Time to Introspect

Muslims in many parts of the world celebrated Eid on Friday, July 17th. The rest, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and some other countries will most celebrate it on Saturday. Eid marks the culmination of the month long fasting of Ramzan. It is a time of celebration and being thankful. Most Muslims celebrate the festival with their families and extended families and with friends as well. It is a time of happiness and cheerfulness. Given the kind of turmoil that most Muslims find themselves throughout the world, be it Palestine, Kashmir, Burma, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, it is actually a time that Muslims in these countries momentarily try to forget their miseries and try to enjoy the festivities of the day. But seeing the level of destruction that has visited many of these places, it is difficult to even temporarily forget these tragedies by the victims. Millions have been driven out of their homes in Syria, following the civil war that has ravaged the country for some years now. A large number of Palestinians have been living in refugee camps for many decades. Even the situation in Gaza is nothing home to write about. The Rohingya Muslims can’t call their country their own, since they have been brutally persecuted by the Govt and Buddhist terrorist in Burma. Libya has descended into complete chaos following the killing of Col Gaddafi in a NATO led operation in 2011. In Egypt the Military Govt led by Gen Sisi took over the reins of power after illegally deposing the former elected President Mohammed Morsi and killing thousands of his supporters and putting thousands behind bars. All in all, the overall situation in many Muslim majority countries looks very bleak.

Given this volatile and despondent situation in many parts of the Muslim world, it is time for Muslims and Muslim leadership to seriously take stock of the situation and go beyond mere rhetoric of blaming western powers for all their ills. The Middle East started coming apart after the region was illegally divided by the Britishers and the French post the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. Since then, the region has witnessed turmoil and continued repression at the hands of autocratic Govts and monarchies. Given the fluid situation, the people in the region have remained left behind compared to people from other countries and regions. It is also incumbent upon Muslims and their leadership to think about adopting more participatory Governments, where the rulers are held accountable. In despotic regimes, there is no concept of individual and human rights and hence most of these countries fare badly on these counts. Among this doom and gloom, some good news has come from Iran which has finally signed a deal with the US and other western powers, which will in due time allow Iran to come out of stifling economic sanctions, which were unjustifiably put in place by these western powers. The situation in Pakistan also seems to be improving. Though it will be early days to feel really optimistic about the situation in Pakistan, but there is evidence that the present Army operation in FATA is achieving the desired results of dismantling the terrorist network in the region. Most Muslim majority countries need to introspect the reasons for their downfall and then seriously work towards addressing them and come out of this morass. Sooner, the better. 

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