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  • Writer's pictureSaleem Qamar Butt

Begging for Peace

         A famous Russian member of the Soviet Central Committee and editor of government newspapers Mr. Lev N. Tolkunov wrote in one of his articles published in 1960, “Peace is not to be had by begging, peace is won the hard way.” Written in the background of the devastation caused by the two world wars especially in Europe and the failure of ‘The League of Nations’ and the UNO to ensure peace, subsequently a two volume work was published by the Soviets, which was titled "Peace Without Weapons — Peace Without Wars". It contained the remarks and speeches of N. S. Khrushchev, the head of the Soviet government, who in 1959 had numerous-meetings with many state and political figures from foreign countries and he spoke at the United Nations. In his widely known article "On Peaceful Coexistence," Mr. Khrushchev wrote that “peaceful coexistence can and must involve peaceful competition in the matter of best satisfying all the needs of man. We say to the leaders of the capitalist states: Let us test in practice whose system is better, let us compete without war. This is much better than to compete to see who will accumulate the most weapons and who will defeat whom. We can argue; we need not agree with each other; however, it is most important that this remains a struggle of ideologies without putting into motion one's weapons when insisting on one's position”. Mr. Khrushchev indicated that the new distribution of international strength, which developed after the Second World War, gave reasons to assert that there was no fatal inevitability of a Third World War and that it could be prevented. “We desire peace, but to strive for peace does not mean to beg for peace. Peace must be won. Peace can be won by labour, by increasing the power of our country, by creating newer and more dependable weapons, by improving our economy, by developing science and technology, by developing more new machines. The Soviet Union and the entire socialist camp is in the best state. These great forces are a guarantee of a lasting peace on earth”. Much later, during his second tenure as the President of the United State of America, Mr. Barrack Hussain Obama echoed the similar sentiments about Russia and China when defending “American Pivot to Asia” later termed “Indo-Pacific Re-balancing Policy” by stating, “ We should cooperate where we can, and compete where we must''.


Be that as it may, despite political statements, sentiments of leadership and the diplomatic parlance, the history of the World and the above two examples prove the universal truth that, “the weakness invites aggression” and “the balance of power ensures relative peace through deterrence”. Despite the advent and modernisation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems’ technologies, the race for domination of the Global Commons including ground, sea and air lines of communications, cyber and outer spaces, food and energy resources has continued unabatedly. Besides, the rise of China as a tough competitor in all the fields and resurgence of Russia set against America and EU/NATO/ Quad allies has added to the proxy wars fought all over the globe, serving the interests of the above stated three major contestants on the globe. However, in the last five decades, in a mixed pickle of ideological, religious, economic, civilisational and expansionists’ conflicts; regrettably, mostly the Muslim countries have remained the anvil for the big powers’ hammer all over the globe due to absence of a formidable Muslin Economic Block; and more importantly due to a missing Military Alliance like NATO. The inability to stand together due to well-known fault lines, the Muslim states with high cultural and religious values, economic and military potentials have been smashed beyond measure; while UNO, ICJ, OIC, and GCC have only acted as onlookers with feeble lip service, e.g. Sudan, Nigeria, Algeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Palestine are a few examples to quote. The other Muslim majority states like Pakistan, Türkiye, Egypt, Iran and almost all of the Middle Eastern countries are being weakened through a different stratagem; surely to be preyed upon sooner than later.

The ongoing most brutal genocide of Palestinian Muslims in Gaza by Israeli occupation forces with full support by the US/ NATO is a reminder of the Old Christian Crusades; Alas there is neither any Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ayyubi (c. 1137 – 4 March 1193) nor any Ottoman Khilafat (c. 1299–1924) to confront the aggressors and help the beleaguered Muslim. The same is true for the Muslims in Indian occupied Kashmir and in other states under invasion of non-Muslim powers. The silence of the Lamb and the Ostrich attitude practiced by the economically and militarily strong Muslim majority countries under untenable justifications; insensitively busy in ostentatious developments, luxurious lives and cosmetic national or multinational military drills / exercises without anything done to help the suffering Muslims are embarrassing and heart wrenching to say the least. The rulers and the religious pulpits as well as the rulers are silent on the plight of the sufferings of the Muslims against the teachings of Holy Quran. The Islam was spreading, and Muslims were strong and prosperous as long as Jihad in wholesome terms and in true letter and spirit was practiced as a religious obligation by the states under dynamic and brave leadership. The Afghan Taliban can be cited as an example who have fought back bravely to preserve their independence in the last five decades even though being weaker in every sense but strong in faith. Nevertheless, at present, the Palestinian Muslims have set unprecedented examples of courage, grit and perseverance and they have displayed the strongest faith in Almighty Allah; no words are considered enough to appreciate their valour.

Are there any examples in history where peace and independence was ever gained by begging, pleading or by diplomacy?  William Wallace said, “I tell you a truth: Liberty is the best of things, my son; never live under any slavish bond…every man dies, not every man really lives”. Martin Luther King Jr said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed…; let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth." The defensive nature of jihad is clearly emphasized in Holy Quran 2:190, “And fight in the way of God with those who fight you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors.” According to Sunnah, Jihad in Islam, or warfare in defense of life and Muslim religious rights, is legally analogous to modern just-war theory as enshrined in international law. Jihad itself is a much broader concept in Islam, including difficult acts of charity and spiritual struggle against Satan and the lower self. How will the Muslim rulers stand in the court of Almighty and justify their spinelessness? “Fortune favours the brave”; "We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it, and it is better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life." 


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