It should have been Justice, not Proxies: The Chaos Caused by The Arab Spring
When looking at the Arab Spring, demonstrators protested on multiple issues: poverty, oppressive leaders, corruption and lack of freedoms, to name just a few. Across the Middle East leaders were being toppled in Tunisia, Yemen, Libya and Egypt. Demonstrators believed this to be an opportunity for the democratic deficit in the Middle East to end and for a process of universal inclusion to begin.
Looking back, over a decade on from the Arab Spring it seems that a democratic wave has failed to hit the region. The region, on a number of levels, remains worse off and rife with injustice. Over 15 million people have been displaced, over half a million have died and many states are no longer recognisable. Many of the uprisings were led by the youth who felt there was a lack of economic opportunities, but these prospects have not improved and in some cases worsened. In Tunisia, which has been viewed as a “success” by some, youth unemployment has increased from 30% in 2010 to 35% in 2018, and in Egypt the situation is worse with it rising from 24% in 2010 to 33% in 2018.
Despite regime changes the injustices of rulers remain, with a continuation of authoritarian regimes. In many cases, the revolts faltered leading to conflict and power vacuums, resulting in the return of the deep state. Libya has become a state of dire instability, with various tribal factions vying for control. In Egypt short-lived hopes of democracy faded away following the military coup led by Abdel Sisi, with the support of the Western powers, against the democratically elected Mohamed Morsi. Also under Sisi, by the end of 2019, Egypt had 26 imprisoned journalists which has further created a hostile environment for critics. A similar picture can be seen across the region with a general decline in press freedoms, personal freedoms, and corruption persisting and worsening. The reason for this is very clear: there was no justice in the wake of the Arab Spring. There was no justice before and there was especially no justice after. It’s not by establishing mere democracies that we can usher in an era of peace; rather, it’s by setting up a just government. If western powers—who undoubtedly played a huge role in the Arab Spring—focused more on justice as opposed to setting up “democratic” proxies, there would be much more peace in the world.
Others too, such as political commentators, have viewed foreign powers as a destabilising force in the Middle East, creating further conflict in the region. The Middle East has been used as a “battleground” for the superpowers to fight their proxy wars. In Syria, a civil has been raging since 2011, where President Assad’s regime is primarily backed by Russia and on the other side the rebellion militias are supported by America. The Syrian conflict has destabilised the whole region further. In Yemen, the UK, France and USA are providing logistical and diplomatic support to the Saudi led coalition, which is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Yemenis. The instability and destruction caused by conflicts does not even allow for the most basic human rights let alone democratic rights.
Being primarily Muslim countries, if Middle Eastern nations, citizens and leaders follow the true Islamic teachings, the dire state of the region can be improved. Islam sets out clear injunctions for both citizens of a nation and the leaders. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa established clear practice on how citizens should respond to rulers who are not fulfilling their rights. It is narrated that a companion asked the Holy Prophetsa:
“O messenger of Allah, if such leaders rule over us who ask of us to fulfil their rights but do not give us our rights, what do you instruct us to do in such circumstances?”
The Holy Prophetsa refrained from answering. The companion repeated his question, and the Prophetsa refrained from answering once again. So when a second or third time the question was asked, Ash’ath bin Qaisra dragged the questioner back, (in other words he tried to silence him) saying that, ‘The Holy Prophetsa did not like the question so fall back, do not ask it.’ It is then that the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘In such circumstances listen to your rulers and obey them. Whatever responsibility has been placed upon them they will be held to account for and you will be held to account for the responsibilities upon you.’”
This doesn’t mean that citizens do not have the right to protest, rather they should not incite rebellion and seek to reprimand their leaders through lawful means.
The Holy Qur’an makes the conditions for governance clear in the following verses:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَاۡمُرُکُمۡ اَنۡ تُؤَدُّوا الۡاَمٰنٰتِ اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہَا ۙ وَ اِذَا حَکَمۡتُمۡ بَیۡنَ النَّاسِ اَنۡ تَحۡکُمُوۡا بِالۡعَدۡلِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ نِعِمَّا یَعِظُکُمۡ بِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ سَمِیۡعًۢا بَصِیۡرًا
“Verily, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice. And surely excellent is that with which Allah admonishes you! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” [4:59]
The main principal of governance that is prescribed by the Holy Qur’an as mentioned in the verse above is justice. Islam does not limit nations to one form of governance but is open to democracy, monarchies, tribalism and other forms of governance as long as the requirement of justice is met.
The Arab Spring has unleashed over a decade of chaos. Instead of improving the conditions for citizens, we have seen in many cases the revolts have led to a worsening of their circumstances. If Arab nations wish to see an improvement in their state of affairs it is incumbent on the current leaders to rule with absolute justice and follow the true teachings of Islam.
