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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Mahboob_Khawaja
Full Name: Mahboob Khawaja
User since: 29/Jan/2010
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Global Peace and Conflict Management:

How the Arab, Israeli and the West Leaders Duped the Humanity?

 

 

 

Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.

 

  • “Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shi’ites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control….Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and for the U.S. to rule much of the region through puppets. ….Egypt receives $1.5 billion a year from Washington, which enables President Mubarak to buy off opposition. The opposition had rather have the money than support the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt cooperates with Israel and the U.S. in the blockade of Gaza….. Another factor is the willingness of some Muslims to betray their own kind for U.S. dollars. ….The U.S. and its NATO puppets have been killing Afghan women, children, and village elders since October 7, 2001, when the U.S. military invasion “Operation Enduring Freedom,” a proper Orwellian title for a self-serving war of aggression, was launched. The U.S. installed puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is bought and paid for with U.S. dollars.” (Paul Craig Roberts: “Muslims are their own Worst Enemies” March 02, 2010, ICH).

 

 

  • The fantasy bubble is fast approaching to an end with the peak oil forecasts as a visual reality in- waiting.  Power, prosperity and poverty are all trials in human affairs and transitory phenomenon. Was the discovery of oil a conspiracy (“fitna”) for the Arabs to change the originality of thinking, beliefs, values and passion for Islam as successful system of human life?

 

 

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The Leaders, who could not Lead

 

Leaders create leaders. There are no proactive leaders in the Arab authoritarian world, Israeli state and the Western liberal democracies to lead the besieged humanity out of the man-made catastrophic wars of deaths and destruction engulfed the 21st century age of reason and justice. The contemporary world is coerced to egoistic political governance by the wrong people, with wrong thinking, wrong agenda and doing the wrong things. The issue that whole of the humanity faces is how to change the wrong thinking of the wrong people into positive thinking  and rational human discipline articulating basic human values of freedom, morality, compassion, equality, justice and service to all. The so called “war on terrorism” was based on planned lies and deceptions of the few neo-conservatives serving the George Bush administration. They have slaughtered more than 3 million Iraqis, almost million Afghanis and displaced and destroyed the lives and habitats of many more millions across the Muslim world. The US Congress sanctioned the budget to Iraq war on wrong assumptions that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The US and Europeans do have weapons of mass destruction and they have been using them against the innocent humanity, why the UN or other political powers are not concerned about their destructive capacity and its implications? Is the political wickedness a punishable crime? Be it the George Bush, Cheney, Blair and others? Iran does not possess the nuclear weapons, Israel does. Iran never threatened anybody nor do the Arab leaders, Israelis have bombed the Iraq nuclear establishment and recently the Syrian nuclear capability and continue to violate the UN Resolutions by occupying the Palestinian homeland and extending illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. Why is Iran singled out for the UN Security Council’s sanctions and not much deserving Israel? Is there any global order to conduct the law and order dictum in the wild global politics?

 

Paul J. Balles (“The World’s Sickest Warrior State”, March 8, 2010, ICH) exposes the prevalent truth often denied by the mainstream US news media:


  
”It's past time for humanitarians to reject the double standards set by warmongers and supported by arms-makers and the mainstream media…..We have now reached a stage where our extreme horrors of brutality and cruelty have exceeded our past records. We no longer have the rationale of moral righteousness of the earlier wars. There were no excuses for Abu-Ghraib, but our interest in that inhuman travesty dried up and blew away. We have little concern about our violations of human rights in Guantanamo…..But the most extremes - the real horrors - of this war come with the primitive killer mentality developed in our youth. I've now seen a half dozen documentary films and read eyewitness accounts that reveal troops or pilots gloating over the massacres of civilians who just happened to be available targets.”

 

Does the US government maintain any humanitarian outlook to care for the civilian causalities in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Paul Craig Roberts (“Muslims are their own worst Enemies” 03/2010), sheds light on an important issue:

 


”What fool believes that the U.S. government, which is totally indifferent to the fate of its own citizens, cares so much about Afghanistan that it will spend blood and treasure to bring “progress” and “women’s rights” to a country half a world away, while it drives its own citizens into the ground?.... …the reason that Iraq today is in ruins, with one million dead, four million displaced or homeless, and the professional class having fled the country. Iraq, under the American puppet Maliki, is an American protectorate.”

