Burma Times, 2. Feb.2014 Today, when we look at the Islamic world, we see a constant stirring. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are being stripped of their basic right to exist in Myanmar, our brothers and sisters in Egypt are being oppressed with the military coup, our brothers and sisters in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in East Turkestan, in Syria, in Palestine, in Patani are all suffering. There is strife, conflicts and civil wars all around. One can easily see that persecution against Muslims is spreading significantly. Hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians lose their lives in such conflicts, women are raped and tortured and millions of Muslims are deported from their homes and countries, mutilated, and lose their family members. Innocent children are targeted with bullets, babies slaughtered in cradles, and people trying to flee are permanently disabled when they step on mines planted here and there. People are subjected to unprecedented savagery and tormented severely. In many countries where Muslims are living, women and children are persistently oppressed and tyrannized. Muslim communities lose their independence one by one, and expect people of conscience to help them but they cannot make their voices heard.
Everyone is aware of these Muslims who are being martyred, because almost every day it is possible to encounter images of these outcast and destitute people in newspapers and on television broadcasts. Many see the circumstances of these persons and pity them, but later on, when they change the channel or topic of discussion, or flip the pages of a newspaper, many forget the existence of such people. A majority of them never consider that they need to make efforts for saving these people from that affliction and Muslims are responsible for one another. By thinking wrongly, “While there are rich and powerful countries and leaders in the world, it is not my duty to save those people”, they push that responsibility onto others.
Such people may rather prefer standing back by saying, “We have no problems at home, nothing is wrong in my business, and my children are fine at school”. However, such a mindset could never be compliant with good conscience. It can only be explained as being attached to this world, and only running after worldly interests in this transient and fleeting life. One should never forget that this oppression, of which he keeps silent and does not struggle against, might turn into a giant force and harm him and his loved ones drastically one day; and in the Hereafter he will be asked to give account of that indifference he showed to the sufferings of his Muslim brothers and sisters. He must be aware that not objecting to violence that does not harm him would be a remorseless act, opposite to a believer’s conscience. It is not acceptable for a sincere and true believer to leave Muslims under persecution and watch these atrocities indifferently instead of making efforts for the good pleasure of God. It would be just as cruel as the acts of those perpetrating the persecution to act through a mindset which says, “Why should we have any concerns for that country, let us care about our own”.
Without a shadow of a doubt, we can see that the Islamic geography is impaired because of the unjust practices based on “Islamophobia”. Have a look at the world media and review the headlines in newspapers, televisions and social media; you will see that everyone is searching for the perpetrators. However, it is not be possible to claim that the Islamic countries have no share of responsibility in the current turmoil.
Actually it is now time to realize that complaining, creating excuses, pointing fingers, protesting and calling on others for help would not do any good for the Islamic world: It is now the time for Muslims to realize that they are responsible for all Muslims and that they need to act in unity. Acting in unity is the commandment of God.
” And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves. ” (Surat ash-Shura, 39)
As God commands, all Muslims should be working for the peace and happiness of all their Muslim brothers. Without doubt, they will face various difficulties in this service. In the face of these difficulties, understanding the true values of Islam and acting in compliance with the Qur’an will bring solidarity and alliance among the Muslims, and that will enable them to overcome any hardship together. As the first step, we all need to realize that Islam is a religion of peace, love, solidarity and unity. Every Muslim of conscience should find it his responsibility to strive for saving these Muslims who are suffering and under torment. Almighty God is informing us of this obligation for all Muslims:
“What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of God – for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, ‘Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!’?” (Surat an-Nisa, 75)
A Muslim of good conscience should turn and look at himself and look for the solutions to the problems in the Islamic World. He needs think about these questions sincerely:
· As the “Islamic world”, where did we make a mistake, and what should we do from this point on?
· What can we do now to make our past errors right? What should be our clear and well-defined steps?
· Are there any rightful reasons for the non-Muslim world to be this terrified of Islam? Isn’t it possible to detect a justifiable fear against radicalism in their acts? Doesn’t bigotry – based on certain people’s lack of knowledge or insincerity – play a role in this image?
· Do we possess the understanding of Islam based on love and peace that everyone was pleased with at the time of our Prophet (saas)?
· Since God informed Muslims to be united in the Qur’an, and revealed that if they do not act in this way, they would lose their spiritual strength and be oppressed and defeated, would this not make Muslims liable because they are not in union but instead badly fractious and disorganized?
When we sincerely respond to these questions and take the necessary steps, we will all see that this is only the winter of Islam and that the imminent spring is yet to come.