February 27, 2011 | Section: Articles | 302 reads
Political Weather Patterns in the So-Called Middle East
Dr. Firdaus Kamalodeen
There is extreme weather everywhere.
While our hearts go out to the victims of the killer earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, we also feel for those who are braving extreme cold and snow in America and Canada.
There seem to be weather conditions occurring across the world that are not consistent with what people have experienced in recent years. In many instances, changes in weather conditions are taking place which people are not too sure about.
Bursts of extreme cold raise serious questions about the doctrine of Global Warming, placing its advocates in a bit of a fix to explain how Global Warming reconciles with the extreme cold temperatures being experienced in some places.
Even the ever-warm and ever-pleasant Caribbean seems to have its share of a wetter- than-average dry season. Not that the wet weather in the West Indies is anything in comparison with what other places are experiencing.
But the weather and geographical conditions and changes are natural phenomena and as such they are beyond our control. We learn to adapt and respond as a species as it were to these.
Allah has given us tools and technology and understanding to help us cope with the extreme conditions of weather.
But a larger question is: How do we deal with the extreme social, cultural and political weather conditions that seem to be affecting what is called the Middle East.
Regardless of how we respond to them, or cope with them, what must be crystal clear to all is this: The phenomenon of the political abuse, cruelty and exploitation of human beings in neither natural nor normal.
Nor should it ever be acceptable to the broader human world under any name and by any definition.
The degree to which Muslims in particular seem to have become accustomed to political domination and economic subjugation in the so called Middle East in particular is not natural or normal by any consideration.
It is very tough on the minds and hearts of people in other parts of the world to understand or accept what is going on in the so-called Middle East.
For those of us who have been spared this harrowing situation by God, it is difficult to comprehend what it is to physically experience these conditions and to do so in many instances for generations – almost as if these people know of nothing else.
Authoritarianism in all its manifestations is appalling and horrendous. And it is directly opposed to all that Islam teaches.
But it seems to be the common fate of Muslims around the world. And the only thing that seems to vary is the degree to which it prevails throughout the Muslim world.
But no matter how much it may vary in degree, authoritarianism is still the same. And it is despicable and reprehensible.
It runs counter to the very nature as it were of what we are made of as human beings. The human mind and spirit find it difficult to cope with negative comments and criticism far less being told at every step what to do, what to think, and what you can and cannot do.
And being forced to accept whatever is given to you in-spite of the inequity and injustice and oppression that surround you from every direction.
To live a life where you have to stay quiet and conform, or be afraid for your life and that of your relatives and associates, is no life at all, regardless of the form and nature of the threats that are directed at you.
So Allah bless those in the so-called Middle East who are fighting with their lives in a real and direct way for their basic rights and freedoms. Things which we in the West take for granted.
These are rights and freedoms which we in the Western part of the world have become accustomed to and expect.
May Allah strengthen their resolve and give them the courage and strength to continue with this age-old struggle against oppression and may Allah give them fair, decent, law-abiding and just leadership and government that is chosen by the people in a fair and transparent manner.
But you know, while you see all of what is happening in the world, you can’t help but cry. For some people, it at least comes to this. Some others don’t even seem to care.
History is replete with the same issues of oppression and injustice by the ruling elite and their henchmen and the struggle of people to resist and overcome such evil people everywhere.
But it seems that whenever the people overcome the oppression, often it is only the faces that change, as those who themselves struggle to become the leaders and are eventually given leadership by the people, or they take it by force, they then become the oppressors and dictators in their own turn.
This somehow seems to be more true in the so-called Middle East than elsewhere. Muslims somehow seem to be more fertile ground for this kind of abuse of power than many others.
Subhanallah, how human beings seem to remain the same. It was this that Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, came to erase.
In place of the age-old evil of authoritarianism, he established a system in which leadership was approved by the people. It was a leadership that was fair, equitable and efficient and that attended to the needs and requirements of the people.
The leadership he himself practised and that he left behind after his death, pursued the goal of establishing a good society.
Subhanallah, what a man. That is Sayyiddina Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.
But what a tragedy. The very things which he opposed and stood against are now being propagated in his name and as meeting with his approval. And this is being done by Muslims themselves.