By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
03 June, 2015
The British Prime Minister in the run up to the celebration of the eight-hundredth anniversary of the signing of Magna Cater at Runnymede England, on 15 June 2015 said to the effect that: Britain is a Christian country, committed to a democratic form of government where there is freedom, tolerance, accepting responsibility and respecting the rule of Law’. He further argued that these values were “not optional”.
The implication being that it is the Christian religion that instilled these values in the British people and that the nobles and King John in 1215 CE signed the charter on that basis.
And so, that only the Christian-majority countries adopt these values now, and without exception.
He is insinuating that it is a particular non-Christian group of people in the country which does not subscribe to these values. Under the present situation this must mean, the Muslim community in his country.
To give credit where it is due; although most of the democracies in the West today are countries with majority Christian population; but it cannot be argued that Christianity was or is the catalyst to establishing a successful social democracy as a form of government. Or that all Christian countries subscribe to these values.
It is self-evident that the common feature of successful democracies is political enlightened population, mainly through secular education. Importantly the political leaders, who bow to the will of their people, as expressed in fair and just elections.
However in the West Christianity as such does not play much of a part. Many such countries’ written constitution even forbids establishing any state religion.
There are non-Christian countries including Muslim majority countries too; albeit very few; which are secular democracies.
The “British values” that the Prime Minister has enumerated, are universal human values evolved over the centuries for human society in general as being good values, necessary to construct and establish harmonious community of nation.
Nations have, after suffering great deal of strife, death and destruction caused by fighting with each other, realised that these are values when adopted produce peaceful environment, conducive to progress and advancement of mankind.
Modern example is the European Union- EU, so far at least. After being engaged in the destructive wars and battles lasting off and on for centuries; now many nations, once staunch enemies have come together in one large union of nations, yet keeping their own national identities.
However, King John’s acceptance all those years ago to sign the Magna Carter charter was not the panacea that the Prime Minister now pontificates as noble ‘value’ of the UK because of its religion.
The King was forced by a group of powerful and elite group to divest some of his monarchical powers down to the nobles. So, at the most it can be said was a coup by them to get a share of the power and authority over ordinary people.
The ‘common man’ – the people-- got nothing out of it and were not better off as a result!
All universal faith systems extol brotherhood of humanity based on love, compassion and sharing. The values given above are its natural extension. This is also true for the faith of Islam to which Muslims claim to belong.
To imply that in totality the Muslim community does not subscribe to the said values; is to ignore many complex issues surrounding the condition the UK, the West and the world in general is facing today. That is, the “terrorism” of the Muslims, men and women.
This may sound like playing the proverbial blame game, but it is essential to see the whole picture, for the historic screen is very wide just to focus on one corner.
The West’s present day strategies and agenda and colonial past need close scrutiny if one is to honestly unravel the complexity of the situation and find sincere solutions to the dilemma.
Economic, educational and social conditions left behind in the ex-colonies; is a package on top rather than the religions.
Followed by the present day foreign and immigration policy and politics are continuing to contribute to the dilemma.
This strategy has created millions of refugees that cross the borders, and the atmosphere of resentment and hatred among large population of the world makes a huge contribution.
But the most dangerous situation now presenting the world is the agenda and military strategy being applied to carve out the world in zones of Super Power domination.
By creating conflicts leading to wars, death and destruction, they are creating lasting lucrative markets for their armament industry,
It is not surprising therefore that some Muslim people in the West and across the world take most radical measures to express their dissatisfaction with these aspects; but not exclusively under the umbrella of their professed faith called Islam.
Many young, well educated people from enlightened homes, even doctors, engineers, PhDs etc., who hardly ever attend Friday prayers, have been so called “radicalised”. To the extent that even young mothers pay the ultimate price. They abandon their children to join the so called jihad!
Questions then must arise:
What is that which turns these young minds to such extreme radicalisation?
Is the global media with partisan interests responsible for this?
Or it is the awareness of the global issues as a result of their education of the young that does it?
Therefore, should not the concerned and enlightened nations, the likes of Britain ask why this has come about?