 

 

Irony of the Ironies: Godfathers of the Global Institutions

 

All the global organizations- the presumptuous claimant of representatives of the human ideal principles and values, have failed miserably once again to bring the whole of the humanity to tragic man-made conflicts and consequential horrible impacts of the sophisticated wars on human lives and habitats. The same ideals had embodied the making of the League of the Nations- a first global experience in peacemaking and collective security but its members led it to disastrous failure. The UN carried on another human attempt to recover from the past man-made mistakes and to usher hope for the remaining humanity but the superpowers selfish aggrandizements made it impotent long before it was supposed to be working for the good of the humanity. Individual visions failed to materialize the collective goodness for all of the living humanity. The deliberate destruction of human civilizations is well in progress. The US led “War on Terrorism” devastated the already impoverish humanity killing millions and millions and destroying their lives and habitats just to satisfy the ferocious mindset of the few neo-conservatives governed by President George W. Bush, now a candidate for war crimes. So is the former British PM Blair actively sought by the concerned global humanity for alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The godfathers of the UN security functions now turned out to be master of lies and deception. They were all knowledgeable and elected to govern the people-based liberal democracies but proved ignorant and arrogant to the human principles of freedom and justice. Hitler and Mussolini were elected by the Western liberal democracies too. Imagine their dogmatic role and consequences of the ethnic superiority wars on the rest of the mankind. Words would fail to explain the horrors they planned and committed on the body and soul of the humanity. Nothing seems to have changed in the coming of the 21st century.

 

 

The Western policy makers claim power (knowledge and material possessions) and have used it to pave the ways for influence and hegemonic control over the rest of the world. The Two World Wars and now the US-British led “war on terrorism” are the outcome of that absurd thinking. The others less fortunate in knowledge and material possessions (power) – the generally described Third World (not sure, who is the First World and where is the 2nd World), a connotation full of sarcastic formula and inhuman thought serves the interest of the poly planning agenda in the superpowers manipulative chess board game. In global war games, American intellect and power is lost without a trace. Paul B. Farrell (Death of American Capitalism” … “Epilogue: Your moral dilemma: a no-win scenario or historical destiny?”), provides credible historical insight

 

“Do we really have a choice? Ask yourself, what's ahead after 2012? Can you see beyond a destructive campaign: Obama at war with Palin and the "Tea Party of No?" What are the long-term prospects of our "civilization." Do you share Munger's dark vision?  Or does the USA Today/Gallup Poll tell you guys like Munger, Buffett and Volker do "lack any understanding of important and eternal causes of human progress that the bankers are trying to serve" with their gambling casinos. "Optimists" in those polls are just politicians, bankers and citizens like you, in denial, can't hear the warnings. So we get no changes, no action, no preparations because at this stage in the long-term historical cycle, optimism has turned into our worse enemy, wishful-thinking.”

 

 

E.H. Carr had assigned the history a teaching-learning guide for the mankind - the very essence ignored and denied by the global power brokers- the so called Five Power gangsters pretending to be godfathers of the UN Security Council - a dormant and functional debating circle irrelevant to the global affairs. The facts of human life speak for themselves as the global institutions of collective security have flunked under pretensions and counter-claims of concerns to serve the interest of the humanity. The institutionalized one-track organizations do not represent the humanity but hypothetically carved-up nation states of the world-some legitimate some otherwise. The humanity doses not sit at the UN. NATO, the EU, NORAD and so many other titles and names are composed of the nation states, not of the living mankind. The paper-based names and legally incorporated titles could easily be rescinded, changed and transferred as was the case of the former USSR and lost dynasties of the few. They are hardly any points of reference for the beleaguered humanity oppressed by the powerful states. Animals do not commit massacre of their kind and specie nor set-up rape camps for the war victims, the Western led wars against the humanity have and continue to do so at a global scale without being challenged by any global establishments. Perhaps, they view humanity just in digits and numbers, not as the living entities with social, moral and human values and progressive agendas for change and development. Every beginning has its end. It is just that most advanced nations have failed to learn from the living history- a slap at the EH Carr precious thoughts of human history. When they see the end, it is irreversible. Had the Pharaoh a choice, he could have come out alive from the Red Sea. Modern Pharaohs have failed to grasp the reality of human history. George W. Bush, Cheney, Blair and so many others would never acknowledge that there was something basically WRONG with their THINKING until they see the tribunal for war crimes? You wonder, how almost 3 million human beings have been killed in Iraq and millions of them made homeless and forced to leave their habitats to seek shelters in foreign lands and the same is going-on in Afghanistan and Pakistan - the blessings of the wrong thinking of the few. The Christian led wars of Crusades have never ended against the Muslim living in one humanity-one world. It has assumed the name of American led Crusade of hi-tech weapons submerged in the waves of fear and ferocity – the minds of the US belligerents in which presently reason and mankind are entrapped. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) program on “the War on terrorism”, the Fifth Estate: 06/15/2010) identified George W. Bush and Tony Blain having been inspired by the Christian evangelical teachings of the faith to wage wars against the Arab-Muslim people. In other words, the remaking of the Christian Crusades against the Arabs. This is what the “War on Terrorism” is really about.

