On the one side, we have the USA, NATO, Turkey, the Arab countries and many western countries – supporting the so-called Sunni world; on the other, we have Iran, Russia, China and some other Far-Eastern countries backing the so called Shi’ite world. On a broader level, we can say its East versus West, with many other smaller battles following different ideologies taking place within the bigger battle, and all of them have made Syria their military playground. With all the proxy countries involved, the Middle-East has become Muddle East, and although we are five years into this bloody civil unrest, the scene seems to be set for a long and disastrous World War III as none of the factions are willing to come to any settlement.
Wars do not just spark off suddenly. They are meticulously planned and then cunningly foisted upon a nation. Unfortunately, those nations are mostly Muslim, and this is the reason why most of the wars being fought today are being fought in Muslim lands and most of the refugees of the world are also Muslim. My purpose is not give you a history lesson today, but to try to make sense of the madness of war and civil unrest which everyone hates, but which has become an inescapable reality in the modern era, particularly after World War II.
Where did it all start?
The root cause of all modern wars is a simple line drawn on a map. Sovereign borders and boundaries, as delineated by the West, are meant to divide us, not protect us and give every race a space that they can call a “stable home” as we have been led to believe. Countries have been created to elevate certain races or ideologies and to grant them prosperity in isolation from their neighboring countries – not to give them a sense of security from foreign invasion as everyone has been led to believe. That fence, wall, trench or post dividing two countries which is supposed to be respected and held as sacred, has been violated the most in history by the same people who built them.
Is this too far-fetched to grasp? Why then is almost 90% of Palestine now part of Israel? Why are foreign countries meddling in the affairs of other countries and why is Kashmir still disputed territory? If countries were supposed to grant a homeland to races, why are the Rohingyas still stateless? Why were the indigenous Red Indians of American and the Aborigines of Australia exterminated, didn’t they also deserve a homeland? If countries were truly sovereign, then why can’t they trade in the currency of their choice or decide to rule themselves according to their own belief system. Why must it be democracy and capitalism? Why must the UN be the Judge of Nations, what happened to the Creator of the Universe, who revealed His law to be followed by all? Has the Almighty God been given the back seat in His own territory?
These man-made superficial borders have been made to keep us in line, and to allow the bullies of the world to subjugate us by means of the most effective policy of “Divide and Rule.” The Almighty fashioned us into nations and tribes to recognize and co-operate with each other, not to be distinct from each other. We are all one happy family called the Human Race and the Creation of God, no borders divide us, no language is a barrier for us, and no race is superior to another. Our society is characterized by faith and compassion, not wealth and arrogance. Today, we stand in dire need of a one-world government based on the rule of God, the Almighty, and not the rule of satan.
All wars start when we have a border to differentiate us. If we are all equal and part of one nation, there will be no two parties to be at war in the first place. Before 1924, the Muslim nation was united in a Caliphate that was then shattered in to 56 countries, all with western puppets as their leaders, and all with dull flags that cannot even wave in the wind. The Caliph would fight wars against a common enemy, and internal strife was contained. One Muslim couldn’t be instigated to fight another Muslim based on power, position, ethnicity or race. All were loyal to one Caliph, and the Caliph was loyal to the Almighty. Because we have abandoned our own unity, Muslim lands have become playgrounds of proxy wars waged by the West.
In their turn, the West learnt from Islam and went on to create a new unity in the form of the UN. They made NATO their military arm, America became 52 United States, Europe formed the European Union and even the beleaguered continent of Africa have the AU. The Muslims, on the other hand, are sadly splitting hairs over petty issues, building tall useless buildings and busy backstabbing each other.
The Refugee Crises
As long as Muslims feel comfortable under western-sponsored puppet leaders or as minorities in non-Muslim countries, we will have wars, and wars produce refugees. As the worldwide figure of refugees passes the 50 million mark, and the Syrian crises surpasses that of World War II, it is becoming manifest that fleeing from one’s country is not becoming a choice anymore. Refugee camps have reached their limit in the world, European countries have now closed their borders, and Arab countries have impossible entrance requirements. However, as hopeless and desperate victims of war are, they still do have a choice. Agreed, the logical reaction of anyone would be to flee for their safety, but the opposite end is not ideal either, unless if you fly out of the country well in time with your kruger coins safely tucked in your sleeves!
After walking for many hundreds of miles, you may or not make it to a refugee camp. Many horror stories normally accompany such a journey like that of the unfortunate baby Aylan Kurdi who was drowned at sea and found dead on a Turkish coast, and the mother who had to choose between her two children as to whom to abandon in the desert. If you do eventually make it in one piece, you may enter another country and find employment there. Those who do find employment after some months, may be subject to xenophobic attacks, crime, discrimination and labour exploitation by their host countries. They may never be integrated, even after 100 years. Those who prefer the squalid conditions found in refugee camps are subject to food rationing, scarcity of resources, curtailment of movement, lack of employment opportunities and extreme boredom. Christian missionaries have been known to offer their help in return of selling one’s Islam in such situations and many women have been forced into prostitution, or sold in the “bride trade” market for a few months, only to return more emotionally torn and abused.
Whichever scenario one takes, it is not dignified. For how long should we Muslims fill containers of foodstuff and send them to Syria, Palestine, Burma and Somalia? We are not mops to clean up the political mess of others. For how long are we going to be kicked from pillar to post? It’s high time that we, as an ummah, address the root cause of our problems – whether in the political, social, spiritual or economic sphere.
To start off, all Muslims should understand that we are a nation of leaders, not followers, and we have a glorious past to prove it. We have the most perfect sources of legislation – the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Study our history, our political and economic system which is way superior to any other, our criminal system which ensures a zero-climate of crime, and then create an atmosphere in which to implement it. Let us have a vision other than just making money and indulging in luxuries.
Secondly, everyone, including women and children, should legally arm themselves, learn survival techniques, and self defense. We must lose our bellies and laziness, and put on some brains and muscles. In addition, we should imbibe an unflinching faith in the Almighty that one can never escape death, whether in a war zone or in an underground bunker. If one does not fear death, you can stand firm before any tyrant or the barrel of any tank. The “cardboard and pleasure loving” Muslim image should be replaced with the determined and courageous knight. Never again should we be driven from our homes. We do not seek refuge from any government, only from the wrath of the Almighty.
Lastly, we should understand that cursing the tyrants of our time and protesting against their actions are futile. Our leaders are a reflection of our own deeds – good or bad. The tyranny of the tyrant can either cause us to flee his whip and seek refuge elsewhere. In this case, we lose the point; or it can cause us to reflect inwardly and examine where we have gone wrong. In this instance, it becomes a blessing. Once we have realized where we have went wrong, the long and painful process must start to remedy it.
I believe that the Almighty is preparing us, through such trials and tribulations, for challenges that are momentous and burdens that are great. The Arab Spring has been long and bloody, and the Muslims have been flung to all corners of the world as refugees, but the sweet fruits of it will become visible some day and divine wisdom behind all this will be recorded by our children.
By Maulana Khalid Dhorat (firstname.lastname@example.org)