First, we must define the meaning of ‘The West’. The term, ‘The West’ (Urdu: Maghrib) is used both to pinpoint a location as well as to define a state of mind, an ideology, a philosophy and a way of life (Urdu: Maghribiyat). The former is incidental. The latter is powerful, potentially all pervasive, social engineering, statement of values and a definer of mankind’s actions leading to a new purpose for his life and existence. One is outside you and you live in it. The other is inside you and directs your decisions, desires and actions. It is essential to keep these two definitions in mind when we talk about ‘The West and Islam’. In order to avoid confusion in this article, I am going to call the ideology, ‘Westernism’. Like Islam, ‘Westernism’ is an ideology which is not location specific but is global. As evidence I ask you, what do you call Australia and New Zealand; Western or Eastern? Ask yourself why? So ‘Westernism’ is not only about culture but also about race and racial supremacy.
The secret is the globalization of thought. Technology has facilitated the global spread of this dominant culture and the internalizing of its values where people far removed physically from the West, see themselves in terms that are Western. They appreciate, like, look up to and down on each other on the basis of their adherence to Western values and norms, even though these may be far removed from their own cultures. You can see the effect of this on people’s clothing, the spread of English as the lingua franca of the world, hair styles, foods, drinks (sodas), smileys, emojis, abbreviations (lol, rofl). I can go on but won’t. The same holds for all the symbols of culture. There are still countries where local cultures enforce some level of decorum and bar promiscuity, but all barriers fall in the face of technology. Thanks to the internet, smart phones, Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, and WhatsApp there is no image, no news which can be hidden from the eyes of children if they want to see it. The only guard is the conscience. Nothing else will work. Least of all, force.
Today ‘Westernism’ is the most common, pervasive and widespread ideology in the whole world. ‘Westernism’ is as much a ‘religion’ as is Islam, Christianity or any other traditional religion. It has rules of engagement, conditions of entry and exit, reward and punishment, high priests, temples and evangelists. The fact that these titles are not used to name them is a part of the ideology of ‘Westernism’. But that doesn’t change either the nature or the effect of these symbols and pillars of this new religion. They are powerful, and they are effective. ‘Westernism’ is effective because it panders to every base desire under the illusion of anonymity to make money for the suppliers.
‘Westernism’ is a philosophy which is based on the supremacy of the self (desire) over everything else, including family, friends, society and God. Its symbol is the raising of self-indulgence to the level of not only a virtue but of the very purpose of life, definition of happiness and fulfilment i.e. for one to be able to do whatever one likes, irrespective of its consequences to anyone else. Freedom is sought to be interpreted as freedom from responsibility, accountability and consequences of one’s actions. Just take a look at the many conflicts that have taken place on one such ‘freedom’ alone, ‘Freedom of Expression’, and you know what I mean. The best answer to that was given by Pope Francis who, mentioning the freedom to say whatever one wants in the guise of Freedom of Expression said, “If my secretary were to curse my mother, I would punch him in the face.” What he meant was that there is no freedom without responsibility for what happens when you exercise that freedom. Please note that the Pope is a Westerner, living in the West. Yet his thinking is not ‘Western’ in terms of what I described as ‘Westernism’.
Islam on the other hand is also not ‘Eastern’ but universal. It is like the principles of flight which don’t change whether you are flying a plane in the US or Australia or India. Islam doesn’t change for the West or East or anyone or any place. It is universal, applicable in exactly the same way everywhere and holds its adherents to the same rules no matter where they live, in whichever century and in whichever circumstances. Islam is Islam and it is based on the principle of the supremacy of Allahﷻ over the self or anyone or anything else, accountability to Him from Whom nothing is hidden and the subjugation of the self (desire) to the rules of Islam. Its symbol is the Sajda which is to recognize that obedience to Allahﷻ takes precedence over self-indulgence and the purpose of life and fulfilment is to live and work only for the Pleasure of Allahﷻ.
There is no compromise in Islam about this fundamental philosophy of the Supremacy of Allahﷻ over the Nafs (self, desire) and everything and everyone else. For those who choose to follow their desires against the orders of Allahﷻ, He said:
أَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلًا
Furqan 25: 43. Have you (O Muhammadﷺ) seen him who has taken as his Elah (god) his own desire? Would you then be a Wakil (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him?
Allahﷻ called following your own desires against the orders of Allahﷻ, Shirk and tantamount to worshiping desires instead of worshiping Allahﷻ and even prohibited Rasoolullahﷺ from interceding for the forgiveness of such people. What can be clearer or more serious than that, to understand the fundamental difference between Islam and ‘Westernism’?