 

 

In Search of Knowledge-driven, People-oriented Proactive Responsible Leadership to Conduct the Global Governance

 

Peace is sought against war. Knowledge against ignorance, truth against falsehood, day against night, right from wrong and so on. After the end of the horrifying human sufferings during the two world wars, the humanity hoped for sustainable peace and human enrichment of co-existence and friendly relations across the globe. Not so, it was just a hollow dream, an illusion of the left-over humanity tarnished by the draconian warlords of the Western world with complacency of the authoritarian Muslim rulers - the bootlickers of the Western game of political power. There are too many pretenders and political actors for peace and services to the humanity. To trust them would mean to ignore the ever widening credibility gap. For more than sixty years, the Arab leaders have done it, Israelis have longed it, West European and the US have professed it and the former Communist bloc led by the dead USSR tried to copycat the scenario for peace and friendship often marked with timetable - Twenty Year Friendship Treaty, as if the doomsday was suppose to follow after the time expiry of the treaty. Could anyone be held accountable for the cruelty and deception to the well being goals and beleaguered future of  the humanity?  Not so, there was no accountability for those who forced the humanity to fight during the two world wars and now in the bogus war on terrorism conducted by the bankrupt US political leaders.  From the Audacity of Hope to the US Presidency, Obama seems to have misread the US history of freedom and the Principles of human equality, dignity and justice. Otherwise, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been stopped immediately after his presidential inauguration and daily bloodshed reversed. It is needed for face saving to the US policy makers- the ardent proponents of the New World Order lost in its home setting. Again, the world is in shackle and death and human destructions make the headlines of the news media presentations. Who is responsible for this miserable 21st century landscape? Nobody else except the Wrong Thinking, Wrong Agenda and Wrong Actions of the Few controlling the political nerve centers of the global political chess games. The US-Britain and others are fighting for new territories with opportunities to exploit the natural resources and enlist human armies to fight for the capitalism. Few of the controlling elite make the majority to fight for their political goals - for profit, exploitation and political power. A century earlier C.E. M. Joad (Guide to Modern Wickedness, 1936), described it well:

 

“The necessity for fighting entails large armies of citizens willing able to fight. Foreseeing this necessity, capitalism provides for it in advance by establishing Fascist regimes, Fascism being the method by which in the last phase of Capitalism, the dominant capitalism class reduces its own working class to such a state of dupery and subjection that they are willing to fight without question for the interests of their masters.”

 

 

For sure, the human THINKING can be changed and reformed. The Divine words of God illustrate it clearly: “Allah does not change the conditions of the people unless first they change themselves (Al-Qura’an, Surah Al-Raad.). Are there any human being listening with a living conscience that humanity is engulfed with untold torture, killings and displacement that must be stopped and those responsible be held accountable?  Paul B. Farrell (“The Death of American Capitalism- the 10 Final Scenes”, Feb 23, 2010, ICH), elaborates the American self- perceived dilemma of greatness.

