A Tale of Two Countries
With the world reeling from a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch causing loss of innocent lives, a pertinent question has now arisen as to why this sort of hatred has developed among religious groups. Such a level of hatred was not visible some 25 years back. No one ever thought during those days of religion as being a barrier to excellent relationship.
A major attention that has gripped the world in the current decade or so is that of Islamaphobia. This fear came on the horizon when a handful number of groups who were religious bigots took Islam into their own hands, twisted things to suit their own goals. Their actions distorted the true image of Islam which has stood the test of time for centuries. Muslim-haters across the globe found their long-awaited opportunity. An organized Muslim-bashing system began, and within no time, it soared. The media especially those in the west, jumped on the bandwagon. Media played its own role in stoking the fire of hatred. And then the myopic political leaders in some countries joined in to fan the fire of hatred just to gather votes.
However, just before the recent painful incident in Christchurch and immediately following it, some world leaders have shown a great sense of maturity and have taken major steps to fill the void and close the widened gaps created by the actions of religious bigots and such political leaders.
One such leader on the world platform is Imran Khan. He took a quick, bold, wise, firm and much appreciated step when he recently sacked a provincial minister Fayyazul Chohan, a member of his political party. Chohan had passed derogatory remarks against the Hindu community in Pakistan. Khan would have none of this nonsense. Hindus form around 2 million of the Pakistani population.
Khan may possibly be the first world leader to send a clear message to the hate-mongers across the globe ---enough is enough.
Shortly to follow on the footsteps of Imran Khan came a great lady - - The Prime Minster of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. Following the ugly terrorist attack on two mosques, she took immediate steps to show solidarity with the Muslims. Her steps sent a strong signal that all such efforts to divide and create hatred among religious groups will come to naught. She wore a hijab while meeting the affected families; she had a verse from the Qur’an recited at the opening session of the parliament; she began her speech to the parliament with the Arabic words and the Muslim greeting “As-salaam-o-Alaikum” which translates into English “Peace be upon you. She had the Friday Azaan broadcast all over her country.
Jacinda Ardern is really a great lady, indeed.
Jacinda Ardern: You are a lady with a broad vision and far-sightedness, stoicism and courage, a no-nonsense attitude and one to take quick actions. I salute you for closing the gap. It was the need of the time.
While world leaders are awakening to stop religious hatred from spreading across the globe, it’s good to note winds of change taking place also on grassroots level to bring peace and harmony in the world. When a Synagogue in Pittsburg, USA was recently attacked by a terrorist, the Muslims in Pittsburgh got together and put up $ 200,000 within four days to help the affected Jewish families. The Jewish community in the US have now joined hands to help the families of the victims in the Christchurch shooting.
I look at people from a very broad perspective. My best friend in Doha is a Christian. I have helped colleagues who are of different religions when they are in financial difficulties. They know me. In return I have benefitted too. For over four years an Italian family in Doha supported me in every possible way and made my life a very pleasant one. They are simply lovely people.
A strong will for peace and communal harmony is now the need of the hour. This must begin at the lowest level. Let us join hands to make the world a peaceful place.
And peace is the first step towards progress.
Great views, Daniel. Bravo. You have spoken my heart out!
There are people and there are governments and they don't necessarily agree with each other. The USA is the greatest weapons exporter and most of it goes to the Middle East. Trust me, if there is no war, the US will 'manufacture' one because the US government is a vassal of the NRA. Money counts, human life means nothing.