Call it ‘Arab Spring,’ ‘Revolt against despotism’ or ‘Cry of Democracy,’ the Middle East has become the world’s most dangerous place for human existence, beating even some of the poorest countries of Africa where human survival has other afflictions.
While the Israel-Palestine conflict has remained unresolved for seven decades, recent events in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya have caused serious inroads into the political, economic and social landscape. Looting and arson have become the order of the day and as our Columnist Mahendra Sukhdeo writes in his article, ‘Syrian Crisis takes the world by its throat,’ the West has meddled into the affairs of the Middle East, creating factions and worse, giving rise to Islamic terrorist and extremist groups.
Revival of Caliphates
“Much more tormenting for the West is its declaration that “the legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by the expansion of the Khalifas (Caliphates) authority and arrival of troops to their areas. It is in fact the potentially portent “Restoration of Caliphate” in the Middle East,” he said.
We were privileged to carry the views of Dr Khurshid Ahmad, a world renowned research scholar, educationist and Professor of Economics in our November 2002 Ramadan Special, outlining the meaning and purpose of the ‘Islamic State.’
According to him, the Holy Quran clearly states that the aim and purpose of this State is the establishment, maintenance and development of those virtues which the Creator wishes human life to be enriched by and the prevention and eradication of those evils in human life which He finds abhorrent.
The Islamic state is intended neither solely as an instrument of political administration nor for the fulfillment of the collective will of any particular set of people; rather, Islam places a high ideal before the state for the achievement of which it must use all the means at its disposal.
“Although an Islamic state may be set up anywhere on earth, Islam does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the boundaries of such a state. Islam has laid down universal fundamental rights for humanity which are to be observed and respected in all circumstances. For example, human blood is sacred and may not be spilled without strong justification; it is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded; women’s honour and chastity must be respected; the hungry must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the Islamic community or are from amongst its enemies,” Dr Ahmad said.
Most Muslims throughout the world are peace-loving and law-abiding people and have largely remained silent on the goings on in the Middle East. It is perhaps time for them to reiterate the teachings of Islam and the prescriptions in the Holy Quran, which assert that the Islamic State should not interfere with the personal rights of non-Muslims, who have full freedom of conscience and belief and are at liberty to perform their religious rites and ceremonies in their own way.
It is also time for like-minded people to get together and stop the carnage in the Middle East, which has descended into a state of anarchy.