 

“Power and wealth create false sense of invincibility… …  America is on a 'road to financial ruin……   But we also know …"The Death of the Soul of Capitalism," that over the long-term, through many centuries, historians give nations an average of about 200 years before they burn out. Why? Because the "blind optimism" that makes a nation great in the early years of its rise to power and glory becomes, paradoxically, its worst enemy in the end-days. Their arrogance traps them in a self-sabotaging cycle that weakens their resolve, makes them vulnerable to new, unpredictable challenges, ultimately destroying them from within. That happens over and over throughout history, even as their optimistic brains tell them they're still the greatest.”

 

 

Ideas and Ideals that have been wronged by the egoistic Leaders

 

Since the middle of the 20th century, the newly rich Arab leaders have achieved economic prosperity and unplanned rise in higher standards of living via the oil exports- a natural gift from God. It was something that they have not labored for it to have its true importance, understanding and value in change and development. John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hitman), explains “how the Western elite are milking the Arab cows until the sunset.” The oil export business is managed by the Western enterprise. Almost 75% of the Arab oil wealth is invested in mostly American banks and other West European economic sectors. The policy and decisions are made and approved by foreigners to fit the Arab authoritarian leadership taste and ideals. The Arab rulers have little to share in terms of contemporary and much needed proactive visionary leadership. None knows the basic tactfulness and creative leadership intellect and  traits to speak words of wisdom or to discuss complex issues in a global arena. What if there was a Sultan Salhuddin and conscientious of the Arab-Islamic interests, he could surely have developed a balanced relationship with the West without being an object of their laughable images and political games. There are no proactive leaders in the Arab-Islamic world to THINK of the Muslim’s interests and strategic priorities. They live in closed palaces, not with the people to understand the prevalent changing and challenging realities of the global politics.  They maintain armies but for the self, not to defend the Muslims and Islam. Freedom and statehood of Palestine is the focal issue in the Arab-Israelis affairs in the Middle East. But the problem and freedom of Palestine never comes up as an active agenda item for planned actions. The Arab leaders had over sixty years to plan and prepare themselves to encounter the growing Israeli force and political presence in the Middle East.  They could have planned and developed the strategic capacity to pursue a balancing act in the Palestine-Israeli conflict management and conflict resolution. It was the capacity that makes differences at the policy table, not the actual acts and military challenges. The Arab leaders have not listened to educated voices of reason to change and reform their own failing capacity of the mind and non-existent leadership role, and to know the challenge by defying intellectual foresight and political power. The drum beats of Arab power and influence are a fallacy of the Western created illusion and nothing else. They have no knowledge of persuasive power of logic and functional public institutions to persuade the West for change and policy impacts. Organizations like the Arab League, OIC and others are paper-based set ups manned by those who have neither vision nor educated leadership to extend sense of moral, political, and intellectual security to the Muslim Ummah.

 

Throughout the Arab-Muslim world, there is not a single established institution to educate people in peace, security and conflict analysis and conflict resolution. Yet, the Arab-Islamic world is engulfed with crisis after crisis and none are tackled but left-over to the next generations. If a political event threatens an egoistic ruler, he looks to Washington or London for rescue, not to God or the systematic institutions within. Out of the 55 or so Muslim countries, none have the capacity to deal with a political problem of international dimension. None seem to have the viable know-how to assess problems of vital interests to the Muslim Ummah. Palestine and Kashmir live in neglect, not in the heart and minds of the dummy rulers. The Arab-Muslim rulers have defied moral and intellectual necessities to adapt to the challenging needs of the 21st century. An educated person will hardly get opportunity to hold any responsible position unless he is from an aligned clan or influential business interest group supporting the authoritarian or traditional clan based regime. Islam specifies that an educated person has the preference over a worshipper in leading the human affairs. Islam lives in denial, and the Arab-Muslim leaders look for escape from the reality. To the post–colonial Arab-Islamic world, the top most priority should have been to plan and develop the intellectual, moral and proactive political capacity for institutional development providing the Arab-Islamic perspectives and policy stance in critical situations deserving analysis and workable solutions to cope with the changing and intellectually much demanding global developments. Two decade earlier (“Strategic Policy Planning: Comparative Analysis between the Muslim world and the West’) published across the Arab world attempted to focus on institutional development capacity-building and active role for peace and conflict management. A decade earlier, I made several proposals to an affluent Arab ruler and a foreign minister, but my voice ended up in dead-ends. The ideas and ideal for New THINKING and strong and rational political standing continued to live in denials across the Arab-Muslim world. The traditional uneducated policy makers and the governing elite must have felt threatened by these new ideas and vision for the Arab-Muslim nations to have the institutionalized capacity to be active in global political governance.

