Crimes Committed by the Europeans
Hojjat al-Islam Hashmi Rafsanjani
Former President of Islamic Republic of Iran
Friday Prayer Sermon 15: (February 15, 1985)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah's peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and upon his descendants, the infallible Imams. The Almighty Allah (SWT) says in His Book:
"O you men! Surely we have created you of a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes so that you may know (deal respectfully with) one another; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the most pious, God fearing. (49: 13)
O Servants of Allah! I recommend you to observe taqwa and fear Allah.
With regard to the discussion on "Social Justice of Islam", I have so far discussed some aspects of justice in dealing with the races. The last topic that we discussed was about the cultural invasion of the white race on all the non-white races which is one of the continuing and usual oppressions committed by the whites. Even in the present century, which they have falsely so called the century of the protection of human rights, they have trampled upon the spiritual rights of human beings all over the world for their own benefit. Allah (SWT) willing, we will conclude this discussion in this khutbah by dividing it into two parts (the invasion on the spiritual and material values by the white race on other races).
In future khutab, we will deal with other aspects of this subject. In regard to cultural invasion, I have explained that the West, which is the centre of the white race, has made all its efforts to deprive other nations and races of doctrinal and intellectual principles, moral (ethical) codes, and scientific and technical developments. I have also explained that this act is diametrically opposite to Islam's global movement. Islam has founded everything on spirituality and wants all the people to possess its values. Islam invites the people towards virtue, taqwa, knowledge, and technology. Allah (SWT) wants the entire humanity to be possessed of spiritual honours.
Racism as Viewed by Western Arrogants
For the last five hundred years, since the time the Westerners became the pioneers of the world's materialistic civilization and established domination over the world, they cherished one principle which still dominates the life of this oppressive race with the same strength and insistence. They believe and indicate: "We are the members of the superior race and all the best should be ours." All the heads of Western colonialistic movements are practically committed to this outlook that I have mentioned. They feel that all the members of other races, and all the people of other parts of the world comprise the inferior race. They deem that the white race or, as they put it, the Aryan race is superior. With this insignificant entitlement, they feel that all the precious and valuable movable items, and all the movable wealth of the world, which must be kept in treasuries, should be gathered in the West. Wherever they find such things, they try to transfer them to the West. This policy has been in effect for the last five hundred years till the present time.
The immovable wealth sources and the critical world centres of wealth should also be-under their control. Wherever there is an important strategic mine, critical waterway, or strategic place in any part of the world, they say that it should be under their sovereignty.
They take away the movable properties with them, and take under their control the immovable properties wherever they are. They absorb the brilliant minds and exceptionally talented people of the world at whatever price they can. They use them at their own scientific centres to achieve their objectives. Regarding the Third World, they are satisfied with the situation that science and technology should be available there to the extent of consuming Western dead stock and the level should remain so as to purchase their third-rate products. Otherwise, there would no longer be a market for the sale of their goods. This is the policy of this oppressive race of the world, which is clearly seen in the spiritual values, from the documents of national honours, and from their seizure of the historical values of ancient nations all over the last 500 years.
Now that the United Nations has for long superficially celebrated the decline of official exploitation and colonization, everyday you hear the news such as deployment of French soldiers in New Caledonia on the Atlantic Ocean because this place has valuable sources of nickel. They are like this. The Americans should be present in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean wherever there is a worthwhile island. And when Grenada shows an inclination for independence, it is occupied by American soldiers. And such is their policy. They deem it their natural right to have sovereignty over the strait of Hormuz, the strait of Gibraltar, the Panama Canal, and areas around the globe which are of vital value insofar as international navigational lines are concerned. Such is the way of thinking of a proud tribe and a self-ignorant race which has hurled the world into this situation.
In this khutbah, I intend to mention some instances of their material and spiritual pillage and then conclude the discussion on this subject. From the day they used the shipping lines and found the way to other continents through the oceans, this policy of pillage has not become outworn for even one day. It has rather been revived more and more and strengthened everyday. I have already stated that the principal policy of the Western global arrogance is to transfer the movable and precious properties, to establish domination over the centres of wealth and spiritual values, and to deprive the nations of spirituality and national honours. This calamity began in that region from the time Christopher Columbus stepped into America and discovered it. In this connection, I am going to briefly mention some facts about America, Middle East, Far East, and the West. I will cite an example for each. These examples are proofs of their dealing with people at that historical juncture.
