Wednesday, September 07, 2005


We as a global community have seen many a trial this past year. From tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, forest fires, other natural disasters, attacks in London and other places, record plane crashes this summer, and numerous brutal wars and disputes. Deaths by the hundreds of thousands. We should really reflect both personally and collectively on how we live our lives. The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk upon the earth gently. A post on Omowale's blog prompted the following comment which I had been thinking of posting, but his post forced me to get it out, rather than put it off.



Indeed looking at the images of Katrina's destruction were surreal. As you said, the images seemed as though they were of a third world nation - not the USA.

The heartbreaking stories really hit home. Another thought that was persistently occuring to me was that this was destruction at the hands of mother nature - no person to blame, no regime, no terrorists. And yet, there was such hurt and anger amongst the victims of Katrina for what they had lost. And the media was so compassionate.

Mothers caught amidst childbirth; cancer patients, diabetics without medication; the elderly, babies - everyone, in every stage and trial of life - all victims. The amazing thing was that it was all caught on camera for the world to see and shed tears for what others had lost and suffered.

What saddened me was that what isn't caught on camera - especially not at that scale - are the victims of the USA. Mothers, babies, the sick, the elderly - all victims. Weddings postponed. Houses, cars - destroyed. All with one difference. Those people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and elsewhere all *do* have someone to blame, they *know* who dropped the bomb on them, who shot them, who raped them, who pillaged their homes. So imagine their anger. And yet we ignore it everyday. It doesn't get news footage, doesn't make headlines, except at people wondering "why do they hate America: land of the free?".

If those in the Gulf Coast who have had their lives toppled, their jobs destroyed, loved ones lost, *knew* who had done this to them. If it were a human force, a regime, would *they* not hate that regime? Would *they* not be full of anger towards it?

Just some food for thought.

May Allah give ease to the hearts of those in the Gulf Coast who have suffered at the hands of nature and been given a huge test indeed. May they turn to Him, be steadfast and rebuild their lives quickly. And may He bring justice to those wronged by the USA and by all oppressive and destructive regimes. May He bring guidance and peace to all of humanity and give them a taste of what Jannah is like in this world. May our hearts all unite, full of compassion for *all* our brothers and sisters in humanity. May the killing stop: by guns, bombs, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes - may it stop so we can live in peace and harmony, loving one another. Amin.


1 comment:

  1. An addendum to this post on Katrina:

    Louisiana, Iraq and Egypt expose inept Bush


    We know that Katrina exposed America's Third World underbelly, along with its deep divisions of race and class, and its proclivity to gut government services but not the funding to wage wars. It bared George W. Bush's palpable discomfort at being forced out of his make-believe world to confront ugly realities. It also served as a reminder of how some conservative governments in North America can be criminally incompetent.

    Ronald Reagan left a fiscal mess. So did Brian Mulroney. So did Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, besides wrecking whatever they touched: health reform, Hydro reorganization, municipal downloading and school restructuring.

    The Bush administration's war on terror has created more terrorism. Its occupation of Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster. Its ineptitude in Louisiana is no different than in Iraq.

    It ignored predictions of impending natural disaster in Louisiana, as it had turned a deaf ear to worldwide warnings about the man-made disaster that Iraq would be.

    Just as the people of New Orleans had no food or water and were abandoned to the mercy of looters and thugs for days, Iraqis have had little or no drinking water, electricity or medical care and have been left to fend for themselves from criminals, kidnappers and terrorists for 29 months.

    Racism may have played a part in the initial indifference to the plight of the poor blacks in the south. But there has been little doubt about the contempt for Arabs, whose plight has not mattered a whit to Washington and whose lives count for so little their dead are not even counted.

    An outcry from an embarrassed America forced Bush to act in Louisiana. There has been no such American backlash for his debacle in Iraq.

    The water in New Orleans has high sewage bacteria and high lead levels. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers have been rich in sewage for years.

    Katrina killed hundreds. The American invasion of Iraq, and the terrorism it spawned, has killed at least 30,000. In both Louisiana and Iraq, too many people died who need not have.

    We hate such comparisons. They bring home some stark truths, which our media shield us from. But the rest of the world does notice.

    It would also, no doubt, note that one of the more generous contributors to Katrina's relief fund — of $100 million U.S. — is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of the American military industrial complex, the Persian Gulf sheikdom of Qatar, home to a vast U.S. military base.

    The ethos of scratching each others' back that governs the charmed circle of the Bush administration leaves little room for the caring and feeding of ordinary citizens, in America or in Iraq, let alone for any sense of justice, fair play or honesty.

    In Iraq, victory is always said to be around the corner — with the transfer of "sovereignty" to the locals, with the elections and now with the new constitution. As historic as the document is, few Iraqis care. They won't until they, too, receive some relief from their endless misery.

    Exaggerations also mark the administration's hailing of the ostensible arrival of democracy in Egypt, its other Arab client state.

    Under American pressure, Hosni Mubarak, the pharaoh in power since 1981, permitted competition in the presidential election yesterday, thusly: Voter registration was closed before the announcement of the contest.

    The strongest opposition, the Islamic Brotherhood, was barred from fielding a candidate.

    The only ones on the ballot were those with the signatures of 65 members of the lower house of parliament, 25 of the upper house, and 10 of municipal councils, all controlled by Mubarak.

    The election commission banned election monitors, foreign or local.

    On the eve of the election, in an unrelated incident, a fire broke out at a student theatre, killing more than a dozen young people. Among the first to arrive at the scene were not the firefighters and ambulance and aid workers but armoured riot police to secure the site — just like in Louisiana.