Let me quote just one example to show how Supremacy of God was replaced by Supremacy of Man in Christianity. https://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/14-8.htm
In Deuteronomy 14:8 eating pork is clearly prohibited. Yet Christians have ignored this prohibition and pork is the most widely eaten meat in all Christian and Western countries and has been for centuries. The Bible clearly prohibits it, to no avail. The same with prohibition of usury and many other prohibitions of the Bible which are simply ignored. Islam clearly disallows this and nothing which is ordered in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah can be nullified by any Islamic scholar. That is one benefit of not having a priestly class which tends to be susceptible to changing the religion at will.
As you can see, these are two opposing philosophies which are mutually exclusive and irreconcilable. There can never be a compromise between them. One must necessarily submit to the other. That is the distinguishing factor, the signature of the Muslim, that he/she subjugates desire to the Will and Pleasure of Allahﷻ. A Muslim recognizes and joyfully accepts that it is the purpose of his creation to please Allahﷻ and does that in the way taught by Muhammadﷺ the Messenger of Allahﷻ. That is the essence of the Kalima: La ilaha illAllahu Muhammadur Rasoolullahi: There is nobody worthy of worship except Allahﷻ (so I worship him) and Muhammadﷺ is the Messengerﷺ (last and final) of Allahﷻ (so I obey and follow him). There are no qualifiers to this statement of faith, this declaration and oath, thanks to which a person enters Islam. It is a statement that is applicable to every person who wishes to enter Islam and remain in it, whether it is in the East or West or anywhere else. Obedience to Allahﷻ in the way of Rasoolullahﷺ is its essence. And that doesn’t change for anyone or any place.
Is Islam compatible with ‘Westernism’, the philosophy? No, it isn’t. But is it possible for people living in the West; the location, to live by Islam? Yes, without a doubt. That is why I began with the definition because when we ask about raising Muslim children in the West, we are not speaking about what we need to do in the location but what we must do with combating those parts of ‘Westernism’ as an ideology that are antithetical to Islam.
Combat it is. Make no mistake. Like combat, it requires, courage, has risk, is painful; potentially fatal if you fail and joyful and rewarding if you succeed. It is a serious business, not an intellectual exercise. The cost and benefit are both very real. The first thing to teach therefore is to draw attention to the definition above so that people realize that there is nothing ‘special’ about the ‘West’ as a location which requires Islam to be reengineered, interpreted or changed to suit people living in the so-called ‘West’.
What are the challenges of raising a child in the West?
The challenges have nothing to do with the location but with ‘Westernism’, which is global and inside us. What we teach our children and indeed before that, what we need to come to terms with ourselves is the following:
- Teach them respect for boundaries by respecting them yourself. Boundaries are the essence of parenting. Teach them that being Muslim means to recognize and accept the Supremacy of Allahﷻ and obedience and allegiance only to Him. This is the most fundamental principle which must be taught, practiced and demonstrated. This must be the differentiator of the Muslim, no matter where he/she lives. This is what drives every decision and action. This is the safety belt. Put it on or die.
- It is necessary to define boundaries without fearing unpopularity. Whether it is in parenting or in religion or in politics. All corruption begins when people who should know better, remain silent when they should speak. Christianity is losing people in Europe despite the fact that the church, in order to be popular, has legalized almost everything the Bible prohibits. But it is gaining converts in Asia and Africa where it is not so flexible and where local cultures also support boundaries. People need definitive rules. A free for all may sound nice but in reality, it is free for some, at the expense of others. Boundaries, like seat belts, restrict some freedom but save lives. Security is inversely proportional to convenience.
- Teach them to love Allahﷻ which is an outcome of Shukr (Thankfulness). An attitude of gratitude, where we are thankful to Allahﷻ for His mercy and blessings. Allahﷻ said about the Believers, that they love Him more than anything else.
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ أَندَاداً يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّهِ
Baqara 2: 165. And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else).
- Remember that without the Love, Glory and Majesty of Allahﷻ in the heart, obedience becomes a burden. Force or so-called logic are not substitutes, because they can both be countered to one’s own detriment. In Islam, the fundamental rule is that we obey Allahﷻ because He is Allahﷻ. We pray because Allahﷻ told us that it is the way to get close to Him and we want to be close to Him. We don’t pray to ‘discharge static electricity from our heads in Sujood’ (sic). Or because the bending and standing is good for the joints or digestion. We don’t fast because it is good for health. We don’t give Zakat to ensure distribution of wealth in society. We don’t do Hajj to reinforce or show solidarity to the global Muslim Ummah. We do all these because we love Allahﷻ. That is not only sufficient reason, it is the very best of reasons. After all, love begins where reason ends. Allahﷻ ordered us to establish Salah as the way to remember Him and our relationship to Him. He said:
إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي
Ta-Ha 20: 14. “Verily! I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance.
- Teach them the importance and value of the Sunnah by following it yourself. For this it is necessary for us to know who Rasoolullahﷺ is and what the significance of our relationship with him as the one whose way we emulate and follow, is. This must be the very first thing we teach our children by word and deed. Allahﷻ and Rasoolullahﷺ must be the most commonly mentioned names in our homes. They must be the reference points for all our actions, culture, celebrations, events and decisions. ‘Does this please Allahﷻ?’ ‘Is this in keeping with the Sunnah of Rasoolullahﷺ?’ These must be the operative questions for all our decisions. Our children must become used to them from birth. Their absence in any situation must be the point of dissonance for them and give them pause to think.
- Allahﷻ told us about the importance of the Sunnah of Rasoolullahﷺ and recommended it as the best example to follow for the one who loves Allahﷻ and looks forward to meeting Him and who remembers Allahﷻ a great deal.
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
Ahzab 33: 21. Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammadﷺ ) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.
- Allahﷻ told us that the reward of following the Sunnah of Rasoolullahﷺ is that Allahﷻ will love the one who does that. Make that an aspirational goal for yourself and your children; that you try to earn the love of Allahﷻ. Allahﷻ said:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
A’al Imraan 3: 31. Say (O Muhammadﷺ to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (emulate me), Allah will love you and forgive your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Teach them (and remind yourself) that the reward of following and emulating Muhammadﷺ is the love of Allahﷻ. No less. Reflect on what that means for you. What does it mean for your dua? What does it mean for when you need Allahﷻ the most, at the time of your death and when we meet Him on the Day of Judgment?
- Draw attention to the fact that following the Sunnah is good for us in this life as well, because all that Rasoolullahﷺ taught and did are the secrets to popularity and influence. But when a Muslim follows this with the intention of pleasing Allahﷻ and as a sign of his love for Muhammadﷺ, he earns the love of Allahﷻ. This once again is the relevance of Islam in modern times. The same rules apply today.
- Teach them about accountability to Allahﷻ to Whom is our return. Every speech and action of ours must be done with this consciousness. This is the essence of Dhikrullah (Remembering Allahﷻ). Whatever act of worship we do, repeating Allahﷻ’s names and attributes, Salah, Tilawatil Qur’an, fasting, charity and so on are all means to achieve this end i.e. a consciousness of the meeting with Allahﷻ. None of them is an end in itself, but a means to achieve the end which is to gain closeness to Allahﷻ by obeying Him. So, every time there is temptation to disobey, they must learn to ask, ‘Who am I disobeying?’ And not, ‘How big is this act of disobedience?’ They must understand that selective obedience in disobedience and that the essence of Uboodiyat (Submission to Allahﷻ = Islam), is to obey every command joyfully out of love.
- Teach them service as the means whereby a Muslim defines himself/herself as being a person who is most useful to society. Teach them the value of service in Islam as the means to earn the pleasure of Allahﷻ and His Forgiveness. Teach them service as being the signature of Islam. Service as the value that differentiates a Muslim from everyone else. Through this we will be able to answer the most common charge that Islam is no longer relevant to modern times. When Muslims are seen as beneficial for everyone in society and that being because of Islam, then the relevance of Islam to all times will be proven beyond anything that anyone can say against it. Allahﷻ said about Muslims being beneficial (service) to others:
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ
A’al Imran 3: 110. You [Muslims] are the best of peoples ever raised up for [the benefit of] mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma’ruf (all that is good and permissible in Islam) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that is harmful and prohibited in Islam), and you believe in Allah.
Rasoolullahﷺ said, “The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.” (Daraqutni, Hasan)
- Teach them to be thankful to all those through whom we receive Allahﷻ’s blessings, and that it is the best way to win Allahﷻ’s pleasure and the goodwill of the people. Imagine a society where Muslims are known for their attitude of gratitude seeking to help others, solve their problems, stand up for their rights and help those in need. Abu Huraira (RA) reported that Rasoolullahﷺ said, “He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked the people.” Sunan Abī Dāwūd 4811 (Sahih)
- Teach them to proudly and confidently (not arrogantly) display our differentiators in appearance, worship, dealings, speech and action. We must not blend in as some more numbers in an undifferentiated mass but stand out as notable and valuable individuals. That is the secret of brand. Differentiation. Brand inspires loyalty. Loyalty empowers influence. Without brand you are a grain of rice in a sack.
