As millions starve, a Saudi prince plans to construct another ‘tower’ in Jeddah to be higher than the Burj Khalifa costing $20 billion
Muslims rulers rarely practice what they preach. While millions are starving to death, oil rich Arab sultans are busy building bigger and taller skyscrapers. Other Islamic countries such as Iran and Pakistan are investing heavily in stockpiling lethal weapons but ignoring basic public needs. The same rulers will be preaching us austerity and piety as Ramadan arrives.
Muslims around the world believe that fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of their faith. It is assumed that by denying food, drink and other routine ‘luxuries’ of life starting from early dawn and ending by dusk, one gets better appreciation of the plight of those who face hunger and other such deprivations on daily basis.
The current situation in most Muslim majority countries, however, provides ample evidence that vast majority of Muslims enjoying power and wealth, rarely practice what they preach. It is especially true in countries, societies and groups which pretend to be the vocal ‘defenders’ of Islam.
For example, while millions of dirt poor citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, along the shores of Red Sea are starving to death on daily basis, their oil rich Muslim Arab brothers are spending enormous amounts of petro-dollars for building the tallest skyscrapers on the sand dunes.
A billionaire Saudi prince recently announced plans to build another ‘tower’ in Jeddah to be1000 meters higher than the 828 meters high Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Amazingly, the ‘custodians of Islam’s two holiest places’ plan to spend an estimated 20 billion US dollars on their project as compared to only $ 1.5 billion spent by their relatively, poorer, Emeriti cousins.
Just imagine how many people around the world could be saved from starvation if such an amount --- more than 21 billion US dollars –-- is spent to help people get out of perennial poverty!
But in all fairness, why blame the oil rich Arabs when the Muslims are engaged in bloody fights with each other. For instance, in war-torn Somalia, a local terrorist group calling itself “Al-Shabab” has not only been mass murdering innocent people including women and children but is also warning foreign aid workers NOT to feed the hungry in that troubled land.
Meanwhile in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Pakistan and many other Arab/Islamic countries ugly sectarian violence resulting in horrible death and destruction will continue during and after the month of Ramadan.
Both Afghan and Pakistani Taliban and their Al-Qaida cousins will continue, perhaps even accelerate, their homicidal activities by blowing up mosques, schools and innocent people shopping for food items to feed their children and for breaking their fast.
In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan where the top military brass and huge ‘security apparatus’ are always ready to stand up for defending their ‘honour’ and/or Islam, there is no one to protect the poor and helpless masses from the horrible acts of daily violence.
As has always been the case, the Pakistani ruling elite will keep on blaming the West, especially the US, India and Israel for all the ills facing the Pakistani society.
Now that the NATO supplies have started to move again and more than one billion US dollars annual ‘foreign aid’ has started to flow in, ordinary folks can expect even more disruption in electric and clean water supply, rise in consumer goods prices, more lack of personal safety and economic security.
In other words, all those toiling under the burning sun in wheat fields, on construction sites, doing road repair works, producing garments for export or any other job under inhuman conditions, will not find their life any easier but even more stressful during this holy month also.
If the real meaning of Ramadan is to better recognize and appreciate the miserable plight of the poor and the destitute and to provide greater help for them. But such practices do not seem to exist in any Muslim society.
|Dr. M. Husain Sadar is a Canadian of Pakistani ancestry. He lives with his Family in Canada’s national capital city, Ottawa.|