Monday, March 30, 2020

Inherent Indiscipline Among the Middle-Class Muslim Community Comes to The Fore Amid Lockdown

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

30 March 2020

The Quran calls the Muslim community the best one because they are supposed to be ideal persons in the society. They demonstrate good behaviour, tell people what is good and what is bad; they follow discipline, obey the laws of the country and follow the instructions of their religious leaders in matters of faith. They seek the welfare of the whole society and in times of trials and tribulations, they help the people in distress.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the inherent indiscipline and their lack of civic sense, particularly of the middle-class Muslim community. Such indiscipline has already been demonstrated on Shab-e-Barat when Muslim youth race with each other on motorcycles on the roads at night defying traffic rules and risking their own lives and those of others. The same indiscipline and lack of Civic sense and scant respect for the law and for the appeals of religious authorities has again come to the fore during the lockdown triggered by the fear of Covid-19.

The government of India has implemented 21-day lockdown in order to contain the spread of the pandemic. Only essential services have been permitted. People have been asked to observe social distancing and have been instructed to stay indoors. They have been allowed to come out of their homes only to buy essential commodities and medicines because the virus spreads very fast through contact.

The religious leaders of Muslims have also realized the gravity of the situation and have unanimously suspended collective prayers in mosques asking Muslims to offer prayers at home. They have also advised Muslims to stay at home and observe social distancing.

Unfortunately, it has been painfully observed that Muslims living in middle class localities and bustee areas have ignored the lockdown rules as well as appeals of the ulema and social activists. They have not taken the epidemic seriously and have been roaming around in the locality uselessly or assembling in the streets for gossips. In other words, there is business as usual in these localities.

As for Kolkata, in the Muslim majority areas like Matiabruz, Topsia, Taltala etc youth are seen playing cricket in deserted streets, or moving around on bikes or simply standing on the road in groups. All the appeals of the police and ulema have fallen on deaf ears.

In other districts like Hooghly, the situation is almost the same in Muslim areas and bustee areas. In Chapdani, Telnipara, Angus etc people are seen loitering in streets. The police sometimes have to use force to disperse them. When they see the police van coming, they withdraw to their homes but as soon as the police disappear, they come out of their homes, grinning and joking.

The scenario is not different in other towns and cities of India. For example, in the Okhla area of New Delhi, where the women of Shaheen Bagh earned the reputation for discipline and observance of law, the youth in the area have disappointed the local administration with their ignorance of the threat posed by the virus and disobedience of lockdown rules so much so that a senior police official of Okhla had to issue a  special appeal to the people of Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, Okhla and Friends Colony to stay indoors during the lockdown. This is a matter of shame for the residents of a Muslim locality.

The behaviour of Muslims of neighbouring Pakistan is equally disappointing. The country is under a 14-day lockdown as the pandemic has affected more than 1400 people and about 15 people are dead. Still, the Muslims, particularly, the Middle-Class Muslims have ignored the appeals of the administration and religious leaders to stay indoors. Therefore, Dr Tahirul Qadri had to issue an appeal to the Muslims to stay at home for their own safety and health and also asked the government to enforce the lockdown if it wants to contain the epidemic soon. "Otherwise, the lockdown will serve no purpose", he said.

This shows the irresponsible behaviour of the general Muslims particularly in the Sub-continent in the face of a serious global threat like Covid-19. With this lack of sense of social responsibility, defeating the pandemic seems difficult.

S. Arshad is a regular columnist for

Defending Humanity Against the Elite Coup

By Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

30 March 2020

In a recent article I reported existing evidence on the way in which COVID-19 is being used to implement, but also divert attention from, initiatives being taken by the global elite to consolidate and expand its power in significant ways, and perhaps to make the final drive to take total control of global society. See ‘Observing Elites Manipulate Our Fear: COVID-19, Propaganda and Knowledge’.

Moreover, while global attention is focused on COVID-19, attention has been distracted from the many other ongoing crises – particularly including the vast range of threats that constitute an imminent danger to human existence: see ‘Human Extinction Now Imminent and Inevitable? A Report on the State of Planet Earth’ – and no doubt other undesirable initiatives being carried out by the global elite outside our view. In addition, activism has been stymied as activists are either themselves distracted by COVID-19 or hindered by the measures (such as ‘social distancing’ and bans on public gatherings) introduced to supposedly deal with it.

