A recent picture I saw spoke to me. It was of a Palestinian child, martyred by Israeli brutality.
The child asked me what was the use of Pakistan being a mighty atomic force, of the fabled wealth of Arab nations, of Iran’s revolutionary guard, of Turkey’s great history and of Muslim unity, when my life can be sniffed out this easily. The image of the child was not the only one that asked these questions. I saw pictures of women running for their lives, of innocent people left at the mercy of the cruelest force in the world. And each image seemed to beseech, what happened to your faith, your self-respect.
To each question, I felt like replying, you unarmed Palestinians are indeed better than all of us.
I fear the day we Muslims will show up before Allah, and he will ask, why did you not help these people? I fear that these victims of terror will stand beside God and ask him to question us over our silence, our failure to help. I am afraid that our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will be there to witness the Palestinian children accuse us of cowardice and of complicity.
Would Allah be satisfied with our reply that we had to follow global laws? That we did not have the economic might to face off with Israel? Or that we were cautious because we did not want to become a victim ourselves? Of course not. On that day, in front of our God and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) we will stand ashamed at our behavior.
So what can we actually do? Take up arms and march towards Palestine? We will be stopped, incarcerated or sent back at the very first border we will hit. The solution lies in truthfully examining the reasons that have rendered the Muslim Ummah completely useless.
We will have to acknowledge that Muslim countries have weak political structures that allow incompetent rulers to reach the pinnacle of power. We will have to admit that the division of the nation into borders and countries, which could have been our very strength, has made us selfish, helpless and even cowards. These rulers, lacking courage, are neither able to do anything themselves except issue empty statements, nor will allow their people to do anything. In fact, openly and in secret, Muslim countries are always out to scheme against one another.
Our enemy would be foolish to not attack this fragmented lot. And the enemy is anything but foolish.
It is time to put illogical religious fanaticism, empty emotional slogans and hollow condemnations to bed. Practical steps are required, ones that are based on what our religion tells us. Perhaps we need to once again revise history. How did Salahuddin conquer Jerusalem? Through the power of his belief, unity, learning through past mistakes and flawless planning. We would do well to remember that great nations are not built on emotions, but on self-accountability, planning and struggle.
If the Muslim world really does want to be free of the pain that is being inflicted on it, then it simply needs to take two steps. One, the establishment of an ideological system inside Muslim countries. Two, unity. I know this will not be easy. In fact it will be exceedingly difficult. But I see no other solution.
New life needs to be breathed into the Muslim Ummah. For that, a deep internal cleanse will have to take place before we can stand united under a flag. If we do not adopt this solution, we are condemning ourselves to a hundred more years of meaningless condemnation.