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The Whims of the “Big Brothers”
Jhangeer Hanif


 The veritable problems that we the Muslims are facing in the current era are not obscure to the conscious minds. Much to our dismay, we seem to have been defeated in the arena of religion not to talk about political and socio-economic fronts. The alluring waves of materialism fueled by the fresh supplies generously provided by capitalism tend to sweep away our final stronghold – the safe haven descended from Heaven for us to resort to in order to get genuine guidance.

The ailment of “religion-phobia” is on the rise with very alarming prospects. Sometimes, it pops up in an open clear form and sometimes it takes on the form of self-delusion. It is simply not the contravention of religious directives that define the present age; it is actually the unfortunate warfare that has been launched against religion as such. Of course, the scenario is altogether changed, and requires a commensurate change in strategy be determined, and implemented if we were to help religion as such to stand its ground. In western countries, freedom has had its share also in prompting the public demand for exotic religious practices with no scriptural support. When freedom is in full swing, religion is nothing more than a yoga exercise which one chooses of his own accord, and leaves it as they wish to. What about truth? It is personal and relevant! What about accountability? God is merciful!

The stigma of slavery though apparently effaced in its primitive form still defiles the beautiful face of the brotherhood of mankind. Of all the morbid forms of slavery, it cannot be denied that colonialism is the worst. It produces not one or two slaves – it is actually the industrialization of the institution of slavery. Entire nations are transformed into something which can be “possessed”, “used” and “recycled”. Men and metals are treated alike - severed from their homeland and imported to build castles for the “aliens” in their foreign lands. This was a privilege that a few nations exercised, and thanks to its intoxicant effects on them, they still strive to continue it in any form that the modern age would permit.

Bound in the shackles of economic dependence, the third world countries can do nothing better than to surrender before the whims of their supposedly benevolent “Big Brothers”. They have spread their tentacles in each nook and corner of the world: from air bases to governmental policies of the third world countries, everything is at their discretion. Unprecedented accelerated arms race initiated by these “Big Brothers” on the one hand puts the entire world at stake and on the other, places the third world countries in a very sensitive position where they have to exchange food for weapons for their self defense. Each penny that should go to poverty alleviation goes to cruise missiles, and nuclear weapons. In the guise of a modern man, he undeniably has turned out to be outrageously primitive.

Globalization has eroded beyond repair all aspirations to live peacefully in one’s own culture and civilization. A people cannot simply stay secluded, and turn a blind eye to the standard of life enjoyed by the citizens of the developed countries. Each effort to block the import of foreign ideals and lifestyle ends in a full blown fiasco. The illusive economic prospects propel standardization of products and services to suit the taste of the “Big Brothers” – the phenomenon that culminates again in the novel slavery just pointed out. Five star hotels and night clubs begin to germinate where “honorable” ladies and gentlemen in diaphanous garments are seen to roam about; traditional festivals are replaced by the exotic events that best pamper the base desires. At the end of the day, the conscious indigenous people are only left to wonder about their true identity.

This is the state of the affairs that the world in general and the Muslims in particular are facing. If we do not want – and surely we don’t – that this state should persist, what is it that we have done to put a check to this? The modern age has prompted many questions for us to address and respond. Have we ever thought of these questions? Did we ever seek precision to them? Despite our sincere efforts, why is it that we are still lagging behind in every facet with no exception? There is a big question mark on this. And there is no big calling on the intelligentsia of the ummah than to sit, ponder and address the issues spurred by the so-called modern era.





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