Before and since writing ‘Observing Elites Manipulate Our Fear’, more evidence has been published pointing at an elite coup with governments around the world introducing draconian measures severely curtailing human rights and freedoms (including those involving the internet) and destroying national economies.

For just a taste of this literature and these videos, see ‘The “Lock Step” Simulation Scenario: “A Coronavirus-like Pandemic that Becomes Trigger for Police State Controls”’‘The EARN IT Bill is the Government’s Plan to Scan Every Message Online’‘What more could he do? A look at Trump’s extreme powers’‘Police in California Plan to Use Drones to Enforce Quarantine Lockdown’‘DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic’‘Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Serve a Global Agenda?’‘Two Hundred and Thirty Years of Rights and Liberties Shredded: Why I Oppose The Lockdown’‘Martial Law is Coming to the USA?’‘After the Lockdown: A Global Coronavirus Vaccination Program…’‘Planetary Hysteria: Manufactured COVID-19 “Health Crisis” Pushes Humanity, Global Society to Total Shutdown’‘COVID-19 – The Fight for a Cure: One Gigantic Western Pharma Rip-Off’‘Police State Uses Crises to Expand Its Lockdown Powers: Suspending the Constitution’‘Whither Coronavirus? When Will It End and What Will Happen Along the Way’‘Covid-19: The Panic Is Worse Than the Pathogen’ and ‘Rockefeller Blueprint For Police State Triggered By Pandemic Exposed’ which cites the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2010 document ‘Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development’ with its prescient description of what is taking place now: ‘LOCK STEP – A world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback.’

As Helen Buyniski notes, using the example of the US Patriot Act, passed by Congress a short time after the 9/11 false flag event that destroyed World Trade Centre buildings 1, 2 and 7 in New York: ‘They always declare a state of emergency, they never undeclare the state of emergency or repeal any of the emergency measures.’ See ‘Rockefeller Blueprint For Police State Triggered By Pandemic Exposed’. In any case, with the corporate media endlessly promoting panic, most people prefer to be ‘saved’ by having even more severe restrictions placed on their freedom. See ‘As Trump Eyes Restarting Economy, Nearly 3 in 4 Voters Support National Quarantine’.

In this article I would like to outline a strategic response to prevent this takeover before we find ourselves moving from a version of the dystopian society described in the novel Brave New World to that outlined in the novel 1984 that many of us read as students. We might have been happy with the drugs but Big Brother is now poised with the sword held high above our necks.

‘It won’t happen’, you might say. And perhaps you are right. But my own long and extensive study of the global elite revealing the progressive manner in which it is endlessly consolidating and expanding its power is also matched by others who share my interest in this subject. So I invite you to consider the evidence presented above with the hope that we can mobilize a sufficient response from the wider population to avoid this being the final move in the elite’s strategy to take total control of our lives.

If you would like to better understand the origin, identity and behaviour of the global elite and why it is insane, see the section headed ‘How the World Works’ in ‘Why Activists Fail’ and the articles ‘Exposing the Giants: The Global Power Elite’ and ‘The Global Elite is Insane Revisited’ and the many references cited in these documents. For a deeper understanding of why elite and other human violence is so pervasive, see Why Violence? and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice.

Moreover, to highlight brief excerpts from three of the scholars cited above, the distinguished and award-winning author and geopolitical analyst Professor Michel Chossudovsky states: ‘The tendency is towards a Worldwide lockdown spearheaded by fear and media disinformation. Currently, hundreds of millions of people Worldwide are under lockdown…. This is an act of “economic warfare” against humanity.’ See ‘After the Lockdown: A Global Coronavirus Vaccination Program…’.

In the view of economist and geopolitical analyst Peter Koenig, who spent more than 30 years working for the World Bank and the World Health Organization: ‘We are moving towards a totalitarian state of the world…. [which includes ID2020]. What is the infamous ID2020? It is an alliance of public-private partners, including UN agencies and civil society. It’s an electronic ID program that uses generalized vaccination as a platform for digital identity. The program harnesses existing birth registration and vaccination operations to provide new-borns with a portable and persistent biometrically-linked digital identity…. Population reduction is among the goals of the elite within the WEF, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Morgans – and a few more. The objective: fewer people (a small elite) can live longer and better with the reduced and limited resources Mother Earth is generously offering.’ See ‘The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”’.

