Records of ancient civilizations indicate many references to shoes. Plenty of evidences are there to prove how and why our primitive ancestors had started using modern shoe-like optional means such as wrapping larger and thicker leaves and skins of dead animals to bottom of their feet and also using wooden sandals for protection from pointed stones, thorns, mud and burning sands while roaming in search of food and shelter.
Utility of shoes has recently progressed excessively and its use as a weapon (missile) and sign of protest has started! An Iraqi journalist named Muntazer al-Zaidi hurled his shoes all of a sudden at US President Mr. George W. Bush during a Joint Press Conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Mr. Nouri al-Maliki at Baghdad on December 08, 2008 and subsequently on February 03, 2009 a protester(whose name could not be traced out) also hurled abuse and then a shoe at China’s Premier Mr. Wen Jiabao at Cambridge University (U.K.).
Above two episodes excited the people of the world with controversial feelings of both fun and disliking. Most of them have enjoyed much with their bias towards victimized fellows and their foreign policies. But a very few have condemned the events on disciplinary arguments that a guest should not be insulted with such a rude behavior.
My attempt here is to analyze and discuss some root causes of both the unfair happenings in a condensed way. Before I proceed on, I would like to quote below the utterances of both so-called heroes while hurling shoes to their targets just to understand how and why they re-acted so in public.
While throwing shoes one after another to Mr. Bush who was the most powerful politician in the world and responsible for imposing two wars on the world, Zaidi had said, “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, d**! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq”. Mr. Bush was talking about an American security agreement and a strategy framework agreement between two countries. And, a Protester (most probably a Tibetan and/or an activist of Human Rights) against the Chinese Premier while throwing his one shoe towards stage of auditorium had addressed him as a ‘dictator’ and shouted loudly in fit of anger, ‘How can this university prostitute itself with this dictator and how can you listen to him unchallenged?’ Mr. Wen was delivering a speech on the global economy.
It cannot be negated that there were some political mistakes from the part of big-headed countries. Mr. Bush had many times accepted his blunder of attacking Iraq. Anti-war group ‘Code Pink’ which is mainly lead by women had arranged demonstration outside the White House in support of Zaidi’s action that he had expressed the sentiments of millions of people who are angry at George Bush’s policies. The protestors threw shoes at a large puppet looking like Mr. Bush turn by turn for hours and the U.S. Secret Service stood by during the protest; however there were no conflicts with authorities and no arrests were made. Similarly, Mr. Wen Jiabao was on a five nation ‘Confidence Tour’ to Europe and at his last stop in U.K. for three days the protestors followed him to demonstrate over human rights and Chinese policy in Tibet.
My good Readers should not misunderstand that the non-disciplinary actions of Mr. Zaidi in Iraq and the Protestor at Cambridge are justified or approved in this Article. It is true that any citizen of any country should not treat a guest rudely and in an insulting manner. Such misbehaviors become as the shame to a Host country and its security system. It is the responsibility of a host country to protect the guest both physically and mentally.
Protestors may adopt many non-violent measures such as tying black ribbons on arms, waving black flags, holding posters or banners in hands and uttering slogans in civilized manner. Same way, Media people and News Reporters must observe the ethics of Journalism. They may ask questions politely with consent of stage management, but they should not behave in such a manner that they might not like happen so with own Heads or delegates of their country elsewhere.
Above two episodes of shoe-hurling teach many lessons to the nations of the world. Any nation should not interfere into the domestic (internal) problems of other countries. Sovereignty is the soul of any nation and in any circumstances, any other country, individually or jointly, has no right to challenge it. UN proved to be weak in preventing wars due to the only reason that its status remained like a puppet against harsh behaviors of super-power nations. It is the right time now to change the entire constitution of UN with the prime change of cutting off the Veto Power specially favored to super power nations.
In both Afghanistan and Iraq wars, millions of civilians were killed which was totally against humanity and also the breach of Geneva International treaties on the laws of war. Oil wells were set to fire with the aim of weakening economy of respective countries ignoring the value of natural resources useful to mankind. Agricultural land was made barren with tons of massive bombardment. Many historical and religious properties were damaged. Most horrified matter was that the national integrity of those unfortunate countries was harmed and the people were divided in sects and groups with unfair diplomatic incitements to one or the other group or sect.
Now, turning to Tibetan issue, we can see that China considers Tibet as part of its territory and Tibetans demand full autonomy. Tibet’s struggle is spread over last 50 years and during this period its people have suffered a lot. Tibetans are afraid of losing their identity under the Chinese Rule. They people think that their culture and rich religious heritage cannot remain safe under China. On the other hand, it is the naked truth that the daily violence carried out by Chinese authorities is very common in Tibet. Constant violations of human rights are ignored by UN and the rest world.
