De-Lurking on the Net

September 27, 2012

Waking Up of Ummah

Let me tell those who do not know what Ummah is – Ummah is an Arabic word meaning “nation” or “community”. It is commonly used to mean all the Believers (Ummat al-Mu’minin), and thus the whole Muslim people. There is an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). It has 56 member countries. India is not one of them in spite of being no 3 in Muslim population. Perhaps, OIC can be referred as Ummah.

During the last fortnight, the world has witnessed the waking up of Ummah. Following the discovery of film “Innocence of Muslims ” by Egyptians. The storm across Muslim world erupted. It started gathering pace in other nations as well like Australia, UK, Italy, Netherlands etc where demonstrations took place.

The doubts on existence of Ummah always came as the Ummah rarely woke up before in unison like this time. Yes, there were times, it has awoke as when cartoon controversy outraged it from Denmark,  the burnt pages of Quran were found in Afghanistan, the photos of US soldiers came out abusing the prisoners of Abu Ghareb or urinating pictures on the dead Talibans emerged more recently. The reactions however were far more constrained unlike this time.

Has Ummah been having  selective amnesia ?  Islam has not made Muslims virtuous. No religion can make any. Muslims have committed and continue to commit all kinds of crimes – much more sinister and grave.

1. Did Ummah condemn terrorism on US soil on 9/11/2001, London 7/7/2005, Java Attacks 2002/2003 or Mumbai 26/11-29/11/2008?

2. Did Ummah stir into action when Muslims people abused the white girls in Rochdale(Manchester), Telford(Birmingham), Bradford, Oxford in UK .

3. Did Ummah utter a word of concern on forced conversions of minorities specially in Pakistan though it goes on across Muslim countries.

4. Does Ummah condemn the attacks including drone attacks on civilians who are driven to Nuba Mountains in Sudan. In 2011, more than 500,000 Sudanese civilians were driven from their homes by government action and that number continues to grow in 2012. The attacks in Darfur are on-going since 2003. The International Criminal Court has indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and issued an arrest warrant for Defence Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein for war crimes in Darfur. But will Ummah rise and declare that Al-Bashir is criminal.

5. Where does Ummah stand on who is Muslim and who is not. Why Shias, Bahais, Ahmadiyya are considered non-Muslims by most of Sunnis leading to their killing or not allowing to worship.

6. Where does Ummah stand on infidel killings(Christians, Hindus) – is it legal to kill others in the land where Muslims have majority.

7. Where is Ummah on reforms within Islam? Why Ummah can not agree to basic human values in Ummah member countries. Muslims cherish these when they live in countries that offer these values but they do not enjoy it when they are at home. These are rights to freedom of speech, rights to practice the religion and rights to wear what is acceptable to all countries, rights to minority to live on equal footing, rule of law and avail equal justice, opportunities.

So, what has changed? Is it the effect of Arab Spring? Perhaps, young liberated Muslims of North Africa are ready to show to the west that they are their own master now. Pakistan always thought itself more Islamic than the rest of Muslims, so 20 or more people died there in the protests. What about the real Muslims? – the Salafis (Wahhabis) of Saudi Arabia. Why there was no reaction from them? Well – The Al Arabiya News reports that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, billionaire nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king, said on Tuesday only a minority were involved in violent anti-US protests over a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad, and Islam was too strong to warrant such an uproar over the matter. Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the highest religious authority in the kingdom, on Saturday condemned the attacks against diplomatic representations as contrary to Islam after protests that have rocked the Arab and Muslim world.

So, is Ummah one? The answer is “no”. It never was and it never will be. If it was one,  will any Muslim go hungry. Will there be any discrimination bordering on racism within Muslims. When some of the Muslim countries are richest,  poverty reigns supreme in lots of Muslim countries as Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia etc..  But  new converts to Islam will still continuously be persuaded and deluded to believe in the universal Muslim brotherhood of Ummah. I only wonder why do these Muslim world’s leaders in UN (on world stage) protest so vociferously about their indignation. Ummah does not want to change anything on their side but it is seeking an international  blasphemy law like the one in Pakistan  in the wake of this film. The other world leaders like Obama should ask this Ummah  to act on some of the points mentioned here like providing basic human values in Muslim countries to all.   Ummah needs to prove that it has sense of justice too before seeking anything from international community.



  1. Interesting – lots of research done, but I think it is disingenuous to annoint OIC as Ummah. Ummah is a totally different concept and Obama is not world leader, and should not be treated as so. The minute the OIC speaks up in favour or against something it assumes responsibility, which is a dangerous and unnecessary step, and enouraging a ”Muslem sphere” is not the way to go in my opinion.

    Comment by yepirategunn — September 28, 2012 @ 11:06 am | Reply

    • yes, I agree as it may make to show OIC as the true representative for all Muslims which it is not, but I have no idea who should be encouraged to change the situation in Muslim land, if it was not OIC.

      Comment by Geekay — September 28, 2012 @ 11:37 am | Reply

      • That is a good point – and a very interesting one. My question would be ”why should Muslems be put together as ”one” and have a representative agency? It might be a step that would cause instability.

        Comment by yepirategunn — September 28, 2012 @ 11:41 am

      • Yes, I too do not want them to be clubbed together and give them voice but dilemma remains – how to bring change in the other side. There is one philosophical thought – if the other side is not changing then change yourself. Perhaps, that is what everyone should do.

        Comment by Geekay — September 28, 2012 @ 11:49 am

      • Sorry for the gap…yes..there must be change..

        Comment by yepirategunn — September 30, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

      • The idea to write the article was to highlight that no side is without blame but seeking change only on one side will never work. Both sides needs sensitivity to appreciate other but have to be just too. While west tries to be just on their misdeeds, the same is not true for Ummah. Let us hope that they stop claiming victimhood all the time and act on their misdeeds too.

        Comment by Geekay — October 1, 2012 @ 9:19 am

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