And here is the assessment of what COVID-19 means to John W. Whitehead, US Constitutional attorney and author of Battlefield America: The War On the American People:

This coronavirus epidemic, which has brought China’s Orwellian surveillance out of the shadows and caused Italy to declare a nationwide lockdown, threatens to bring the American Police State out into the open on a scale we’ve not seen before.

If and when a nationwide lockdown finally hits – if and when we are forced to shelter in place – if and when militarized police are patrolling the streets – if and when security checkpoints have been established – if and when the media’s ability to broadcast the news has been curtailed by government censors – if and when public systems of communication (phone lines, internet, text messaging, etc.) have been restricted – if and when those FEMA camps the government has been surreptitiously building finally get used as quarantine detention centers for American citizens – if and when military “snatch and grab” teams are deployed on local, state, and federal levels as part of the activated Continuity of Government plans to isolate anyone suspected of being infected with COVID-19 – and if and when martial law is enacted with little real outcry or resistance from the public – then we will truly understand the extent to which the government has fully succeeded in recalibrating our general distaste for anything that smacks too overtly of tyranny. See ‘This Is a Test: How Will the Constitution Fare During a Nationwide Lockdown?’

But envisaging such a dystopian future would not be complete without the Pentagon’s take on how it might turn out, with this graphic video describing a future in which citizens, with rights, no longer exist. See ‘Pentagon Video Warns of “Unavoidable” Dystopian Future for World’s Biggest Cities’.

The path on which we are traveling ends with our confinement in ghettos, locked down in one area of the elite’s totalitarian police state, or death.

I am one of those who intends to fight to the end to get us off this path to tyranny.

Fighting for our Humanity

And that is why the primary purpose of this article is to identify the components of a comprehensive nonviolent strategy to defeat a coup attempt conducted by the global elite against humanity.

What does a nonviolent strategy entail? In essence, it works by strategically altering the will or undermining the power of the global elite to repress, exploit or kill us. While the global elite is our ultimate target, we can more immediately impact this elite by targeting its agents including governments, the corporate media, the medical and pharmaceutical industries, retail corporations, the banking industry as well as its military and police forces. Hence, from a strategic perspective, it is imperative that we non-cooperate with these institutions and corporations in ways that have strategic (not simply tokenistic) impact. This means that our nonviolent actions – which will involve some risk but without requiring effort that overwhelms us – will both consolidate and build our capacity to resist, while also functionally altering the will or undermining the power of key institutions and corporations to control us.

Here Are Five Examples:

First, if we seek out news from progressive news sources – such as the site on which you are reading this article – that are committed to giving us accurate information about what is taking place, while boycotting corporate media outlets (television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter…) which are essentially peddling a combination of propaganda and fear in order to scare us into submitting to (or even asking for) greater government control (lockdowns, martial law), then we will reallocate power in society away from a key elite instrument that is being used to manipulate and control us.

Second, given the power of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, which are peddling fear and profit-making drugs, it is important to seek out advice and remedies offered by natural health practitioners who will prescribe dietary measures and nutritional supplements to prevent and/or treat any infection. Given the push for compulsory vaccination which has serious social control implications and entails a high risk of adverse health consequences – see, for example, ‘COVID-19 – The Fight for a Cure: One Gigantic Western Pharma Rip-Off’‘The National Plan to Vaccinate Every American’ and ‘A Serious Warning about the Toxicity of Aluminum-Adjuvanted Vaccines – Especially for Infants and the Elderly’ – it is particularly important that we resist this.

Third, the propaganda campaign is destroying small and family businesses which will consolidate the power of large corporate chainstores. We need to support the smaller and family businesses wherever we can and boycott the elite’s corporate stores.

Fourth, the major banks are participating in this coup, particularly by supporting efforts to force all monetary exchange to occur via electronic means rather than cash. Under the guise of helping to halt the spread of the infection, cash is being refused as a means of payment in an increasing number of outlets and contexts. As soon as possible, we need to transfer all of our banking to small, community-owned banks and credit unions that act in the interests of their members and not the corporations and the elite.

Fifth, the elite must use the police, military forces and security personnel to enforce its laws in relation to lockdown, martial law and whatever else unfolds as this crisis deepens. These individuals live in our communities; they are part of us even if the elite controls their behaviour during their employment hours. Engaging with these people, listening to them carefully, will open space for them to reconsider their own involvement in what is taking place. In the end they are on our side; they just don’t know it yet.

