When will faith and hu­man­ity unite us against ter­ror?

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL - [Sa­mar Fatany is a Chief Broad­caster in the English sec­tion at Jed­dah Broad­cast­ing Sta­tion. Over the past 28 years, she has in­tro­duced many news, cul­tural, and re­li­gious pro­grams and has con­ducted sev­eral in­ter­views with of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tions and prom­i­nent

ASAMAR FATANY CCORDING to the lat­est news from Syria where mil­lions are en­dur­ing yet an­other year of a dev­as­tat­ing civil war, an epi­demic of a flesh-eat­ing dis­ease is spread­ing and treat­ments cur­rently used are not ef­fec­tive.

Doc­tors com­plain that ac­cess to med­i­cal treat­ment for the dis­ease is dif­fi­cult. Med­i­cal ex­perts and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions are strug­gling to con­tain the dis­ease. How­ever, the best treat­ment op­tion is very ex­pen­sive and hu­man rights or­ga­ni­za­tions lack back­ing and fund­ing.

It is heart­break­ing to watch the spread of de­struc­tion and dis­ease and to hear the cries of or­phans and the sobs of moth­ers and their chil­dren dy­ing of dis­ease, hunger and bombs.

When will this ugly war of ter­ror come to an end? Is there no mercy left in the hearts of de­ci­sion mak­ers with self­ish agen­das. Enough blood has been shed. World lead­ers to­day have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ad­dress the con­tro­ver­sial is­sues that con­tinue to fuel this war. The on­go­ing sec­tar­ian con­flict is lethal and sense­less. It is time Mus­lim schol­ars work to­gether to find com­mon ground that can unite Shias and Sun­nis rather than en­gage in con­fronta­tions that di­vide them. The poor and help­less Syr­i­ans have no say in the deci- sions of the war­ring fac­tions who are mo­ti­vated by their self-in­ter­ests and who are will­ing to mur­der the in­no­cent to achieve their goals.

The self­ish agen­das of the su­per­pow­ers are also fu­el­ing the war. When it comes to Arabs and Mus­lims, they ap­ply dou­ble stan­dards and are re­luc­tant to be hon­est bro­kers for peace. They have a his­tory in Pales­tine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Con­se­quently, they are re­spon­si­ble for the death of mil­lions of in­no­cent women and chil­dren and their war machines de­stroy homes and force thou­sands to live as refugees be­ing hu­mil­i­ated and de­prived of dig­nity and ba­sic hu­man rights. Yet West­ern ex­trem­ists la­bel all Mus­lims as ter­ror­ists and view them as en­e­mies and not vic­tims of in­jus­tices.

Ac­cord­ing to a UN re­port: “The US re­tained its long-held po­si­tion as both the top ex­porter and im­porter of arms. It sold a record $1.1 bil­lion-worth of small arms in 2013, fol­lowed, in terms of ex­ports, by Italy ($644m) and Ger­many ($557m)”… .“In Syria, a civil war is be­ing fu­eled by the trans­fer – from out­side the coun­try – of Kalash­nikovs, bombs and mis­siles to bel­liger­ents, de­spite known and sys­temic vi­o­la­tions of hu­man­i­tar­ian law on both sides.”

We all are neigh­bors in the same global com­mu­nity, and we all have to start act­ing like neigh­bors in­stead of en­e­mies. Ir­re­spec­tive of our re­li­gious back­grounds we are all part of the hu­man race. It is time our lead­ers find the proper so­lu­tions to con­flicts and strive to end the de­struc­tion and ruin.

Re­li­gious lead­ers, Mus­lims, Chris­tians and Jews, Hin­dus and Bud­dhists can also strive to cre­ate an at­mos­phere of tol­er­ance that pro­motes proper so­lu­tions in­stead of mean­ing­less slaugh­ter that is in­hu­man and detri­men­tal to peace. They should unite to pro­tect hu­man­ity and ad­here to the val­ues of jus­tice, re­spect for hu­man life, de­cency and tol­er­ance. The role of politi­cians and civic lead­ers is crit­i­cal to con­front those who fan the flames of in­tol­er­ance with sen­sa­tion­al­ism or pro­pa­ganda for some petty gain.

Give peace a chance: The over­all ma­jor­ity of the global com­mu­nity be­lieve that there is no in­her­ent in­com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween mem­bers of the hu­man race and that prob­lems arise from in­tol­er­ant mi­nori­ties on all sides. Our own schol­ars need to speak louder than the ex­trem­ists who have hi­jacked Is­lam and have con­fused Mus­lims who now need di­rec­tion back to the faith’s true path.

Let us hope that the spirit of Ra­madan can in­spire Mus­lim lead­ers to give peace a chance

There are many con­tro­ver­sial is­sues that need to be ad­dressed in or­der to give di­rec­tion to Mus­lim youth and to cre­ate a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of Is­lam. Per­haps the most im­por­tant thing that needs to be stressed is the tol­er­ance pro­moted in the ba­sic tenets of Is­lam. Is­lamic schol­ars should work to­gether to find com­mon ground that unites them rather than en­gage in con­fronta­tion that is crim­i­nal and de­struc­tive.

Let us hope that the spirit of Ra­madan can in­spire Mus­lim lead­ers to give peace a chance. The peo­ple of Syria need a diplo­matic so­lu­tion. War should never be an op­tion. How­ever, the whole re­gion is threat­ened by wars and ac­cord­ing to the UN re­port: “Mid­dle East coun­tries have nearly dou­bled their im­ports of guns and am­mu­ni­tion within a year, fig­ures on the small-arms trade show, rais­ing ques­tions over how many of the weapons are fu­el­ing con­flicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya.”

Ra­madan is a month of worship and prayer. Mus­lims flock to the mosques for taraweeh prayers (the night prayers per­formed dur­ing Ra­madan) to pray for mercy and for­give­ness. Let us also pray to the Almighty in this holy month to grant our lead­ers the wis­dom to end the war in Syria and to stop the blood­shed in Iraq, Ye­men and else­where.

The Mus­lim na­tion needs all our prayers and imams have a great re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­mote Is­lamic prin­ci­ples of tol­er­ance and moder­a­tion in or­der to end the sec­tar­ian con­flict be­tween Mus­lims and to de­feat the dis­torted ter­ror­ist ide­ol­ogy that con­tin­ues to fuel con­flicts and threat­ens the peace and har­mony in our re­gion . —Cour­tesy: AA.

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