During his Night Journey and Ascension, the Prophet witnessed Luhay b. `Amr dragging his entrails in Hellfire. He was the first man to introduce idol-worship in Makkah. He had traveled to Syria (then under the Romans), saw some idols (first in the temples and then in the market), saw the connection between the temple and the market,
bought one of them (perhaps the prettiest and the cheapest), and placed it in the holy precincts of Arabia. The Muslim world – the centre and the peripheries, jolly well all – has a new deity now. This one is a foreign deity too. It is an orator. He can reduce people to tears. The proud nation is given hope. By some magic the mountainous loans will be repaid (if nothing works, by printing notes), the economy, lately on loan and loot, will be kick-started, and soon things will be alright. They will be a great nation again, and in the real sense too, that is, not in the sense of bombing to extinction any nation that disagrees, or short-listing any individual who disagrees and placing him in the list of those dangerous millions that must be diligently and vigilantly watched, and prevented (with the help of the controlled media) from polluting the minds of the people, while plans are underway to control a new threat to freedom, the Internet. To those in tears, (but the economic experts in a different kind of tears nodding their heads in disbelief and disgust), he assures, “Yes we can.”
But, in majority of cases orators have proved to be poor administers. Hitler, Mussolini, Jamal Abdul Nasser, and common speech-makers are other examples. They talk what they cannot deliver. They are nearer to poetry than prose. They are honest in their belief that words, and not engine power, can move. If they also suffer from delusion (of psychological type), and are not restrained by circumstances in the exercise of excessively endowed power, they can prove disastrous too. Admittedly, this one does not seem to suffer delusion (he merely leads to delusion), does not seem to have the circumstances in his favor, nor he is a manipulator (except within the limits of any politician’s rightful share of manipulation) and so, may not prove to be dangerous. The only danger within his country is that he may put the people on the tracks of complacency. But, that does not concern us. Perhaps, after the delusions of the past, a dose of complacency may prepare them for realism, which is what they truly need now – if they knew.
But in countries outside his own, the battles go on. In fact, are intensified. If the soldiers with bleeding noses are
withdrawn into two dozen prisons, now called bases, in one part of the world, the fight is intensified in another operational theatre. Indeed, while the terrorist policies adopted by the predecessor were expected to be reversed, exactly the reverse of the wishful thinking seems to be happening. The “drones will drive enough terror” policy is one step forward from the predecessor’s crazy idea of “conquer” through the slogans of freedom, and “rule” the region (while the oil flows) through the slogan of democracy. So, on the terrorist front, nothing seems to have changed, it has worsened. The clever thing about the new deity is sweet talks. If he is not the enemy of Islam and Muslims, nobody said he is. None of his predecessor was. None of his predecessors, deities in their own right, ever said anything different. Their objectives have remained quite modest, they want your resources and products: cotton, chemicals, petrol, the list is not long, perhaps inventory can be accommodated in one page. If neo-colonialism is another modest objective and long term agenda, then, think about. Is it not good for you? If a new form of colonialism cannot bring prosperity for all, can it not keep 20% of the population happy, in fact, in luxuries? So, the neo colonialism idea is, after all, not so bad. Be positive about it.
Come to other policies. If he bowed before a Middle-eastern ruler (physically), little do his worshippers realize that
(the act was a reflex action belying confusion, otherwise) their deity will have to be on his knees (virtually) to get any concession from the Zionists. But bending the knees at the moment is to be bending them too many times. Already the deity has signed off his position to the Chinese in the IMF and World Bank. “Our money and your control? That is not a reasonable arrangement,” said the Chinese. Relinquishing the hugely advantageous position (which allowed for half a century of financial manipulations) was no minor event of reflex action. But it was not enough for the Muslim world to examine the new deity, a new icon, with a new eye. But isn’t dimmed vision bordering with blindness that has created the desire to look to foreign deities for guidance and relief? While the deity floats, too occupied to deliver anything, the Luhays in the Muslim world are back in business. Customers are enough in numbers and the sales are good (after the murderous Iraq visit). The future is assured too. If this deity falls, they will sell another. “It is definitely not, that the sights go blind, but it is the hearts in the breasts which go blind (The Qur’an, 22: 46).” If such is a Muslim’s ‘today,’ his ‘tomorrow’ is also assured: “He will say, ‘My Lord! Why did You raise me blind while I was able to see?’ He will reply, ‘That is how. Our revelations came to you, but you forgot (all about) them. That is how you will be forgotten today’” (The Qur’an, 20: 125-126).