Reforming the Methodology
Self-destruction is no wisdom. Let’s understand
PROTEST BY DR. WASIM AHMED
When facing an enemy a Muslim is prohibited to use force against unarmed civilians, children, women, aged and those who cannot fight due to disability or any other reason. How justified is it to hurt our own civilian population during “protests” when we actually are supposed to grant protection even to civilians from enemy group. Hence as long as “Stone Pelting” is not limited against those who are guilty but involves hurting civilian population it cannot be justified at any cost from the Islamic point of view. Is it too much to ask that pelting stones should be restricted to those who are guilty and innocent civilians spared?
The second principle of resistance from Islamic point of view is that people should follow a single person or a united body and adhere to its decisions. Indiscipline leads to tragedies as is learned from the results of Battle of Uhud in which Muslims had almost gained victory but certain Sahaba did not follow the Prophet’s (SAWS) advice and they had to suffer a heavy defeat due to this indiscipline. When everyone tries to be a leader the result is not only the chaos and discord but it also gives conspirators a chance to enter the circle and hijack the movement from its true course. When Wamiq was killed Hurriyat had called a strike for 1 day but masked youngsters appeared and ridiculed Hurriyat and decided to protest for 4 days. No one can change destiny but for the sake of argument we may say that if the youngsters had listened to their leaders and restricted the Hartal to one day Zahid may not have been killed as he was killed on the fourth day of protest (provocation). Now if these masked youngsters do not listen to those whom they are supposed to then who actually are they accountable to? Who actually had asked them to disobey Hurriyat and take protests to four days instead of restricting them to one day? In short if Hurriyat doesn’t control them then who actually does? We have already lost valuable lives out of religious sentiments in Ragdo Ragdo movement but every sane person in the valley knows who actually were the masterminds behind the Amarnath land row. Given the hidden identity of these masked protestors, their disobedience to the known separatist circles and their targeting civilians under the excuse of protesting against killings, how sure are we that our blood and sentiments are not once again being played with by those who have no sympathy for the slain kids but actually want to settle political scores with the current establishment?
Thirdly when we call for shut down it’s the downtrodden and the destitute who lose their livelihoods and face desperation. It becomes the duty of those organizing the protests/Hartals to take care of these weaker sections of the society so that rather than registering protests against oppression the protestors themselves don’t become a cause of oppression for these poor people.
My concern is that our protests should be fruitful and not more destructive than the oppression we are facing. Hence three important modifications in the current modus operandi of stone pelting to make it credible are :
1. Spare the civilians and public property.
2. Do it under the leadership of a single person or body whose credibility is established so that political conspirators don’t have a chance to cash on our blood.
3. Establish charity and social service institutions to take care of the poor people so that they are not driven to desperation after losing their livelihoods due to Hartals.
Having done this we can make hartal a genuine mode of protest where everyone participates in a healthy way the cost of resistance is minimized.
(Dr. Wasim Ahmed is Senior Resident Cardiology, SKIMS. Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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