So you are probably starting to get the idea: Collectively, we have enormous power if we deploy it to defend what we want to preserve while undermining the power of those who wish to exploit us. There are 7.8 billion of us and few of them. Their power is an outcome of institutions they control; we can change that, as I explain more fully below.

One other point worth mentioning first, however, is this: So that we can identify those who choose to be part of the resistance, it will be useful to have a symbol that represents our human solidarity: we are all in this together. My own suggestion is that any image that shows several people of different genders/races/religions/abilities/classes holding hands or just being close together represents this solidarity. Of course, the elite might start using this symbol in an attempt to co-opt it. This doesn’t matter.

The point, of course, is that it is our behaviour that defines our allegiance, not the symbol itself. While the  elite is encouraging our separation (‘social distancing’) it has always been physical closeness that is the essence of human solidarity. Let our symbol represent that.

The Strategy in More Detail

I have outlined this nonviolent strategy, identifying its political purpose – obviously ‘To defend humanity against a political/military coup conducted by the global elite’ – and I have set out a basic list of 26 strategic goals, of which eleven are as follows:

(1) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by wearing a global symbol of human solidarity, such as an image of several people of different genders/races/religions/abilities/classes holding hands.

(2) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting all corporate media outlets (television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter…) and by seeking news from progressive news outlets committed to telling the truth.

(3) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by withdrawing all funds from the corporate banks that are supporting the coup and to deposit their money in local community banks or credit unions.

(4) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting the medical and pharmaceutical industries – including by conscientiously refusing to submit to vaccination – and by seeking health advice and treatment from natural therapists.

(5) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by boycotting corporate supermarkets and by supporting small and family businesses, and local markets.

(6) To cause people and groups all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in other locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For this item and many subsequent, see the list of possible nonviolent actions in the document ‘198 Tactics of Nonviolent Action’.

(7) To cause the workers [in trade unions or labor organizations T1, T2, T…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include withdrawing labor from an elite-controlled bank, media, pharmaceutical or other corporation operating in your country.

(8) To cause the small farmers and farmworkers [in organizations F1, F2, F…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include distributing farm produce through (existing or created) grassroots networks to small and family businesses as well as local markets rather than through corporate supply chains.

(9) To cause the indigenous peoples [in organizations IP1,IP2, IP…] all around the world to join the resistance strategy by participating in locally relevant nonviolent action(s)/campaign(s) and/or constructive program activities. For example, this might include utilizing indigenous knowledge to improve local self-reliance in food production and in other ways.

(10) To cause the soldiers and military police [in army units AU1, AU2, AU… and MP1, MP2, MP…], wherever stationed around the world, to refuse to obey orders from the global elite and its agents to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

(11) To cause the police [in police units P1, P2, P…], wherever stationed around the world, to refuse to obey orders from the global elite and its agents to arrest, assault, torture and shoot nonviolent activists and the other citizens of [your country].

Rather than detail all 26 strategic goals here, you can read the ‘Strategic goals for defeating a political/military coup conducted by the global elite against humanity’ by scrolling down the page at ‘Strategic Aims.

Remaining pages on the website fully explain the twelve components of the strategy, as illustrated by the Nonviolent Strategy Wheel. These include the need to provide leadership and mutual aid at local levels, which are already happening in many places, as part of the overall effort.

The website also has articles and videos explaining all of the vital points of strategy and tactics, including articles to help you understand ‘Nonviolent Action: Why and How it Works’, the difference between ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’ and how to prepare, frame and conduct any nonviolent action to minimize the risk of violent repression. See ‘Nonviolent Action: Minimizing the Risk of Violent Repression’.

It is worth emphasizing that, in some contexts, there is a place for large public nonviolent actions for those who are inclined to plan and conduct them. And the article just referenced will assist you to conduct it with minimal risk of violent repression. However, because the bans on public gatherings are being implemented widely, I have concentrated on providing tactical options in the examples above that do not depend on gathering in one place.

Equally importantly to any of the points above, particularly given the pressing threat of human extinction – see ‘Human Extinction Now Imminent and Inevitable? A Report on the State of Planet Earth’ – but also because becoming more self-reliant is vital to our ongoing capacity to resist elite encroachments on our rights and freedom, consider joining those participating in The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth. This project also explains how to take full advantage of non-monetary forms of community where goods and services are exchanged directly, without money as a medium of exchange. Money only has value in certain types of economy and this economy must definitely be superseded if humans are to survive.

