The year 2020 has been completely disastrous. We will offer proof. But first, let us clarify a basic point: we follow the Islamic lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar. However, given the West’s virtual domination of global events, we are forced to resort to many of its tools.
Further, as Muslims, we do not celebrate Christmas but is there anyone in the world unaware of this so-called ‘festival’ that has little to do with the birth of the noble Prophet Isa [Jesus] (as)? Far from enhancing spirituality, Christmas is characterized by excessive commercialism throwing people into massive debt while indulging in wild parties. This year, however, Christmas might be a little less boisterous due to the pandemic, although it would be unwise to bank on it.
The year 2020 started with a horrific crime perpetrated by Donald Trump when he ordered the assassination of General Qassem Solaimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad airport on January 3. This crime can neither be forgiven nor forgotten. Trump must be held accountable and made to pay. Islamic Iran must pursue every avenue to bring this war criminal and his accomplices to justice.
While the year is not over yet, another horrific crime was perpetrated. Dr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top scientist and physicist was assassinated on November 27 in Tehran. It is almost certain that Israel and America had a hand in it. Are the two trying to provoke a war against Islamic Iran in the dying days of the Trump regime?
Since the beginning of the year, the pandemic has plunged the world into one of its worst crises in history. Despite great advances in science and medicine and the arrogance these have bred in some people, the coronavirus has exposed human vulnerability. The world’s most militarized country—the US—is powerless and unable to protect its people. It leads the world in infections as well as deaths. Unfortunately, most victims are elderly and the poor, exposing America’s gross inequalities to all and sundry.
America has also been exposed as a deeply racist society. It did not start with the strangulation of Floyd George on June 25. His brutal murder, suffocating under the knee of a white police officer, however, brought to the fore the ugliness of American society where Blacks have historically been mistreated, abused and oppressed.
Despite weeks of mass protests, the police remain unrepentant. They have been militarized because the oligarchs that rule America want to terrorize the people into submission. And Donald Trump has done nothing to rein in the most racist elements in American society. He has emboldened them by his rhetoric. They are not a fringe group as became clear from the number of people—more than 74 million—that voted for Trump in the November 3 presidential election.
American policies have also affected people in other parts of the world, whether in Islamic Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Libya. In addition to its militaristic policies, the US also uses sanctions as a blunt instrument that affects the lives of hundreds of millions. Iran is a prime example whose people have been devastated by the illegal criminal sanctions.
Syria, Libya and Iraq lie virtually in ruins while the 24 million people of Yemen continue to suffer Saudi barbarism backed by the US and Zionist Israel. More than a million children are suffering from cholera. The UN has described the situation in Yemen as the worst humanitarian disaster in history.
Not far from Yemen, the Zionist occupiers of Palestine continue to brutalize the Palestinian people. The tiny sliver of land called Gaza is on the verge of collapse. Its healthcare system is at breaking point. The pandemic has intensified the people’s suffering while the Zionists peddle nonsensical propaganda about antisemitism whenever someone criticizes their criminal conduct against the Palestinians.
The situation is no better in India ruled by Hindu fascists. Religious minorities, especially Muslims and Dalits have been subjected to the most vicious kinds of persecution and terror. Public lynching of men and rape of women is rampant. The racist Hindus make the outrageous claim that they are ‘superior’ to others, especially Muslims. People that indulge in such filthy practices as drinking cow urine and eating cow dung yet claim ‘superiority’ over others shows how distorted their thinking is. India is a landmass of filth and squalor in which more than 400 million people live in absolute poverty. It takes gall for the rulers of such a country to make claims to greatness.
The world’s wrongs, however, cannot be rectified by mere talk. The overwhelming majority of victims of this oppressive and corrupt system are Muslims. It, therefore, falls on their shoulders to take corrective measures. This process must begin at home. Muslim masses must rise up against their corrupt rulers that are agents of imperialism and Zionism. These people must be banished from power and consigned to the dustbin of history. They will not go willingly; they have to be driven from power.
Second, Muslims must begin to take on the external powers that have so badly affected their lives in many terrible ways. This cannot be done if Muslim countries are dependent on these powers for financial or military help. If Muslims want to be masters of their own destiny then they must end such dependence. It is not an impossible task but it requires motivation of the masses and sacrifices by leaders. Further, it requires coordination and unity among at least some Muslim countries. The framework for such cooperation exists. What is needed is to set aside differences by black-boxing them and working on areas where there is broad agreement.
Several countries and movements are already working together. Such cooperation must expand and once successful, it will automatically attract others into its fold. While Muslims face huge challenges, these are not insurmountable. They offer opportunities to think in creative ways to overcome them. There is no better time than now to begin this restorative process.