The Problem with Us
By Perwaiz Ahmad
Fullerton, CA

Anyone who saw Nightline’s program on famine in Africa a couple of weeks back would have been horrified and devastated. A British journalist covered the famine in a two-segment documentary describing events six months apart. Children were seen eating grass and roasted rats after having remained hungry for days.
It is a shame that with all the wealth that God has blessed the Muslim countries with we look up to the Western world for help. I was in Mecca last Hajj and discovered that the amount of food that goes to the trash is so profound that I felt sick to my stomach. While some had no roof over their head and were sitting and sleeping on sidewalks others were living in ultra luxury in plush five star hotels. Couldn’t the Saudi government build basic accommodation for all, similar to Motel 6 with the billions of dollars they collect so that everyone has a roof and access to basic amenities? We talk about equality in Mecca during Hajj but I could not see any; I am sorry to say that just standing in prayers and during Tawaf side by side is not what I had imagined or what is implied in the Qur’an.
First and foremost, this state of affairs should not exist if the rich and the so-called “poor” Muslim nations spend on luxuries in a way as if there is no tomorrow. Much, much more than their counterparts in the Western world. Just look around. It is not difficult for one to notice the ultra luxury development in Dubai that has been going on for decades. Then there are the super-rich Kuwaitis, the Saudis and so on and so forth.
I visited a mosque recently in Southern California and I was amazed with the humongous size of a chandelier that was installed in the prayer room. The money that was wasted to build a dome for a new mosque in another center was scrapped and then monies were donated to build another one. Who are we trying to kid? The list goes on and on and on. The problem with us is that we can see a hairline crack in the Western world but we fail to notice an elephant in our own front yard.
We can talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. This is our basic problem. The famine in Africa did not occur for the first time. It has occurred before and every time after it passes the Muslim world falls asleep only to be jolted by a western media journalist. Just like you are involved in mitigating the propaganda against the Muslims in America there should be an organization to handle the basic needs of starving men, women, and children all over the world, not just in the Muslim countries.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.