"If he holds the upper hand, he goes about the earth creating mischief and laying to waste crops and human life. God does not love mischief. When he is told to have fear of God, he is seized by pride which drives him to wrongdoing. Hell shall suffice for him--what a wretched resting place!" (Quran, 2:205-206)
Killing of innocent people is an act of injustice whether it is done on American soil or elsewhere, whether the victims are American people or the people of other countries. Using suitable language to cover up carnage does not make it humane or legitimate; it becomes only a deception and another act of cruelty against humanity.
To help the Middle Eastern countries democratize is a good objective. After all, dictatorship, absolute monarchy, sheikhdom, authoritarianism and military rule that characterize the 'Muslim' Middle East and the greater part of the Muslim world, deny many of the fundamental and legitimate rights of the people. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the existence of these regimes is the root cause of many of the evils and injustices (as well as extremism and violence in the region), and the earlier these archaic systems are replaced, the better for everyone. It is also worth mentioning that the regime of Saddam Hussein was among the worst. Such a brutal regime is always a curse for a nation. It is thus no wonder that today no body mourns at the fall of the dictator. However, helping Iraqi people achieve "liberation" from an authoritarian regime should not mean occupying their land and introducing imperialism. Who would support such a strange theory of liberation? Considering the people of Iraq; who are more educated than many others in the region; incapable of understanding this simple fact is indeed ignorant.
Do we not understand that killing of innocent people, including hundreds of children, bombing their homes, destroying the countries infrastructure, polluting their land with depleted uranium and taking over the control of their oil fields is being viewed by the Iraqis and people around the globe as imperial occupation? The world wonders if such an occupation is justified today, then what was wrong with the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979? For many concerned Americans, such an expedition will invite more troubles, jeopardize American interests and goes against the spirit of the founding principals of this country.
So where are we now? We are passing through an uneasy and uncertain time. We are witnessing deception, death and destruction in many parts of the world. In an increasingly interdependent world, people of conscience need to be a voice for justice, and say, enough is enough. It's time to bring madness and insanity to an end. Otherwise, history will not forgive us. There is no denying that remaining silent in the face of injustice is tantamount to taking part in it and that is a grave offence by any standard.
The current world scenario brings many pertinent lessons for the Muslims in particular. They need to look introspectively and put their houses in order. They should not finger point only at "non-Muslim" injustices and then turn blind eyes to the injustices done by the "Muslims" whether they are dictators, kings, generals, politicians or anyone else. Although unrepresentative government, abuse of power and denying people's fundamental rights are clear signs of injustice which have no place in Islam, these are, unfortunately, common in the Muslim majority countries. This is not to suggest that the rest of the world is swimming in the oceans of justice. Indeed, many democratic regimes are also under the grip of few unscrupulous people who are behaving in tyrannical way and unleashing unprecedented havoc on the earth.
The Muslims must remember that if they deviate from the path of truth and justice, they can not be worthy of being protected by Almighty God. Prophet Muhammad has cautioned: "No sin is more swiftly punished than injustice."
Imam Ibn Taymiya, the great teacher of Islam, while explaining prophetic sayings on the issues of justice and injustice, wrote the following: "God upholds the just state even if it is unbelieving, but does not uphold the unjust state even if it is Muslim."  In the Quran, God Almighty has described how He punished many of the nations for indulging in injustice and mischief on earth. The deviations for which the past nations faced devastation, how can the contemporary Muslim Ummah gain exaltation by adopting the same conduct?
What the Muslims need now is to rectify their lives in conformity with God's guidance. They must stop adopting a self-complacent approach of justifying their failures by blaming the wrongdoings of others. Muslims have to be a standard-bearer of truth and justice, as they are commanded in the Quran: "O You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, God is aware of what you do." (Quran 4:135).
History bears this witness that nations that caused injustice to their fellow human beings did not survive for long. It is against God's Sunnah (way). The present trials and tribulations should be taken as a warning from God for the Muslim Ummah to wake up and to follow the course of returning to the path of righteousness. The Quran reminds us: "Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that He (God) may let them taste (the consequences of) some part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (to the right path)." (Quran: 30:41)
How to return? Almighty God has already exhorted: "Therefore summon (mankind), and take the right course, as you have been ordered to; and do not follow their whims, but say: 'I believe in whatever Book God has sent down; and I am commanded to be just among you. God is our Lord and your Lord.' "(Quran: 42:15)
 Public Duties in Islam, Trans: Muhtar Holland, Islamic foundation, 1987, p.95
Mahbubur Rahman is the Editor in-Chief of The Message International. He can be reached at [email protected]
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