Crimes Committed by the Europeans against the Native Inhabitants of American Continent
Christopher Columbus embarked on numerous expeditions to America. Each time he took along a group of explorers. In these expeditions, their plan was to plunder the people of that continent. At that time, their objective was to transfer that area's gold, because they had found the region as the "land of gold." Their plans were that wherever they had domination, they imposed a per capita tax in the form of gold on the people. They wanted only gold from the people, and said that all the gold should be transferred to Europe. Christopher Columbus fourteen-year old son, who had gone along on one of these expeditions, has mentioned: "Our expedition group committed so many crimes against the native inhabitants to get possession of their gold that we were ashamed of being Europeans."
They used to take along with them trained dogs and extorted gold from the people by torturing them with the help of dogs. At that time, a Dominican priest had written a book, which is now extant as a document. The book states that to get hold of gold and to keep a control over the people of Cuba and Haiti, they killed three million human beings. Peru is one of the oppressed countries in Latin America, and still the Americans have not left it alone. Regarding this country, I am going to cite an event for you to see as to how was the morale of the plunderers. Of course, now their morale is even worse than then, but only their method of operation has changed.
To seize gold, they thought of arresting one of the influential army commanders and heads of the tribes of Peru. The Spanish conqueror ordered them to arrest and torture one of the materialistic and spiritual leaders of "Inka" tribe named "Pisaru". They told him that he could be freed by giving gold as ransom. They took him to a big room where the conqueror was sitting. He said: "If you free me, I will cover the floor of this room with gold." They said: "No, you should fill this room with gold."
After negotiations, it was decided that the gold of the tribes be collected in that huge commanding room up to the height of a human being, and thus the room be filled with gold. In their own history, the Europeans themselves have written that "Pisaru" got up, stood on his toes, stretched his hands, and they marked the point where his hands reached. It was agreed that they would fill the room with so much gold as to cover up to that marked point. They could not believe that so much gold could be found in Peru. The tribe members of this man went among the people and to various cities and villages, requesting the people for help. The women collected their gold and jewellery. They filled the room with gold as "Pisaru" wanted, so as to rescue their leader. Now there is a story behind this huge amount of gold in the history of the pillage of Europe. If they had made a film on this episode, it would have been sufficient to disgrace them for ever.
At that time, inspectors from the Spanish court calculated the amount, and said it was worth approximately one million three hundred pesetas. Surely, at that time, they wanted to divulge lower figure than actually it was. Later, Madrid University experts calculated the amount and indicated that the amount was much higher than this. The Germans estimated the amount as 70 million German Marks. The British estimated the amount as U.S.$15.5 million. But an international group has calculated the amount on the basis of prices of goods at that time (if we want to indicate the price of gold in terms of money, we cannot do so using its current price. Therefore, the said group calculated the price of gold by determining its equivalent amount of foodstuff at that time.). They said that if they wanted to purchase flour with the gold extorted from this tribe, they could buy 18 million bags of flour, each having 100 kg. This amounts to about 2 million tonnes of flour. Just imagine about this amount of flour in your mind. The entire amount of wheat which our government last year purchased from the farmers from all over the country, and with which we were very satisfied was one million and two hundred thousand tonnes. But they extorted from the people gold worth two million tonnes of flour to free the head of a tribe. This is the type of character a European is, who now presents himself as being civilized, philanthropic, and as the one heralding the human rights and the like. This has been the case which has been witnessed all over Latin America and not only in Peru. This has not happened only one day; it has been recurring over the years and centuries. They had named it the "land of emerald" because it had its rich resources and the like.
About Napoleon's conquest of Egypt, one of the commanders of Napoleon's army stated the following in regard to a city called "Bulaq" which was plundered by Napoleon's soldiers. He said: "We pillaged this city in such a horrible way that we seized for Europe all traces of treasures and sources of Egyptian civilization."
In his memoirs he has written: "Our soldiers were so greedy in pillage that they stole the corpses of Egyptian soldiers, because they had heard that Egyptian soldiers hid jewellery under their clothes so that we might not pillage their jewellery." On the whole, they pursued this policy wherever they felt there were any roots and a background of civilization.
