Posted Sat, 04/10/2010 – 15:20
By Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
No power but Allah is immortal, omnipotent and omnipresent. It is a universal fact. It was true in the ancient ages when Pharaohs in Egypt and Nimrod in Babylonia challenged the existence of God. It was also true when Alexander of Macedonia conquered Asia Minor to India and in the twentieth century Hitler trampled Europe under his feet. It is true about ambitious, bumptious and ruthless dictators when they repeat the history of aggression and expansionism by genocide and rape mixing human flesh and blood with dust and water, humiliating weaker nations to bring them under their knees in order to force them to toe their line of action with regard to every world problem. Here are a few living examples of such states and the response of Muslims and Muslim states in such conditions.
Israel the cold blooded Crocodile of East, every time since it’s creation especially after the Arab-Israel war of June 5, 1967, invoked terror in the Arab world, but now not only the myth of Israel’s invincibility has been shattered in July-August 2006 war of Lebanon but it has also unfolded many secrets of Sunnat-e-Ilahi (way of Allah). This law of the Almighty Allah is equally applicable to individuals and nations in this world and Al-Quran says Allah does not change the destiny of any nation, unless it tries to change its destiny. God never wishes to leave people at the mercy of tyrants and despots unless they themselves do so.
Israel wants to change the map of the Middle East. The Zionist usurpers of Palestine tried it in the past. America called Israel-Lebanon war a war against deadly enemies—“Islamic fascists”. But, US and Israel ultimately failed to kneel down Lebanon, although Hezbollah in this war was alone. Israel unleashed her army, Navy and Air Force with sophisticated arsenal and technology against a member state of both UNO and OIC, raising powerful sky-high buildings to ground and killing women, children and handicapped people to add more Qana, Sabra and Shatila massacre episodes to the Arab world. Israel was forced to retrieve only when the people of Lebanon irrespective of their caste, creed, and clan withstood the aggression of Israel. They defended their national independence like true patriots, regardless of their internal religious and sectarian divides. The result was very clear “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock the stream always wins—not through strength but by the perseverance”.
Now it is high time for every Muslim state to learn a lesson from the Lebanon-Israel war to adopt a solid line of action for future generations. For Arab states it gives the message of continuous vigilance and fortitude. OIC which has a collective responsibility as a representative body of Muslim states must always be answerable before the Ummah and must not shirk of answering any criticism about its role in the war thrust by Israel on Arabs. Every Muslim government should take stock of its weaknesses and failures and should prefer collective national interests on their separate individual interests. Any idea or plan that compels Muslim countries to stand by the forces of exploitation, expansionism and imperialism must be abandoned and rejected. Any action which upholds our national and territorial independence, safeguards our sovereignty and economic independence and respects our right of self determination, under the UN charter, its relevant resolutions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, must never be compromised by any Muslim government or organization. Any such government which surrenders before any world power and promotes alien economic and political interests has no right to remain in the office.
We must not ignore that the Muslim world is in whirlpool for centuries together and the current crisis and mental defeat of Muslim statesmen the world over is sorrowfully unprecedented. It is unfortunate that independent and sovereign Muslim states, cannot dare to take policy decisions independently in the interest of their people and Ummah. During the last 60 years the Muslim states have failed to fulfill the hopes of Muslims to liberate Palestine and Bait-ul-Muqadas. Similarly the United Nations Resolutions on Kashmir dispute still remain unimplemented. Instead the conditions in the Muslim world look plagued with political anarchy, sectarian infighting, economic bankruptcy and corruption. Almost everywhere the Muslim states are at war with their own people and the people are in turmoil and in confrontation against their governments. In fact, every Muslim state needs a government based upon grass root support. They do want leaders from amongst them—their own social upbringing to develop harmonious relations between state and society, to bridge the gulf between different communities, sects, and haves and have-nots and remove the curtains of separation between the people and their governments. The peoples of the Muslim countries want that leaders should not be imposed upon them but they must be elected by a free and fair franchise in the letter and spirit of democracy as defined by Abraham Lincon, “Government of the people, by the people and for the people”. The current system in the Muslim world protects to a large extent the interests of rulers and foreign powers. The present day governments mostly protect privileged classes and are responsible for conflicts in the Muslim world. The most unfortunate aspect of this situation is the role of clergy and religious groups who have failed to rise above sectarianism and narrow mindedness to save the ship of Islam and Muslims .The present day Muslim governments’ boast of being futurists but would they gain majority support in the free and fair elections of lawmaking bodies? The real future vision means to study and follow the causes of the glorious onset of the first Islamic State of Madina.