 

 

 

 

 

Can the wounds of “ignorance” be healed?

How to think the unthinkable for a promising Arab-Israeli Future?

 

If you will analyze, you will see that all the institutionalized establishments to peace- making and security  links are connected to Israel and Israeli lobbyists in the US and Western Europe. Israelis have no peace and sense of the real world security without sharing the same with the Arabs and Palestinians. Israelis do have wide range of institutions and channels for open communications, fair or foul. No matter who comes into political power, Israelis national objectives remain in tact and active pursuit. Not so, with the Arab-Muslim world and the current leaders, they are allergic to open communication and devoid of having reasoning from the educated and intelligent ones. Oil exporting dollars cannot buy proactive leadership, truth, rational advice and prompt action.  After the recent Humanitarian Flotillas breaking the Gaza blockade and  deaths of the Turkish peace activists, and global outrage and condemnation of the Israelis action in the high seas, Israeli politicians seem to have listened that illegal blockade of Gaza will not go unchallenged and that peace is not a one way street. Israelis and the Palestinian need to change the mindset and adapt a solution-oriented posture, not problem-oriented attitudes and actions for a different and sustainable future without bloodshed and violations of human rights and justice for the people of Palestine. It is in the best of Israeli and Arab interests to have peace than confrontational policy and struggle. Conflicts and wars generate hatred and reactionary battles, peace will bring understanding and respect for one another. The Arab rulers need to reform their thinking and develop their institutionalized capacity to conduct peace and security affairs by those who are educated and capable to do so. If nobody has the peace and security, how could they give it to others? Being oil-rich living in splendid palaces and greedy consumer does not scare the Israelis or the Western policy makers. If the Arab leaders had posed an intellectual and political challenge to them, they would have taken it seriously to respond with measurable rationality and purpose for policy change and workable co-existence for peace and security in the Arab Middle East.

 

Today, if the Arabs had educated leadership, strong public institutions and proactive visions and advisory, they could have been in a position of strength and not in weakness to resolve the Palestine problems and to establish an independent state for the beleaguered Palestinians to live in peace and harmony with the Israelis. Educated Jews have worked hard to establish their thoughts and presence across the mainstream politics of the Western world.  Intellectual Jewish resources and heavy financial contributions to the US lobbyist networks have strengthened the Israeli views and stance in the Western political culture.  With abundance of intellectual and financial resources, have the Arab leaders any thought how to manage their vital political interests and global affairs? Don’t blame the Israelis for all the engulfed miseries and battlefronts as they will continue to do so for their survival and presence in the Arab Middle East. The Arab leaders should face the mirror and comprehend their collective failure to grasp the political realities, is one of the major factors for the continued unresolved Palestine issue. The world will listen and pay attention only if you know how to communicate your ideas with reason, intellect and force of purpose for human equality and political justice. Many Israelis used to THINK as was made known during the 2009 war on Gaza that Palestinians are just digits and numbers, not human beings. Freedom cannot be denied to the Palestinians.

 

 

 

 

How to change and reform the absurdity of WRONG THINKING to doing the right things for the sustainable future?

 

Could the people and nation live harmoniously in man-made superficial conflicts and war zones? When policy makers and leaders of the nation share sense of responsibility, their eyes and minds are open to listening and learning and thereby, prospective change in behavior will emerge. It is one of the most pertinent characteristics of modern leadership to be listening and learning without agreeing or disagreeing with public inputs. Those reject the necessity of listening, are often end-up in failure, disgrace and eviction from political life. Is Obama is listening? No. Are the oil riched Arab leaders listening? No. Are the democratic Israelis listening? No.  Everyone pretends to be doing something right but they are all WRONG and terribly naïve of the consequences of their naïve and selfish thinking and its futuristic consequences. More wars are looming on the innocent humanity- the foremost victims of human ignorance, injustice and travesty. 