Kicking Off the Year – Khadim Style
The National Ijtema Sports day for Northern Regions is currently underway in Bradford at Dixons Allerton Academy, and the Khuddam and Atfal present here are thoroughly enjoying all the activities and sessions that are taking place.
Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK is holding this sports day on the instructions of Huzooraba after sports at the National Ijtema 2022 were cancelled due to the demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a mark of respect. Huzooraba instructed the Majlis that the sports that were due to take place at the Ijtema should be organised as soon as possible for the benefit of all Khuddam and Atfal that missed out. Subsequently, it was decided for the Majlis to hold 2 sports days – one for the northern regions (taking place today) and another for the southern regions (date to be announced).
Registration started at 8am with Khuddam and Atfal arriving from all around the northern parts of the UK with breakfast served in the marquees set up onsite. The event started at 10am with an opening session chaired by the Nazime Ala Sahib Ijtema, Tariq Hayat Sahib. The plan for the day was announced by Mohtamim Sahib Sehate-Jismani, Abdur Rauf Lodhi Sahib.
Football and Cricket for Khuddam and Atfal took place in grass fields and netball courts. Tarbiyyat ‘Chit Chat Chai’ were held at the auditorium, alongside outdoor and indoor sports, on topics such as relationships, the key to paradise, and working hard or hardly working. The first talk covered a wide range of questions in relation to how Khuddam should approach the idea of getting married, how to decide on the type of spouse that they desire, the qualities they should look for and the attitude they adopt going into the process.
After Namaz-e-Zuhr and Ask a short Talqeen-e-Amal session took place which was on the topic of Namaz. This was followed by a continuation of sports. So far Khuddam and Atfal are finding this it to be a good opportunity to begin the year with an activity that binds the Majlis together in a spirit of brotherhood. The final session is due to take place after Maghrib Namaz, where winning teams will be given prizes by Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya. The Khuddam and Atfal attendance at the Sports Day is 780, Alhamdulillah.
Here is some of the feedback from the Khuddam on today’s event.
A Khadim form North West, Abdul Ghalib Sahib, said that “The event has been really good so far, I enjoyed coming together with Khuddam again after the sports were previously cancelled at the Ijtema due to the demise of the Queen”. Another khadim, Waheed Ahmad, said that “It was good that Majlis has found a window to hold such an important event of the Khuddam year”. Another khadim from Scotland said that “It is important for Ahmadi youth to come together, build a sense of togetherness and develop brotherhood.”
Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V Inaugurates Islamabad Convenience Store
On the 1st of April 2022, after Asr Namaz, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) inaugurated the MKA Tuck Shop in Islamabad. Huzoor (aba) opened the Homeopathic Dispensary adjacent to the Tuck Shop before gracing the Khuddam store. Huzoor (aba) unveiled a plaque and led everyone in silent prayer after which Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK, Abdul Quddus Arif, Mohtamim Sanat-o-Tijarat, Umar Hassan, and Motamid Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK, Nassar Bhatti, had the opportunity to show Huzoor (aba) the store and its wares.
Huzoor (aba) graced Khuddam with his precious time and distributed sweets to children who had gathered outside.
Immediately after Huzoor (aba) stepped outside the store, Huzoor (aba) was informed by Sadr Sahib about the Khuddam present with Huzoor (aba) speaking to a few as well. All those who had gathered were greatly moved by Huzoor’s presence.
This tuck shop will Insha’Allah serve as a small convenience store for the residents of Islamabad and visitors. The Homeopathy Dispensary has also opened alongside the MKA Tuck Shop.
Wars will Stop when the World Turns to the Promised Messiah Says Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V
In today’s Friday Sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) once again reminded Ahmadis around the world to pray for an end to the current crisis.
In today’s Friday Sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba once again reminded Ahmadis around the world to pray for an end to the current crisis. Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V stated:
Pray that Allah the Almighty grants both sides of the conflict proper understanding and they stop this murder of humanity.
Huzooraba further commented that Muslims should learn from the unity that the West has displayed in condemning the war:
Muslims should learn from this war. The [West] has become united, yet Muslims, despite belonging to one creed, never unite. They had one country destroyed; Iraq was destroyed, Syria was destroyed, Yemen is being destroyed—they cause this destruction through outsiders and are doing it themselves too, instead of being united. At the very least the Muslims should learn, from the West, how to be united.
Huzoor reiterated his continuous message that there will only be peace in the world when the world accepts the Imam of the Age—the Promised Messiahas:
May Allah have mercy on these nations, the Muslim nations and on the Muslim Ummah. This can only happen however, when these people accept the Imam of the Age who has been sent for this very purpose.
May Allah grant them understanding, and where they [the Muslims] reform themselves may they also pray and use their means to stop the world from wars, rather than themselves become embroiled in them.
Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Vaba has been warning of an impending world crisis for a long time and has travelled the world spreading the message of the Promised Messiahas.
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