And given the enormous pressure on children at the moment, as their lives are upended, it would be useful to spend time listening to them. Of course, if you know an adult who is having trouble coping, it will help them enormously if you listen while giving them the opportunity to talk about, and focus on feeling, their own emotional reactions to what is happening. See ‘Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening’.

If you have suggestions that you believe might improve this strategy, please let me know. My email address is in my biodata below.

And while I have a full backup copy of the strategy website, given the obvious vulnerability of websites to removal from the internet by the elite, if people are interested in creating mirror sites of this website, I would be pleased to hear from them. In addition, people are welcome to print copies of this article and pages from the website. The home page of the website is here: Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy. It is extracted/adapted from the book The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach.

If, at any point, the internet is taken down and/or we are prevented from communicating using the electronic means to which we have become accustomed, printed copies of key documents should still be able to be easily copied to share by one means or another. In the worst case scenario: if everyone is confined to their house permanently and receives a routine allocation of food that is delivered to their door, the delivery person might be willing to transfer messages. And so might other service people who will inevitably be necessary. Obviously, until such extreme measures are taken, while we have any freedom to move, even to go shopping, there will be opportunities to communicate and to arrange further opportunities to communicate.

As I mentioned above, however, apart from the ongoing elite coup, the Earth is under siege from our assaults on a vast range of fronts. If we are serious about tackling this crisis too, we must be willing to consider committing to:

The Earth Pledge

Out of love for the Earth and all of its creatures, and my respect for their needs, from this day onwards I pledge that:

1. I will listen deeply to children (see explanation above)
2. I will not travel by plane
3. I will not travel by car
4. I will not eat meat and fish
5. I will only eat organically/biodynamically grown food
6. I will minimize the amount of fresh water I use, including by minimizing my ownership and use of electronic devices
7. I will not buy rainforest timber
8. I will not buy or use single-use plastic, such as bags, bottles, containers, cups and straws
9. I will not use banks, superannuation (pension) funds or insurance companies that provide any service to corporations involved in fossil fuels, nuclear power and/or weapons
10. I will not accept employment from, or invest in, any organization that supports or participates in the exploitation of fellow human beings or profits from killing and/or destruction of the biosphere
11. I will not get news from the corporate media (mainstream newspapers, television, radio, Google, Facebook, Twitter…)
12. I will make the effort to learn a skill, such as food gardening or sewing, that makes me more self-reliant
13. I will gently encourage my family and friends to consider signing this pledge.


Humanity is at a crossroads it has never before faced.

The global elite has engineered this latest crisis after many years of planning so that it can take control of the Earth and everything on it. While some ‘sweeteners’ in the short term, such as minimal income support for individuals and businesses in some countries, are being offered to make it look as if governments are responding to the crisis with our best interests in mind, whatever palliative measures are being taken are simply designed to ensure that we remain submissive as we are led to our fate. In any case, of course, the vast bulk of government handouts are going to wealthy corporations. See ‘The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, CARES Act Is Business Giveaway, “Handout” to Monied Interests’.

If you lack the inclination or courage to do the research to understand the nature and depth of this crisis and/or to join the struggle to resist the elite takeover of our world, you are encouraged to support those who do have the inclination and courage. If you simply believe that the ‘COVID-19 crisis’ will pass and everything will revert to how it was, it might be worth reading some political history (focusing on life in those countries that suffered or still suffer under dictatorship or occupation) or simply checking out what Israel is doing now. See ‘Americans Beware: Trump Could Emulate Netanyahu’s Coronavirus Coup’. We are already so far beyond the possibility of ‘a return to how it was’ that the only realistic question worth asking now is ‘How bad will it be?’

In short, this struggle to restore our rights, economic well-being and freedoms will not be won easily. And it will come at significant cost. But it is only if enough people are willing to risk paying that cost, and apply their energy strategically, that this struggle for our humanity can actually be won.

I intend to do everything I can to ensure that we succeed. I hope that you will too.

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? His email address is and his website is here.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Reclaiming Faith and Reason in Islam

By Irshad Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Sultan Magray, New Age Islam

27 March 2020
 “Trust in God, but tie Your camel”
-        Prophet Muhammad

Islam today is the religion of more than 350million Muslims occupying a wide belt stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, across Africa, Parts of Europe and Asia. However, many Muslims in our times might be offended by the assertion that Holy Quran wants people to use their reasoning and power of intellect. For such, Faith should be blinded, followed with emotions and demonstrated through traditions, customs and rituals by Clerics and Forefathers.

