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Islam and Politics ( 11 Apr 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Proposed ‘Sunni Alliance Treaty Organization SATO’ – Thicker Wedge in the Schism of Muslim Nation


By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

12 April 2017

In the context of the Muslim Nation which claims its identity from the common Book the Quran, the military Sunni alliance as proposed by its champion advocate the “Custodians of two Harams” in Arabia; the Saudi government, is a flagrant contradiction of the commandment of the Book since the proposal by design excludes the other portion of the main body of Muslims, the Shia world.

The proposed alliance is purported to fight against the common enemy, the terrorist, who also claim to be Muslims. Yet it is a well-known fact and oft reported that both factions, the Shia and the Sunni governments and groups, either support or oppose one or the other factions of the terrorist, extremist and the so called Islamist-- and that is where Islam is dragged in the strategic conflicts! Ironically again, the non-Muslim enemy-friends are also invited to join in the quagmire, ostensibly to bring peace and stability. But they practically ‘add fuel to the fire’. What is tragic, degrading and humiliating is that the Muslims literally supply them with the ‘fuel’ to do so.

The proposal if implemented will blatantly and permanently establish wedge in the schism that already exists under the banner of Islam, to which both parties swear oath of adherence, and yet:

6-159: As for those who cause schism in their Deen and break up into sects, you (Oh Messenger) keep no relations with them what so ever…

If the Messenger is instructed NOT to keep any relations with them, how then can they claim to belong to the Messenger’s Believers party?

The protagonists under the surgeon general, with assistance of the ‘coalition of the willing’ Sunnis wish to dismember the main body of the nation of Muslims to claim political and military supremacy of the Muslim world, not by uniting the already torn apart nation on account of their respective religions, but by fragmenting it further in blatant contradiction of Quran as seen from just one of the verses given above. Ironically all parties taking part in furthering such schisms claim to practice the Quranic Deen.

Hence the poet Iqbal was prompted to say:

Tu Meri Nazar Mein’ Kafir, Main’ Teri Nazar Mein’ Kafir

Tera Deen Nafas Shumari, Mera Deen Nafas Gudazi

In my sight you are an infidel, in yours I am an infidel.

To count heads is your faith, to win hearts is my faith.

The already wide schism that exists in the body-Muslim is thus further widened and so this proposed alliance of Sunnis alone, against terrorism will not help heal the centuries old split that exists in the name of Islam between them and the Shia world.

Can there be such a pathetic example of a nation hell bent to follow the path of self-destruction?

In the words of another sensitive poet Hali of recent past:

Maanay Nah Koee Madh Hai Har Jzar Kay Baad?

Daryaa Kaa Hamaaray Jo Uternaa Dekhey!

Would anyone believe that a tide will ever eventuate?

Should they observe the ebb of our sea that has receded!

The Western alliance called NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an example of an organization that has driven a wedge between the so called communist and the capitalist world – the Left and the Right, the First and the Second world. On its formation Its aim was given as - "to keep the Russians out"[ If its chequ’ered history since the end of the last Great War is anything to go by, it will be seen that it has divided the military powers of the world in two main camps of opposing ideologies and strategies for dominating the world. Hardly a recipe for world peace!

The proponent of this SATO seems to have similar goal: to keep the Shias out. Is this an example that the Muslim world wants to emulate to foster brotherhood of the Muslim nation and in accordance to the commands of the Book? The Book instructs them to firstly make peace amongst themselves and then on the basis of them being the followers of the common Deen of Quran:

21:92- This brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Cherisher, so serve Me and no one else… and commands them:

49:10 – The Believers are brethren so make peace between your brethren; and keep your duty to the Lord that mercy may be had on you.

The Shia-world should make it abundantly clear and insist that they are part and parcel of the Muslim nation and must be included in the alliance against the terrorist to maintain peace among Muslims and hence the world at large; as did the Russians not long ago had expressed the wish to join NATO to maintain peace in Europe. The distrust generated over the years between the two parties could not agree to the request in spite of the fact that not long before they were allies during the war against the common enemies, the Axis nations. So today we see the specter of wars where the two opposing parties are playing their allotted responsibility of adding fuel to the proverbial fire in the Muslim world!

It is to be lamented that the fragmented Muslim nation is heading along the age old trodden path of distrust, shattered brotherhood, sectarianism and religious bigotry that has been their strategy for centuries. For that they are being punished according to the laws of nature; in spite of the daily plea they make, at least five times a day in their prayers for - guide us not…:

1:7 – …on the path of those upon whom wrath is brought down, nor those who go astray.

Apart from the major regional divisions in the Muslim world based on religious factional divisions; even internally almost all these countries have Sunnis and Shias population within their borders. Many Sunni majority countries have sizeable Shia population and vice versa. Therefore this alliance based on ‘Them and Us’, the ‘Inner and Outer’ and those ‘of us and amongst us’ grouping of people does not augur well for internal unity of any country let alone the Muslim world as a whole.

In such a situation how can the common enemy be dealt with?

Except perhaps by:

3:102 – And hold fast by the covenant of God, all together as one and not be disunited. And remember God’s favour to you when you were enemies, then He joined your hearts so by His favours you became brethren…

For the hearts to be joined Reason was then applied and the consequences of division within one body, the Muslim-nation were comprehend. How it is that such a simple message of the Book and lessons of history is not now comprehended by the warring leaders of the nation? Iqbal therefore continues to express his disappointment in these words:

Teray Dasht-O Dar Mein’ Mujh Ko Woh Junoon Nazar Nah Ayaa,

Keh Sikhaa Sakey Khirad Ko Rah-O Rasm-E-Kaar Sazee.

In your wilderness and waste lands I see no passion,

That would excite the Reason to make you act righteously.

The Pakistani General nominated to head the alliance must be well aware of his national poet. He should therefore apply Reason and do the right thing by the Muslim nation.


A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer.


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