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Monday, December 01, 2008

They call it Islamic bomb?

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.

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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.

Who benefits

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?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

without religion mankind will fight......sound gila crazy!

amoker said...

With religion also mankind will fight la!. Some uses "God" as the justification to kill.

That is why we are born as sinners.

Anonymous said...

With religion mankind will fight. Certain religions have the followings:-
1) Mine is the only one true God, others are fake God;
2) Non believers ought to be converted, failing which they ought to be killed;
3) Believers go to heaven when they die. Non believers go to hell when they die.
4) Believers can kill in the name of God;
5) Consolidation of powers subtly; and
6) Long list of other selfish, power crazy things.

While religions do provide some code of morality, can't we as human beings with our own intelligence, derive morality from other sources? Why must human be shackled by the chains of religions into killing each others? More people have been killed in the name of God (whatever his name is) than any dreadful diseases, WW1 and WW2 combined.

Haven't we learn anything yet?

And to asmoker, we are not born sinners. It would be ridiculous for my father, me, my children, my grandchildren and future generations to pay for the sins of my grandfather.

Zaki said...

Dr. Azly Rahman,

Great article. Following the weapon trail, I'm sure we can uncover more inconvenient truths on war-profiteering.

Could you provide us with the link to the whole article?

Anonymous said...

All spiritual-orientated religions were formulated with good intentions, but note their possible absuses.

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
[i]Steven Wienberg[/i]

Non-Theist

Anonymous said...

humans evolved from a single cell, like an amoeba, though time and adaptation. Religion is the worst invention ever, because of it the world is unsafe, and wars break out in many regions. Meanwhile, while we fight, we are also destroying the world thatw e live in....we pollute the rivers & seas, raped the forests and land, and burnt away our rainforest that give life to the other organisms that co-habit this earth. If you believe in the coming of the Messiah..I believe you are wrong. What is coming is a barren planet...like Mars!

joenathan said...

Dear Dr Azly Rahman,
Who is killing innocent men,women and children in the name of god?Who is constantly calling the non-beleivers as infidels,kafirs etc?Who is saying aloud that there is no other god other than Allah?Who is calling for the conversion of non-muslims to islam?Who is saying that it's alright to kill infidels?Who is apt at issuing the death verdict at the slightest provocation against authors,human right fighters and free thinkers?I never heard clerics or leaders of hinduism,buddhism,christianity or others coming up with such extreme statements except for muslim clerics and leaders.

Just imagine what would happen, if such nuclear arsenals were to fall in the hands of insane people like Ahmadinejad who never mince his words when calling for certain country to be wiped out of the world map?Just imagine the consequences if such nuclear arsenals were to be in the possession of failed states like Pakistan,Afghanistan,Iraq,Libya etc?Those selfish and insane people like Osama and his likes who hide in the mountains of Afganistan and Pakistan never stop brainwashing young and innocent muslims to perpetuate carnage and inflict pain on innocent lives with a smile on their face itself speaks volume of their psychopathic nature.Why there are hundreds of Iranians,Iraqis and others from the middle east arrive on Australian shores every year risking thier lives including women and children seeking freedom?Simply because of religious extremism which denies their human rights.If these failed states with leaders and clerics with extreme ideologies dont even care about the well being of their own people,do you think they value the lives of non-believers?Therefore it is akin to committing suicide if these hardliners are allowed to possess nuclear arms.We are living now in a borderless world in a digital age,every citizen of the world should focus on making this world a safe place for us and our future generation,and help to eradicate poverty and hunger regardless of race and religion.The last thing we all need is religious extremist who possess dangerous weapons.These extremist must be thaught how to enggage the world community in decent discourses to air their dissatisfaction and not go on a killing spree of innocent lives as that will only incur the wrath of the peace loving people of the world and will put Islam in further bad light.Hence can one be blamed to call it `islamic terrorist' or `islamic bomb'?

Prem Das said...

After the preceding comments, this may be an exercise in futility. But here goes..
Religions are not ends in themselves. They are paths to an end. The end is a state where all differences end and the common goal becomes visible. Its like a treatment for a condition. It has to remedy the problem. Continued medication without amelioration of the problem, if habituated, is called an addiction. It comes with its own set of problems.
If all of creation, overselves included, is by an All Knowing, Infallible God, where is the wiggle room for mistakes. If God with the ability to see into the future, gave us Freewill, then he must have wanted us to do with it exactly as we are doing. Otherwise we are saying He made a mistake.
Every specie has it preditor and its prey. To prevent the plants from overwhelming this world, we have the grazers. To prevent the over -population graziers, we have the preditors. Each preditor is also a prey to other preditors. This is the balance of nature in action.
Man, at the top, suffer this fate too. We have violence, accidents, natural disasters, diseases, wars, etc., etc,. as our preditors.
This is only way we can survive on this planet. All is as it was meant to be. Ponder.

bluesailor said...

Watch the movie ;I AM LEGEND; THE MESSIAH WILL BE THE VIRUS, KILLING MANKIND WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT RELIGION YOU BELONG TOOOOOO. pLS GO TO HEAVEN.

Anonymous said...

a slight correction, Pakistan did not test its nuclear devices in Kashmir, it did it in Chagai, which is in Baluchistan. Part of Kashmir is occupied by India and another part by Pakistan.Kashmir is to the east of Pakistan and Baluchistan is in the west.

Anonymous said...

who used the n. boom yet? and who are we blaming now? the foumula is that, if I didn't have it then you shouldn't have it too. that sample.

Lecture: Edward Said

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Lecture: Noam Chomsky

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Lecture: Jacques Derrida

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Lecture: Jean Paul Sartre

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Movie: 1984

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Movie: Animal Farm

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Movie: Chicken Run

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Poems: Rumi

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Dialogue on Religion: Karen Armstrong

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Dailogue on Religion: Huston Smith

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Islam

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Humanism

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Jainism

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Sikkhism

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Hinduism

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Bahai

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Confucianism

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Taoism

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The Bhagavad Gita

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Jesus of Nazareth

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Siddharta Gautama

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Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

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