The Quran specifies that the characteristic that distinct humans from other Animals is of Aql (Rationality). As Quran Puts,” For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb- those who understand not.” (8:22). When one goes through Quran; Allah asks people again & again to ponder over the signs in the universe; stars, moon, earth, Creation, Rains, and others. A system is being set in motion to the use of mankind so as to extract benefits from it. 

Had creator, wished, He could have asked immediate or complete faith, without giving arguments related to both the heart and the mind. However, Allah prefer to provide liberty and choice based on the exercises of intellect, reason and will. He presents reasons for and wisdom behind all his instructions and demonstrated that evidence is essential for any truth to be proven (10:11,2:111,21:22). Allah wants humans to reflect , ponder and deliberate before any belief or action .Every action has a cause and effect , as penned by Quran when Allah ordained humans to learn from history of previous nations; “ Do they not travel  through the land, so that their hearts( the mind) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts “(22:46)

One also comes To know that Holy Quran suggested people to ask questions, provided they do so with sincerity and the desire to understand the truth. Ali ibn Abi Talib has beautifully said,” ask in order to understand, and do not ask in order to find fault”. Quran answers every one of these questions, patiently and consistently (21:7).  Allah has given us rationality, so has he limited the powers of the human mind. Yes, some matters transcend the human powers of logic and rationality. The recognition of such limitations is also a result of human rationality: “And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge “……

Eminent Iranian philosopher, Ayatollah Murtadha Mutahhari, cites four possible reasons for pitfalls or errors in reasoning by humans, as outlined by Quran.

First, our failure to adopt a neutral and objective stance and, instead, base our beliefs on heresy , assumptions ;

Secondly, to follow the belief of others, particularly of one’s forefathers, despite knowing that everyone of us is responsible for one’s own belief, must reflect and think for oneself;

Thirdly, to be swayed by emotions, personal desires, whims and motives so that the search for truth becomes obscure, and;

Finally, is a sickness of heart, corruption of human self through continues exposure to and delving in sinful acts without any retrospection and penance.

When Reason is emphasized to such an extent, to claim inconsistency with science is in itself contradictory in nature. God’s scheme of this world is Rationally designed. But Religion must not be used to alter science and vive- versa. Our value system must test on the scale of rationality, provided we are humble enough to understand that it has limitations. our soul manifests itself through our conscience even though we may not use our endowed six senses. Rationalism and traditionalism must be balanced properly where both can keep social order intact.

The debates on the ongoing covid-19 of whether to continue prayers at mosque or not is a result of such improper balancing of faith and reason. However, in the advisories issued by WHO To national government at national level to our local administration in J & K, nothing is in contradiction to faith. instead, Strong traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are clearly supportive of such instructions. The Mutazilis and Asharites had both tried to build a bridge between revelation and natural science. The notion that modern science   is now considered “Abysmal “, as Eminent Pakistani noble Lurate Adus Salam, once, put it, haunts eastern scholars. “Muslims have a kind of nostalgia for the past, when they could contend that they were dominant cultivators of science “. 

It may be summed up fairly that in Islamic scripts both reason and faith or rationalism and traditionalism are interlinked and interdependent. They are also to be found supportive of each other. And, one of the two can’t be separated from each other without causing unfolding suffering to humanity. it was only because of this balanced combination that Islam as an educated force not only inspired Muslims to cultivate knowledge and learning, but also infused in them the spirit of scientific inquiry which is vary life and soul of modern science. Golden Age of Islam is witness to this where scientific temper reached its zenith.  Albert Einstein has rightly put it,” Science without religion is blind; while religion without science is lame.” 

-Irshad Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Sultan Magray- The authors are doctoral fellows of political Science

Teaching of The Quran In Times of Calamity: Take Warning O People of Vision

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

28 March 2020

Corona virus has proved to be a global disaster. Its cause and treatment is not known yet. The world is trying to control this invisible enemy but does not have a clue about how to overpower it. It has infected both the poor and weak and the rich and powerful. It has killed more than 12 thousand people and has affected more than 1,50,000 people worldwide. Both the common people and the heads of states have been infected by this epidemic. Prince Charles and Prime Minister of England Boris Johnson have tested positive to Covid-19. This shows how lethal and penetrative this virus is.

