A Five-Point Plan of
Self-Protection against Crime
Your race does not matter. Your religion does not matter. Your gender and age do not matter. Your wealth or poverty does not matter. Your education and social status does not matter. Your politics and party affiliation does not matter. Your looks do not matter. Where you live may matter, but not all that much.
That means regardless of who or what you are, and regardless of what you do and how and where you do it, or for what purpose, the curse of crime is upon us. It hangs over our heads like the proverbial sword of Democles. It may strike you and your loved ones anytime, anywhere and without notice.
Whether it is a deranged mind that causes crime, or it is the maldistribution of wealth, family breakdown, social disorganization, moral turpitude, spiritual bankruptcy, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of political will, or some other undefined set of factors that produce a high crime rate in a society, for you and me, and for anyone else, it simply is no way to live.
Being at the receiving end of crime is not an option for us. Being a victim is not option for us. Becoming a sad statistic in the endless annals of tragedy is not something we must be content with. It is not an option for anyone of us, regardless of who we are or what we do.
In the same way, despair and helplessness are also not options we want to consider. That means sitting around and griping about crime is not something we want to continue doing for the rest of our lives – even though it is a pastime a lot of us pursue with a passion.
The real choice before us, therefore, is to act or not to act. For, inaction atrophies life and action energizes and empowers it.
But the question is how? How do we act and what do we do?
The answer is we must do something – whatever it may be – to protect ourselves; to protect those of us we love; to protect our possessions and property; and to protect our land and society – from the curse of crime.
And, of course, whatever we do, we must do it within the bounds of the law of the land and in keeping with the norms of decency and civilized behavior.
But do what? The answer to that question is open ended. That means your answer is as good as mine.
The fact is most of us have been trained and conditioned – like Pavlov’s dogs – into not being able to think for ourselves and into not being able to come up with solutions to our problems. As a result, most of us almost instinctively look to others to solve our problems for us. All too many of us have developed a morbid addiction to social charity and handouts. Social dependency and inertia have become the signature attitude to life for all too many of us.
So, let us start a collective process of rethinking and analysis and let us see if we can, at the end of the day, emerge with a solution to this most egregious social problem – the curse of crime in our society – that is staring us in the face and enveloping us from every side.
So here it goes!
Question: How to work to avoid becoming a victim of crime and how to escape the fate of being reduced to a sad statistic?
Answer: Let us make a start. But start where, at what point? How about at the beginning? But what is the beginning? Well, for me, and I suspect for a lot of other people in this world, the beginning is God – always God. God Almighty is the beginning. No matter what it is that you want to begin.
The Bible says at the beginning there was God. And the earth was without form, and void. And there was darkness. And God said let there be light and there was light. That was God’s amazing grace and boundless mercy moving to create an environment that will be fit for us frail humans to live.
What a merciful and compassionate God he is – just like the Qur’an says: Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem – most merciful and most compassionate and full of grace and love.
So let us begin in the name of Almighty God, the most merciful and the most beneficent and compassionate. And then let us consider a wide set of options that are open to us.
Here is a set of golden rules for success: Before you do anything, make sure it is entirely in keeping with the law of the land; that it is peaceful; and that as for as possible, it is in keeping with the culture, values and social and moral sensitivities of the communities in which we live.
I offer a multi-tiered or a multi-pronged approach to curbing crime in our societies and communities and reducing the chance of our becoming its victims and statistics. Mine is a five-point plan of self-protection and self-empowerment that consists of God, government, media, neighborhoods and individuals.
The simple fact is we all need God in our life. With him on our side, and with clear lines of communication open between us and him, we have nothing to fear or worry about. But if we are on the wrong side in this equation, there is nothing and no one that can really and truly offer us any help or protection.
In fact, much of the mess we are in today, as individuals and as communities, is because we have individually and collectively turned away from God and turned our back on him. The result is obvious.
Here is how the Qur’an puts it – so succinct, simple, direct and forceful:
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