Ummah: A Mythical Alliance of Muslims
Alliance of Muslims, one that is fanatically sought by the Islamic terror organizations like Al Qaeda, has seldom existed in history even though the very concept of Ummah or Community of Muslim Nations has continued to be a popular notion amongst Muslims across ages. Aftab Zaidi writes more…
Shias and Sunnis are designed in such a way that they could seldom join forces. Thanks to their vast ideological differences. Shias idolize Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law & the fourth caliph) claiming that it was his right to succeed after the death of Muhammad. On the contrary all four caliphs are held in very high esteem by the Sunnis.
The significant bone of contention between Shias and Sunnis relates to “The Battle of the Camel”. This clash took place in Basra, Iraq in 656, between forces allied to Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law & the fourth caliph) and Aisha (widow of Muhammad). Aisha wanted to take revenge from the assailants implicated in the assassination of the third caliph, Usman. Ten thousand men lost their lives on both sides. Two very close companions of the Prophet, Talha and Zubair who had accompanied Aisha, were also slain. Aisha remained unharmed till the end of the battle. However the seeds of discord were sown which exist till today. Shias and Sunnis even today are at each other’s throats due to this insignificant event of 7th century.
Currently there is deep hostility, suspicion and animosity between Saudi Arabia-the citadel of Islam, andIran, a country with the huge Shia population. Both countries have been in competition for promoting their brand of Islam since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Pakistan has been at the receiving end of these games. The Salafi regime ofSaudi Arabiasponsored hundreds of Madrassas (religious schools) in Pakistan which churned out religious zombies. These fanatics currently are not only fighting the Americans inAfghanistanbut are also involved in hundreds of terrorist incidents withinPakistan. Similarly, Shia Iran supported the Shiite organizations inPakistanboth financially and logistically. This unhindered backing gave birth to a sectarian monster, resulting in numerous killings on both the sides.
Saudi Arabiaat the moment, just like Israel, is very concerned about the Iranian nuclear program. A nuclearIrancan not only affect the hegemony of Saudi Arabia in the Muslim world but also create trouble for it in the foreseeable future. According to credible press reports, recently the Saudi authorities have approved the use of a corridor of its airspace to Israeli fighter jets for an aerial attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. This has been denied by the Saudi regime. However this is not mere conjecture and the Saudis are very likely to be silent spectators in case of an Israeli bombardment of Iranian nuclear installations.
Two million Muslims were killed by Muslims in the Iran-Iraq War. Three million Sudanese Muslims have been killed by Muslims. More than 300,000 Muslims have been killed by Muslims in the ongoing Darfur conflict. Iraq invaded Kuwait and Syria invaded Lebanon. As of June 7, a total of 29,105 Pakistani Muslims have been killed by Muslims over the past seven years (as of June 2010).
Muslims are a divided lot. The need of the hour for them is to learn fromIsrael. This small country is surrounded by enemies. Despite very strong opposition, it has been able to withstand the onslaught of its Arab neighbors. It has decisively crushed its numerically superior foes during all the Arab-Israel wars. The birth ofIsraelright after the holocaust was no less than a miracle. Jews were systematically and institutionally prosecuted and murdered during the Second World War. It was their resilience, harmony, magnanimity and far sightedness that kept them together and eventually resulted in formation of the world’s first Jewish state.
The creation of this tiny country itself carries a very strong message for the Muslim population. It is essential for Muslim countries to reform, restructure, mould and base their societies on the universal principles of human rights, ethics and morality. The medieval scriptures of Islam have become redundant in this day and age. There can be no progress and reformation in their cultures until they let go off their obsession with religion.