Are their “values” to be applied only in homeland and not foreign-lands?
Then what are the triggers for terrorism?
They see the recent calamity that has befallen the Rohingya people at the hands of self-professed compassionate Buddhists and their government of Myanmar.
In spite of the Dalai Lama, their supreme religious leader has requested the Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Suu Kyi to intervene; but it is not possible for her to do so for “Political strategy”.
(Watch--http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/447815747770/dateline-2-june-2015 and see http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32974061)
In political strategies, lives and human rights do not count!
But many young people of today know their history and the legacy left behind by the British; the source of the dilemma.
The Muslims are aware of the strategies adopted by the coalition of which the UK is a prominent and willing partner in the Middle East vis Palestinian and Israel, which is an example where these “values “have been discarded for the sake of political strategy in favour of a Zionist State,
Incarcerating, torturing and humiliating beyond human imagination, people for years on trumped up terrorist charges, and then setting them lose in the communities without any compensation and guidance, and with impossible conditions imposed on their freedom; is no way to “de-radicalise” them.
They also understand fully that to “accomplish the mission”, these strategies are adopted not ignorantly but deliberately and are executed under calculated and well thought out State plans.
To the impressionable young Muslims, the so called Islamic State(IS), Islamic countries and other Arabic sounding named groups are no deferent than the long list of countries which have employed similar strategies; and often use religion as marketing ploy to recruit teenagers as fodder for their Jihadist adventures.
Young people from all over the world are recruited to join opposing parties, both parties claiming Jihad!
Their youthful zeal to try to right the gross injustice inflicted on their kith and kin, fellow religionist, and the total destruction of their once beautiful and prosperous home is what “radicalises” them.
Compounding the felony, when they see similar atrocities committed “by their own on their own “people, a total breakdown of judgement must occur in the young minds which must then lead to taking irrational action on their part to right the wrong.
The recruiters then take full advantage of this trauma and often use religion, in this case their version of Islam, as an added tool.
A fair minded person with a modicum of knowledge of Islam the faith as given in its source book Quran, would acknowledge that what some people commit in its name, cannot be the called Believers - in Quranic term, the ‘Momin’.
It would be of some benefit to the troubled world at large if all these complex issues are taken as a package and addressed and tackled by the economic military and advanced nations called the “Greats” of the world; with sincerity in order to construct harmonious, cohesive and peaceful world.
Well executed and controlled immigration policy with sincere efforts made to mould the newly allowed-in migrants to accept the universal values is required to achieve the purpose, not only for Britain but for whole of the West, where millions of displaced people flock; bringing with them the already highly traumatised and radicalised new generation of people.
Therefore in simple terms, the developed world’s political and military strategic agenda as applied presently must be abundant forthwith and policies based on justice and economic support for the third world countries, euphemistically called developing countries and the oppressed, must be adopted in order to nip the “exodus and holocaust “at source.
And genuine educational and economic help given IN the home countries – at the lowest level, is the only way to stem the tide of refugees the world over.
“Third world or developing”, inherently mean that; they, the 99% poor of the world need practical helping hand and not the highly publicised and trumpeted Aid which end up in the pockets of the elite and deposited in foreign banks for safekeeping.
Therefore at no loss to the aid givers.
This situation has been manifestly obvious round the world for decades, yet for the sake of political strategy to--get more out than give out--the donor countries have been ignoring the situation now at their peril.
The poor world also fails to realise that the “one who pats you on the back wants you to cough out something more”.
The Prime Minister and his well-meaning colleagues, the world’s ‘Great’; if they are sincere, would attend to the problems at the source, including their own contribution to the peril.
Ignorance and poverty is eradicated by actually sharing “Knowledge “and “Wealth”.
Not by the Magna Carta Charter imposed on the King by the nobles of the day, and the Prime Minister’s British values today.
The Political leaders and Religious dignitaries of the world in their annual goodwill messages all ways pontificate the importance of justice, peace and human respect. But it seems that political and military strategies are the impediment to implement them.
The Prime Minister’s universal values must remain as “not optional “for all and in all events, if his message is at all noble and based on sincerity.
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer