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Posted Online on Wednesday 30, November 2005 18:35 IST

Muslim Islamic NewsTake a Stand against War and Terrorism

By Mirza A. Beg

The Milli Gazette Online

When volcanoes erupt or the earthquakes shake continents by the continual adjustments of tectonic plates, or when the benign winds turn into hurricanes and tornadoes, inadvertently rearranging the terrain, we are awe-inspired by the power of nature. We usually take notice only when they wreck lives. 

Some try to understand the principles of nature, to learn to minimize their effects in future. Some grasp the precariousness of human existence and find fulfillment in helping those in need. Yet some tag the victims with the wrath of God and try to promote their concept of right and wrong. 

People devoid of humanity have done and continue to do much more harm to the civilization through wars of hubris and terrorism than nature has ever done. The sublime beauty of religious spirituality is ravished at the altar of religious bigotry and supremacy. 

The wars for land, resources, control of others, usually couched in the name of nationalism or religion go on unabated. Nation States keep on inventing greater and more sophisticated weapons to subdue the legitimate grievances of those considered "the others". In time the more militant among the aggrieved stealthily adopt the weapons to their tormentors. It brings on more oppression and draconian measures by the powerful and power blinded leading to indiscriminate violence.

With the punch and counter-punch even a principled rebellion degenerates in to murderous rebellion, facilitating the rise of unscrupulous leaders advocating indiscriminate violence. A downward spiral into the abyss of inhumanity ensues. Where nothing is sacred no revenge is too cruel and the most heinous methods acquire currency.

On October 29, Delhi was rocked by four serial blasts that killed 67 innocent people and wounded scores more. Unfortunately the problems that are nurtured for baser purposes of the nation states and the resultant downward spiral into the abyss of inhumanity can not be solved by knee jerk reactions, as is evident from the contemporary wars. Fortunately the government and people of India realized that treachery and terror do not achieve anything noble and shunned a flailing response. 

In our busy lives, we take notice of horrible events, are shocked and condemn them, then go on with the arduous task of living, to be shocked again by another event almost with the regularity of seasons.

It feels as if we are on a fast moving train of time, with scenes of benign normal pastoral uneventful lives rushing past our window. Every so often with the regularity, moonless nights, horrible scenes of carnage suddenly come into view. We want to avert our eyes but can not. We want to help but can not stop the train. The scene passes, leaving a lingering sadness that dissipates into the next scene.

We want to help abolish violence and exploitation, but feel helpless. But we are not as helpless as we think. The train does have breaks. Two of my dear friends Dr. Tripathi and Dr. Ansari have organized a one-day fast on November 12, at Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation memorial in Delhi. It is an expression of grief, but more than that the raising of consciousness against the killing of innocent civilians caught in the web of spiraling calculated violence. 

It is not a feel good exercise. When we take time from our busy schedules, we take an important step away from apathy. Let us take time to fast, reflect and try to influence just a few more towards the idea of being engaged. The following couplet is a translation from an Urdu poem: 

The journey was lonely, the quest was long 
One by one they joined, behold it is a caravan

One person alone is a voice in wilderness, when others join, it becomes a movement and the voice of the people. Let us fast in the name of voiceless victims of inhumanity and ask a friend to join.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted at



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