WESTERN ONSLAUGHT AND MUSLIM SITUATION
The world today is in a state of great turmoil. The age-old notions of general adherence to international law, sovereign equality of states, structure of security provided by the U.N.O. and enjoyment of democratic rights by citizens are all being overturned and a new concept of survival of the fittest is gaining ground in international as well as intranational spheres. ”The conduct of war has erased distinction between the combatants and non combatants. The world appears to have reverted to the old plan of “They shall take who have the power/And they shall keep who can. “International negotiations are back to arms twisting style of Munich Pact days and diplomacy, which always ‘was another way of conducting a war’ has become simply gun-boat diplomacy. The unipolar world depends on the munificence of a Jingoist superpower. “We do not want to fight, but by Jingo, if we do/We have got the men, we have got the ships, we have got “the money too.
Nobody talks of international law or convention as a reference point in a case where a weak country is subjected to an aggression. They only talk of compromises and ‘equal sacrifice’ by the aggressor and the victim. All covenants, accords, treaties conventions and protocols are simply pieces of paper when it comes to weak countries. All norms of civilized behavior stop at the shores of weak states.
Internationally speaking, in the past, the European countries tried to maintain a modicum of international relations based on customary international law and a perceived sense of justice amongst themselves, but for non-European people, they had only colonial oppression and loot in their plans. Several highly cultured and developed societies in the areas outside Europe were completely destroyed or decimated only because they could not match military power of the colonial masters. The Incas, the Aztecs and the Mayans of South America, the Red Indians of North American plains the tribals of Australia and inhabitants of several islands in the Pacific were treated like the animals of prey and their towns and forts look like ghost cities today. Many of them disappeared without leaving a trace and some are now confined to enclosures like animals in a Zoo in the land which they once ruled so majestically. All this was done not in ancient times but after the Renaissance by an Europe which claimed to carry the “whiteman’s burden’ to civilize the non-white people. Even today, some parts of Africa, Middle East and some far-flung island are witnessing the same brutalities by the ‘cultured’ and ‘advanced’ counties. The sub-Saharan Africa is literally being killed for land.
The Europeans who looted the gold and wealth from the entire world also occupied a large chunk of the planet. While a small minority consisting of the white people have occupied a large area of the world with disproportionate resources, the vast majority in Asia and Africa has been condemned to live in cramped countries with little resource. A small area in Asia, consisting of India, China and neighbouring states has half the world population. The irony is that the white settlers in the newly colonized lands allow only a handful of professionals from these overcrowded old-world countries to enter their possessions for creation of wealth in their land, who are thrown back, after squeezing every drop of their blood, to their impoverished countries. Now, they have the means of ‘outsourcing’ thus employing them even without allowing them to set foot on their land. Even in many independent African countries the former colonial masters have the best land in their possession, and small steps in land reforms set the West ablaze, slapping crippling sanctions on these countries. When the Europeans came to Africa, the Africans had the land and the Europeans the Book. Now Africans have the Book and they have the land.
The last world war was fought for protection of rights and for outlawing wars of aggression, but the more things change the more they remain the same. After the war and the formation of the U.N.O., there was a great claim about universal human rights, protection of people under various protocols and the rule of law. However, these protections are not available to people living in the non-white weak countries. There are laws for lesser mortals but the nationals of the five permanent Security Council members are free from such obligations. Among them also, there is a Primus inter pares who is above every law and rule. This hyper superpower can incarcerate thousands of people without trial. Its citizens and soldiers, unlike those from other countries are not liable for their atrocities abroad in any court except probably their own conscience. No protocol or convention is binding on them. After the disintegration of the soviet Union, the world has very rapidly become unipolar, and this hyper superpower enjoys unbridled authority and sway.
The United Nations, which was forged, “to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war” has become a mute spectator to the illegitimate wars and is fast losing its raison-de-etre. Occupation of entire countries and punishing people for efforts to break their shackles is legalized in the Security Council. The Security Council of the U.N.O. has become an instrument of foreign policy of the U.S.A. and its allies and a fig leaf to cover their unilateral actions. The arms twisting of the other members of the Council by the behemoth is too well-known to be repeated. A Persian poet wrote in great anguish.