Here, I would like to quote from the writings of Ameer Shakeeb Arsalan—a versatile genius—scholar, politician and Mujahid of the early twentieth century, who had traveled widely as an exiled leader in Europe and had attained deep insight into the problems of the Muslim Ummah. Keeping in view his scientific approach and wisdom, the editor of Al-Meenar Cairo, Alama Rasheed Raza asked him to illustrate religious and secular causes of Muslim decline, to which he wrote an exhaustive article, which I sum up as under:—
“There are dishonest people and traitors among Muslims, who are obedient to foreigners and disobedient to their nation and do not heed to the call of their nation. Muslims are ignorant and mentally and morally barren and bankrupt. Ignorance, illiteracy, moral degradation, painful cowardice and frustration are the major causes of Muslim world’s decline. In order to move towards progress and prosperity, Muslims should get rid of dishonest people from their society and learn arts, sciences and crafts; like Japanese who were backward until 1886 but were at par with Europe within 50 years. Muslims should shun inferiority complex and be proud of their identity and integrity like English, German and French, whose belief in their culture is very strong and stable. Take the case of Ireland which follows different customs from English; but England despite 700 years of rule over Ireland could not merge Irish people with English. Similarly religion has played a vital part in the progress of Japan, and the aim of Japanese is to reform and learn things and relinquish something if necessary, but keep past also in view. Look to Jews, nobody calls them fanatics, although they are proud of Torah—an old book of thousands of years. Thus Christians remain stick to their Bible and Church, Jews to Torah and Talmud and Japanese to their idol and holy rice. Alas! West influenced Muslims say that unless we shun our beliefs, customs and traditions; eating and wearing and sitting mores and habits and our national history, we cannot march towards prosperity. What is this? Sanity or insanity?”
Likewise Shakeeb Arsalan is against narrow minded and conservative Muslims in his community, because “they too have harmed us.” Such people call “science and scientific knowledge as Kufr”. He writes, “If we talk every time of the next world then this earth will tell us that if you look for hereafter only, then you should go there. Nothing is left for you here.” He says that there are only beggars and idle sects everywhere in the Muslim world”. His earnest desire is to prepare Muslims for every world challenge, to lead the world and finally be able to answer successfully before God in the life hereafter
Nowadays Muslims look scared and apologetic, although Muslim capitalists, rulers, and political and military leaders have accumulated wealth in abundance. But their national wealth in the shape of oil, gas, water, and minerals has passed into the possession of big powers. In this gloom what can be the fate of Muslims and their states, certainly not much hopeful. Muslims fight with each other, within their organizations and against their governments, although waging jihad against foreign powers whose grip and control over our national wealth, resources and politics, economy and culture is very tight.
Almost in every country Muslim groups have taken recourse to armed struggle in a very queer manner having no precedent in the Islamic history. They are fighting desperately with modern sophisticated weapons against the enemy, launching suicide attacks, creating trans-border turmoil and making societies, states, industries, educational institutions etc insecure but still the enemy has an edge over Muslims and the enemy’s ruthless revengeful methods are more effective to disintegrate Muslim states across the world.
The west has dubbed Muslims as terrorists and Muslim religious organizations as terrorist organizations and has brought new laws of terrorism on the statute books. Besides, the US and west have formed coalition of states roping in Muslim countries also, terribly shaking political will of OIC and Arab League by their military strikes and global espionage system in the crescent world, to crush their economy and national ego to make the Islamic society more and more vulnerable to anarchy and patronize so called moderates, and thus encourage western brand of religion and thrust globalization over the underdeveloped world.
