The Muslim World Is A Ticking Time Bomb

Muslims, Unite Across Borders and Push for Peaceful Reforms

Hossein Askari

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Take a look at Muslim countries. Most are run by oppressive, corrupt autocrats who have distorted and misrepresented Islam and weaponized it to rule. Instead of being a guiding light and a way of life, Islam has become a stick and a heavy yoke. Most Muslim economies languish, while a few prosper only because they have oil and natural gas to pump. There is inequality in everything from healthcare and education to income and wealth. Corruption and poverty abound. Rulers neglect the deprivation and genocide of Muslims in foreign lands, be they in Israel, China, Myanmar or in India and support these same rulers to stay in power themselves; recently, some even congratulated Netanyahu as he formed a fascist theocratic coalition to further subjugate Palestinians and seize more of their land, and the United Arab Emirates apparently invited Netanyahu to visit the UAE in January, while others have welcomed President Xi as he persecutes Uyghur Muslims. Muslim rulers know no shame.

Muslims yearn for reform and change but are afraid to stand up as they face jail, execution and the barrel of a gun. All they have for comfort is the popular memory of the overblown Muslim glories of centuries ago. This state of deprivation is a ticking time bomb that will erupt across the Muslim world unless it is addressed peacefully and soon.

How did Muslim countries get to this point? Corrupt rulers highjacked Islam shortly after the death of Prophet Mohammad, and enlisted the services of pliant and unethical clerics who “found” interpretations from the Quran and the life of the Prophet to support inherited dictatorial rule. The majority of Muslims have not enjoyed the freedom to think and pursue their dreams. Rulers and their cronies have adopted a life of luxury and untold wealth, while the majority languish. To stay in power, some rulers have enlisted the support of foreign powers, even colonialists.

How is this state of affairs related to the message of Islam? It is not. Islam upholds freedom in all of its dimensions. Allah could have made humans perfect. But He did not so choose. Allah gave humans the freedom to choose even their religion, let alone how they dress. What Allah gave to humans no ruler should take away. Moreover, a ruler should be selected by the community and answerable. While some Sunni clerics have argued that rulers must always be obeyed, in Shia Islam it…

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Hossein Askari

MIT engineer-economist. Prof: Tufts, UT-Austin, GW. IMF Board. Government-Mediator Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait. Econ-Finance, Oil, Sanctions, Mid-East, Islam.