Man azan besh na danam ki chand dazde-kafan
Bahre taqseeme qaboor anjumane sakhta and.
(I do not know more than this that a few coffin thieves have formed an association for distribution of graves).
In fact, the U.N.O. does not exist after June 2004, when it forcibly ratified the illegitimate war waged by George Bush on the hapless people of Iraq. George Bush, Chenny and Wolfowitz will go down in history as the men who designed the U.N.O.
The geometry of the unipolar world is such that the hegemon acts as a powerful magnet to the other states which behave like iron filings. How else does one explain the statement of Sri Brajesh Misra our Security Chief in the U.S. that India should be made an ally, along with Israel in fight against “Muslim terrorism” or the little known newly independent countries of the former Soviet bloc sending troops to Iraq which had no trouble or differences with these countries.
The ‘purpose of American power’ is to control resources of other countries, and to shape the world in the interest of American industries. President Eisenhower had warned the Americans in his farewell speech in 1961 against the interference of business and industries in shaping U.S. international policies. However, these days, the princes of industries, especially arms manufacturers and big cartels have started deciding vital issues of war and peace. This was made clear in the 80’s and 90’s in the U.S. when wars were imposed simply to help the armament industries fight recession and unemployment in their country. Nothing could be more disgraceful than the naked fight for spoils in the name of rebuilding Iraq after the Gulf War-II. Many senior members of the Bush Administration are also working for the contractors who secure highly profitably contract without any competition. The way the Americans twisted the arms of the Gulf states to cough up money in the name of fighting Saddam reminds one of the Subsidiary Alliance of the British with princely states in India in early 19th century.
Everyone knows that the Neo-Conservative Think Tanks project the belief that a “big war, if started by America and if America can win it, is good in itself”. Such Think Tanks with the help of Christian Right are in a belligerent mood. With messianic spirit, the Jewish purse a belief in the mission entrusted by God to set things in the world according to the prophesies of the Gospel as perceived by them and in possession of an invincible war machine, they pose an unprecedented threat to the well-being and future of mankind.
Ethics and morality in conduct of international relations was never so subservient to real politic as today. Now, might is right and justice is the interest of the stronger. In history, militarily weak nations were never in such an abject situation, as they are today. Even those regional powers who appear sometime to support them verbally, change position when they find it profitable. For Example, the Russian position vis-à-vis Iraq has been changing according to the carrots dangled by the Americans. The changing economic relations have made matters worse.
In the new international dispensation, the world has been turned into a huge market in the name of globalisation and free market. The mankind had been divided into sellers and buyers. The free-market is only a misnomer and with the help of gun-boat diplomacy, the white people are the sellers and the poor black and brown people inhabiting the old impoverished land are the buyers. Free market, globalisation, free trade in services are apparently innocuous but in fact are most devastating and explosive devices for the fledgling economics of the East. A George Soros can destroy the financial stability of many states by a sleight of hand. Do not think that the days of the infamous Opium Wars are over. Globalisation and free Market economy have thus their winners and losers; winners invariably the white Europeans, the WASP and their lackeys and the losers the poor people from Asia, Africa and South America. The gulf between the rich and the poor is increasing with every passing year in spite of the Western promises to the contrary. No country has so far benefited from following the economic or fiscal advice of the W.T.O. or the World Bank. The weak and poor countries which are forced to follow the World Bank advice with the carrot of aid are doomed to disaster, as experience has shown in the case of African and Latin American countries.
Situation in Gulf countries has turned still worse. The gulf economies, based on single-commodity export for development have turned the oil market from sellers’ market to buyer markets. The organization of Arab oil exporting countries which was never quite powerful in view of the supine attitude of the ruling elite has become ineffective. Their capacity to impose an oil embargo which in the given circumstances, was never a serious and effective option, is now impossible. The ruling elite of these countries could not diversify their export or create other sources of wealth nor could educate their populace in modern saleable technologies during the last fifty years when the going was good. Instead, they squandered their wealth or fancy projects and obsolete armaments. Now, with Iraq coming under the occupation of a consumer state (US) and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait turning into dependent states of the U.S. their capacity to even raise the oil price is subject to the approval by the main consumer. The Arabs could not of course drink their hydro-carbon but could only sell it. However, a desire to control and not let the market forces work in this region led to this total U.S. domination. The U.S. has, in its grip all wheels of industries all over the world since every industry require oil. The ruling elite in the Gulf states has perhaps another, very inelegant vision of serving the interests of their new suzerains in lieu of being left with their comfortable living style and their autocratic ways. It passes our understanding how these Muslim rulers see on their T.V. sets, such brutalities and tyranny in Palestine, the unbelievable suffering of the Muslim men, women and children and keep silent. The Americans allege the presence of ‘Islamic terrorism’ while turning a blind eye to its cause, i.e, the Israeli tyranny and brutalities in Palestine and their unstinted support to it.