Where this situation would lead to, it can be guessed easily. Doubtlessly the Muslim world has been swept by different changes. Muslim states have lost their appeal, ancient heritage, culture, natural resources etc. Great Muslim thinkers and intellectuals who contributed so much to science and arts in the shape of new ideas across the western world are now being forgotten. The Muslim world is being asked to be apologetic towards big military powers—not compatible with the principles of justice, equity and humanity.
After many sacrifices Muslims had achieved independence in the 20th century; South Asia saw the dawn of Pakistan, Europe and America felt the quest for Islam, Turkey which had abolished Khilafat in 1921 and Spain which had banned Islam in 1492 rediscovered Islamic message in a humble way. After 500 years Spain’s new approach to Islam opened the gates of Christian society to Islam.
The tragedies which continue to disturb Muslims are Kashmir and Palestine. Kashmir was annexed by Indian army and Palestine was occupied by Zionists but despite that the right of self-determination was recognized by the United Nations for both Palestine and Kashmir in 1948.To decide their fate by themselves, over a dozen Security Council resolutions were passed to reassure World Body’s firm commitment to the right of self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
But ironically not only the world powers are backing out of their moral and legal commitments, with regard to Kashmir and Palestine, but also the Independence and sovereignty of Muslim states seems in jeopardy. Their fate is in the hands of world trade organization and IMF and the coming generations face risks of economic collapse. Therefore Muslim states can not make their independent political decisions in line with the urges of their people to translate their dreams into reality. Obviously the new world order will not like to grant Independence to Kashmir or Palestine and the Muslim states whether independent or not are asked to live as satellite lands with their wings cut and eyes blind folded. Besides the decision makers want to divide Muslim States to work out their global agenda of bifurcation to gain control over their institutions and underground wealth to accomplish the goal of globalization.
In fact, the powerful imperial world is never interested in the resolution of conflicts according to the wishes and interests of the Muslim world and other underdeveloped regions. It protects its world wide economic interests, and hegemonic designs in the politically and economically weaker states which are rich in gas, oil and water resources.
The imperial world knows that their military, political and economic goals can’t be achieved without air, sea and land control and without terrifying the crescent world’s rulers by the bogey of terrorism, thereby making every ruler dependent on the imperial giant of the modern age. Had the neo-imperial god not paid lip service to the cause of humanity and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which it so loudly advocates, science and scientific knowledge would not have become a tool in a few hands to crush and eliminate weaker nations of the world nor the beautiful world of God would have become a hell for the entire mankind.
The big power interference in the problems of smaller nations has done more harm than good to mankind. Their invading hordes, trade vessels, and their agreements which they directly or indirectly imposed upon the Muslim states, have also brought death and destruction to Muslim countries. Even Independent Muslim states do not have any peaceful nights. When they become defense partners of the west they are tied with such agreements which make their life more miserable and ignoble than ever before. Imagine the plight of Arabs and Arab Palestinians after the Camp David and Oslo accords. Who gained after these agreements? Palestine or Israel? How Yasir Arafat struggled against Israeli perpetrated terror and tyranny as the President of the Palestinian Authority during the last days of his life? Did he breathe his last as the President or as a prisoner? Who is behind the confrontation between Al-Fateh and Hammas?
Again look to Bosnians, who were as good secular as other Europeans, still they were not spared by the Cross Terrorism. Are they happy after the Dayton Agreement? Are they free to shape their life according to their culture and religion? What is the sin of Bosnian Turks and Arabs whose Bosnian nationality has been scrapped and they have been forced to leave Bosnia-Herzegovina. “Bosnia’s Serbs, Croats and Muslims simply do not share a common vision for the country. The Dayton legacy of balancing power at the central, cantonal and local levels is hopelessly dysfunctional,” writes International Herald Tribune. Thus, whatever under the new global order was done to Soviet Union, Central Asian States, Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq, was not the right and just way of conflict resolution.
