On the issue of weapons of mass destruction, below is an excerpt from an essay I wrote some time ago, at the height of the celebration of Pakistan's nuclear testing in Kashmir.
Islam is a religion of peace. Buddhism, the philosophy of life that advocates inner peace, non-violence, and a deep sense of spirituality came thousands of years before Islam. So does Jainism, an even radically peaceful philosophy of life.
In Islam, Sufism developed as a doctrine for those "who could not wait to meet God" and is another deeply spiritual way of practising Islam.
If the practice of Islam in this present day includes the rationale for nations to pursue "the bomb" and to race with advanced nations that have thousands of those bombs, then we must ask this question: are these Islamic nations preparing for peace by preparing for war? If this is the philosophy, we must then ask the question of cui bono? -- who benefits?
Is it the business of religion to advocate for profitable war? Or is it the business of war to subjugate religion, in the name of profits?
According to a recent report of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (2005), The United States currently possesses 10, 000 nuclear weapons. The reports states:
As of January 2006, the US stockpile contains almost 10,000 nuclear warheads. This includes 5,735 active or operational warheads: 5,235 strategic and 500 nonstrategic warheads. Approximately 4,225 additional warheads are held in the reserve or inactive stockpiles, some of which will be dismantled. Under plans announced by the Energy Department in June 2004 (and possibly revised in spring 2005), some 4,365 warheads are scheduled to be retired for dismantlement by 2012 (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, 2005).
The Empire called the United States does not want other nations to have even a single one – especially the Islamic nation. Like a child who has all the war toys and not wanting other to have a catapult. Like in the Biblical story of Goliath and David. In relation to the figures on the US nuclear weapons stockpile, currently the United States has over 730 military bases in over 50 countries to keep the world "safe for democracy".
America's nuclear weapons are developed by University California's Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore labs. This is an example of how moral reasoning works; as symbolized in Henrick Ibsen's play Enemy of the People.
While the United States keeps all the weapons of mass destruction at the expense of socio-economic, cultural, and educational advancement of its people, it wants to sell weapons to other nations – even to the poor ones such as India. Pentagon and its three major defense contractors for the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon make huge profits out of war, to the tune of US$30 billion per year.
That's called war-profiteering or to put it more accurately, merchandizing death and destruction through a foreign policy foundationed upon war-mongering.
Coming of the Messiah
But largely, Muslims in their own countries are impoverished and cannot afford for their government to embark upon projects to buy sophisticated weapons or to build the "bomb". The priority, as former German Chancellor Willy Brandt once wrote, should be to bread over bombs. Crises get orchestrated in order for markets for weapons to be created. Analyze who sells weapons in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa in those perpetual revolutions, armed struggles, and self-deterministic movements, and we will see the major supplier as one who sides with the two warring factions.
"Irangate" or "Contragate" or the Iran-Contra Affair during the Reagan Administration is an example of how global the arms business is, and how intersecting/interlocking politics and the merchandizing of death has become. Reagan, Oliver North, Brunei, Nicaragua, and Iran are amongst the names connected to the scandal.
Each religion has its own interpretation of how the "Messiah" would descend from heaven to "restore peace" on Earth. The Hindus believe in the coming of Rama as a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, the "preserver". The Buddhist believes that each one of us is a Buddha and a messiah that lives through dharma, by the law of Karma. The Muslims believe that the Prophet Isa (Jesus) is the messiah, and the Jews believe in the moschiah's restoration of the Kingdom of David and the discovery of the lost arc of covenant. The Shiahs or the followers of the Ali, Hussein and Hassan believe in the coming of the mahdi.
But why what would these messiahs and matrieyas and mahdis say when they see all these weapons of mass destruction proliferating?
Or – which religious bomb would they choose?
Do we all – Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. – wish to worship the bomb in these end of days, or do wish to worship the Truth within?