The various institutes of so-called research churn out thousands of papers and books every year to justify this bondage of the people and this inequitable system of political and commercial relations. The media is a potent weapon – for mass subjugation and destruction of minds which justifies and makes the people believe in the fairness of this system. The preponderance of this controlled media has also destroyed the notion of a fairly well-informed international community. Now they create and fashion international opinion as it suits their interests. There is no international community outside the Western media. There is no media worth the name in the third world in general and Muslim countries in particular to counter these moves. An do remember how Aljazeera Correspondents were murdered by the Allied forces in Baghdad for their factual reporting while ‘embedded’ journalists, riding the victorious tanks, filed victor’s propaganda. Now people have been made interested only in sports, entertainment and superficial generalization of international events. Film entertainment consists either of erotic and sexy scenes or super natural/unnatural events of magic, science fiction and the like to divert the mind of young from the problems of the present. In the U.S. the people are intentionally kept politically naïve and ignorant of foreign affairs by the media in order to cover up the tyrannical aspects of the foreign policies of their govt. Unfortunately, the U.S. and British media campaigns have destroyed some idealism that could be seen in anti-Vietnam War protest days. Human minds have shrunk faster than the shrinking of the globe and Muslims are no exception.
Muslims of Asia and Africa constitute a sizeable portion of world population. Every fifth persons walking on this planet is a Muslim. Nature has endowed their lands with great wealth and they are spread over a large part of strategic areas of Asia and Africa. In the days of imperialism, all these lands, with the possible exception of Najd & Hejaz, Turkey and Afghanistan were enslaved, giving a free hand to the imperialists to use their natural resources. When colonialism was on the wane, the imperialist colonialists colonized an entire country Palestine with Jewish immigrants to drive out millions of Palestinian Arabs into exile. This was skillfully done to cut asunder, geographically, and literally the Muslim world in the middle and to blackmail and coerce Muslims in order to use their resources freely. The moment they found that there was a threat to their vested interests in these lands, they launched ferocious aggressive campaigns to maintain their vice-like grip on these resources. Two such major operations were Suez War of 1956 and Iraq War of 2003, besides operation in Mossadeq’s Iran in 1949. In spite of the so-called independence of these countries, their natural resources are controlled, skillfully, by the U.S. and the former imperialists who sometimes even issue threats to occupy these resources.
Israel acts as the agent and watchdog of the imperialists in this area and closely coordinates its activities with them especially the British and the Americans. In 1956, it launched its aggression against Egypt alongwith the British and the Freich. In 1967 and 1973 aggressions against the neighbouring arab countries the American army gave full overt and covert support to Israeli forces. The imperialists found that it was not advisable to intervene directly in such conflicts and they thereafter started building Israel militarily to take on all Arab countries together. There is great truth now in Israeli bragging that it can singly take on all Arab and Muslim countries together and beat them to pulp. While Muslims and Arabswasted time in useless pursuits, the Israelis, with help of the West in general and Americans in particular, built a war machine of incredible strength and they have come to a position where they can even ignore the advice of their formermentors. They have access to any technology available to any armed force in the West and more often than not, these military technologies are made available to Israeli forces even before the armed forces of the countries developing these technologies get them. There is truth in the boast of the Israeli general that he could land tanks in Karachi any time he wanted. Now Christendom does not need to fight the Muslims and Arabs on behalf of the Israelis – the Israelis fight the Arabs on behalf of the Christendom especially the americans. The only defense the Muslims have against such an aggression is the international law and the U.N.O., which do not have any value in the eyes of the aggressors. The Muslim and the Arab never had it so bad as it is today. A nuclear Israel, armed also with chemical and biological weapons, long range missiles, protecting itself from batteries of Patriot and other antimissile missiles, with an army of millions of soldiers (since every single adult can be put on front within 24 hours and even in 1948, the Jewish army was twice in number of combined Arab fighers) and an intelligence gathering machine the like of which the world has never seen, has all the Muslim countries by their jugular veins. And for the treatmkent of the occupied, conquired oeople, they do not believe in Geneva conventions but the brutal prescriptions of the Old Testament which they are practising. The Israelis never for a moment forgot their aim of converting their country into an arsenal of legal or illegal weapons. Bengurion mentions in his diary entries for June 1, July 2 andJune 20, 1948 about development of chemical and biological weapons.
