This is an urgent appeal for the sake of the American people and the future of this great nation to take a very careful look at the dangerous situation brewing in the Asian Region due to the constant barrage of destruction and devastation by CIA manipulated drones, most often launched in the hunt for ‘suspected’, or ‘believed to be’ Taliban; when in actuality, these barrages are killing innocent men, women and children, causing wholesale demolition of schools, communities, townships, and villages, and producing no concrete results of thwarting Taliban activities or their suicide bombings.
In Afghanistan, besides the growing discontent with military operations, there is the pitiful state of the Afghan refugees, for whom repatriation is not possible for many, challenging the Pakistani government to provide the health care, education and nutritional and social needs for the refugees’ survival.
Those who are not Muslims must think deeply and make decisions based on the teachings of Jesus, son of Mary, (may God bless them both), if such problems will be solved. All, Christians and Muslims must live according to the pattern of those sent by God for the guidance of mankind and develop and apply a strategic mix of social, political and military responses that can be applied, at every turn, to remedy this situation. This includes avoiding at all costs, the xenophobic stereotypes that “all Muslims” and those who look or dress like Muslims are “evil terrorists” out to destroy the very country in which they enjoy great freedom.
Muslims who were born in America and certainly the immigrant Muslims are here for that very freedom that promises social, educational and economic opportunity. As such, the backlash on Muslims, because of the unrest in the Asian Region is unwarranted. As Muslims in America, we love our country and play very active roles in society. Yet, the fight of good against evil is the responsibility of all people.
This war, with its rising death tolls, has figured now in a way we would rather not notice, yet, we cannot now afford to close our hearts and eyes to it. We must take a serious look at the consequences. In Afghanistan, the US military deaths doubled in 2009 to 317, compared to 155 the previous year, and many believe that with the resurgence of troops, more destruction is sure to follow. The answer has proven itself to be embedded in more education on all sides, not more fighting. Peace must come, by the willingness of the great minds that have the power to end the tragedies of this long war.
Unfortunately, just before press time, the news had reached that in Iraq, while most Americans slept, a car-bomb blast occurred ending 33 more lives. But the Iraq war has somehow blossomed into other Muslim countries. In southern Afghanistan more US soldiers were killed by a bomb blast (NATO). There must be an alternative to the bloodshed.
One thing is certain, the devastation in the Asian Region will have a reverberating affect on the nations that partake in the war manoeuvres that are driving the people to cry “No More!”. The villagers in the mountain regions are God-fearing people, meek, and steadfast in their devotion. They may not be well versed in Western ways and modernity, but their simple devotion to the Almighty has protected them thus far. There is much commonality between them and the People of the Book, the Christians. These humble people hold on to strong traditions such as protecting the guests under their roof. Certainly, many an American soldier has witnessed this kindness and hospitality. With these strong beliefs, they take great pride in their heritage and their families. That is the key: They don’t fight for ‘palaces in the sky’, but they do what they can, to defend their families, and that is a natural instinct.
One thing is certain –such people will never understand terms such as “suspected insurgents,” “pinpoint strikes,” and the misleading reasons for the mainly CIA-orchestrated drone strikes such as are reported, in the following news report:
“Drones have been extensively used by the U.S. to attack suspected militant leaders in Pakistan’s tribal areas. In the Afghan conflict, however, they have been mainly employed for surveillance purposes and used only occasionally for “pinpoint” strikes against known Taliban commanders.”
All of this ‘sketchy’ language used to explain away the bombing of villages, continues to create a deadly ‘picture’. These types of strikes always miss their targets and result in such sadness that this appeal is being made on the grounds of humanitarian needs. We believe this can be avoided if new steps are taken for its prevention.
The Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), delivered a universal message to mankind, full of immutable truths. He preached good treatment of fellow-men and was well aware of ‘the law of the return of the deeds.’ If good is done now, benefits will be reaped later. Can then this immutable law be ignored or can the history of oppressors like Pharaoh also be ignored; and what of Hitler, or the former Soviet Union which was historically proud and ruthless, but who learned all but too late that there was an alternative?