What does the Quran say about such a grave human crisis? If we go through the chronicles of the previous nations n the holy book, we find that many communities and nations were destroyed as a punishment to transgressions, sins, disobedience of God, violation of natural order and corruption, ingratitude to God and oppression of people. The community of Prophet Shoaib a.s., community of Prophet Lot a.s., the community of Prophet Saleh a.s., the community of Prophet Noah a.s, the community of Pharaoh and the community of Saba are some of the nations who were destroyed for their transgressions and sins.

The Quran mentions their fate in order to convey the message to the people that they should learn from the fate of the previous nations and should not commit the same mistakes and crimes.

"So take warning, O people of vision"(Al Hashr:2)
" There are certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding."(Yusuf:111)

However, we observe that the world community has not taken warning and has not learnt any lesson from the fate of the previous nations. Powerful nations have been suppressing weaker nations and communities in order to establish religious and political superiority over others. In this war, no religious community can claim to be innocent. The Jews, the Muslims, the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Agnostics (Communists) have demonstrated the same degree of insensitivity and ruthlessness towards the common people in the process of their religious and political pursuits.

The Muslim majority countries caused bloodshed in Iraq and Syria in the name of establishing Caliphate rendering millions of people dead and homeless; the Christian countries wreaked havoc in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria under NATO in order to establish their political and economic hegemony. (George Bush had tongue and cheek admitted that it was Crusade). The Jews have oppressed and tyrannised the Palestinians; the Buddhists of Burma have tyrannised and killed the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar; the Communist government of China has been torturing millions of Uyghur Muslims for years. In India, a section of the Hindu majority has been involved in the communal riots against Muslims. Gujarat pogrom was the worst state sponsored massacre of Muslims.

All these religious communities did not heed the teachings of their prophets and holy scriptures. Millions of innocent lives were lost and another millions of innocent people have been rendered refugees living in inhuman conditions but the conscience of the rulers and religious leaders of these nations is not disturbed. It is a blot on the face of the modern civilised society that in different parts of the world millions of people are living as refugees. Greed, corruption, moral and social crimes are at the peak and rampant industrial and scientific development has created many ethical and social problems. Water and air pollution have created new fatal diseases like SARS, Covid-19, Swine Flu, Bird Flu etc which claim millions of lives every year. The rampant industrial development has also disturbed ecological balance causing natural disasters and calamities like earthquakes, smog, wildfire, landslides and cloudbursts. The Quran suggests that all these calamities and diseases are man made and the result of man's wrongdoings.

"Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of the consequence of what they have done that perhaps they will return (to righteousness). (Rum:41)

Marx had said that religion was of the opium of the masses. The religious community does not like this observation of Marx but in practice, it has proved to be true. The common people are administered heavy dose of religion by the rulers and the religious authority to exploit them for religiopolitical goals. And the goal is anything but a humanitarian society where all the communities are treated like human beings. The powerful community tries to subjugate the weaker community and, in this process, it violates the principles of its own religion. Even the Communists who are under the illusion that they are not under the spell of the 'opium' are constantly under the fear of over taken by religion that they try to control even the thought process of their people as is done in North Korea and China. All this leads to inhuman treatment of its people.

All this violation of natural order and natural justice invokes the wrath of God, or Mother Nature. The Quran says that when the natural justice and natural order is violated God acts to punish the wrongdoers both individually and collectively. He has done it in the past and will do so in future.

"Have they not considered how many generations We destroyed before them." (Ya-Seen:31)
"Have they not travelled through the land and observed how was the end before them."(Fatir:44)
"And Allah does not like the transgressors.," (Al-e-Imran:140)

While punishing the transgressors, God does not distinguish between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. In His view, a transgressor is a transgressor. His infliction takes all when the people do not honour the human life.

Therefore, the current pandemic is also a warning from God to the nations of the world against their oppressive behaviour. That's why it has attacked all the nations from China to the US to the Saudi Arabia. It has struck even the heads of states like the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles conveying the message to the rulers of the world that if they don't reform themselves, even they won't be able to escape God's wrath.

"Wherever you may be death will over taken you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction."(Al Nisa:78)

The pandemic is also a warning to the common people that they should honour human values and lead a simple life and try to establish a just and healthy society. And for the righteous and the God-fearing, the pandemic is a testing from God. They should show trust in God and be patient and God will duly reward them.

"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient."(Al Baqarah:155)

S. Arshad is a regular columnist for