As planeloads of Afghans come here, nobody is asking the obvious question
As we witness planeloads full of Muslim Afghan citizens head for America, it's time to start asking why Muslim countries aren't stepping forward to take care of their co-religionists. Isn't it time they did?
Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban and may soon become a caliphate, ruling over a population that's 90% Sunni Muslims. According to the entry on the Taliban at the "Major Religions of the World" website, the Taliban are not a standalone religious sect. Instead, they are a radical political and religious faction. Many Taliban were trained in Pakistani-run madrassas. Thanks to the refugee flow the Russian occupation triggered in Afghanistan:
Saudi Arabia had an opening to further Wahhabism, its official religion. Pakistan's military dictator, General Zia ul Haq, a devout Wahabi himself, decided to establish this network of madrassas to train and educate the young minds in the art of hating the US/Zionism. He wanted these madrassas to become a permanent supply source of mujahideen.
This brings us to what is currently happening in Afghanistan. Two superpowers, Russia and the United States, failed to obtain victory over the militant Taliban. After Russia's pulled out, the Taliban overran Afghanistan, instituting a strict, violent, and oppressive reign over the lives of many, denying basic freedoms of thought, actions, and lifestyles. Women and girls suffered the most.
Now that the Americans are pulling out, that cycle is repeating itself. With the Taliban's current victory over the country, girls and women have been subjected to rape, forced marriage, strict dress codes, and denial of freedom of education and vocations. Men are affected, too, whether it's being forced to grow beards or to stop telling jokes. (The Taliban executed a comedian on Tuesday.) The Taliban are expected to further transform societal mores and norms.
While Afghanistan is a Muslim country, the Taliban's extreme approach to interpreting Islam makes it an outlier even by the standards of other Muslim countries. Considering the severe oppression many Muslims themselves will experience under Taliban reign, a valid question arises: "When will Islamic countries come to the rescue of oppressed Islamic people?"
Afghanistan isn't alone as a country where Muslims are oppressed. The Chinese Communist Party rounded up the Uyghur people and placed them in camps. BBC News reports:
Human rights groups believe China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls 're-education camps', and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms. There is evidence Uyghurs are used as forced labor and women are forcibly sterilized. Some former camp detainees allege they were tortured and sexually abused.
Remember Darfur and the way the Sudanese Arab Muslims committed near genocide against the Darfuri black Muslims? Women and girls were gang-raped, and many Darfuris were brutally slaughtered — men, women, and children. The same happened to the southern black Sudanese, who are Christian. In Iraq, 1.5 million Muslims have been martyred.
Every sura (chapter) of the Quran, except for one, begins with "In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful." (Allah is the only word for God in Arabic, so it is also the word that Arabic-speaking Christians use. Indeed, they worshipped Allah centuries before Muhammad was born or Islam conceived.) Since Allah is described as "compassionate" and "merciful," it would follow that Muslims should take on those traits and treat others with compassion and mercy, which is why the aforementioned question is valid.
As thousands, if not millions, of Muslims around the world are violently oppressed, why aren't Muslim countries coming to their rescue? Why are Muslims accepting individual or gang rape of Muslim women and girls? Why don't Muslim countries care that millions of Muslims are brutally murdered and martyred? As Americans or Westerners, isn't it time to recognize that oppressed Muslims really need other Muslims to come to rescue them rather than placing the burden on infidels?
America and other Western nations have a right to — indeed, should — ask this invariably unasked question. They should challenge the Muslim world to take pity on oppressed Muslims around the world, especially in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Their fellow Muslims need their compassion and mercy as much as Allah's "Compassion and Mercy."
Such traits and actions could be called Quranic principles, as Christians and Jews claim such traits as biblical principles when applied to Christians, Jews, and others. They are humane principles and human rights for all peoples and all religions. Another way to pose the question is to say, "It's time for Islamic countries to come to the rescue of oppressed Islamic people, isn't it?"
Image: A photo purporting to show U.S. troops loading Afghan refugees on a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 — except the plane has Arab script on it. Seems strange to me, but what do I know? Photo from the Department of Defense.
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