- Teach them the four noble values of Integrity (Truthfulness), Courage, Compassion and Excellence. These are the four core values of Islam. Anyone who lives by them can only be loved, respected and as a result, become influential. Teach them to always speak the truth and be fair and just in all dealings. Teach them to have the courage to stand up for those in need, those being oppressed, and to stand by their principles, no matter who is displeased. Teach them to have compassion and to show compassion and to behave with compassion by helping all those who can’t help themselves. Teach them to put their money and action where their mouth is and act instead of simply talking about values. Teach them to do everything they do and treat everyone they meet in the best possible way, no matter how small or trivial the action may be or who the person they meet, may be. Excellence is to speak and act as if you see Allahﷻ and though you don’t see Him, know that He sees you. This is the definition of Al Ihsaan (Excellence) that Rasoolullahﷺ gave to Jibreelu (AS) in the famous Hadith and it applies to everything we do in life.
Finally, we must remember that children listen with their eyes. They don’t care what you say, until they see what you do. So, raising children has less to do with children and more to do with parents. As you are, so will they be. That is why they are your Sadaqatul Jaariya and not vice versa.
You may have seen the famous documentary, Four Horsemen.
In this film is this quote: When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it. ~ Frederic Bastiat I ask myself why it is that we have written history to eulogize and applaud every rapacious bandit? Why is Alexander of Macedonia called, “The Great”? And a host of other bandits from every part of the world, whose only contribution was mass destruction, enslavement of innocent people and looting the resources of their countries. The British, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch and German Empires did their best to outdo each other in this race. Now the Americans are trying to beat the rest. I can’t be bothered to name all the others who I have missed not because of forgetfulness but out of contempt for this whole line of thinking and living.
As long as we continue to glorify war and plunder, we will continue to be plundered.
That is the paradigm and conversation that we must change. I am not for getting too stuck in our own theories and start treating them like fundamental laws. They are not. They are theories; our attempts to make sense of our world. All power to those who postulate them and reflect on them. But they are theories. The world, the earth, is not something we understand completely – to put it mildly – for I believe we don’t understand it at all. Comparing the human race to rats or bacteria in a petri dish, only goes so far. These are not absolute conclusions to be applied to ourselves. In any case, even if they are, we have two choices: Lie down and die, or work like hell to change the conclusions. I opt for the latter. I would rather go out on my feet fighting for a better world. That is why I say to myself, ‘I will not allow what is not in my control to prevent me from doing what is in my control.’ Controlling world population is not in my control. But to reduce my own carbon footprint, to share my resources, to help others and many other things are very much in my control. So, I try to do all those. As for the articles on population control, I have read similar ones for at least over 30 years that predicted the end of the earth at lower population levels (less than 8 billion). But we are still there. Also, all these are eventually talking about reducing the population in some remote land where the people are very different from myself. It is the concept of the ‘Other’, that makes it easy to conceptualize what are essentially culls of the ‘Other’. Easy to do because they are not like, ‘Us”. Shades of smallpox infected blankets to Native Americans? We enable ourselves into this highly homicidal way of thinking because we think within the artificial and false boundaries of our nation states; lines on maps of our own making. We forget that the earth is not like this. Africa is not different from America or Asia because we decide to draw a line or because there is a ditch which we call the Atlantic between it and America. The earth is connected. It is ONE. Whether we like to accept that or not. What happens to one will happen to all of us, whether we like it or not. Ref: Butterfly effect. The only way therefore that we can ‘save ourselves’, is by saving others. Not by culling them. Call it what you want but that is the conclusion that all these theories of ‘population control’ are leading to. It is this thinking – I don’t need to change, but the population needs to be reduced – that produces our Eternal War philosophy. Military Industrial States need war to survive and grow. They need to build weapons, places to use them with impunity and guess what, the reward is two separate lines of revenue; weapons sales and picking up the pieces later in the form of mines, oil, loot, slaves and land. Who does all that go to? The 1%. Those same 62. At whose cost? All the poor dumb bastards who thought they were fighting for honour, to save their glorious lands from the marauding hordes of barbarians who don’t know the taste of a Big Mac or Pepsi. Okay, Coke. Same difference. It takes two to tango. In this case, the spin doctors who write the script to suit the 1% and the dumb, unwashed multitude who believes this complete crap and are willing to lay down their lives so that the 62 are not deprived of a single fish egg of their caviar. As long as there are those who are willing to be exploited, the exploiters