Breach of Human Rights, either affecting to a mass or an individual, should always be criticized. How sad it is that Zaidi, in spite of being a citizen of Iraq, is badly treated during and after his arrest by Iraqi Government itself. Some authentic sources have brought the truth open that when Zaidi was arrested and being taken to jail, he was subjected to violence throughout the car journey. His ribs have been broken and his left eye was hit with a gun. It is reported that he is passing through the risk of losing his eye sight for ever.
No doubt, violation of a public order and law is a punishable crime, but the arrested person is simply a detainee until charged with a specific crime. Brutality towards a detainee, an under-trial or even the convict is the violation of Human Rights. Now, the question – “Who will punish those officers?” will remain un-answered until we hear of any actions taken by Iraqi Government.
Summing up, it is possible that the shoes thrown at Mr. Bush and Mr. Wen may give a lesson to all those rulers who are cruel and have dictatorial attitude.
Tags: 'Seldom' such Posts, Afghanistan, લેખ, Cambridge, China, Code Pink, Geneva, George W. Bush, Human Rights-Links, Iraq, life, Muntazer al-Zaidi, Nouri al-Maliki, politics, shoe-hurling, shoe-missile, Tibet, U.K., UN, Veto Power, Wen Jiabao, White House
Today, I am going to undertake a risk of writing this Article, with hope and despair, whether I would be able to justify its aim as I am far away from National or International Politics. Mr. Jeff, my bother-like friend and who recently passed away, was the US citizen. We used to sit together frequently and he made me aware of the US and its National and International politics. My subject here is not on politics, but the great thing the US recently did is praiseworthy and I am inspired with it to express some thoughts of mine here regarding the most essential ideology of Global Brotherhood and Peace in the prevailing situation of the world.
Just before I step forward, I would like to represent A RESOLUTION, recognizing the holy month of Ramadan and expressing the deepest respect to Muslims in the US and throughout the world, was passed unanimously by 110th Congress of the US on October, 2, 2007 (International Non-violence Day) by a vote of 376-0. The Resolution was the 1st of its kind to acknowledge the importance of Muslims in America as a sign of respect and recognition. Its text is as follows:
Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith.
Whereas since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, threats and incidents of violence have been directed at law-abiding, patriotic Americans of African, Arab, and South Asian descent, particularly members of Islamic faith;
Whereas, on September 14, 2001, the House of Representatives passed a concurrent resolution condemning bigotry and violence against Arab-Americans, American Muslims, and Americans from South Asia in the wake of the terrorist attacks;
Whereas it is estimated that there are approximately 1,500,000,000 Muslims worldwide;
Whereas Ramadan is the holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal for Muslims worldwide, and is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar year; and
Whereas the observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan commences at dusk on September 13, 2007, and continues for one lunar month: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That : –
(1) during this time of conflict, in order to demonstrate solidarity with and support for members of the community of Islam in the United States and throughout the world, the House of Representatives recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world; and
(2) in observance of and out of respect for the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, the House of Representatives acknowledges the onset of Ramadan and expresses its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this significant occasion.
Mr. Keith Ellison, a converted Muslim from Christianity, presently the Member of the U.S. House of Representative, a lawyer and also active on a national level in advocacy for Muslims in the United States told USINFO showing the motive of US Congress behind the above Resolution as this : “The basic idea is demonstrate not only to the Muslim world but to the whole world that the US Congress is a place where all faiths are respected, all faiths are recognized, where we embrace our diversity and where we believe that promise of America is that you may seek the Divine as you see fit within your own judgment, and in your own tradition and your own way.” Further, he added, “We are a nation of religious tolerance and religious inclusion.”
Over and above, one more positive and noteworthy step of the US is that its Postal Service has announced on October 7, 2007 to re-issue Eid Stamps with an appeal to support it by purchasing and using it. Previously the Postal Stamps of both the Eids (Eid–ul- fitra and Eid–ul- Adha) were issued in 2001.
In my previous Article “International Non-violence Day”, I had suggested to media to observe its Dharma (duty) to highlight such positive events publicly for developing Inter–Religious Understanding. But, very regretfully, I want to say that such a historic event is little brought to the knowledge of the oriental world.
Above two positive approaches undertaken by the United States of America have a vital importance, in my view. Muslims are the second largest populations of the world. Many Arab and Muslim countries of the world as well as numerous individual Muslims had sympathized with the victims of September 11 and offered valuable moral support to the US. I referred some books and other sources to know what re-action the Muslim world had shown on and after the terrorist attack, the brutal violation of Human Rights, on WTC. My recently referred book “The War on Freedom” (How and Why America was Attacked – September 11, 2001) written by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, a ‘think tank’ dedicated to the promotion of human rights, justice and peace; is riveting and thoroughly documented study of the grave sin committed by those enemies of humanity.
