� 18 Comments �
Two examples stand out:
The first has to do with the latest scramble to re-colonise Africa in no uncertain terms. If we were to cast our minds back to the late 1990s, some of us may recall that it was even trendy in some Western technocratic circles to mumble the mantra of ‘saving Africa from itself’. Since the publication of Basil Davidson’s ‘The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-state’ (1993) there was much spurious talk of how post-colonial Africa was a disaster zone and that the nation-state model was not applicable there. The subtext of this constant attack on the performance of the nation-states of Africa (which did not come from Davidson, though) was that Africans were not able to govern themselves and were not culturally or essentially adapted to modern modes of governance. The other subtext was that if Africans could not govern themselves then perhaps the time has come for a new mode of colonialism that would rescue Africa (and by extension Africans) from themselves.
Today what we see is the rush to gather and monopolise the oil and gas fields of Africa in the most blatant manner. Already American, European and Chinese companies are all over the continent, cutting deals with corrupt African despots in order to secure the gas and oil resources of countries like Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Yet why isn’t any of this being reported in the Islamist press? Surely the parallels with the developments in many Muslim countries, that are likewise hostage to the oil industry, are clear? Or is it because many Islamist intellectuals and journalists still think that Africans are not important to deserve such reporting because many parts of Africa (like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) are not Muslim?
Another striking example that comes to mind is the politics of Central and Latin America, that has gone unrecorded and unrecognised for so long. Venezuela for instance has been threatened with numerous embargoes, has experienced several attempts at toppling its government and has been cast as a Pariah state by the American government. Yet the country’s President Hugo Chavez has been attempting nothing more than an economic reform project aimed at giving the Venezuelan economy back to its people, complete with land reforms and nationalisation of key industries as was the case in Egypt during the time of Gammel Abdel Nasr.
Surely it should strike many of us as obvious that this is a case of history repeating itself, and the parallels with developments in the Muslim world; from Egypt under Nasr to Iran under Mosaddeq, are obvious too. And surely there is so much that Muslims can learn today by looking at the Venezuelan struggle against hegemony and comparing that to their own geo-political plight under present circumstances. But again, Venezuela seems entirely off the map for the international Islamist press. Why? Is it because Hugo Chavez and the people of Venezuela are not Muslims?
One cannot help but come to such conclusions when the contradictions and blind-spots seem so painfully obvious. But if prejudice and ignorance of the world of the other is the only thing that is stopping Muslims from looking beyond the frontiers of their own community, then perhaps the time has come for them to serious ask themselves what it means to be Muslim in the first place. Surely one of the principle tenets of Islam is the notion of Tauhid – the unitary nature of God and creation – which reminds us of the fundamental unity we share with the entire human race. The editors, writers and journalists who serve the machinery of the international Islamist press should therefore get their respective acts together and begin to look closer at the rest of the world around them. If they do so, they may realise that Muslims today have more in common with their struggling brothers and sisters in Venezuela, Cuba and the African nations that with the rich elite of their own countries.
Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."