will have a field day. That is why I say that it is high time we – the 99% – wake up. At least die with your eyes wide open. I am of the belief that we need to change our lifestyles, which will stem from changing our values and rejecting the capitalistic, global domination model that we have been raised to believe. We must reject, greed and demonstrate that by ending our endless collection of garbage in the name of shopping, our addiction to self-aggrandisement and appeasing desires, our enslavement to accumulation of personal wealth at all cost and our world view which places us at the centre with everyone and everything else subordinate and subservient to ourselves. All of this is eminently possible with the right education starting in primary schools. After all, if someone had told us to create a system where 62 people would have more wealth than the bottom 50% of global population, we would have laughed them out of the room. But that is exactly what we have accomplished and that too so subtly and quietly that I bet not one of us even realised it was happening. But believe me, we did it. We legitimized lying with full eye contact (recall George Bush and Colin Powell and Iraq’s unfindable Weapons of Mass Destruction), legitimized treating others like flies or mosquitoes, to be exterminated (recall Madelaine Albright’s comment on ABC: that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children was ‘worth it’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omnskeu-puE) and legitimized hypocrisy at levels perhaps never before seen. Come on people, wake up! Everything has an effect. I say that because if we did this, we can undo it. We must undo it. It can’t last. It is a criminal, grossly unjust and utterly criminal way of life. And finally, as I said earlier, we don’t even begin to understand the earth. The earth will correct itself. It will get rid of the cancer that is polluting it. It has seen many cycles of catastrophic (for its inhabitants, not for the earth itself) changes that completely altered the composition of those who live on it. And it can and will do it again. So, let us get ready to change. Or get ready to be changed. I want to begin with a brief thumbnail view of global geopolitics since the collapse of the Soviet Union under President Gorbachev. This was an event that was widely applauded and rejoiced, including by Muslims worldwide. Little did they realize what it would lead to. For a military state, an economy based on war, an enemy is essential. When the Soviet Union decided to call it a day with playing sparring partner, the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) needed someone else to justify its existence and to continue to make money for those who run it. It is important to understand that the political entities we call nation states are incidental in this scheme of things. The people who run the show are not bound by any nationality. They are truly global in that they operate from anywhere and across all national boundaries. Laws that bind us and monitor our transactions don’t bind these people. This world is run by a handful of men, not countries and politicians. That is why I am not naming any country; not because of any reticence to do so. In their search; or I should say; as per their plan, they chose Global Islam (GI). I am coining that phrase to differentiate it from Islam as a religion. The religion of Islam is of no interest to MIC. What is of interest is the ability to take GI and project it in the space of the ‘Other’, which is critical to continued success even survival of the MIC. GI was ideal because it satisfied all the criteria necessary for an effective ‘Other’, which are: a. So that all kinds of lies can be attributed to it with impunity a. ‘They’ are not white, not European/American, not Christian a. Bad memories of having been defeated by ‘them’ in the Crusades as well as ‘they’ having been the only opponent worthy of the name to European royalty and the Church for centuries a. I don’t think this even needs an explanation 5. Compliant internal leadership: a. Well, since they were placed there by MIC and remain on their seats at MIC’s pleasure, what choice do they have? a. If they are attacked, killed, countries destroyed, it is no skin off our nose a. No specific state for one to be accused of aggression. A nebulous cloud called by whatever name seems fit, Axis of Evil, Islamic Terror etc. So, attacking it is easy and no single or group of states can protest in the UN. a. Is easy for all the reasons above and language was invented to legitimize invasion, murder and plunder. a. They are divided amongst themselves and prone to being instigated against one another, so very susceptible to manipulation. In the words of Fredrick Bastiat, “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” That is precisely what is happening today in the world and the Muslims are caught in the middle in the proverbial place between a rock and a hard place. There is an old adage, ‘Give a dog a bad name and hang him.’ It means that the poor dog didn’t do anything to be hanged but was the victim of a media campaign against him. Dogophobia got him and he was hanged. That is what those who spend their time and money behind demonizing Islam seem to want to do. Islamophobia is a multibillion dollar industry which like the pre-World War II, anti-Semitism of Germany and Europe is run by those who are trying to make hay while the sun shines. That is how the deaths of over a million civilians (plus half a million children under the age of ten) in the Iraq war is brushed aside, even though the entire war was based on lies. The massacre of civilians in Bosnia is a post script, the occupation of Palestine and the daily atrocities being heaped on the heads of an imprisoned population are acceptable and the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya people is not worthy of mention. These and many other instances of mass murder, carried out by the MIC military directly or their proxies, which I have not bothered to mention as my point is made, have only one thing in common; i.e. the victims are all Muslim. The mainstream media is the thought steering tool for the great unwashed and ignorant multitude which gets its knowledge exclusively from the TV screen. They are brainwashed to believe that when a Muslim (or many Muslims) dies, he had it coming. But if he fights back, he is an insurgent, terrorist and embodiment of evil. They don’t have the intelligence to ask how a man fighting an occupying army for the right to live in his own home can be an insurgent? This is like the British judge, sitting in judgment on the last Moghul Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, who had no answer when the King asked him by what right he was being judged by a foreign occupier in his own land. But when you are on the right end of a gun and the other on its wrong end, you can get away with anything, so Bahadur Shah Zafar was banished from his own land and his sons and grandsons were executed. Why? Because they were his sons and grandsons and the British believed in tying all loose ends. Same logic in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and through proxies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and many other places today. The same logic drove Vietnam and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese at the hands of invaders, French and American. I wonder how many Americans know the meaning of the term ‘Double Veteran’. Rape of Vietnamese women by US troops “took place on such a large scale that many veterans considered it standard operating procedure.” It was “systematic and collective”; an “unofficial military policy”. One soldier termed it a “mass military policy.” Indeed, rape followed by murder of Vietnamese women was “so common that American soldiers had a special term for the soldiers who committed the acts in conjunction: a double veteran”. Legitimizing of atrocity is a natural result of the process of dehumanizing the ‘other’ and believing that they are ‘vermin’ to ‘exterminate’ whom is the noble duty of the ‘brave and virtuous’. In support of my contention I quote an article about the Jewish Holocaust which captures the entire process very well. It is a matter of wonder to this day, how the people of Germany not only watched in silence as 6 million Jewish and other people were systematically murdered, but helped in the process by constructing gas chambers, transportation systems and all manner of horrific methodologies which I will leave you to read about on your own. I never tire of quoting Pastor Niemöller’s words about this, which exhort us to stand up before it is too late. Today the world is once again sitting in silence while the MIC juggernaut rolls on; not asking key questions that must be asked, not taking powerful stances for justice, imagining that by doing so, they are saving themselves. As Pastor Niemöller says, that is what the Germans also thought, until at the end of the war, they contemplated their own devastated cities, lives and homes. Payment always comes. Martin Niemöller
(14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984)
First, they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out,
because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.
This narrative of the ‘Other’ has today, legitimized any kind of atrocity as long as it is done to Muslims and has made hatred of Muslims acceptable everywhere. Just like it had legitimized every atrocity against the Jews in the last century and the Vietnamese (communists) in the 60’s and 70’s. It is necessary to see the signs and recognize them for what they are and not allow ourselves to be fooled by these age-old games. That is why in India when a twelve-year-old Muslim boy is stabbed multiple times and killed in a train before his own younger brother, the entire carriage load of people looked on and cheer the murderers. Ask them what the crime of the boy was. Ask them if the boy had harmed them. Ask them why they did nothing. All these questions have only one answer; he was a Muslim. And so, all these things become legitimate and acceptable. In Myanmar, the Rohingya people are being systematically slaughtered, raped and burned alive by the Burmese army and the world watches in silence. In India once again, in a gathering of upper class, educated people one man, on the topic of the Rohingya genocide, says that what is happening is acceptable and should happen. ‘Muslims need to be killed’, he says. Nobody protests. Nobody is shocked. Nobody is outraged. One person, not a Muslim, raises a voice protesting, asking if one should not be compassionate; asking if murder is not a crime, no matter who does it. No to all of the above because they are “MUSLIM”. What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you understand this simple fact? I can quote many more examples but I think this is enough. After all we all read the same papers and watch the same channels. As you can see the narrative needs to be changed. But since that is linked to the well-being of the MIC, how can we, garden variety common people, do it? I am going to attempt to put down my thoughts about what I believe needs to be done for three reasons:
1. I will not allow what is not in my control to prevent me from doing what is in my control. I can’t influence the global narrative (or at least I don’t know how to do it at this point) but I can influence the local one, so I am going to try that and share my thoughts with you.
