Death and destruction seem to be the values our human civilization cherishes in these troubled times. Seemingly, the twins have become the most effective methods in protecting, securing, defending and promoting one's interests. No one seems to care for the human life whose sanctity is the foundation of all religions and civilizations. The senseless killing of Palestinians, the politically motivated suicide bombing, the invasion of countries for the protection of one's economic interests, the humiliation of powerless and helpless people to serve the sexual egos of some people, and the condemnation of others to satisfy one's religious bigotry have now become the hallmark of our civilization that claims to be the most bright and progressive in human history.
During the last 60 years, human beings have committed more treacherous acts against each other than any other period in human history. Millions have perished at the political and economic altars of those few who want to be in control of the world. Morality has changed its face and ethics has become subdued to selfish interests. Above all, religious leaders belonging to different faith traditions and denominations have become prisoners of contaminated history, racial and religious bigotry and sectarian violence. Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, and Temples - sanctuaries for serving God are being taken over to serve the political agenda of those in power or out of power.
Human civilization stands at a crossroad. The choice to move on the path of peace and prosperity is within the grasp of each one of us. But the decision to regress to destruction is also within our reach. We can no longer sit as spectators to the unfolding drama taking place around us. Our voices and silence are contributing factors to the intensity of the situation. There are a few fundamental issues that deserve our priority. We cannot ignore them if we truly are concerned about the future of our civilization.
Foremost is the issue related with the distribution of divinely created resources. The world's wealth is concentrated in the hands of less than one percent of the population who manipulate everything to safeguard their interests. Without a just and equitable distribution of resources most essential to secure the survival and dignity of human beings, we cannot stop violence and chaos that exist in our world.
The nest is the issue of human dignity whose absence from several areas of our world has been a contribution factor to the restlessness that we experience every day. Somehow, the world has been led to believe that God may have created human beings equal, yet not every human being is equal. White Americans, by far, are the best human beings and the rest are inferiors in different degrees depending on their status and resources. Somehow, the world has been led to believe that the life of a White American is more valuable than the life of others because of social and religious factors. Under this logic it is easy to kill anyone who is not part of this race or supported by this race. Without securing the dignity for all human beings on the basis of equality, we cannot advance towards peace.
The last but not the least is the hijacking of religious values by those who are motivated with a desire to serve their history and culture rather than God. The use of Bible to justify illegal occupation of Israel, the referencing of the Quran to justify the killing of innocent civilians and the quoting of Hindu scriptures to deny the so called untouchables their due human rights are indicative of the fact that religion is primarily a tool in the hands of those who sever their arrogant egos and myopic vision of history. Unless, religion is restored to its simplistic role, i.e., guiding each and every human being without any constraints to determine his or her own relations with the divine, the path to a peaceful future will remain dark strewn with insurmountable difficulties.
Some people have tried shorter cuts to resolve the crisis. They have blamed Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Hinduism for the ills of human civilization. Yet the reality is that crisis is universal in nature and no religious community is immune of it. Perhaps the most effective way to challenge the situation is develop a grass roots initiative involving people of all faiths who are willing to tackle the impending issues in an effective manner. There are still many among religious communities who are willing to rise above their sectarian interests to work for the preservation and promotion of human dignity. It is time that such people combine their intellectual resources to defend what is considered the most noble cause in all religions; i.e., human life without which no civilization can progress.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is the Editor of the Minaret magazine which is a monthly publication from Los Angeles, California.
good article? hardly. the author makes a fatal err in connoting the carnage christians and non believers have brought to this planet with muslims and others not involved. why blame "humanity" for ww1, ww2, vietnam, gulf war I and II? were citizens from swaziland involved? were libyans involved? stop blaming everyone for the death and barbarity christians and their cheerleaders have brought to this planet. place the blame squarely where it belongs.
for whatever purpose, dr abdullah finds it convenient to involve everyone, literally 'humanity' within the scope of barbarity neocons love to reek.
and for the sake of argument, lets differentiate what the israelis and palestinians do. no, its not all 'senseless killing'. the israelis kill to preserve their occupation of palestinian land. its reprehensible and inshaalah, they'll be brought to account for it. the palestinians however arent engaged in 'senseless killing'. granted, suicide bombing is wrong, its unislamic and doenst help the palestinians, but they atleast have the moral highgroung. they arent the ones killing for egos at dr abdullah claims, they're fighting to preserve their very lives. slight difference.
assuming the palestinian, the chechen, the kashmiri fight for self determination is the same as the pillaging america routinely does is intellectually defeating, and insulting to muslims. salamu alaykum.