When will faith and humanity unite us against terror?
Let us hope that the spirit of Ramadan can inspire Muslim leaders to give peace a chance
According to the latest news from Syria where millions are enduring yet another year of a devastating civil war, an epidemic of a flesh-eating disease is spreading and treatments currently used are not effective.
Doctors complain that access to medical treatment for the disease is difficult. Medical experts and nonprofit organizations are struggling to contain the disease. However, the best treatment option is very expensive and human rights organizations lack backing and funding.
It is heartbreaking to watch the spread of destruction and disease and to hear the cries of orphans and the sobs of mothers and their children dying of disease, hunger and bombs.
When will this ugly war of terror come to an end? Is there no mercy left in the hearts of decision makers with selfish agendas. Enough blood has been shed. World leaders today have a responsibility to address the controversial issues that continue to fuel this war. The ongoing sectarian conflict is lethal and senseless. It is time Muslim scholars work together to find common ground that can unite Shias and Sunnis rather than engage in confrontations that divide them. The poor and helpless Syrians have no say in the decisions of the warring factions who are motivated by their self-interests and who are willing to murder the innocent to achieve their goals.
The selfish agendas of the superpowers are also fueling the war. When it comes to Arabs and Muslims, they apply double standards and are reluctant to be honest brokers for peace. They have a history in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Consequently, they are responsible for the death of millions of innocent women and children and their war machines destroy homes and force thousands to live as refugees being humiliated and deprived of dignity and basic human rights. Yet Western extremists label all Muslims as terrorists and view them as enemies and not victims of injustices.
According to a UN report: “The US retained its long-held position as both the top exporter and importer of arms. It sold a record $1.1 billion-worth of small arms in 2013, followed, in terms of exports, by Italy ($644m) and Germany ($557m)”… .“ In Syria, a civil war is being fueled by the transfer – from outside the country – of Kalashnikovs, bombs and missiles to belligerents, despite known and systemic violations of humanitarian law on both sides.”
We all are neighbors in the same global community, and we all have to start acting like neighbors instead of enemies. Irrespective of our religious backgrounds we are all part of the human race. It is time our leaders find the proper solutions to conflicts and strive to end the destruction and ruin. Religious leaders, Muslims, Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists can also strive to create an atmosphere of tolerance that promotes proper solutions instead of meaningless slaughter that is inhuman and detrimental to peace. They should unite to protect humanity and adhere to the values of justice, respect for human life, decency and tolerance. The role of politicians and civic leaders is critical to confront those who fan the flames of intolerance with sensationalism or propaganda for some petty gain.
Give peace a chance
The overall majority of the global community believe that there is no inherent incompatibility between members of the human race and that problems arise from intolerant minorities on all sides. Our own scholars need to speak louder than the extremists who have hijacked Islam and have confused Muslims who now need direction back to the faith’s true path.
Let us hope that the spirit of Ramadan can inspire Muslim leaders to give peace a chanceSamar Fatany
There are many controversial issues that need to be addressed in order to give direction to Muslim youth and to create a better understanding of Islam. Perhaps the most important thing that needs to be stressed is the tolerance promoted in the basic tenets of Islam. Islamic scholars should work together to find common ground that unites them rather than engage in confrontation that is criminal and destructive.
Let us hope that the spirit of Ramadan can inspire Muslim leaders to give peace a chance. The people of Syria need a diplomatic solution. War should never be an option. However, the whole region is threatened by wars and according to the UN report: “Middle East countries have nearly doubled their imports of guns and ammunition within a year, figures on the small-arms trade show, raising questions over how many of the weapons are fueling conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya.”
Ramadan is a month of worship and prayer. Muslims flock to the mosques for taraweeh prayers (the night prayers performed during Ramadan) to pray for mercy and forgiveness. Let us also pray to the Almighty in this holy month to grant our leaders the wisdom to end the war in Syria and to stop the bloodshed in Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. The Muslim nation needs all our prayers and imams have a great responsibility to promote Islamic principles of tolerance and moderation in order to end the sectarian conflict between Muslims and to defeat the distorted terrorist ideology that continues to fuel conflicts and threatens the peace and harmony in our region.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on June 11, 2016.
Samar Fatany is a Chief Broadcaster in the English section at Jeddah Broadcasting Station. Over the past 28 years, she has introduced many news, cultural, and religious programs and has conducted several interviews with official delegations and prominent political personalities visiting the kingdom. Fatany has made significant contributions in the fields of public relations and social awareness in Saudi Arabia and has been involved in activities aiming at fighting extremism and enhancing women’s role in serving society. She has published three books: “Saudi Perceptions & Western Misconceptions,” “Saudi Women towards a new era” and “Saudi Challenges & Reforms.”