Hoping for 'Audacity' from 'Audacity of Hope'
20 Dec, 2008
Barack Hussein Obama's election win in America has moved emotions all around the globe. Most, in fact all, of this movement has been positively generated. Mr. Obama has promised change and this change is expected as ‘colossal’ perhaps not in quantity but quality. A violent U-turn will neither be beneficial nor expected from the intellect of Mr. Obama. Many small but absolutely ethical and morally correct adjustments will help to steer the global ship in the right direction. But for them to do that these adjustments must necessarily be logical and free of political baggage or taking in consideration people’s belief systems.
Many of those adjustments have been discussed and can be easily agreed upon around the globe. Climate change, ethical partnerships and global trade based on moral principles are some of the subjects which can be easily agreed upon if America speaks with present moral principles in mind.
Amongst all these tasks, one which requires immediate and world wide attention is the threat of terrorism at nuclear and biological level. To confront and minimize the risk of this threat it will have to be determined as to which quarters it is most likely to come from. In that respect if we weigh up the determination, accessibility and ideological aspirations for any given group, we might safely come to the conclusion that Al-Qaeda and similarly inspired groups around the globe, but especially in Pakistan pose an imminent threat.
Islam is an ideology which binds people together like no other ideology. This statement might seem laughable at first considering the fractious state of the Muslim ummah at present, but when you qualify it with the facts that these fractures are more to do with impracticality, medieval ness, sectarianism and different schools of thought in Islam itself than to the overall notion of the ideology, then this statement falls into perspective. Islamic scriptures are basically pretty simple and anybody who has seriously and objectively studied them will concur that the whole ideology is based on three basic rules.
Islam and its political doctrine derived from the Quran are supreme and must be spread to the ends of the earth even at the cost of extinguishing all other cultures.
All other cultures must adopt Islamic edicts and political system as they are inferior, and in case they do not accept Islam, pay jizyah to live as second class citizens.
Member of Jewish race and anybody who supports them are to be fought eternally until they are extinguished.
The rest of the details in scriptures are basically to entice Muslims to fulfill the above and details punishments, worldly and heavenly, to be meted out to those who disobey the above basic principles.
It would be impractical and would lengthen this writing to unacceptable levels to site examples from the scriptures to support this argument but anybody who doubts has only to read the Islamic scriptures, the Quran, Ahadiths and Siratunnabi as opposed to subjective commentaries on them, to verify the veracity of the above rules.
Now that it can be safely assumed that with this kind of ideology to inspire them the Al-Qaeda like groups are best suited for the next level of terrorism, we have to ask where they might acquire these weapons.
Pakistan is a tormented country of 175 million people. It has been toyed with and broken by corrupt rulers, at times with connivance and help of America and its allies. In the past few decades the American shortsightedness and its penchant for supremacy at the cost of everything else has no doubt played a big role in making the world what it is today. Many learned people have time and again brought the world’s attention to this aspect of American interference in world affairs. But for now coming back to the perceived threat, Pakistan can be considered a suspect of being in a position of delivering these weapons in the hands of Islamic extremist groups. Pakistan is suffering from poor or negligible governance, crumbling economy, a population sharing the same ideology as the extremist, poorly crafted institutions at loggerheads with each other and most importantly, every institution harboring a sizeable number of people whose sympathies strongly reverberate with the Islamic ideologues. This lethal cocktail would sooner or later deliver some sort of WMD in the hands of those with enough determination acquired through religious faith to cause a catastrophic incident. How can we stop them? What can the world or America and specially Barack Hussein Obama do to stop this from happening. America and its people are dynamic. They are great innovators and inventors. They have the ability for self inspection and to reverse and put right many historical injustices. President elect Obama is the living proof of all that.
What can President-elect Obama do in respect of the threat posed by the Islamists once he moves into office?
He must persuade America and its allies to only dispense aid to the developing nations for strengthening democratic institutions.
Every aid Dollar or Euro or Yen must be spent to increase secularism and education in the developing countries such as Pakistan.
He must use his worldwide influence to persuade Saudi Arabia to take steps to make its own society more plural and tolerant and stop funding the spread of Wahabi Islam or any Islam around the globe.
He should use his incredible eloquence and his Muslim heritage to persuade Muslims to read and analyze their religious scriptures. Once that is done the Muslims may realize that it conflicts greatly with present moral Zeitgeist and may want to follow the West in separating the mosque and the state.
He should pay immediate attention to the simmering issue of Kashmir and help bring forth a resolution for peace from both India and Pakistan.
Israel should be persuaded to move to pre 1967 borders in return for absolute and concrete security provided by the rest of the world.
In my view the fulfillment of the above goals would be next leap forward for the humanity and help bring peace and justice to the world and make President Obama into a man of century rather than a man of the year.