 

The proponents of wars engender decadence, hatred and degenerate the human positive thoughts and energies to make the human beings acts like animals and dummies. The Western policy planners are well equipped with instincts of pugnacity and political hatred and ferocity. These instincts serve the agenda for their strategic plans against the Arabs and Muslim people. With bribed and bought collaboration of the Western mass media, they have carved –up images of the Arabs and Muslims as “extremists”, “fundamentalists” and “terrorists.” When the ordinary folks see these visual and  video manufactured images, they tend to take them seriously and believe in them for their fear of survival and security. There are no planned counter-balanced rational illustrations exposing the Arab-Muslim viewpoints to balance the imbalanced imagery making propaganda. Wars are fought and capitalized on such images to make the home audience that the US and British are fighting a just war against the “terrorists” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The media campaigns never tell that the “US-British led terrorism of wars have terrorized the rest of the humanity” for the much sought out oil and gas resources in the Muslim world. What are the ultimate motives for the war of aggressions against the Arab and Muslims? Nothing except a desire for control of the natural resources, profit and political power. C.E.M. Joad (Guide to Modern Wickedness) notes: “Human beings fight because they are afraid, afraid that worse will happen to them if they do not. They might, for example lose their possession, or sustain a wound in their pride or even in their honour.”

 

 

Men who have led the humanity to fight in wars were ignorant and foolish. They failed to imagine the outcomes of the human killings and consequences of the wars against the very humanity that they claimed to be part of an d to serve. Were they wicked and stupid in totality? CEM Joad is again very telling to us:

 

“If the human nature is in part wicked and in part foolish, how can human beings be prevented from suffering from the result of their wickedness and folly?”  C.E.M. Joad (Guide to Modern Wickedness), shares a wise and reasonable answer:

 

“Men simply do not see that war is foolish and useless and wicked. They think on occasion that it is necessary and wise and honourable, for war is not the work of bad men knowing themselves to be wrong, but of good men passionately convinced that they are right.”

 

To make peace and to ensure the human security, policy and attitudinal changes and reformation is much needed across the globe. More so in the Arab Middle East than anywhere else. The so called “war on terrorism” or terrorism of wars by the US must be stopped and the victimized humanity should be safeguarded and compensated by the warmongers. The Arab authoritarian leaders and the Western democratically known to be elected leaders should learn from the events shaping the contemporary history. Defying the history would deny the prospects of future-building for peace and human security. There are challenges ahead for more critical and greater in scope to deal with human survival in an age of space weaponry and advanced secret weapons of mass destruction that the US and Western European do not disclose to the mankind, global warming, sustainable human growth and development and peaceful con-existence after the continued theatre of absurdity waging the crusading “war on terrorism.” If there is One Humanity, living in One World, it must come to understand and respect the URGENT need for human and leadership capacity-building to be listening and learning from the voices of REASON and proactive vision awaiting a different, more progressive and promising future for the humanity as a whole as ONE PEOPLE LIVING IN ONE WORLD. Could the Arab-Muslim leaders see the mirror and RETHINK about their own role and non-existing place in global political theatre? Al-Qura’an spells out the rationale: “intelligent people always readily accept advice.”

There are distinct possibilities that given the historical enrichment of being the progeny of the Prophet Abraham (Peace be upon him), Christians, Jews and Muslims could live in peace and harmony as have they done it during the 800 years of glorious Arab civilization in Al-Andalusia-Spain. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard ("TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS AND OUR WAY OF LIFE: WHAT'S NEXT"), moved my thoughts and soul and fascinated me with her ideas and vision when recently I communicated to her on what she had stated years ago:

“There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world….

And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.

Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things. When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.

While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent. Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership…. This kind of enlightened leadership — leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability diversity and courage — led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.”

 

 (Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including: "Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Conflict Resolution", University Press of America; How America Lost the War in Iraq and Afghanistan and Mujahideen Won; To America and Canada with Reason, VDM Publishers, 2009; “President Obama – War is War, Not Peace”, 2009; and “Is President Obama Remaking America?”  “The Arab Time Capsule- Once You Were the Leaders of Islamic Civilization.”   

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