Last year, President Obama, set the precedent for a strong start as the American Nation’s 44th president. With nobility and bravery, he dared to open with prayer. In a unique strategy encompassing Love of God and Neighbor, he brought together the diverse leaders of the hearts and souls of the people of our nation and invited them to bow before the True Leader of Souls, the Almighty, and in humility and unity, they prayed for our Nation’s future and his governance as Commander in Chief.
This year, we ask for the prevention of what is becoming known as ‘Pentagon Paranoia’ – that use of force in an effort to show the power of this nation- because in truth, the power of our nation is best demonstrated when used with God-inspired wisdom sent to one’s heart, which grants the light of decision making -the choice between right and wrong -while revealing secrets behind the creation and the purpose of life.
Look deeper into the lives of the simple people; gain knowledge of their beliefs and all that lends itself to cooperative action.
The President’s words of inspiration delivered to the youth of America regarding the continuation of the civil rights struggle –the struggle for freedom that is not old-fashioned, nor outdated– ring true for the youth and people of Pakistan as well. On this anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday –a great freedom fighter who would be grieved to see the condition of the oppressed wherever they may be– we make an urgent appeal that this nation stops any further aggressive measures of attack against the village people of Pakistan and opt for a safer solution.
Let us drink from the cup of wisdom of our religious forefathers. History is replete with examples: During the Crusades, the Muslim and Christian leaders, Amir Salahuddin and King Richard, the Lion Hearted, respectively, fought long and hard. The casualty rate was only outweighed by the amount of blood that ran through the lands, ravines and streams.
Near the end of the war, King Richard suffered injury and Amir Salahuddin, the Kind-Hearted and Generous, risked his own life by shielding his identity and making the long journey to the English head of state, in order to offer a cure for his wounds. Amir Salahuddin spoke to King Richard of the wisdom needed to end this war and the subsequent loss of life, for he had passed through the fields where the slain bodies lay, and he realized this battle was a matter of pride in which too many innocents suffered.
King Richard’s initial response was indignation, and he remained reluctant to yield, not to mention the great pressure he felt from his administration. His wife, however, was his helpmate, and bade him realize the civility of Amir Salahuddin’s request. Finally, the two leaders came to a working agreement whereby Muslims and Christians were able to live harmoniously in the Land of the Living –Jerusalem. The fighting ceased and the numerous orphans, widows and wounded were able to celebrate the Holy Birth of Jesus, son of the chaste Mary (peace be upon them both) without fear of perdition.
On December 27th, the United Muslim Christian forum in the United States celebrated the Holy Birth of Jesus, son of the chaste Mary (peace be upon them both). Of a surety, US President Obama would have enjoyed the exhilarating feeling of love, peace and unity between the faiths of Abraham, the children of Adam (peace be upon him) and the Family of Mankind. United we are strong, and can work toward any solutions.
Both Muslims and Christians hold dear the words so eloquently stated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which seem to be the most appropriate reference to the plight of the Afghan-Pakistani peoples’ struggle for the freedom to live and breathe in their villages as we Americans do in our free cities. “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy … and realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.” President Obama is to be duly honored as a Promoter of Human Rights and Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Bear in mind that we, as human beings, who are witnessing oppression have the same duty as Moses (peace be on him). The weak are not to be blamed for their weaknesses. The Almighty creates in balances: the weak cry out and the strong are to answer the call.
The solution to humanitarian problems lies in our strong belief in the common words: “Love conquers all,” “Love all mankind,” and “Family of God.” Almighty God states in the verses of the Holy Qur’an Majid that “Whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved all of creation”. Working together, both faiths can make a difference, lead people to truth and save lives. This is an invitation to a secure peace. The followers of El Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, the Imam of the Muslims of the Americas, send heartfelt feelings of high morals, good faith, and strong patriotism rooted in: “America is our country; freedom is our right; and Islam, true Islam, is our religion.” May The Almighty guide us as one nation, to take swift and correct action that results in peace for time to come.