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kabir Malik

PakTribune Columnist

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Madrisas and Enlightened Moderation kabir Malik
Islamic World and Islamic Leader kabir Malik

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Allen

Pakistan

06 September, 2005

part 2

Why has there not been a single significant protest from anywhere in the Muslim world? Or, as Tarek Fatah asks, “Why is it that when the Babri mosque was demolished, hundreds of thousands of Muslims worldwide took to the streets to protest, but when Saudi authorities plan to demolish the home of our beloved Prophet, not a whisper is heard?” The writer speculates on the reason for this silence: “Is it because Muslims have become so overwhelmed by the power of the Saudi riyal currency that we have lost all courage and self-respect? Or is it because we feel a need to cover up Muslim-on-Muslim violence; Muslim-on-Muslim terror; Muslim-on-Muslim oppression?” I suspect 'all of the above' is the right answer. We constantly rail against any wrongs inflicted on fellow-Muslims by non-believers, but hold our peace when Muslims kill, exploit and terrorize other Muslims. Thus, when the Americans kill Iraqis, or the Russians persecute Chechens, we are rightly indignant. But when Saddam Hussein slaughtered Kurds and Shias for years, Muslims around the world maintained a discreet silence. Ditto for other dictators in most of the Muslim world. In his article, Fatah quotes Niaz Salimi, president of the MCC, from a letter she wrote to the Saudi envoy in Canada: “The sacred places of Islam, regardless of where they are located, belong to the Muslim community worldwide. The countries where they are located are simply trustees and have no right to destroy them.” A Google search on the internet led me to an article by Mirza Beg, posted on the Web on August 21. Writes Beg: “...destroying our precious heritage because of less than perfect understanding of some Muslims [read Wahabis], would be a great loss to the Islamic civilization, ethos, history and the future generations of Muslims. Destruction of the most precious sites of Islam for fear of idolatry by some, is akin to killing a child for fear that he may grow up to be less than pious...” Now obviously, the Saudis are free to fill their cities with tasteless buildings. But considering the size of the country, one would expect them to show some respect for our collective heritage and build their new, ostentatious plazas, hotels and shopping malls on the outskirts of ancient cities like Makkah and Madina. But we all know the Saudi mindset, and given their recent windfall in the shape of unprecedented oil prices, it is unlikely that they will listen to reason. What concerns me more is our reluctance to criticize this uncouth behaviour. Our Islamic parties, for instance, are so eager to take up real and imaginary Muslim causes, but have not uttered a squeak in the face of this flagrant contempt for our history and the Prophet's memory. What explains this blatant hypocrisy? While many of our major religious politicians have long been recipients of Saudi largesse (allegedly often in the shape of visas and work permits that they sell), what explains the silence of people and parties who are not influenced by petro-dollars? Fortunately for us, Pakistan has a (relatively) free media, but I have yet to come across any news or commentary relating to this impending horror in either the newspapers, or the private TV channels. So why this conspiracy of silence? This question brings us back to our reluctance to criticize other Muslims, while screaming threats at non-Muslims. Thousands demonstrated against the alleged desecration of the Holy Book at Guantanamo a few months ago. Several people were killed in the accompanying violence. Where are those zealots now? Why aren't preachers at mosques demanding that the Saudi government halt their destructive plans? Alas, these double standards are what now define the ummah. We have become completely neutered when it comes to criticizing other Muslims. I have often received e-mails from readers, accusing me of washing our dirty linen in public when I have written of the many problems afflicting the Islamic world. But these things need to be said out loud and often. According to Mirza Beg, if you want to protest against the destruction of historical sites in Makkah, you can log on to the following website: www.petitiononline.com/rasul/petition.html But while I am going to do my bit, I do not plan to hold my breath...

Allen

Pakistan

06 September, 2005

An article i found on internet..A MUST READ for all Part 1

ALTHOUGH 13 years have passed since the destruction of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the desecration still reverberates in both Muslim and secular Indian minds. At the time, protestors rioted across the subcontinent; furious editorials and op-ed articles were written; and Muslim countries formally registered their protests with the Indian government. But now, a far worse act of disrespect and desecration is about to take place, and there has not been a single mention or objection from anybody that I know of, at least here in Pakistan. It took an article in the Toronto Star, e-mailed to me by a reader, to alert me to the fact that the Saudi government plans to demolish the Prophet Mohammad's [PBUH] 1,400-years old home in Makkah. According to the article, written by Tarek Fatah, a founding member of the Muslim Canadian Council, the house is being destroyed to make way for “a parking lot, two 50-storey hotel towers and seven 35-storey apartment blocks” as part of the Jabal Omar Scheme, just around the corner from the Grand Mosque. I must confess that I have not made the pilgrimage to Makkah, but the idea of the religious cradle and centre of the Muslim world being dominated by a crassly commercial project is repugnant. The Saudi royal family claims to be guardians of the holy places of Islam, and profit hugely from the centuries-old traffic of believers to Makkah and Madina. And yet, they are party to this barbaric desecration of the holiest sites in the Islamic world. In the 1920s, the Saudis levelled the graveyard in Madina that contained the graves of the family and companions of the Prophet. A few years ago, they demolished an old Ottoman fort in Makkah, in spite of the protests of the Turkish government. This disrespect for ancient monuments is a hallmark of Wahabi thought, but one would have thought the Prophet's home would have been exempt. Clearly, the interests of property developers outweigh religious or historical considerations.

Tarek Masud

Bahrain

06 September, 2005

The Deliverer

Yes, it is quite true that the Muslim Ummah needs a world class leader or perhaps leaders. For as long as thirteen hundred years the Muslim Ummah has been led by mostly short-sighted, power-hungry, selfish and corrupt leaders. It is not that during this long period Allah did not bless us with people who had all the qualities to be world class leaders. Almighty Allah never turns away from His promises; it is us who turn away form our duties and responsibilities. The deliverers had always been there for us and they're still out there for us, but somehow we could not and still cannot recognize them as we ourselves have become corrupt. We follow the rituals of Islam yet we are not sincere in applying the principles of Islam in every sphere of our lives. In other words, we use Islam for our personal gains. Perhaps, Almighty has designed His scheme in such a manner that only the ones with a pure heart and soul would be able to recognize the deliverer or the so-called world class leader.

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