As compared to Israeli might and preparedness, the Muslims and the Arab do not have even traditional weaponry of defensive nature. Any attempt to make the Middle East a zone of peace free from Weapons of Mass Destruction is spurned by Israel and her mentors, because it will mean defanging of the Jewish entity in Palestine. Any attempt by the Muslim countries to acquire defensive capacity is checkmated in the U.N.O. and the comity of the Western nations. They want them to remain absolutely defenceless so that they may not resist pressures.
This confrontation between the Christendom and the Moslem homelands is not new and is only the continuation of wars of Crusade. What is new is the perfidious behaviour marked by sweet reasonableness, roping in lackeys from amongst us and the debilitating fragmentation of our society. However, the Armageddon going on in Palestine between the forces of the just and right and the tyrannical forces of the occupiers is not going to end soon. The tyrannical adversary has not been able to develop defence against those who refuse to live as underdog and offer extreme sacrifice to attain martyrdom. There is a conspiracy of deafening silence in the comity of Western nations in the case of Palestinians. Even Muslim and Arab states witness the brutalities but remain silent. This fight between the right and the wrong, will however decide the future course of hisotry in the coming centuries. Needless to say that those who watch this conflict from the sideline will be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Iraq War and its aftermath has shown that all claims about democratic values, legitimacy and freedom are smoke screen to enslave people and deprive them of their strategic assets. The superpowers play mind-boggling games for control. Iraq is a classic example where first the regime was asked and helped militarily to attack Iran, then was encouraged to occupy Kuwait and ultimately was annihilated after giving a bad name for the same course of actions. Saddam was a tyrant, a brutal dictator even when he attacked Iran but all his brutalities were first encouraged and helped by the U.S. President and later covered up then as a matter of policy because Iran threatened the vested interests of the West in the region and had to be taught a lesson for its temerity to challenge the Big Brother (or Big Satan as Khumeini termed). The Arab countries that joined Saddam in his aggression against Iran should have known that they could be the next targets. They at least knew that they were serving the U.S. interests and not of their own people. Saddam himself admitted that he had “bled rivers of blood” at the behest of the U.S. in which the Mosad and the C.I.A. had also played their role. How could he stand for Iraqi pride?
Unfortunately, there is no dearth of lackeys and stooges in the Third World in general and Muslim world in particular, who are eager to serve the neo imperialists in order to gain their goodwill. This goodwill consists mainly of giving a pat on the back or an enigmatic smile.
These imperialists have also created with the help of their media a chasm between the rulers and the ruled in the Muslim world so that there is no concerted resistance to their moves. There is no effort on the part of the ruling elite in these countries to explain their policies to the masses. This gulf between Muslim ruling elite and the Muslim street has only made the rulers more subservient to their Western masters. Iraq has further shown that any promise to bring democracy to the people is a lip service to further divide them and block their march towards freedom and unity, as it does not suit the occupiers. The confrontation with Sistani in Iraq is an example of this double speak by the U.S.