Pakistan is today more vulnerable than ever before in her history and now the country is facing formidable challenges to its integrity from its northern borders. Afghanistan has become more dangerous for the world peace after its occupation by foreign troops, Iraq is heading towards religious and ethnic divide and Palestine is facing anarchy and infighting. The dark dreadful clouds are now hovering over Iran and the state has been brought under the UN sanctions If the Horn of Africa is added to this, then we can say that the volcanoes of conflicts have become more active across the Muslim world.
The planners of new political projects in the Muslim world are focusing upon new “building codes” to uproot the Muslim world whose leadership has already disillusioned the people by their unaccountable system of governance. Islam and Muslims have been bracketed with “Islamo fascists” and “terrorists” to create the wrong impression that the crescent world is on the fault line. According to the new theory “the inhabitants of these countries live in unnatural boundaries which must be demolished” to draw so-called “natural boundaries”. Therefore a new building code is in the offing for the Muslim world to be completed in the 21st century. But unlike past this theory has inherent risks and potential to engulf these regions with turbulence and bloodshed. The targeted regions will further plunge into different conflicts—war between rulers and people and war between imperial forces and anti imperialists. At the same time it will be a bed of thorns for the designers of the “new world order.”
The designers of western projects lay stress upon many issues in the developing world and select some areas in the name of crisis management. Kashmir is now the focus of their activities. It appears that in this process of crisis management the right to self determination could be the sole causality.
Unfortunately, during the last 58 years beginning from the adoption of the UNCIP Resolutions Kashmir’s right to self determination has been marred by fear and suspicion on the part of both India and Pakistan. Pakistan feared that it would not win the plebiscite conducted under the regime of Sheikh Abdullah and India backed out of her promise under the pretext of Pakistan’s entering into military pacts with the west. No doubt this period was ideal for plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir as the US and West supported the right of self determination for Kashmir in the United Nations.
Now post-Taliban scenario has added to the misfortunes of Kashmiris, and not only post 9/11 tide favors India but India has successfully carried out the campaign of so called religious terrorism against Kashmir movement in the west and has gained support in the Capitol Hill, although Kashmir’s slogan for freedom was fundamentally free from ethnic and religious prejudices and terror tendencies. Again Kashmir’s right to self determination received another jolt by Pakistan’s one way flexibility and a new interpretation to freedom movement. Perhaps this idea has been floated to prevent Taliban and Al-Qaida ideology traveling to Kashmir. It is also feared that Kashmir may become another hard core constituency. But this is a baseless fear, no doubt Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority region but communal tolerance is an essential trait of Kashmiris perception of religion. Therefore, Kashmir cannot be influenced by bigotry and intolerance, nor can be dragged towards alien ideas and philosophies. The basic impediment is India’s attitude towards Kashmir. India cunningly and falsely equates Kashmir’s political movement for freedom with terrorism and contradicts her own pledge of a plebiscite with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. While the fact is that there is no comparison at all between the two.
The right course for India is to grant freedom to Kashmiris and shun old prejudices against Kashmiris. Similarly Pakistan should keep its hand on the pulse of Kashmir. Certainly both India and Pakistan and the west would find Kashmir becoming an abode of peace for the entire South Asia. The two atomic states must trust on Kashmiris and refrain from imposing solutions and dictating terms. Famous Kashmiri historian Kalhana wrote, “Kashmiris cannot be conquered by armies and swords but can be won over by love, regard and respect.” It is sad that the powerful states in this century, gearing up and uniting against the principle of the right of self-determination have forgotten the fact that no nation can survive in the modern world without the right of self determination and coexistence—the cardinal principles of the United Nations, without which peace will be a pipe dream.
(Note: The writer is Convenor All Parties Hurriyat Conference AJK and Chairman J&K People’s Freedom League. email@example.com [Feb 28, 2007]