Do Moslems really need sectarian strife?

One cannot help but see that the Moslems of the world are in the most difficult of times, with almost little control over their destinies and hardly the faintest idea of what lies in store for them in the future. It is bad enough that Islam is being targeted for all practical purposes as an enemy, in all of its manifestations, but that Moslems are now being goaded to engage in sectarian strife and violence is simply unforgivable. This observer and many others are really wondering if as Moslems, we are truly being ourselves. When we consider the sectarian inclinations, most of which are trivial and secondary in nature, as more paramount in our thinking than the dictates of our religion, which call upon Moslems to stand together and keep in mind that they are really a universal nation. Accordingly, the pains of any Moslem are the pains of all and an aggression against any of the faithful is an attack on all. There is really no excuse for those of us, who believe that we should pay attention to our minor differences and work them out by the process of elimination! That not only defies Islamic ordinances of any sect, but is simply inhuman, not to mention being self-defeating. All those, who look at different sectarian persuasions as more worthy of confrontation than confronting their real enemies, who are spreading havoc in their countries, exploiting their scarce and badly needed resources and happily encouraging all inter-sectarian strife amongst Moslems, so they can be free to fulfill all their ugly designs for the people of, not just the Moslem World, but the entire helpless Third World as well.

We have never come to know of any inter-sectarian violence in our history and indeed have great moments when even sectarian differences would not prevent Moslems from coming together to face up to a barbaric invasion. No, what we are seeing and hearing today is far away from the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the ordinances laid down by the greatest social reformer of all times, the Prophet Mohammed (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). No, Moslems, loyalty to Sunnism or Shiism is not what Islam is all about, especially when it comes at the expense of the badly needed Moslem unity that can help us face up to the real threats that are being brewed against us as a nation. It is not enough to say that this is being fed to us by “external forces”. That is naivety and simply an escape from responsibility for our own apathy when we hear of a new wave of sectarian clashes brimming here and there.

Needless to say, our leaders are helping tremendously to foment such sectarian infighting, just so we can forget about their incompetence and the unholy oppressive regimes that keep them in power. In fact, they are finding respite in this to cover up for their incompetence as effective guardians over the interests of their constituencies. That is why some of them are ready to talk about greater loyalty to “Shiism” or “Sunnism” than to their nation. What nations are they talking about anyway, the nations set up by fictitious borders drawn by former imperialists, their constituencies have sacrificed millions of martyrs to get rid of? It is bad enough that they have simply replaced the oppressive imperialist administrations sometimes with even more oppressive regimes than those that were imposed by the former imperialists. But to suggest that these fictitious borders should be honored by faithful Moslems more than the loyalty to the faith that has taught us to live as a nation that rests on brotherhood, freedom and justice for all Moslems is not at all acceptable or even rational. This observer has been fortunate to visit the lands of many Moslem brothers and sisters, everywhere over the last half century and I must say, at the grass roots level, the welcome a visiting fellow Moslem enjoys in all these places is one of the unforgettable imprints of Islam that the observer senses and relishes. I have seen this in the Island of Rhodes, in the various countries of the Middle East, in Malaysia, in Europe and in every country where Moslems are to be found. Not one of these Moslem brothers and sisters ever asked me what sect I belong to or, which Moslem theologian I follow. This was not an issue that deserved anyone’s attention. It is only until recently when some of our misguided brothers, who claim to represent the fundamental creeds of our “fellow Moslem predecessors”, started to regard the shedding of Moslem blood more holy than any Jihad they should engage in to safeguard Moslems. Here, we are facing the Jihad of survival and these corruptors of the faith insist that Islam is to be devoid of all its magnificence as a social order which professes tolerance, brotherhood and mutual trust and cooperation as absolute essentials for anyone to be called a truly faithful Moslem. Some claim that those who insist on upholding the superiority of a certain sect are actually prodded by the “enemies of Islam”. I say, that they are the enemies of Islam and this is also what the Holy Qur’an says about those who seek conflict between Moslems and misinterpret true Islamic guidelines of conduct: :They have taken their oaths (to be dedicated Moslems) as cover for them, then they detracted from the path of Allah, Their deeds have all turned sour. That is because they believed, then they became disbelievers, and accordingly their hearts become hardened and they have become (so) uncomprehending, … they regard every call as being against them; they are the enemy, so be cautious of them! (The Holy Qur’an Surah 63/Verse 4. Does not this fit well with these seekers of friction amongst Moslems until they have forgotten themselves and their obligations as true Moslems? God’s has indeed spoken the truth.