However, weak and ill-organized they are, these Muslim societies are the last bastion of resistance to the cultural, political and economic onslaught of the neo-imperialists, through they appear to be unequal to this task in their present stage of development. The neo-colonialists also are rightly scared of the potential of these impoverished people. This apprehension of potential threat in a distant future has mobilized the neo-imperialists to paint these Muslim societies in the darkest of hue. Resistance to their aggressive inroads are termed as militancy. Resistance to their cultural onslaught is called fundamentalism and possession of any weapon is looked upon as security threat. There is no machinery or will for the redressal of the historic grievances of the Muslims and the aggrieved is painted as the aggressor by the all powerful media of the West. The entire media and the purchased intellectuals are used by the West to denigrate Islam and condemn Muslims as sub-human and barbaric. Even the non-possession of any weapons can be conjured up as imminent danger as it was shown in the case of Iraq where the intelligence dossiers were sexed up to get public support.
The decade old sanctions that killed half a million children, the “shock and awe” type military operations planned by Mad John of Pentagon destroying all civic amenities and indiscriminate killing of people in the name of “collateral damage” in Gulf War II, were thrust on Iraqi people in order to eliminate the non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Now, even the Secretary of State, Colin Powell says that there never were WMDs in Iraq but it does not matter. The media is not stirred even by the suicide of Dr. Kelly in the matter. Everyone from George Bush and Dick Cheny to Rocca, in the U.S. and Tony Blair and Jack Straw in the U.K. claimed the presence of WMDs in Iraq as the reason for going to war. Now they say that non-existence of WMD does not matter so far as justification for war is concerned. Who will trust the words of the U.S. and the U.K. leaders in future? Do these power-drunk behemoths care for trust or truch? One is reminded of what Hitler said on August 22, 1939 before starting the war, no matter whether it is plausible or not The Victor will not be asked afterwards whether he told the truth or not. When starting or waging a war, it is not right that matters but victory” here in Iraq, victory was a foregone conclusion so why should the aggressors bother for truth or justice?
In fact, what the U.S. is doing is not in her won long-term interest. Except for the bigoted and superstitions Christian Right group, nobody can cite any issue on which the Muslims and the Americans should confront each other in this manner. In fact, the economies of the Muslim world and the U.S. are complementary to each other at this stage. It is only the American Jewish groups, afraid of any reasonable settlement in Palestine (which will take away from them the land conquered in 1967 aggression) skillfully pit Muslims and the U.S. against each other. Unfortunately, the present generation of the U.S. politicians, blinded by the blitzkrieg of the Jewish propaganda machine and shackled by their financial institutions do not see beyond a Presidential term and cannot break this bondage of hostility. Needless to say that this policy is bound to prove counter productive in the long run. The Muslim do not want to fight the West and want an amicable settlement of all disputes in accordance with the principles of justice and law. They only want t redressal of their grievance in a civilised manner. However, the West does not appear to be in the mood of addressing the basic issues of justice in Palestine. How can the West, particularly the U.S. believe that the world will have peace without Muslims of Palestine in peace and getting justice. Under the present conditions, I see no hope of peace in the Palestine and the world and the Muslims have to prepare themselves for a long and bloody struggle for justice.
As I have said above, media in the U.S. is in the hands of the Jewish lobby which offers unstinted support to all tyrannies perpetrated by Israel on hapless Muslims of Palestine. No other country in the world has a resembling influence on U.S. policies as the tiny Israel has. This Jewish lobby is so strong that very few people can dare to challenge it. Those who have done so were made to suffer at their hands. In other spheres also, the Jews control political economic and geostrategic agenda of super powers, especially the U.S. Mahathir Mohammad was not off the mark when he said that Jews rule the world by proxy. (one could only dispute the world proxy). Iqbal said long ago.
Firang ki shai rag panjai yahood me hai
(The jugular vein of the West is in the Jewish claws)
Moreover, the use of such unethical methods by a religious group is not its own interest also. Jews shall learn, in not very distant future that they have to pay heavily for employing such diabolical politics. Any religious group, whether Muslim or Jewish, employing such irreligious ways, is doomed to disaster. The future belongs to just and chaste people who persevere for truth justice love and beauty.
There is another front also of this all-out war on the Muslims. A serious effort by the West is underway to detach the Muslims from their cultural moorings and to make them believe that there is no escape from accepting the hegemony of the West and from accepting Western value system. The Italian Prime Minister and a large number of U.S. politicians have openly denigrated Islam as a lower culture and have trumpeted the superiority of their own culture. Gen Boykin of the Pentagon went to the extent of saying that Muslims worship Satan and ‘an idol’ and not real God. Such statements are okay also with Rumsfield, Pat Robertson, Jerry Flawell and others. Those who lost the Christian ways and strayed into Trinity have the guts to question our worship of One and the Only God of Abraham.
