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“I’ve thought long and hard over the many conflicts that have plagued the Muslim world and the haemorrhages it’s repeatedly and resultantly suffered


. Whether Bosnia, Chechnya or Kashmiri during the 90s, Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo during the noughties, Syria, Burma and Yemen during this decade, Palestine during the past six decades or the current War on Terror and its consequences for Muslims living in the west, one thing is abundantly clear: we have very few leaders or Islamic scholars who can step up to the challenge with both wisdom and courage in order to lead, guide and inspire the rest of us. For the most part, at best they remain apathetic or indifferent and at worst, grant tacit or vocal approval to the oppressors in one way or another._

_In one foul swoop they can condemn victims of oppression as “radicals” and “extremists” for standing up for themselves just because they want to sound “moderate”. In truth however, they seem even more out of touch with the realities of the lives of the oppressed and downtrodden than most laymen. You see, the scholars are the “inheritors of the prophets”. But, the path of every prophet was filled with pain, anguish and sacrifice as a result of calling mankind to the justice of the Most Merciful. Each of the great Abrahamic faiths can, in theory at least, attest to this. The prophets and messengers were part of the people and they lived through the consequences of their message – alongside its adherents. They were loved, admired, respected and followed as a result. Let alone defending the people from their oppressive enemies the prophets even attempted to protect them from the wrath of God himself …when they could._

_Today we have superstar scholars who undoubtedly have spread much knowledge and wisdom and they must be afforded due respect for their work. But, for remaining repeatedly silent or granting succour to our oppressors they must be reminded that their (lack of) words and (in)actions are being recorded in both worlds. May Allah protect us all from harm but, for those enamoured to them beyond reason, just check their track record of standing up to injustice and see what price the oppressors made them pay._

_If – and when – change or revolution does come such people may board the bandwagon – when it’s safe – but I for one, lost any tangible respect for such people from the point I witnessed the results of massacres and rape camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Little has changed since._

_On his great educational journey with al-Khidr the Quran tells us that the Prophet Musa was very keen and swore to be patient. Al-Khidr, however, possessing great wisdom and foresight warned_

“And how can you be patient on a matter in which you have no experience?”

_I believe this is the state of most of our scholars and leaders today. So, let’s stop expecting the world from those who cannot see what’s happening in it and let’s start leading from where we can.”_

*-Moazzam Begg-*

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Vision 21 is Pakistan based non-profit, non- party Socio-Political organisation. We work through research and advocacy for developing and improving Human Capital, by focusing on Poverty and Misery Alleviation, Rights Awareness, Human Dignity, Women empowerment and Justice as a right and obligation. We act to promote and actively seek Human well-being and happiness by working side by side with the deprived and have-nots.

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