“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
–Declaration of Independence
One of the most abhorrent acts in the sight of God is injustice. God considers justice a supreme virtue. In fact it is only next in terms of importance to the believe in God’s exclusive right to worship. Allah declares in the Quran : “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor.” (4:135)
Justice and equality are the cornerstones for building a virtuous, moral and peace-loving society. If history is a good guide then we all know that no nation on earth has ever reached greatness without embracing and implementing universal values such as social justice, equality, freedom and tolerance. These values are the cement that holds a society together. Hence, any system that lacks the values we have just mentioned will surely not get any legitimacy and is doomed to fail at the end.
I am a strong believer of the theory of causality. Every action we take in life has its own consequences. Some maybe implicit while others are explicit. Our people have incurred so many injustices. Since the past 21 years, thousands and thousands of innocent people have lost their lives, their loved ones and their possessions. Some of us may have experienced horrific acts which are unbearable. Murders, executions and target-killings have become common occurrence to the point that now people are reacting to them indifferently. This is an alarming situation because material losses might be recovered but the moment we lose our empathy and emotions is the moment we cease to be human beings.
I believe we have spent enough time talking about our problems and challenges. There have been many heated arguments and debates about them and why they happened and what caused them. I am not saying that we should entirely stop talking about them. What I am saying is that instead of talking about problems all the time we should spend our energy on how to bring about solutions for our problems. Instead of seeing problems all the time, we should see the solutions for them. The reason I am saying this is simple: the more we think and talk about problems the more we lose sight of their solutions and become negative and as a result that we become part of the problem. Buddha said: ” we are shaped by our thoughts, and we become what we think.”
We all live once and life is too short. Every one of us will be judged and accountable for his/her deeds. We have to make the most out of our limited time here on Earth. We have to collectively fight and struggle against tyranny and oppression. We have to be just and fair in our dealings. All of us should stand up for justice, equality and fairness. We have to remember that no matter how far down we have gone the wrong road , we can always turn back.
“The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice“
Whenever I watch the news or read newspapers I can’t help but wonder why there are so many negative things happening in our society.Cultural, ethnic and religious clashes are on the rise while intolerance is spreading like a wild-fire across the world. These trends are motivated mainly by ethnocentrism, hatred and fear of unfamiliar practices & believes of others.
We know that some of these issues are just preposterous and plain rubbish. They are fabricated and used for propaganda by our enemies and critics in order to discredit us and spread negative perceptions about us. For instance, some people see cases of abuses against women in a Muslim country. Immediately they conclude that Islam doesn’t give rights to women. The fact is, there is a difference between what the religion of Islam advocates for and what some people do and practice because of their culture.
However, there are also some issues which are real and need to be addressed carefully. It is a widely accepted fact that our religion is being hijacked by a few misguided and ignorant minority who think that they are our only saviors, know the path to salvation and what is good for us. Since they believe that they are the rightly guided ones no one is supposed to disagree with their tactics and question their judgment. They use every tool and means in their power to achieve their goals and even mostly justify the killings of innocent people by saying it is for “the greater good”. Those who dare to go against them are simply assassinated or branded as “traitors of Islam”.
They condemn and judge before preaching and seeking the truth. Instead of listening and seeking consensus they impose and rule by force. They alienate any one they see as an outsider and alien to their culture. They gave themselves the right to excommunicate anyone whose ideas does not resemble theirs, blatantly ignoring the Islamic doctrine that says no Muslim has the authority to question whether someone “is a proper Muslim” .
What disturbs me the most is that our intellectuals and individuals of high influence in our society are scared of speaking up and standing up for what is right and just. Hence, the voice of knowledge and wisdom is silenced and overshadowed by the ignorant and this is the main reason why we are seen as fanatics and extremists by the outside world because the only voice that is emanating from our society is the one of the ignorant.
Since this is our situation, our enemies and critics have capitalized on it and are using it against us and that is how they always intervene and meddle in our affairs.
Now you might think that we are in a dire situation where we have to choose between the lesser of two evils: weak and corrupt governments or radical and merciless lunatics with distorted believes. I strongly believe that there is another alternative to the above mentioned scenarios. What we need to do is to take matters into our own hands. We need to speak up and always make clear to the world what we stand for and never let any one or any group hijack our faith and our values.What we also need to do is to collectively be on the right and just side of history. We need to eliminate our fears and always be ready to stand up for the truth even if it means putting our lives in danger. The day we become bystanders and don’t go against oppression and injustice is the day we stop being moral beings.