Friday, February 10, 2017

Courage to Defend Core Values Defines a Nation

By Rashid Samnakay, New age Islam
09 February 2017
Just as the nature’s law which Newton simply articulated as ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction” does not mean that the reaction is unqualified and always “good and beneficial” to the performer or to whom it is performed for, similarly the Core Values of a nation do not necessarily mean that those values are universally beneficial to it or of benefit to the other nations that interact with it on this planet.
In Quranic terms, therefore every action- A’mal is required to be qualified as Saleh- to produce goodly and beneficial reaction. There is nothing in it extraordinary and nothing religious, just a statement of universal truism.
However it is generally assumed that a nation’s core values are of qualified goodly nature and that they are the ones which makes it ‘assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station’ (American Declaration of Independence) which then defines the nation’s place in the world.
This was demonstrably presented to the world recently by the Speaker of the British House of Commons who expressed his opposition to the potentiality of the newly elected President of the United States of America addressing the House of Commons on his State visit to the United Kingdom. His objection was on the basis of the President’s policy seen as being contrary to British core values and that ‘he would refuse to invite the US president to speak at Westminster because of parliament’s long held opposition to “racism and to sexism”’.
Not everybody in the Parliament and outside agreed with his action, though that is not the issue; for there never is an example in the world where such unilateral and individual’s actions are accepted by everybodyایسا بھی ہے کوئی سبھی اچھا کہیں جسے is there anyone that all would consider as good?
The disagreement was on procedural matters that the Speaker of House of Lords, as an equal partner of the two houses was not consulted and a joint statement was not agreed upon. That said, it is interesting to note the following comment by the Speaker of the House of Lords:
“However, the Speaker (of the House of Commons) contacted me this morning. He told me that while he maintained his view on the issue he was generally sorry for failing to consult with me. Obviously, I accepted that apology” ……and went on to say “Allow me to say that I have spent the last 30 years campaigning against prejudice and discrimination, particularly for the rights of LGBT people and those with HIV/Aids,…”. So it seems that he too agrees with the Speaker’s core values.
The history of British political system involving the Crown, House of Lords and House of Commons is amazing and colourful, going back to sixteenth century. The ceremony of the session of Parliament’s opening by the Monarch, the Queen is seen today the world over in its full colour, pomp and glamour. Yet one aspect of the ritual of the ceremony is not appreciated by many. On the monarch’s arrival to the House of Lords, the officer of the ‘Black Rod’ is sent to summon the House of Commons but the door is shut in his face. The officer knocks on the door three times with his rod. It is then the door is opened and the members including the Speaker march to the Lords to attend and listen to the Monarch’s speech, which is written by the Government of the day for her to deliver.
Though the power of the monarchy is largely symbolic, yet any head of State visiting the UK is supposed to be at the invitation of the Queen as the head of State and Defender of the faith of the United Kingdom. Yet the independence of the house is well and truly symbolized in this ceremony. It is the Speakers of both the houses who invite the visiting dignitary to address them!
One must then assume that the invitation is extended on the basis that the nation’s core values as represented by the visiting dignitary are synchronized with the British nation’s as represented by the parliament. This is hotly debated though.
In this case the speakers of both houses of British parliament seem to have agreed what those core values are and so: “…our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”
This sentiment is also echoed in the UK by over a million people so far, signing a petition against the US President’s proposed visit. Democracy in its true colour in action to their credit, at home!
There have been similar expressions however of ‘people power’ against US President’s visit. One vaguely remembers the cancellation of President Dwight Eisenhower’s planned visit to Japan due to protest against his visit there. The protest perhaps was against nuclear bombs that the US was piling up as arsenal of war and Japan’s core value of opposing it, having experienced two such bombs dropped on its cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki!.
Aside from protesting against planned visits by head of states, many nations in the Far East also have shown the courage to resist their corrupt and inapt governments and have brought them down, against heavy odds.
There was some hope that the Muslim majority nations would show some signs of awakening when tremendous courage was shown by the Iranians when they sent packing the most powerful emperor of recent times in their revolution of change, not once but twice; for he was restored to the throne by the Super power custodian of democracy, after the first ousting.
After a long pause lasting over decades a similar seed of change germinated in the so called Arab Spring in the Middle East only a few years back, culminating in the overthrow of an Egyptian pharaoh - Mubarak, always supported by the same super power. Alas, that seedling was soon crushed by his political and military offspring!
Democracy, by the Muslim leaders and the custodians of democracy it seems: is not considered suitable for them, even if it was overwhelmingly voted in. So the pharaoh’s political offspring was installed in power and is there today:  زاغوں کے تصوف میں ہیں عقابوں کے نشیمن  Eagles’ nests are in use of the crows!
Their streets are adorned with portraits of head of States that are invited to visit even if that visitor is less than welcome in other countries of the world because of what they are perceived as representing in values. But the expectation of handouts and assurances of protection of ruling class’s thrones becomes paramount consideration.
The Muslim majority countries and the so called Islamic Republics in particular are a prime example of neglect of their duty in following their Book with regards to ruling a country, in spite of their claim they believe in it as being the Book annunciating their Core Values.
Hence the Muslim nations now are defined by other than universal core values and the lack of courage to defend them. The earthly gods have forsaken them as has the Creator of the universe:
6-117- The Lord knows best who has strayed from His ways…!
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer
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