Wednesday, June 27, 2007

London Bombing 06-08-13

Foiling the London plot to bomb Airliners

Mirza A. Beg

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Miami Herald, Sunday August 20, 2006

It is inhumane, criminal and particularly irreligious to indulge in violence with no regard to innocent lives. Yet the bane of religions is that people inflict the most heinous injuries on innocent by-standers in the name of their religions, be it terrorism by individuals or groups; or wars of hubris by the great powers, or oppressions by sectarian governments. Therefore the foiling of the London plot to bomb airplanes is indeed welcome news.

Religions in particular and all ideologies in general have three types of adherents.

There are a few who drink deeply from the principle and get the enlightenment from what they believe in. They introspectively analyze their beliefs, give others the same rights as they want for themselves and think of others as fellow travelers on a spiritual journey. They are the conscience keepers of their creed.

A vast majority are good people. They live routine lives trying to make the two ends meet take care of their children and obligations to their community. These good people have enough to worry about; they do not want a complication of expansive view of the distant problems in the world to clutter their lives.

There is a small minority that is exploitative of their fellow beings. A fringe of them are truly evil, who use all means, if need be the most horrible means to achieve their selfish ends. They are able to lie convincingly to sway the public opinion and claw up the ladder of success to gain power.

Unfortunately, often the second group tends to be swayed by the third group. The first group is called idealist, meaning naive.

The terrible wars of hubris and suppression of people around the world are festering sores on humanity led by the third group, supinely supported by the second group. Struggle against injustice is very important and enjoined in Islam, but it can never be even peripherally justified when innocent lives are wantonly destroyed in the name of “what ever.”

It is time for all decent people to rise together to work for peace and justice. We should not only condemn terrorism, but actively oppose killing of civilians by terrorists or the governments under the garb of pre-emption or euphemistic collateral damage.

To quote Martin Luther King, "Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question "Is it politic?" But conscience asks the question "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right."

Of course it is very difficult to fight unprincipled guerillas or powerful governments armed to the teeth, with hands on the levers of power. That is why those who fight within moral principles are respected even by the enemies, and those who do not are terrorists, even if they do not think so.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted at

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