By Yusuf AbdulLahi
In the name of Allah Who states "And think not that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only gives them respite till the day on which the eyes will fixedly stare" Q14:42. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His chosen servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
As we were sustained to witness 2019 by Allah’s mercy, I extend a good will message to all, with more prayers and greater optimism to end the world’s incessant crises responsible for chaos and bloodshed.
"If JESUS were among us today, he would not spare even a single moment to fight the leaders of despotism and global arrogance". This was part of the statement of the leader of Islamic revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Khamne’i in relation to the oppressed people of Yemen. He also said "… in Yemen, the Saudi regime is committing the crimes. But their accomplice in crime is the US"
The piece for this week is on Yemen, which attracts global attention being the worst artificially created humanitarian crises. Despite the fact that these atrocities against the poor Yemeni people has not stopped, but some positive developments were recorded looking at the level of condemnations and withdrawals from arms deals with the butcher -Saudi-Arabia- especially after merciless murder of dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
With defiant stance against Donald Trump, the US senate has recently passed a resolution calling on Washington to stop its support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, during a session in Washington DC. With the world’s clear knowledge of the long existing master servant relation between US and Saudi Arabia, the development is very encouraging. Last year, for example, Trump has announced a $110bn weapons deal with Riyadh, which he officially visited after he was sworn in. Earlier on, nothing positive came out from several negotiation organized by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and implementation mechanism since 23 November, 2011 in Riyadh with various groups for peace and stability. The situation worsened with escalation of military confrontations early 2015. Most noticeably, the UN Security Council resolution 2216 of 2015, requested the Secretary-General to intensify efforts and liaise with all parties to achieve the stated goals. However, with the biased Saudi-led coalition aggression against the poorest country in the region, the situation has turned to worst humanitarian crises ever witnessed in history. In the four years of the continuous aggression, tens of thousands Yemenis lost their lives beside of higher number of civilian casualties and wanton destruction of public and private infrastructures worth billions of dollar! Evidently, being the largest world’s humanitarian crises, more than 75% of the total population are in need of aid and protection, significant % is absolutely has food insecurity and more than 3 million people displaced.
THE WORST HUMANITARIAN CRISES
Over the years, countries and organizations that value human life call for end to continued Saudi-led, American-backed strikes against Yemen. The Islamic republic of Iran and Amnesty International stand distinct on this issue. The figures vary as to death toll due to direct and indirect effect of the aggression. Some non-governmental organizations put the number between 60 to 100,000, while the UN put it at N10,000. A recent release by Oxfam, an international confederation of 20 NGO’s working with partners in over 90 countries to end injustice, it described Yemen as "raged by the over three years pogrom, killing thousands, and leading to world’s biggest humanitarian crises, with many considering Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman, the architect. It certified that a civilian is killed every three hours, calling on the United States, Britain and other European States to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia. One civilian has been killed every three hours in fighting in Yemen since the beginning in August with many more people succumbing to disease and hunger". The aid group cited data collected by the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project linked to the United Nations global protection clusters that 575 civilians were killed between August 1 and October 15, including 136 children. Therefore, it called on the UK, US and other governments to suspend arms sales to the Saudis because of their disregard for civilian lives in the war in Yemen. Yemen conflict sees one of the deadliest months, 450 civilians were killed in the first nine days of August as the conflict between government forces and Houthis escalated. Saudi Arabia leads a pro-government military alliance that has battled Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis since 2015, pushing the impoverished country to the brink of famine. The UN categorizes Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, warning on Tuesday that 14 million people now face a serious threat of famine!" However, with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic in the kingdom’s consulate, Western nations were advised to suspend arms deals with Saudi. Germany has positively responded pending the outcome of the investigation against the brutal murder. America, which is the largest arms supplier refuses in view of huge financial gains and disregard to human lives. According to United Nations, more than 10,000 people have been killed since 2015 which the rights and aid groups believe is by far higher.
On many occasions, concerned individual and organizations condemned atrocities on the poorest Arab nation by the richest in the Middle-east. The IHRC at the forefront held and influenced such events in London, Geneva and Indonesia, just as the Islamic Movement stood for same in Kano and Zaria, Nigeria. Generally speaking, the rationale behind the campaign was to express solidarity with Yemen as a sovereign nation, and to create the much needed public awareness on the urgent need to cease the aggression and quest for justice. The enemies always disseminate misinformation to blackmail Islam and incite Muslims against themselves in the name of Shi’ah/Sunnah. This is what they propagate on the Yemeni crises accusing Iran which is part of the region of supporting Houthis that it denied. At the same time, Western powers, above all America went the region mingling with their popular allies trading their deadly weapons / consultancy in the name of peace keeping! Although every Muslim could be likened to one jurisprudential school or the other, the unfortunate crises should be objectively studied. Muslims must condemn tyranny at all times and places. The issue is not Shi’ah/Sunna or Iran/Saudi but a problem needing judicious attention. I will briefly conclude from two angles;
HAS THE UN ANY RELEVANCE IN CRISES?
The goals behind creation of UN are well designed, judicious and achievable; to maintain international peace and security, and to that end; to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace. (Chapter 1: Purposes and principles – article 1). We don’t need to go any further looking at the principal. The question is what purpose does the UN serve on this planet full of oppression, chaos and bloodshed? In fact, it is high time to run a cost-benefit analysis on the existence or otherwise of the toothless body looking at the colossal amount it consumes from the nations revenues that could otherwise be used for human and infrastructural development. To be frank and sincere, the UN lacks the moral role to play in the actualization of the most important goals for which it was apparently created. Then, of what relevance is it?
THE MUSLIM-UMMAH MUST BE RESOLUTE.
Allah states “You are the best community raised for the good of mankind. You enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong, and you believe in Allah” Q3:110. He also states in Q49. With this exalted position, we may ask, why can’t the Muslims reconcile themselves in the event of any crisis? What is the role of Muslim scholars and intellectuals regarding the situation? Could the massacre in Yemen be regarded as war between Muslims? We strongly appreciate the moral role of Iran and Amnesty International in this direction.
In a public event to raise awareness in Iran, Brigadier General Salami said "If we support Palestine, give moral support to Yemeni people, voice concern for Iraqis and Syrians, and think about Afghanistan, this attitude has been taken from the deep philosophy of Islam" … today we have gathered to announce our support for the Yemeni people. What has happened in the Islamic word during the past one hundred years, is due to the United states, the United kingdom, and Saudi-Arabia, and this is the catastrophic geometry of the Islamic world"
While calling on the Muslim Ummah in particular, international community, organizations and individuals to stand with the oppressed Yemenis to end the genocide and bring the perpetrators to justice, I reiterate the need for the unconditional release of Sheikh el-Zakzaky (H) and his disciples.
Children in the rubbles sequel to deadly coalition bombardments. [Yahya Arhab/EPA]