In this political and military background, a forceful demand for modernization and Westernisation has been made on Muslims this time on the barrel of guns. The response of some Muslim societies to embrace modernization and reject Westernisation does not satisfy the Western intellectuals. Daniel Pipes wrote (in Path of God page 197-198):
To escape anomy, Muslims have but one choice, for modernization requires Westernisation….. Islam does not offer an alternative way to modernize…..secularism cannot be avoided……..”
“Modern Science and Technology require an absorption of the thought process which accompany them, so too with political institutions. Because content must be emulated no less than form, the predominance of Western civilization must be acknowledged. Only when the Muslims accept the Western model will they be in a position to technicalize and then to develop”. These ideas are being forcefully offered to these societies in a coercive manner, when they are in such debilitated conditions.
The imperialists have even started determining the contents of school syllabi to raise a supine generation of Muslim youth, who accept the Western model without a murmur. They accuse use of producing Jehadis in our schools and madrasas at present. They forget that no people can sit pretty while their brothers are ruthlessly killed in Palestine in such large number and the international community does not even condemn these brutal killings of an occupied people. No amount of change in curriculum will stop yougmen and women from preparing for Jehad and martyrdom. The Jewish brutalities are only to invite apocalyptic revenge from the community of the believers.
The Muslims all over the world are on the defensive and are being humiliated constantly. This feeling of humiliation, be it in Bosnia, Chechenya, Palestine, Afghnistan or Iraq, has bread a deep range – blind rage with a feeling of impotence. They have, in all cases, justice of their cause and injustice of the combined might of dehumanising and deIslamising forces. This blind rage is natural and can easily be understood by any person who looks upon the situation impartially but the self appointed conscience keepers of the West further cite it as a proof of intransigence of the Muslims societies in the last few centuries. Of course, our neglect and carelessness made their work easy.
How was this impotence of the Muslims brought about? The emerging conglomeration of the European powers balkanized the Muslim society in an unbelievable way. Even small villages and towns were turned into ‘Nations’ with the local chiefs with limitless ego becoming ‘kings’ and ‘Emirs’. These small entities could not stand on their feet and did not trust the neighbours with the result that they fell back on former colonial powers for ‘protection and guidance, which simply meant continuation of the same old relationship between them
When ideas of ‘nations’ and ‘nation states’ were being discredited in the West, this old wine was offered to the Muslims with great fanfare. Turks and Arabs were the first to become ‘nations’ instead of being components of the Ummah. The day was, then, not far off when Qatar and Bahrain also become ‘nations’. This was the greatest tragedy that fell on the Ummah after the demise of the Caliphate. The organisation of Islamic Conference belied the early promise and the Arab League is in the pocket of our enemies. So there is no centre for Islamic unity at present..
These new ‘nations’ did not do much in the field of human resource development, for several reasons, some very dishonourable ones. Some of them aflush with petro-dollars, ‘bribed’ their citizens into complacency and ignorance. ‘Take a free taxi, have a free house, get subsistence livelihood in sinecure jobs in firms. There is no need for you to be educated or to work’. An entire generation of idle people, given to an easy way of comfortable living was thus raised which further ensured the continuance of the kingship in these small states. This was a perfect consumer society creating nothing but savouring the consumer items produced in the West which again were imported at ‘Gulf price’, always higher than the prevalent market price.
This sharpened notion of nationhood and ethnicity created another problem. Some of these countries had vast tract of barren and sparsely populated land, which could be utilized. But they will not allow Muslims from other countries to come and settle as they are ‘aliens’. A similar dispute of ‘Mulkis’ and ‘Ghair Mulkis’ played havoc with the state of Hyderabad and sealed its fate. These new arrivals could bring expertise and industries to these countries. A tiny Israel welcomes a Jew from anywhere in the world which has made the country so densely populated that it has become almost a metropolis. Just across its borders, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Syria (not to mention Sudan and the Arab States of the ‘Maghreb’) have extremely sparse population. Days are not far off when the world will once again, say, that ‘a people without land’ should be allowed to populate ‘land without people’. The first stage of this scenario has started with settlement in Palestinian territories and the ‘natural expansion’ of these settlements.
