Following the divine law, ‘wa yamkuroona wa yamkurullah,’ a series of setbacks seem to have been let loose. The acclaimed leader of the world, the United States of America, appears to have begun to suffer decline, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.

One thing that is quite obviously puzzling about the times we are passing through is the character of its uncertainty. Philosophers, scientists, politicians, commoners – they are all unanimous in feeling that they cannot say, “what is likely to happen next.” This is acting heavily on human minds.

To us Muslims, one of the questions that also suffers the same uncertainty is: what to predict about our own future, about our position among the nations of the earth, about our status in this narrowing world which has been showing us an unkind face for last two decades?!

Concerned about Islam’s noticeable penetration into Europe and America, the 9/11 event was organized to disfigure the face of Islam and Muslims. Terrorism was adopted as the pretext to attack individuals, societies, governments. Massive political changes were enforced, nations were subdued to pay tributes, and millions of innocent Muslims slaughtered.

A campaign to mutilate Islamic personalities, movements, and institutions was made to run its course. Open presentation of Islam was rendered disagreeable. Books and magazines made outlandish, and dangerous to their writers and publishers. School textbooks were forced to modify their syllabi.

Nonetheless, they must admit, the strategy and campaign had the opposite effect. Although religious activities suffered decline, and youth dynamism was made to shrivel, but the pace of conversion to Islam in the West doubled. And, despite the attacks on ‘Islam’s treatment of women,’ women’s conversion happened to be double that of men.

Further, following the divine law, ‘wa yamkuroona wa yamkurullah,’ a series of setbacks seem to have been let loose. The acclaimed leader of the world, the United States of America, appears to have begun to suffer decline.

In science, it might still claim the first place, but in its applications, in technology, in innovation, it now takes lower positions. Its labour is neither as productive nor as skilled as of other economies. Its masses are work-shy, lethargic and epicurean. Its industrial products are no more as competitive as those of its rivals in the east.

Its politicians evince signs of becoming corruptible. Its common people are less educated, less informed, and more prone to violence. Poverty is on the rise in the same measure in which billionaires are on the rise. Homelessness is ever increasing. Shanty towns are showing upsurge.

The infrastructure is cracking up. Millions of miles of roads are filled with potholes, tens of thousands of bridges, water tanks, reservoirs, are in need of repair. Government buildings and structures beg demolition and rebuilding.

Poverty level has reached around 10%, while some 600,000 are experiencing the curse of homelessness. Murder is on the ascending scale.

A new feature is gripping the nation that threatens to shatter its integrity. It leads to disunity and division. On a sudden, this new phenomenon has appeared on the horizon like a dark cloud. It is racism.

White supremacists have started raising their heads much more boldly than ever. Studies and analysis say the phenomenon was always there in existence. But now it appears prominently, unabashedly.

Dark, African coloured people are the first target of expression of prejudice, intolerance, hate, and violence. Blacks can get killed at the hands of police at traffic signals, and brown coloured men and women can get face-boxed in shopping malls.

Commenting on a rifle attack by a young white man on a Fed-Ex facility where majority of workers were Sikh, killing four, three of whom were women, an article says,

“The rampage marked the 147th mass-shooting so far this year in the U.S., according to one organization, and caps a week in which violence has been prominent on screens across the country, with the release of a video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old, the killing of Duante Wright, a Black man, by a white police officer, and the conclusion of testimony in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin.”

While the police, lawmakers, and dismayed social workers look into ways to combat this dark force, another is seeking quicker and keener attention. It is the rise of violence, looting and murder. Says one analysis:

“At the end of 2020, Chicago police reported more than 750 murders, a jump of more than 50% compared with 2019. By mid-December, Los Angeles saw a 30% increase over the previous year with 322 homicides. There were 437 homicides in New York City by Dec. 20, nearly 40% more than the previous year.”

At the moment, let us not go any further.

The United States is definitely not going to crumble any time soon. Civilizations do not die in days or years. It is its culture, civilization, and the American-ness that are taking the blows. Its program of destroying the Muslim soul appears to have lost steam and the zeal. Is the pandemic the reason, or that the newest problems demand time, attention, and energy more than the Muslim issue? The uncertainty of the times affects this issue too.

While Islam has grown, Muslims have suffered much during the last two decades: China, Myanmar, and other regions witness persecutions, but the West, in general, and America, in particular, have, so far, been mute witnesses.

Syria proves to be a tough nut to crack. But other Muslim states are on their knees. If they rise, it is to suppress Muslims, and attack Muslim kingdoms. Any Islamic movement in Muslim states is out of the question. Leaders of the Muslim states are bending backward to please the USA.

Have the Muslims been given respite? Or are there new ideas, new strategies, new preparations for newer attacks? The visionless Muslim Ummah faces uncertainties upon uncertainties. Motionless, it must wait for the next move of is enemies.

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