The Crimes Committed by Europe in India
India has been the scene of European crimes in Asia. In the course of several centuries, the French and the British have created the worst scenes of pillage in India. I am going to mention one example for you to realize how greedy they had been to plunder the precious goods of other nations, and what significance this pillage had for their battles. Now the European museums are much richer in terms of the historical documents and ancient valuables of high antique value of other countries than those countries themselves. Even now, the best of our valuables such as manuscripts, antiques, etc., can be found in European museums even though Iran has not been a colony of Britain or France. Principally, their policy has been to plunder the valuable and rich resources of the nations. Wherever they went they took antiquaries along with them. The Jewish antiquaries - who were expert in these matters - along with the invaders, stole and seized the antiques from houses, museums, and palaces. Their usual policy was to levy a per capita gold tax. If the people refused to pay it, they would place the city at the disposal of the soldiers to plunder it.
One of the cities plundered in India, having a solid proof in support of this crime, is "Lucknow", the capital of India's Awadh Province (now Uttar Pradesh). Fortunately, at that time, a "London Times" reporter by the name of "William" was present there who has written two books on the pillage of this city. These books serve as documents, reflecting what has befallen other nations by this race which claims superiority. One of the books states: "When orders of pillage were issued, our soldiers, officers, and non-commissioned officers plundered all the houses of the Maharajahs (princes), the people, the places of worship, the temples, and the government palaces to such an extent that we can say a large amount of British wealth was accumulated from this source afterwards."
It also states: "Most of our officers looted so much wealth that they could buy a beautiful house in Scotland or Ireland, or a boat for recreation purposes, or could provide such a capital for themselves so as to live with comfort till the end of their lives." Elsewhere in his memoirs, this reporter has written that if a soldier took good china clay utensils from a house, but later saw a piece of diamond in the hand of his friend, he would get upset at his bad luck in having found china clay utensils instead of diamond. He would throw the utensils at the floor and break them into pieces."
They repeated the same crimes in Delhi. As a whole, there are such tales of the sale of jewellery, necklaces, and other stolen and plundered goods that one feels pity for the present situation as to how the ugly faces of these people are considered so purified by Westernized people or those inspired by the West, and how the latter deem themselves civilized and humanistic.
The Crimes Committed by Europe in China
When they plundered China, they made it a rule to get ten thousand pounds as blood-money for every British soldier who was killed, and five hundred pounds for every non-European soldier, for example, Indian or African - who was killed. Firstly, see their way of thinking the blood-money for a British soldier is ten thousand pounds, and for a coloured soldier five hundred pounds. Of course, both are unjust but there has been a discrimination even in this. In such a manner, they robbed the people of their wealth. Wherever the people refused to pay them, they engaged in pillage. About their plundering of and setting fire on China's Empire Palace, which is one of the catastrophes in the history of the world of art, the French commander named "Charles Gordon", who was later commissioned to suppress the "Al-Mahdi" uprising in Sudan, has written the following in his diary on the day of the palace's pillage: "Today the most beautiful palace in human history was devastated by our soldiers." This is how he has expressed about the incident in his own words.
As an example, to take out a diamond, turquoise, ruby, or emerald set inside an object, they at times broke into pieces abed, furniture, or a clock. To seize the make-up room of the queen of the Chinese Empire, the Germans and the French engaged in confrontation and debates each claiming that the musical instruments of that palace should be theirs, and so on.
In the course of history, they have left no stone unturned to plunder the centres of world wealth, to deprive the nations of their honours, and to seize the people's historical values, because they felt that spirit of nationalism would be revived, if people would see what had come down to them by inheritance from the ancient times, and know what a precious heritage they have had. As a consequence, the Europeans plundered everything, so that even this amount of spiritual values would not be left within the nations. They did not have mercy even on the cemeteries and the remains of ancient civilizations. Wherever in history they found the location of an ancient city, they made excavations and took whatever they got from the cemeteries. Perhaps you have heard the story of the disgrace of "Andre Malraux", who was a member of General de Gaulle's cabinet in France and a famous writer. The story is that tens of mummified corpses were recovered from his suitcases in Cambodia's "Anqura" city. Of course, this issue was also highlighted in the newspapers.
