU, the UN, the World Bank, the IMF…
Butt: Thailand, especially after what happened recently. [Attacks on Muslim rebels in the south of the country]
Taseer: What does it take to join the enemy?
Butt: To support them. The Japanese only have 500 troops in Iraq; as a result they’ve declared war on Islam. China from day one has been testing its nuclear missiles in the Xinjiang province; it’s a Muslim province, so China is another enemy of Islam. As far as we’re concerned, until an Islamic government makes treaties with these people, the world, for me, is an enemy. But there will be people who we prioritise, so I won’t start attacking the South American states. I have bigger and more important enemies to deal with, those who are having direct influence in the Muslim world, like America.
Taseer: In your capacity as a teacher and leader, what is your wish for the British Muslim?
Butt: I would say every Muslim needs to be proud of Islam, without feeling inferior, and to read a book by Mohammad Assad, a convert from Germany in the 1930s. As far as I’m concerned, the British are still ruling the subcontinent, and the way they’re doing that is by the inferiority complex. They instil this idea that people have to follow the western design in order for them to progress. It was such a clever ploy by the British. 100 or 200 years ago, their security services were much more intelligent than they are today. My advice to Muslims is start to get out of this inferiority complex, start to realise that Islam is beautiful, don’t be ashamed of it. If someone says jihad, don’t be ashamed; if someone says hijab, don’t be ashamed. What Allah says is good is good, what he says is bad is bad, don’t be ashamed of saying what is good and bad. This is my advice, be proud of being a Muslim, not only be proud, be loud about that. If you watch a really good movie, you’ll go out and tell the whole world: “That movie was just so brilliant, you’ve got to watch that movie, you’ve got to see it.” It’s the same way with Islam. If you believe it is the truth, if you believe it is the most beautiful way of life, if you believe it is the divine word of Allah, don’t keep it to yourself, tell the whole world about it and don’t be ashamed of it. British Muslims, especially, have this platform, because something said in London or Britain can reach the whole world. The Muslims in the middle east don’t have that benefit or the liberty we have. We must take advantage of it.