Nation sold and how cheaply was it sold!
by Azhar Ali Shah
November 18, 2001
The General Assembly session is drawing to a close and all the leaders of the Muslim countries are returning home with their tail tucked between their legs. All those bold predictions how they will impress upon the U.S. authorities the view point dear to the Muslim ummah, remain essentially unfulfilled. The U.S. administration knows full well that these paper tigers do not have any teeth and thus do not deserve any serious consideration. As a Muslim, I feel deeply ashamed of the performance of our leaders who have once again let the ummah down and sold it down the river for a few pieces of silver. Muslims are being slaughtered by the thousands and all we can say in the words of President Musharraf of Pakistan that we have explained and impressed upon the U.S. administration our reservation regarding the killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan. Wonderful job Musharraf! Try to explain on the Day of Judgment, how you stood up to the American administration and single-handedly stopped the slaughter of innocent Afghans.
It is ironic that today's Pakistani papers carry two news items, one, in which the Pakistani foreign office declares that the entry of the Northern Alliance into Kabul will not be tolerated and the second claiming that the Northern Alliance had occupied Kabul. One wonders how the Pakistan foreign office will show their intolerance in practice. Reminds me of the story of a servant who went to his master and stated that he wanted his salary to be raised or else!. Thereupon the master got annoyed and growled "or else what?" The servant meekly replied that or else he will continue to work at the same salary. This is the story of our so-called leaders, that no matter what their reservations they will continue to serve their master in whatever capacity the master desires. After this spectacle no wonder that the world at large has no respect for the Muslims. Let us examine some examples of this debacle as it unfolded since September 11th.
Within minutes of the unfortunate incident at the WTC and Pentagon, the U.S. authorities declared that it was the handiwork of Usama and his cohorts. Remember at that time there was absolutely no evidence of any ones involvement. Within days "evidence" was procured in the form of a copy of the Holy Quran left in a strip tease joint in Florida, and in the rental car found parked at the Logan airport along with a flight manual in Arabic. The evidence of the Holy Quran in the bar and the rental car was so ludicrous in itself that even the FBI felt embarrassed by it and stopped talking about it at all. No other evidence was presented at the time . Yet our 'scholar' Yusuf Islam was moved to lament that "His Islam had been hijacked". Following his analogy if we see a Muslim fornicating or drinking intoxicants then somehow it is a reflection on Islam. I wish some one would explain to him the difference between the teachings of Islam and the actions of Muslims.
The so-called evidence was released to the concerned governments a few weeks later and released by the British govt. in the form of a white paper. Our great leader Musharraf immediately declared that he was completely satisfied with the guilt of Usama and Taliban, even though the legal experts in Britain and elsewhere declared that the evidence, as presented, would not stand in a court of law. But of course Musharraf was and still is not concerned with such niceties as a due process of law. There is a well known principle of the U.S. judicial system that a person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty by a court of law. In the case of Usama, this principle was declared inoperative by no less a person than our esteemed leader George W. Bush, so the Muslim leaders vied with each other to declare Usama guilty to prove their loyalty.
Musharraf said that the war should be short and targeted. U.S. responded by targeting the civilians and declaring that it would be a long war.
Arab leaders piously declared that after Afghanistan, no other Muslim or Arab state should be attacked. The U.S. responded by declaring that Iraq is the next target, in the words of Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Tony Blair went to the Middle East and very piously declared : " We are a peaceful people". None of the Arab leaders had the courage to stand up and say that the Western powers were responsible for all the colonial wars waged in the 19th century, and it was the then U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright who declared on national TV that the sacrifice of the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children was a "price worth paying" to further the U.S. and Israeli agenda in the Middle East. The two most vicious wars in the history of mankind were waged by the Western countries. Great Britain was involved in both of them. But the prime minister was visiting the Middle East as a guest, so the Arab leaders could not or dared not offend the guest. It would have been against our cultural tradition of hospitality. Lives of a million Iraqi children or thousands of Afghan civilians mean nothing compared to upholding this tradition of hospitality.
All the Muslim leaders asked for a cessation of hostilities during the holy month of Ramadan. The West responded with a flat NO, and the leaders did not have the guts to insist.
Musharraf asked for "debt relief". The West responded by asking Pakistan to take on more debt.
Musharraf asked for the release of F-16 planes that Pakistan had paid for. The U.S. responded by a flat refusal. Instead the U.S. asked Pakistan's archenemy, India, to submit a list of military hardware that she needs from the U.S. with a promise that it will receive sympathetic consideration.
Musharraf asked for help in resolving the Kashmir dispute. Colin Powell responded by declaring in India that India was a victim of terrorism, and today the British foreign secretary declared in India that India was a victim of terrorism from outside forces.
Musharraf asked for relief from the mass exodus of Afghan refugees into Pakistan. The U.N. and the U.S. responded by prevailing upon Pakistan to accept more refugees.
When a few million Christians in East Timor clamored for secession from Indonesia, the whole Western world mobilized to their cause. The United Nations came into action and within months the secession of East Timor from Indonesia became a fact. Kashmiris have been clamoring for freedom from Indian yoke for fifty two years, but no one is willing to come to their aid. Same story is repeated in Palestine, Chechnya, Kosovo, Bosnia and elsewhere in the world. When it comes to the legitimate rights of Muslims, the West, the U.N. and even our own leaders remain strangely silent.
If this is success, then one shudders to think what failure would have entailed.
So far it seems that the only benefit that Pakistan has received is the legitimization of the Musharraf rule. Is that legitimization worth all the lives being lost in Afghanistan and in Pakistani demonstrations?
Is the lionization of Musharraf by the West worth the headache of an Afghanistan ruled by the Northern Alliance?
The Holy Quran says in no very uncertain terms:
Unfortunately none of our leaders, anywhere in the world, fits this mold of a helper for our oppressed.
The Holy Quran says further:
Unfortunately our leaders, if they read the Holy Quran, they either do not believe what they read, or else they do not understand it or worse still they ignore it as of no importance.
May Allah help our UMMAH!!!!!!! Our leaders surely won't.
AZHAR ALI SHAH