The Crimes Committed by Europe in Egypt
Today, the relics of Egyptian pyramids can be found more in London museums than in Egypt itself. The Number of mummified corpses taken from Egypt and kept in European museums is greater than what Egypt itself has. For the last four or five hundred years up to the present, the Western global arrogance has always been bent on fording areas rich in wealth, mines, gold, diamonds, national honours, antiques, and relics of ancient civilizations, so as to plunder- them all and take along to Europe. Through this simple calculation and the criteria presented in the course of my discussion, you can realize why Europe is rich, while other countries are poor. All the gold, diamonds, and jewels were the heritage of ancient human civilizations and they collected and stored these in their treasuries. Or else the khans, thugs, counts, countesses, and lords living all around Europe collected them and arranged them in special commodes, using them as backing for their banknotes and their economic operations. This is their situation and on the other hand, that is the situation of other nations whose resources, mines, honours, and moralities have been plundered and whose affliction you now witness.
In the former regime of Iran too, you would have seen, in a village or a region, a big (land) owner or a khan, who had gathered all good things for himself and his relatives in the course of his life. This can be understood when you compare the house of such a person and of his relatives with that of others. If others had a good egg or chicken, they would give it too to this man on the eve of Id (new year feast). If a delicious fruit was found on the farm, it was offered to people such as these. Well, it is obvious that with this policy, such a person is glorified while others are made abject. This trend is now all around the globe similar to the superiority of the white race over other races. In a vast ocean, if there is a small island or in a desert, if there is a towering fort or if there is a green and fertile farm, it belongs to the whites.
The Method Adopted by the Islamic Conquerors
Just compare this policy with that adopted by Islam. Unfortunately, we cannot use as a basis the history of Islam in the Abbasid and Omayyad eras because they were not true Muslims. Still one could compare a little just because they bore the name of Islam. Firstly, you can use as a basis the period of the Holy Prophet (S) and the first four caliphs in the first forty or fifty years after the emergence of Islam. Nowhere in history you would see them enriching Madinah while devastating another part of the world. During the first forty to fifty years of the history of Islam, the financial position of the people of Madinah was always worse than that of the people of areas which they conquered. There is no such policy in Islam as to take away the possessions of others and to use them up for a particular people or region.
Once in these khutab I have mentioned that when they overtook the' 'Hawazin’, after the conquest of Makkah and obtained much wealth, the Prophet distributed all of it among the people of Hawazin and returned to Madinah empty-handed. He told the Ansar to let them return with booty, while they return having the satisfaction of Allah (SWT).
There is no such thing as enriching the centre of the Islamic government at the cost of plundering other nations. They deem this a sin. Even during the Omayyad era when they were only Muslims for the name-sake, you do not see such a pillage for Damascus. You do not see such crimes that the Westerners have committed to enrich Europe, even during the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad; although they were not real Muslims yet, even the name of Islam was itself a barrier against committing such acts. If the peoples and nations enjoy certain blessings, Islam wants them to continue having possession of these for themselves. Islam has condemned pillage, robbery, treachery, oppression, exploitation, and colonialism.
Today with Its Black Record, Europe Claims to Advocate Human Rights vis-a-vis Islam
This is Islam and that is the behaviour of Europe, which now advocates human rights, justice, and civilization vis-a-vis the Islamic movement. They impudently challenge the Islamic Republic and the Islamic movement. They believe that they can deceive and prevent the people from realizing the truth by using empty words and claims, which have been amply proven as lies in the course of history. The summary of my statements in this part of the discussion, is that in our approach towards other nations, we are far removed from the racist European ideology.
We are even diametrically opposite to each other. Islam's social justice concerning materialistic and spiritual issues has been well laid down, and fixed by the Divine creation and Allah's will. The arrogant movement of the white race is a matter whose signs can be seen all over the world. Our viewpoint is that the only way to confront so much oppression, and to free humanity from the centuries-long historical injustice, is to revive Islam and to rejuvenate the spirit of taqwa, virtue, morality, and humanitarian Islamic principles, so that the foundations of people's lives would be strengthened. Then we could correctly approach other nations for the implementation of justice.