I would like to warn you about the next western media campaign against Muslims regarding the treatment of Christian minorities living in Muslim countries and at the same time remind you regarding our very Islamic duties about the rights of minorities in Muslim countries. As we all realize that this is a critical period in world’s history. The terrorists who attacked the WTC and the Pentagon on September 11 were not only few people who hijacked the planes, destroyed buildings and killed thousands of people in N.Y. and Washington, D.C., it seems that these attacks were very carefully designed and planned. The people who planned these attacks knew that there would be a backlash against Muslims after these attacks. Thorough these attacks, they also wanted to destroy some Muslim countries and create animosity between Christians and Muslims. We must not fall into this trap. Yesterday, CBC did broadcast a news item about the Christian minorities in Pakistan. Although, the news did not include any specific complaint but by now, we all know how the western media tries hard to put Muslims and Islam in a bad position. Right now, the world media is in Pakistan. We all know very well that it is very difficult for the western media to find any positive thing about Muslims and Islam, they will try to find some thing, which they can sensationalize and present it on the media in order to create animosity against Muslims. They will find some small incidents and make it very huge. We know that the western media is influenced by some interest groups that do not want that God loving people, Muslims and Christians, should be living peacefully.
We are living in a very different world. Just few decades ago the world was very much divided on religious and ethnic lines. This may still be true for Muslim countries. There are no major changes in the demographics of Muslim countries but the demographics of Christian countries have significantly changed. Muslims have been migrating to Europe, North America and, Australia in thousands. Islam is the second largest religion in Europe, North America and Australia. Muslims are the largest religious minority in these three continents. There are more than 10 million Muslims in North America alone and they are increasing day by day.
On the other side, unfortunately the situation in Muslim countries is not good. Most of the governments in Muslim countries are very autocratic and dictator governments. These governments have been forced upon the people to be accepted. This creates a sense of helplessness among the people whether they are in majority or minority. Most of the governments in Muslim countries do not follow Islamic laws. Governments use Islam, when needed, in order to protect the rulers and their un-Islamic policies. Since, we do not have true Islamic laws implemented in most of the Muslim countries which provide complete protection for minorities, it becomes each individual Muslim’s responsibility to protect his /her non-Muslim neighbours. As you may know that Islam has very protective laws for the non-Muslim minorities living in an Islamic State.
It is our duty as Muslims to make sure that the Christians and other non-Muslims are safe in Muslim countries. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not only preach but had proven through his conduct that he always helped those who were oppressed. On many occasions when a dispute arose between a Muslim and a non-Muslim and he (peace be upon him) found that the non-Muslim was right, he made the decision in favour of non-Muslim. That’s the way the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ruled as well. Justice is the most fundamental requirement of an Islamic state. I am sure as we, Muslim minority living in the western world follows the laws of the land, the non-Muslim minority also respects the laws of the Muslim countries. If we want to get justice and peace for ourselves we must treat others, Muslims and non-Muslims with justice and peace as well.
It is our duty as Muslims and Christians to standup against those who are oppressors and want to carry out crusades against innocent people. May Allah help us. Ameen.
Mr. Syed B. Soharwardy is Founder and President of Muslims Against Terrorism (M-A-T)