Bewildered and demoralized, many Muslims have been living a spiritless existence, trying mindlessly to imitate their imperialist tormentors, taking their value system as panacea for all their ills. Others take to militancy which again is counter productive. No serious effort appears to have been made to understand the situation around and to find out various options available to the Ummah.
What should Muslims do? The Muslim people as a different entity from the states and as opposed to concept of nationalism, should combine and shed all barriers. The Brotherhood of Muslims all over the world will give a great fillip to the social, political and economic regeneration of the Ummah. The small states should shed inflated egos and forge confederations for foreign affairs, defence and development. The visa should go away and trained manpower in required fields should move from one country to another. This Alliance of Muslim people, working on democratic principles basic to Islamic polity since the Khilafat Rashida, should encourage these democratic principles coupled with our ideals of fraternity, liberty and equality (enshrined in the Koran and the sayings of the Prophet) and should work hard to secure peace for all the Muslims all over the world and to every person living on this planet. As Muslims, it is our duty to establish ‘Adl’ (a just system of polity) on earth and Koranic guarantee of freedom from fear and freedom from hunger.
The resources of the Ummah should be available freely to all members of the Alliance of the Muslim people and states trying to betray the interest of the Ummah shall be washed away in the tidal waves of the revolutionary masses. The Alliance of the Muslim people shall ensure the use of our resources for the improvement of the living standards of all the people living on this planet, and shall bridge the gap between the rich and the poor segments of the people of the world. It will eradicate deprivation, disease and destitution and shall take firm stand against corporate loot in the field of pharmaceuticals and drugs and shall eliminate patent laws in the field of medicines and in treatment of suffering people, delivering health and happiness to the poor and rich alike. It will put emphasis on sustainable growth and careful use of eatrth’s resources mindful of the requirements of the future generation.
A grand scheme to train Muslim youth in fields where the community is weak should be formulated and implemented within the shortest possible period. In short, social cohesion, human resource development in modern sciences and technologies and political coordination and cooperation should be our immediate concern. Without losing any time we shall transform all our schools and madrasas into seats of science learning besides cultural education. The Ulema must realise that if they do not rise to the occasion and continue shunning modern technologies, the millat will never forgive them. It is a state of war and we need warriors to fight Israeli terrorists and not clerics. Modern education, with a sense of belonging to the great Ummah, shall create ‘concerned Muslims’, who are anathema to our enemies,
Democracy and some democratic institutions are necessary for all round development of a community. As I have said above, Islam, near 1400 years ago emphasized rule by consensus / consultations and the prophet himself (PBUH) encouraged freedome of speech and expression. He even encouraged open discussion on his opinions and many times changed his decision on the advice of the companions. There is no place for autocracy in Islam which long ago declared that peoples’ will and not force is the basis of governance. The prophet went to the extent of saying that a state could survive under ‘kufr’ but not with tyranny. But those who expect that the Western powers will usher indemocracy in Muslim lands are sorely mistaken. Autocracy and absolute monarchy suit them and rule of the Muslim masses (who are euphemistically called Muslims or Arab streets) does not suit them.
These are dangerous times and people of the East in general and Muslims in particular have to face this threat to their political independence, social cohesion, economic and religious freedoms and cultural autonomy intelligently and with courage and fortitude. They should get out of the stupor and the inferiority complex and examine how they can retain the basic and best features of their cultural norms and make the same a powerful weapon of defense in these dark days. First, they have to set their own house in order. They should also examine how, from being the teachers of the world, they have become the most uninformed society in the world. They must start with a confidence that ultimate victory will be theirs as their cause is nothing but based on justice and equality and brotherhood of all mankind. They have to prepare themselves, however, for a long period of hard work in facing such challenges from the West. They have to establish centers where scholars discuss, threadbare, the various aspects of Western policies towards Muslims, and examine how to protect our people from the cultural, economic, political and military onslaught. The media in our societies should not only explain our position to the people in the West, but should also inform our people about the nefarious designs of the powers that are enslaving them. Our media should also inform our elite about the feelings of the masses. All this can happen in a free and open society and frank discussion among the scholars. There may be an initial period of intellectual confusion but definite ideas will crystallize soon.
