WEB DESK: The Muslim world, much of it soaked in blood, welcomed the new Islamic year on Monday, which calls for some introspection.
Hundreds of thousands are dead, countless others maimed, and millions displaced from their homes in wars imposed by the very Western countries now blaming the backlash they face in the form of extremist violence on the Muslim faith rather than radicalisation caused by their own misadventures in the Muslim world from Afghanistan (with devastating spillover effect on Pakistan), to Iraq, Syria – the lands known as the cradle of civilisation – and Libya. It needs to be remembered that the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri emerged from the US’ first (proxy) war in Afghanistan to form al Qaeda and commit the 9/11 atrocity as well other acts of terrorism in different countries. The Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, was also a veteran of the same war.
The self-styled Khalifa Abu Bakr Baghdadi rose from the ruins of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq to take advantage of the lawlessness in that country as well as the Western-backed civil war in Syria to establish the Islamic State that everyone now wants to destroy.
This first month of the Islamic calendar is supposed to be an occasion for solemn commemoration of Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) migration from Makkah to Madinah, leading to the establishment of the earliest Muslim state under the ‘Misaq-e-Madinah’ (charter or constitution of Madinah) with a universal message of brotherhood. Unfortunately, the present-day rulers have demonstrated that the ‘Muslim Ummah’, connoting the notion of brotherhood, is a mere myth.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has proved to be nothing more than a talking shop. It has yet to come out with a meaningful censure of the Indian government for its bloody repression in Kashmir or to help the Palestinian people in the struggle against Israeli occupation of their lands. Sadly, when it comes to self-interest the governments in the Middle East have no qualms about exploiting a centuries-old schism to declare one another lesser Muslims, if not outside the pale of Islam.
Some of them are fully embroiled in the Syrian civil war on the side of Western interventionists for over five years because the country’s government is a close ally of another ambitious power – from a different strained in the faith – vying for regional influence. For the same reason, the people of the poorest Arab country, Yemen, are dying in ceaseless factional fighting and bombings by fellow Muslims.
For several years, Pakistan has been a battlefield of that region’s proxy war, experiencing worst sectarian violence. It has become a sad routine for the provincial governments to go on high alert at the start of the Islamic New Year to deal with sectarian terrorists.
Once again, special security arrangements are being made to ensure Muharram observances pass peacefully. Regrettably, Muslim rulers’ pursuit of ascendancy takes precedence over peace and progress of the faith’s adherents, providing opportunities to Western countries to play their own games, commit aggression and point the finger at the aggressed.
Source: Business Recorder