By Yushau A. Shuaib
As a Muslim who not only studied Quran at a tender age and attended Islamic institutions in my formative years, I pray to Almighty Allah to bless the great woman of our decade, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany for her righteousness in accepting the influx of immigrants, especially Muslims for protection in her country.
There is this negative and erroneous image of Islam that was created due to the unwholesome activities of some leaders who promote intolerance and extremism for their personal survival selfish interest. This stereotype can easily be removed going by the noble teaching of Islam, which spreads love and tolerance among all people, whatever their race, ethnicity, religion, doctrine, language, tribe and social class system.
The holy book of Islam, Quran, also teaches us that all humanity is but one great family. It states: “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them countless men and women.” Quran 4 Verse 1.
While Arab leaders in mostly Muslim countries exacerbate crises and rebellions that result in mass killing and displacements of millions of their citizens, Christian countries, like Germany have become sweet homes for Muslim refugees.
Born on July 17 1954, Merkel is a German politician who has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and the Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000. It is not surprising that this conservative Christian politician was recently named Time magazine’s coveted Person of the Year for her work in the Greek debt saga and largely for her unique intervention in Europe’s migrant crises. Merkel has voted against abortion rights and believes that marriage is “the sacred union of a man and a woman.”
When immigrants from Arab and Muslims countries are threatened by senseless civil wars and terrorism, she generously opened up her country’s borders to a million refugees, providing safety and comfort.
The Time editors clearly pointed out that Merkel understands the mind-set of many refugees fleeing dictatorship through her experience growing up in East Germany, behind the infamous Iron Curtain.
While announcing the award, the Editor of Time Magazine observed that at a moment when much of the world is once more engaged in a furious debate about the balance between safety and freedom, the Chancellor is asking a great deal of the German people, and by their example, the rest of the world as well. Merkel is passionately appealing to her citizens “to be welcoming. To be unafraid. To believe that great civilizations build bridges, not walls, and that wars are won both on and off the battlefield. By viewing the refugees as victims to be rescued rather than invaders to be repelled, the woman raised behind the Iron Curtain gambled on freedom.”
A daughter of a pastor and deeply religious woman rather than atheist, Merkel recently and proudly described her faith to a young theology student that: “I believe in God, and religion is also my constant companion, and actually has been my entire life… one knows there is something higher than just human beings, and that we are also called on to shape the world in responsibility for others. This is a framework for my life, which I consider very important.”
The exodus of citizens from Arab and Muslim world are triggered by Arab leaders and collaborating Western counterparts who instigate global humanitarian crises through petty vendetta and deceits. In connivance with Arab leaders, the western power destroyed Iraq under false allegation that Saddam Hussein had stockpiled Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and they destroyed Libya on the false pretence for entrenchment of democracy. The powerful forces, are largely behind the sponsorship of rebels against legitimate governments in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
A close examination of those engineered crises, clearly show that they are not religious but rather sectional, tribal and primordial conflicts under the guise of religion. A clear case is the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen by the same forces that would rather protect undemocratic monarchy system and fuelled conflicts in other seeming democracies.
It was therefore not surprising when Sunni-Shiite debacle was introduced to justify the wanton destruction of lives and property in some countries. There is a fear that the same scenario could play out in Nigeria if the recent clash between Nigerian military and an Islamic group in Zaria is not contained and controlled.
Until after the alleged Zaria massacre of members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, headed by Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zak-Zaky, on the day they were to celebrate Moulud (Birthday) of Prophet Mohammed (SAW), Nigerian Muslims don’t bother about dichotomy of creeds in Islam. It is therefore, unfortunate that while the country is yet to resolve the Boko Haram terrorism, the political elite seems to find ways of dividing the Muslim community along Sunni and Shiite doctrines when majority simply believe in the Quran and Hadith. It is worrisome that politicians have ways of playing politics with everything including innocent life and yet they cunningly seek for the endorsement of voters during campaigns for elections.
Meanwhile, just like the good hearted Angela Merkel of Germany, top Nigerian Christians and their umbrella organisation, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have shown empathy, expressed sympathy and condoled families of Zaria victims who were killed like rats to be freely robbed by miscreants. Surprisingly, some Muslim leaders who should be more concerned, either keep mute or merely engage in blame-game on confused doctrines.
There is a lot to be learned from leaders like Chancellor Merkel, who as a Christian is providing shelter, food, medication, education and even enabling environment for Muslims to practice their religion in her country. She has clearly demonstrated the Islamic injunction, which states: “O humankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. The most honoured of you in the sight of God (Allah) is the most righteous of you.” Quran 49 Verse 13.
Truly, righteousness is the sole standard value in humanity.