Unfortunately, the tradition of scholarship and farsightedness has considerably weakened in Muslim societies. What is required at the moment is to rekindle the same spirit of scholarship, understanding, generosity, fortitude, determination and chivalry (expressed beautifully in the Arabic world Futuwwa used by Ibn-Al-Arabi). We have to get a clear view of ourselves, our position and role in today’s world, initiate the efforts to understand the policies followed by the various powers in the world today and the impact of these policies on our lives at present and in future. We have seen in the two Gulf War and Iraq’s war on Iran how the West has manipulated matters to debilitate and further make irrelevant the countries of the region. It was primarily due to a faulty understanding of the situation and lack of foresight in the Muslim countries. The academic and scholarly input in policies followed by our states is sadly lacking. A careful study of every new situation requires constant examination and analysis of every factor. Every act or policy by a state has local, regional and international reverberations. Every action of a polity has social political, economic, cultural and religious effect. Every policy and every action has to be scrutinized from all angles to understand all its nuances in order to protect our people from its ill-effects in the given circumstances. The purpose is to identify and delineate the vital interests of the Muslim societies and other oppressed communities world over to study the effect of policies of the states on both sides of the divide and to protect them.
For nearly eight hundred years, India has been a part of the international Moslem polity. India’s relations with the Muslim countries go into antiquity. The trade, political and cultural linkages have also been there since time-immemorial. Independent India has generally been supportive of vital interests of the Muslims in international arena. With the resurgent intellectualism in India it could play an important role in addressing the long term questions of war and peace in the region.
The Muslims in Indian sub-continent, nearly 40% of the entire world Muslim population and 8% of the world’s total population are uniquely suited for this job in view of their early encounters with the imperialists, their history of sustained struggle, their tradition of scholarship and their long access to modern science and technologies, particularly Information Technology. The Muslims of the sub-continent should make an effort to establish a really broad-based Institute of Ummah Defence Studies with the help of all freedom-loving people of other cultural ethos, especially those who feel for the poor and the down-trodden. In fact, the vital interests of the Muslims and other oppressed sections are one and the same. It is only the media of the oppressor that put them against each other. The main functions of this institute in the light of discussions above should be what follow.
The institute in varous countries should investigate and document case studies of economic, social, cultural and political changesa and take up research work on various infrastructure for such changes in societies, so that social justice and establishment of an egalitarian society as envisioned by Islam are realized. The various institutes should cooperate and coordinate their activities for greater effectiveness and economy.
Believing that religious understanding and communal peace are sine-qua-non for the progress of the people everywhere the Institue should study and analyse the policies of the Governments and other groups which have a bearing on this aspect of peoples’ life. It should promote such policies which are in consonance with truth, peace, requirements of polyglot multi-cultural societies and upholding of the universal and Islamic declarations of basic human rights. In future almost every society is going to be a multi-cultural society and we have to refocus our social values in consonance with this reality.
It should conduct research on international relations, media coverage, Resistance movements and machinery for redressal of grievances of the people.
It should take research work in various strategies adopted by friends and foes alike to find out their results on the people.
It should suggest alternative strategies for development in different societies in order to suit the genius of the people.
It should monitor and analyse the role of the media in war and peace and help the fledgling media in Muslim countries. It should also disseminate its research findings and news. These institutes should have a media wing for better communication.
Such institute should organize local, national and international seminars, workships and experts group meetings on topics of interest, issues of contention between friendly countries, suggest courses for conflict resolution and conflict management and should disseminate the same. It should establish linkages with other institutions, universities, NGOs and various agencies to keep them better unformed and to make our work broad-based and more effective. We are weak in forging inter-communal and inter-national linkages. In these fields the Muslims must take long strides if they want their voice to be heard.
It is time for the Muslims and the Muslim intellectuals to examine afresh their strategies for survival and honour and put all their efforts together for an honourable future Thomas Paine had proclaimed in 1776 to begin the world again. Let us begin the Muslim world anew. We have a future full of sacrifices and can not expect a life of luxury and comfort. Those who seek luxury at this critical juncture of our history are not from amongst us.