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Qazi Azad

          ONE has reasons to suspect that Huntington has a corrupt mind and that he is an intellectual pervert. To draw your own conclusion just compare his record with that of late Pope John Paul-II .At the height of the cold war, he initiated a dialogue between Christianity and Islam at his power-base in the Vatican. Addressing his assembled guests representing the two religions he said, "we Christians and Muslims unite in the worship of a common God". Huntington, a professor by trade, saw fault-line in civilisation no sooner had the cold war ended in his book 'The Clash of Civilisation- Remaking the World Order'. He must be a hunter by instincts. Else why should he discover adversaries in other religions to spoil a climate congenial for peaceful co-existence, which was then evolving? Only the notorious men promote notorious ideas. Mankind has known since long that evil is the mind that preaches evil. That's why one of the proverbs that condense human wisdom drawn from long experiences warns you," a man is known by the company he keeps". When some pro-Jewish westerners branded late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat as a dog, Pope John Paul-II raised his reprimanding angry voice to warn, " don't call him a dog. He is a relation of Jesus Christ".
Had the famed British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, been alive now he would have definitely expressed pity for the corrupt thought of Huntington in public, which has demonstratively created extreme human bias against fellow human beings. Do you remember how Lord Russell reacted to the British involvement in the World War-I? He quoted in his autobiography the letter that he wrote in the British newspaper, The Nation, now defunct. It began almost thus, "In the name of humanity and civilisation I do protest against our share in the destruction of Germany. Two days ago, if the German killed a British or a British killed a German, he was hanged. Now we scan pages of newspapers and rejoice over the killings of thousands by the machine-guns…" Lord Russell would not lie. He narrated in his autobiography how his father insisted on his mother to have a day with his male tutor who being consumptive, was barred by the then British law from marriage; and she had it in his father's house at her bed room. A bit of high degree generosity, I suspect. but the humane concern at the destruction of men by men that the said letter depicted goes to explain why Lord Russell was extraordinarily upset during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 when the United States and the former Soviet Union were close to a war. He narrated how he influenced former Soviet leader Khrushchev for ordering his country's ships carrying the missiles to Cuba for sailing back for home ports in his book, 'The Unarmed Victory'. If you have a human heart, you cannot be instrumental in agitating anyone to agonise fellow men on bare suspicion. You would rather work for their reconciliation.
Will you compare Professor Huntington with William Jefferson Clinton, the immediate past US President, who has almost become a living legend? Just read what he says in his autobiography - My Life, "All of us must respect the reflection of God in every man and woman, and so we must value their freedom, not just their political freedom, but their freedom of conscience in matters of family and philosophy and faith". Once Clinton in the White House said that his daughter Chelsea was reading the Qu'ran. I believe, she did, and so did Clinton himself. Pious Muslims recite a portion of sura Al-Hashr of the Qu'ran at dusk and dawn which in English reads, "He is Allah, besides Him there is no other God. He knows the visible and the unseen. He is compassionate and the merciful. He is Allah, besides Him there is no other God. He is the sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the Giver of Peace, the Keeper of Faith; the Guardian, the Mighty One, the All-powerful, the Most High! Exalted be He above all the partners they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Originator, the Modeller. His are the most gracious names. All that in heaven and earth glorifies Him. He is the Mighty, the Wise One". Do you find a reflection of God's own introduction of Himself in Clinton's observation, which has been quoted? When God Himself is the Keeper of Faith, who am I to question your faith?
When apartheid was still tormenting a large part of Africa, it was either Bishop Sithole or Desmond Tutu who said, "criticising a man on account of his colour is criticising God for creating a man of colour". Forgive this writer if he has wrongly spelt the name of the Bishop since he read the book, 'Africa's Freedom' long ago, which contained, among others, some selected lectures of a few great native Africans. Do you find in that an echo of what Islam preaches? If you believe that God is your only Lord who holds sway over everything, you cannot despise a man or a woman on account of his or her colour or creed. In fact, the last sentence of sura Al-Kafirun in the Quran which begins with the word "Say", addressed to Muslims ends thus, "You have your own religion, and I have mine". Look at a saying (Hadith) of Islam's Prophet (SM) which asserts, "He who has taken food when his neighbour is unfed is not a member of our community". Does this Hadith enjoins upon a Muslim to check whether his neighbour was a Muslim or a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu or a non-believer(Kafir) before offering him or her food? God Himself says about non-believers in the Qu'ran (sura Yasin), "We have bound their (hands to their) necks with chains of iron reaching to their chins, so that they cannot bow their heads. We have set a barrier before them and a barrier behind them and covered them over, so that they cannot see". All Muslims believe that the Qu'ran are the words of God. If God Himself keeps someone in unbelief, who is this writer to castigate him for being a non-believer? You may ask - where are those chains of iron? If Newton who discovered, among others, gravity, were still alive, he could have told you how unseen barriers may be there and they could be as strong as those made of iron. Since he is no more, ask Hawkins, who wrote the Brief History of Time with an extraordinary mind explaining how the universe expands setting in new parameters, to explain it for you. There are many things which you do not see but they exist with a degree of firmness which one may not even imagine.
One may not fully understand or understand at all religion unless one has read the basic sciences that reveal the existence of a Sovereign Lord, as evident in the laws of nature which you cannot defy without a compensating provision. This writer is extremely sorry at the mindless action of the Danish cartoonists who drew the cartoons of Islam's Prophet (SM) and that of the Danish newspaper which printed them.
The defaulters are a group Huntingtons out to wreck peace. They have violated the UN declaration that recognises the freedom to belong to a faith and practise it as one's fundamental right. One should respect a religion as its followers practise it. The fact that the Danish Prime Minister has refused to apologise for the misdeed of some of his countrymen reminds this writer of a famous remark of former US President Ronald Reagan, who is given credit by the Americans for ending the longest war in history - the cold war. Ronald Reagan used to say, "politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first". After all, political populism does not always permit telling the truth. Those who rise above it are statesmen.


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