The answer to the above nonsensical question is – obviously no!
The next question is why did this question even come to anybody’s mind? That anybody could be a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Any moderate, law abiding Muslim must have asked themselves this question many a times after seeing the negativity in the press and media and also the everyday life on the street must spring up examples of mistrust and anger from the uneducated sections of the society. There must have equally been times when many less tolerant and less aware non-Muslims have wondered if all Muslims deserve the negative tags and labels associated with that faith the world over. I need to detail this train of thought further. ..
One thing that has triggered off this article is the compassion and generosity of the human kind. Two recent world events, namely the downing of the civilian Malaysian plane and the on-going atrocities in Gaza, have proven that human tragedy brings people of all faiths and colours closer. Isn’t that a proof enough that human kind need to learn to live together and respect all human life as much as we respect our own. Muslims and non-Muslims have been equally troubled and pained by the suffering of the Gazan civilians that they have marched togtheer in cities all over the world to let Israel know where the public opinion lies and also make it clear to its allies that their policies need to change. The pain of the families of the passengers of the downed plane has also been felt the world over. Whatever the politics of both these events is, it is the ordinary civilians who have suffered to satisfy the greed and unchallenged thinking of a few! One train of thought points the finger at the same nation for both these events – a ‘has been’ super power, although it still has the might to mould world events. Can the imperialistic greed make our leaders so blind to human suffering? It is so difficult to comprehend the double standards when the same leaders stand in a religious event and give speeches of human love and compassion and the same day at a business promotion event be promoting the sale of deadly arms to regimes known to be anything but just and compassionate. Does the world need so much weaponry. The same amount of money could be used to make the world a happy and peaceful place by educating and feeding people. If people have food, a house and respect in society – wouldn’t people stop fighting? Or am I too naive?
The Palestinian PR machinery has worked perfectly well this time and has managed to get the world to understand their suffering. The use of new technology and social media has helped them gain the attention of the younger and less partial Muslims all over the world, and eventually the wider population as the word spread of the heinous treatment of the innocent civilians by the Israeli forces. The Muslim neighbours of the Palestinians, namely, the Jordanians, Egyptians and Saudis have remained quiet for the last 70 years and done nothing to alleviate the pain and suffering of the Palestinian masses as it served their purpose because a super power wanted them to stay out and all it had to do to keep them out was keep feeding them with arms and ‘aid’. They had no care in the world that their Muslim brethren were suffering, as long as their coffers are being filled by the western allies. This is what I mean by the older Muslim ruling classes have stayed out of this conflict, whereas the younger less partial Muslims have responded to the calls on social media and gathered together for a humane cause to organise protests and arrange aid for the Gazan population. No doubt, a few old school Muslim organisations have also joined hands to express solidarity, some with honest intentions and others to gain a foothold to gain from future spoils, which should become obvious as time progresses and the people will be able to distinguish the humans from the wolves. I hope that the young and majority of the Muslims will be able to see through this and remember which organisations are worth supporting in the future.
The Israeli leadership and armed forces on their part have proven that they are ruthless, heartless and have scant regard for morals or acceptable international behaviour. They have butchered innocent civilians in the guise of protecting their territory, while the world knows that this is a shameless exercise in annexing more territory to gain full control of Gazan oil and gas reserves off the coastline along the Gaza Strip.
During the last 70 years, while the Muslim neighbours of Palestine have been feeding on the western aid, Israel has been going from strength to strength in its scientific and military progress. The rulers of that state are nothing but a proxy of the Western Allied governments in the region to keep an eye on things for their masters. This is obvious after knowing that despite numerous shoddy attempts there has never been peace in the region since the formation of the Israeli state. This also shows how cleverly the Muslim states have been kept apart by very subtle manipulation of the regimes all these years. They have never joined forces to help their own (the Palestinians), despite watching Israel grow strong beyond belief in the region. Israel has grown so strong that this conflict has shown it get confrontational with its own supporters in the affluent west (or is that just another propagandist exercise? – The proverbial Good Cop Bad Cop exercise!).
The recent aggression by Israel has been portrayed in the Palestine friendly blogs and posts around the world as one dictated by the ‘Zionists’ to separate them from the ordinary peace loving Jewish population. This has created an image of the expansionist faction of Jews who want to continue to increase their territory and create their own land in the middle of the Arab world being the ones to be blamed for all this misery. This brings me back to the original question of this article – maybe that is also a characteristic that the Muslims need to lose! The image of forever wanting to impose their beliefs and faiths on the rest of the world as if they want to expand the Muslim world to the entire earth! Maybe, that is the comparision with today’s Israel. Maybe, if the factions in the Muslim community who believe in forever expansion of the religion pause to think and realise that it is this which is causing the world to have negative feelings towards their faith. Religion is a personal thing and should be kept that way. The kindness and goodness of a faith will attract others to join, not finding technical loopholes in the law of any land to impose your views on the population. Just the same way the Muslims have now united against the Israel’s ruthless expansion, maybe the Muslim people need to wake up and realise that the only way to build a harmonious world is to accept and assimilate in the societies which host you and let them see the goodness in you. The majority of the peace loving and beautiful Muslims need to challenge some of the leadership when they preach hatred and expansionist ideas! The younger generation who have united to protest against the current Israeli aggression, may set an example for all the community to unite with all Muslims sects and form a united force to change the face of the middle-east which is marred by so many conflicts at the moment, when everyone knows that it could be such a peaceful and happy place with all its resources if people could learn to live together.