Sheldon Solomon of New York, a Professor of Psychology, on a debate platform of an Auditorium on the 9/11 attack said,” There is hostility in the world because people are incapable of accepting different views.” He further said, “I saw the worst and the best human behaviors there in few days when WTC was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. The best that people set aside their pretty differences in pursuits to help others. The worst is that that event was the worst.” He further added, “Countries will never get along if they keep using military and economical approach to solving problems, and that a Psychological approach is also needed.” He said also, “Imagine if, every day, we acted like those New Yorkers did after Sept. 11, if we fulfilled our human potential everyday and how much better this world would be.”
The noble people of the world are always horrified by the massive killing, destruction and attack on innocent lives reported from any corner of the world in any form, even wars. Particularly, regarding the philosophy of war, they people are of such opinion that “A war never decides who is right but who is left!” Besides terrorism, some other forms of massacre are racist attacks derived from confessional hatred and so-called ethnic cleansing. All such forms of massacres are the worst in views of all the religions of the world and their true believers. Meanwhile, I would like to justify the title of my Article in a way that its profound substance is in line with above mentioned Sheldon Soloman’s views of applying psychology for the solution and prevention of various forms of massacres in the world. With such positive approaches, the hearts of those noble people can be won and their co-operation can be useful for bridging the minds of opposite groups of extremists.
Now, I come to my subject with a link of Muslim re-action after above one of the tragic episodes of the world history. Here below, you will find some specific reports of re-action related to the event. Corey Saylor of the Council on American – Islamic Relations had reported that American Muslim re-action was overwhelmingly positive at the time when the tragic event had happened.
In my first phase, I’ll illustrate some examples of re-action of American Muslims in this regard. Let us go through a Fatwa (Religious verdict) against Religious Extremism by the Fiqh Council of North America in its words as “In the light of Qur’an and Sunnah, we clearly and strongly state that, (1) All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are Haram (forbidden) in Islam. (2) It is Haram for a Muslim to co-operate or associate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence. (3) It is the duty of Muslims to co-operate with the law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.”
One more example, in brief, is the re-action of “15 American Muslim Organizations” – through their joint statement said, “We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of the crime committed on September 11, 2001 and join our fellow Americans in mourning the loss of up to 6000 innocent civilians.”
In my second phase, I would like to give you some more re-actions reported from many Muslim countries and individual Muslims of the world. Some extracts of the same in general and specific are as follows:
“We condemn in strongest terms the incidents which are against human and Islamic norms. All forms of attack on innocents are criticized in Qur’nic verse as ‘No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another’. Attacking innocent people is not courageous. Islamists who live according to the human values of Islam could not commit such crimes.”
“They must be brought to justice in an impartial court of law and punished appropriately. It is a duty of Muslims to participate in this effort with all possible means.”
One of the Muslim countries in Middle East re-acted in its open words as “Apprehend them and those supporters who aid and abet them through incitement, financing or other support.”
League of Arab States stated, “Any human being, regardless of his ethnic and religious origin, will never think of carrying out such a violent, evil attack. Whatever its purpose is, this action cannot be justified and tolerated.”
One more statement is as “Islam does not encourage any kind of terrorism; in fact, it denounces it. Those who use terrorism in the name of Islam, in fact, have no other faculty except ignorance and hatred.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Jurist-ruler of Islam through Islamic Republic News Agency reported in severe words in general reminding us far past and recent Historic massacres. The words themselves are self-explanatory persuading the political mistakes of those countries that could have saved millions of human lives by opting alternative solution of the issues rather than the wars. He stated, “Killing of people, in any place and with any kind of weapons, including Atomic Bombs, long-range-missiles, biological or chemical weapons, passenger or war planes, carried out by any organization, country or individuals is condemned. It makes no difference whether such massacres happen in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Qana, Sabra, Shatila, Deir Yassin, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or in New York or Washington.”
Now, when I am near to sum up, I feel free to say that I am satisfied with the presentation of my text in this Article. I have put before my Readers both the two positive re-actions; one, from the side of the United States of America and the other from the Muslim world. Now, I leave the decision upon you whether you agree with what I have presented here to make the universe peaceful.
Lastly, I shall quote a Czechoslovakian proverb as “Misfortunes always come in by a door which has been left open for them.” This proverb is equally applicable to the Nations of the world also besides individual ones. Now, it is the right time to take the stock of the domestic and international strategies and policies by all the Nations of the world to maintain peace and order in the world. Any problems among nations to nations, religions to religions and individuals to individuals can be solved by winning hearts and bridging minds of each other or one another. No matter how magnanimous the evil forces may be, the honest measures for the welfare of the world from the rulers and the ruled through out the world are bound to grow and bear good fruits.
May God enable us to achieve what is the best for the entire mankind.
With best Regards,
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd: 15th October, 2007
Tags: Ayatollah Khamenei, લેખ, Bosnia, Corey Saylor, Dharma, Hiroshima, Iraq, League of Arab, Literature, Muslims, Nafeez Mosaddeq, Nagasaki, politics, Qur'an, Ramadan, Sheldon Solomon, Sunnah, terrorism, think tank, USINFO, Washington, WTC
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