By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
30 December 2015
In his Christmas address, United States
President Barack Obama paid tribute to US soldiers; “You help keep us free. You
help keep us strong. And whatever service you're in, we are extraordinarily
grateful for everything you do every single day," Obama said.
Simply put – We are always right to deploy you
wherever you are. Carry on doing the fighting.
The Australian Prime Minister Mr Turnbull
also did likewise and said; “In particular, we thank the men and women of the
Australian Defence Force who are serving overseas this Christmas …”
Meaning – We are sorry you are not enjoying
Christmas with your loved ones at home but we were obliged to put you in that
position. Carry on never the less.
The soldiers, American, Australian or of
other nations in today’s sophisticated world, unlike Genghiz Khan’s, are generally referred to as members of
Defence Forces, with the implied meaning that they are assigned the duty to
defend their own nation when attacked.
This may be extended in special
circumstances, to mean that the soldiers are obliged to defend others with whom
their nation has defence treaty when it is attacked by enemy-forces. Historians
could site many such examples where members of one nation’s defence forces were
sent to other nation country for the purpose of defending it when attacked.
The spin that oozes out of some goodwill
messages given by politicians this time of the year, then to single out the
soldiers serving in wars of aggression outside their own boarders; is that our
soldiers are fighting the “just wars” on behalf of our client and enlisted friends,
even though these friends may or may not have defence treaty with us.
The spin given in acknowledging the
soldiers sacrifices at this religious festive season camouflages the desire to
defend the political decision taken to send the soldiers to fight these wars
abroad; ala “Former British PM admits ‘mistakes’ and conflict’s role in rise of
Islamic State but defends armed intervention in 2003”. Armed intervention is
part of holy war even if it is a mistake!
Prime Minister David Cameron of UK, to his
credit however came a bit closer to the real spirit of the Christmas. Although
the obligatory acknowledgement of the defence services was there, one assumes
for the above given reason. He said: “If there is one thing people want at
Christmas, it’s the security of having their family around them and a home that
is safe. But not everyone has that. Millions of families are spending this
winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East,
driven from their homes by Daesh and Assad.”
Really? Were these refugee camps there in
the time of Assad or in the beginning of Bashar’s time?
But spoken in the true spirit of the
goodwill season- “We must pay tribute to the thousands of doctors, nurses,
carers and volunteers who give up their Christmas to help the vulnerable – and
to those who are spending this season even further from home…”. His heart seems
to be in the right place. Politically his mind may not be though.
“Right now, our brave armed forces are
doing their duty, around the world: in the skies of Iraq and Syria, targeting
the terrorists that threaten those countries and our security at home; on the
seas of the Mediterranean, saving those who attempt the perilous crossing to
Europe; and on the ground, helping to bring stability to countries from
Afghanistan to South Sudan.”
Why are they attempting the perilous
crossings of seas to Europe? How stable are these countries now after decades
of armed attempts at “stabilising” these countries from where these unfortunate
refugees swim the Mediterranean?
The British Monarch, head of Commonwealth
said that Jesus Christ's message was not one of revenge or violence, but of
love. Referring to the Bible She added- “We can lift some of those shadows by
sharing our love with others — beyond our family and close friends.” After all
the Monarch holds the title – ‘Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of
the Church of England’.
Then there is the statements of the
Pontiff, Pope Frances: “Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire…”.
For sure he has no forces deployed in other countries, so he can only pray and
desire, being a man of God with no armed forces.
He named almost every country, Muslim and
non-Muslim in conflict today, whether in religious, political or social aspects
– from Palestine to Colombia and all in-between and added further in
significance “…that dialogue may lead to a strengthened common commitment to
the building of civil societies animated by a sincere spirit of reconciliation
and mutual understanding.”
But the political powers understand that
dialogue means it is only to be carried out by the use of guns and deploying
It is also futile to remind the
self-proclaimed Khalifas and the false defender of the Faith of Islam that
their own Book of faith, the Quran had endorsed the Pontiff’s above statement
at the very inception of the Faith- Invite all to the way of your Lord with
wisdom and sound arguments and argue with them in ways that are best and most
Say to my obedient servants that they should
converse only in the soundest way: for Satan does sow dissensions among them;
for Satan is to mankind an avowed enemy 17- 53. Add to this the following and
then the message is complete:
And dispute you not with the people of the
Book except with the means better unless it be with those of who inflict wrong
and injury: but say “we believe in the revelation which has come down to us and
in that which came down to you; for our God and your God is ONE and it is to
Him we bow in faith.29-46.
It is absolutely fair that soldiers who
perform their assigned duty should be thanked, particularly during festive
times when they should be with their loved ones to enjoy the festival like all
However for simple minded person the
questions remain to the politicians to explain how their “Defence” forces go on
“Offensive” in other countries with whom it has no treaty of mutual defence. Is
implementing a political “Regime change” in other countries part of the Defence
forces obligatory duty under oath?
Does this fall within the definition of
Is it not obvious that peace and harmony
among mankind is not high on the priority list of political powers and its
operatives! Messages of revealed Books are turned into religious texts and
politics and religion should not mix, it is said.
The ONE God’s Revelations are of
fundamental values for whole of mankind. Religions are man-made to manipulate
His Divine values. That is why the poet had said:
Jalaal-e-paadshahi ho ke hjamhuri tamasha ho,
Judaa ho Deen siyaasat se toe reh jaati hai Changezi
Whether it is the monarchy or the circus of
When the Divine Values are separated from
politics what remains is Genghis-ism.
All those engaged in these games are the
Genghis Khans of the modern world at the cost of destruction on large scale of
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.)