2. No matter what the spin doctors want us to believe, the rule of the MIC can only result in more and more misery for common people, less and less safety and security for us and more and more hatred in society, all in order to make the 1% ever wealthier. 3. No matter how powerful the Dons of the MIC think they are, ultimately their power depends on those who follow them. Without the unquestioning obedience of their followers, they are powerless. That is the reason we must ask questions; uncomfortable questions. Be it about climate change or about global dominance. That is why they spend a colossal fortune on mind steering through the media, films, social media and other means of communication. If George Bush and his gang were really powerful they would have been able to invade Iraq without telling a barrage of lies to the UN and the whole world, first. And if those who listened to the lies had asked the right questions, two million people would have lived. It is as important as that, to ask the right questions at the right time. Please see my article for more on the need to accept our autonomy and understand that ultimately each one of us is personally accountable. The reality is that unless we decide to believe the false narrative and fall into its trap, nobody can force us into it. A couple of questions that you may like to ask, even today: 1. When Saudi Arabia is being held complicit enough in the 9/11 bombing incident for the US Congress to pass the 9/11 Lawsuit Bill, permitting victims to file suits against them, why did President Donald Trump sign an agreement to supply them with $110 billion worth of arms? 2. If ISIS is really so bad, then how is it that despite the overwhelming presence of the US and Allied forces in that theatre, ISIS continues to have an uninterrupted supply of weapons and ordnance, fuel and supplies and cash funds? After all, if you tried to transfer $10,000 to Iraq or Syria, you would have everyone from the IRS to FBI to your neighbor’s dog, breathing down your neck. But there appears to be no problem with billions of dollars being freely transferred and payments for arms and ammunition being credited when it comes to the ISIS. So, who is the enemy and who is the friend? I am sure you have all read the famous poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” an 1854 narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson about the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War and its very famous line: “Ours is not to question why, ours is to do and die.” This is the philosophy that keeps hatred of the ‘Other’ alive, enables genocide, sacrifices the poor and empowers the 1% to remain secure and become wealthier. Imagine a world where the soldier questions why he is being ordered to kill innocent people. Imagine a world where the person manufacturing weapons of mass destruction questions what value he is adding to society by working in such a place and what legacy he is leaving behind for his family. Imagine a world where people manufacturing cigarettes and alcohol see films on lung cancer and alcohol related car crashes and then make a choice whether to go to work or not. I can imagine more scenarios but will instead leave you to do this on your own. Sit with your children and make a game of it. Imagine a world without war. Imagine a world without the 1% but instead with their wealth shared by those who share the dream of global prosperity. Not global dominance by military might. Wars happen for one reason only and that is because they make profit. Take that away and you would have taken away the reason for war. That is the road to peace. Not attempting to silence all opposition to the dominance of the 1%. If you are ready to sacrifice your life and happiness to put more caviar and champagne on the tables of the 1%, go ahead but count me out. I want a world where my family, friends and I are safe, can live peacefully together, earn a decent living and leave behind a legacy for the next generation. If you don’t like this idea, then you should stop reading this right away. We don’t live in little compartments in this world. We live in a world connected in far more powerful and meaningful ways than social media. This doesn’t simply mean that we can go from place to place faster or communicate across great distances instantaneously but that what happens to one, affects everyone.
The Butterfly Effect of Chaos Theory is not restricted to weather. It affects us in all aspects of life. Those who refuse to recognize it and insist on living as if they live alone in the world, will become its victims.
It’s time for all butterflies to start flapping their wings to create a hurricane of world opinion that will drive out all injustice and oppression, no matter where it may be. Of late we have been having an interesting and involved discussion on the subject of medical ethics in India, especially in so-called corporate hospitals involving also doctors in both private practice and government service. Interesting and involved because everyone is an interested party; at some time having been the recipients of the tender mercies of doctors and our hospital system. What I have been left with at the end of it all is the distinctly alarming feeling that the entire concept of medical ethics seems to be Greek and Latin to most doctors – or at least that is how they seem to act. So I thought it would be a useful exercise to put this down on paper, the way I see it so that we can take it on from there. There are five players in this game – the game of medical care in India. They are: 3. Pharmaceutical company – represented by its salesmen 4. Individual doctors – independent & employees of corporate hospitals It is symbolic that the name given to the sufferer of a disease is ‘patient’. Perhaps it is a reminder to him of what he needs to be above all else – patient in the face of not only suffering which would be a trial enough, but even more patient in the face of open exploitation by those who he trusts, needs desperately and looks up to as his saviors. The problem is that of a lack of sync in perception. Those who he looks to as his saviors see him as their victim or prey to be used and abused until he can give no more. Exploitation by anyone is bad. But exploitation by those who are trusted is blasphemous and evil. Exploitation by doctors, hospitals and medical service providers falls squarely in that category. Let those who indulge in it fear the Day when they will meet their Creator and have to answer Him for what they did. It doesn’t matter whether you believe this or not. It will happen just the same. Just as not believing in cholesterol will not save you from a heart attack; not believing in AllahY and the Day of Judgment will not save you from it. If you don’t believe me, just wait a bit. So what is evil about the system as it exists? What is evil is simply the issue of breach of trust. The trust between the doctor and his patient. There are many relationships in our lives which are based on trust. Parent/child, teacher/student, husband/wife, employer/employee, lawyer/client and others. However it can perhaps be argued that the most intimate of these is that of doctor/patient, where the doctor has access to such intimate personal details of the patient that almost none of the above relations have. A relationship that is based on trust is unique in that between the two parties there are no barriers, defenses or filters. So any hostile act goes straight to the heart without any hope of being either diverted or combatted. Add to this the complexity that in the doctor/patient relationship the trust is completely one-sided. The doctor knows everything about the patient and can learn whatever he wants simply by asking while the patient may not even know the doctor’s full name, let alone anything more about him. After all in which of these relationships can one simply order the other to drop his pants with the full assurance that his order will be obeyed without question? Therefore when that relationship is abused the crime is compounded in it heinousness because it amounts to predatory behavior. Given that the medical profession is perhaps the only one where those who graduate as doctors actually take an oath to keep the patient as their first and only concern and to practice their profession with honor and with the sole aim of helping the patient in his hour of need; when those doctors instead start to treat the patient as prey and instead of helping him, proceed to abuse the trust to loot him; the crime becomes worse than that of highway robbery.
