Edna Yaghi’s Column
(Mrs. Edna Yaghi wrote the following article in response to a letter from Mr. Bruce Hudspeth to the Editor)
Thank you for asking the following questions: “Who are the ‘atheist heartless Western Imperialists’? Are they Christian nations? Is it Israel? From a Muslim perspective, are all non-Muslims atheists?”
Allow me to first state the meaning of atheism. As you know, it is the belief that there is no God. From a Muslim perspective, all non-Muslims are not atheists. No one who believes in God can be called an atheist.
I have used the term atheist more metaphorically than literally for I believe in the sanctity of all life. I question the beliefs of any person who heartlessly kills civilian populations because of greed or out of hate.
As far as I know, there are no “Christian nations.” European countries and the United States have secular governments where they have separated church from state. I cannot say that Israel is an atheist country though the actions of many Israelis is an anti-thesis of life. And though Palestine is supposed to be the place where all the Jews in the world are in-gathered, many Israeli Jews are not at all religious. However, it is still not my place to judge whether one who shoots down little children or massacres unarmed civilians is actually an atheist or not. The doers of such deeds will punished at a time God deems appropriate.
Imperialism is the control or influence that is exercised formally or informally, directly or indirectly, politically or economically. It is a practice by which powerful nations or people seek to extend and maintain control of influence over weaker nations or people.
The United States, for example, exerts considerable control and influence over certain Third World nations, as a result of its national economic power and its dominance over certain international financial organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. European powers have continued to affect significantly the politics and economies of their former colonies and have been as a result, accused of neocolonialism which is the exercise of effective sovereignty without the formality of colonial rule.
States are motivated economically to dominate others by the need to expand their economies, to acquire raw materials and additional sources of labor or to find outlets for surplus capital and markets for surplus goods.
Imperialism is exploitation and is often responsible for the underdevelopment and economic stagnation of the poorer nations. It has often proven to be quite destructive. It has destroyed traditional institutions and ways of thinking and replaced them with the habits and mentality of the Western world.