The situation as it exists today is as follows:
1. Most Corporate hospitals give doctors commercial targets that they are supposed to achieve every month. If they don’t do it, whatever be the reason, they are penalized directly or indirectly. 2. In order to achieve these targets doctors have only one way; prescribe unnecessary investigations, treatments, hospitalization, surgical procedures, ICU care and expensive medication when cheaper alternatives may be available. 3. Diagnostic centers give doctors commissions which are a percentage of the billing they do for patients that those doctors send to them. This has been made such a fine art that even if a doctor doesn’t send patients to a particular diagnostic center, once a few patients come to them from that doctor, they automatically send a payment to that doctor. 4. And pharmaceutical companies give doctors bribes (they call them incentives or commissions) in the form of cash and kind – holidays, eating out, gifts etc. The person who eventually pays for all these is of course the patient as he is the only one in this racket who pays. All others collect at his expense. The patient pays directly in terms of needlessly high cost of treatment because all the incentives to doctors are passed on to him. Or indirectly through cost of medical insurance for the same reason. The questions I want to ask the readers who are doctors are: 1. Did you take all the pains to study medicine, qualify in tough exams and work all hours and take an oath at the end of it; to alleviate suffering or to inflict it? 2. How is it that you don’t feel insulted when you are given commercial targets and when you are offered incentives and commissions? 3. Are you a doctor or are you a you-know-what (let me know if you need me to explain what that is)? Let me tell you what Rasoolullahr said about commissions andincentives: 1. Abdullah bin `Amrynarrated that Rasoolullahr said: “The curse of AllahY is upon the one who offers a bribe and the one who takes it.” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani) 2. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudriynarrated that Rasoolullahr said: “Whosoever amongst you sees an evil, let him change it with his hands; and if he is not able, then with his tongue; and if he is not able, then let him hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani) 3. Abu Humaid As-sa’idiyreported that Rasoolullahrsaid: “Gifts offered to public servants are ill-gotten gains (ghulul).” (Authenticated by Al-Albani) 4. Buraidah ibn Al-Husaibynarrated that Rasoolullahrsaid: “When we appoint someone to a (public) post and provide him with an allowance, anything he takes beyond that is an ill-gotten gain.” (Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani) 5. Khaulah bint `Amir (RA) reported that Rasoolulahr said: “Some men abuse AllahY‘s Property (that is, public money and funds). They will go to Hell on the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhari) It is clear from all of the above – if you need proof for what your heart should have told you without any of this – that having anyone other than the patient as your primary client whose welfare must supercede every other consideration amounts to breach of trust of the worst kind. Taking all commissions, prescribing unnecessary treatments, making money from the patient beyond a reasonable fee, amounts to ill-gotten gains which attracts the punishment of AllahY.
I didn’t want to make this too long and so I recorded a video about this in which I have told my own story of how I was exploited and how my father was exploited by big name corporate hospitals. Sadly my story is not unique. Stories like mine and far worse abound and every day we hear a new story of gross medical malpractice which is aided and abetted by destroying all evidence of it, doctors lying about it and ensuring that no legal action can be taken against the perpetrators – hospitals and doctors. It is a racket of organized crime – to put it simply and directly.
But in all this such doctors and their colluders forget that what they try to hide is very visible from One who watches and to Whom they are all answerable. So ask yourself these questions: 1. How would you like to be in the care of a doctor exactly like yourself? 2. How would you like to be the victim of a doctor working to meet a commercial target who exploits you by prescribing treatment you don’t need and inflicting suffering on you so that he can generate bills for surgical procedures, investigations and treatments which are useless or may even be harmful? 3. How would you like to be in the care of a doctor for whom you were the first and most important priority? 4. How would you like to be in the care of a doctor who was interested only in your welfare, ensuring that you received the best care, in the most compassionate way at the lowest possible cost? 5. How you would like to be in the dua of all those you help through their pain and sickness? 6. How would you like to cursed by all those you victimized, deceived, exploited and abused? Finally I say to those of you who still want to take commissions and work to meet commercial targets, ‘See you on the Day of Judgment before the Throne of my Rabb.’ Remember my dear friends what your Creator, AllahY said: أَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ يَرَى Alaq 96: 14 Doesn’t he know that Allah is watching?