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Beyond Enemy Lines: An Extraordinary Mission

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On October 24th, 2005, the world celebrated the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, which was established near the end of World War II (1939-1945), to be an effective successor for the League of Nations, which was founded after the World War I (1914-1918).

Brief History
On June 26th, 1945, representatives of 50 states signed in San Francisco the United Nations Charter as the outcome of the United Nations Conference on International Organisation.
Thereafter, on declaring the causalities of World War II, humanity found that 50 million people – representing 3% of world population at that time – were lost during this bloody and insane war; 20 million soldiers and 30 million civilians, including the 120,000 people who were killed during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and August 9th, 1945 respectively. Following this bitter reality, the charter came into force on October 24th, 1945.

The Charter organises the framework of the U.N. which is summarised within the Preamble in the following main points:
• To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind;
• To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small;
• To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained;
• To promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
Therefore, we simply can conclude that U.N was/is willing to sustain cooperation among its members for the sake of humanity welfare.

Quick Review (1945-2005)
By tracing the world situation during this period, we can see both successes and failures. However, today – in the 21st century – many places are still facing the problems of poverty, ignorance and serious diseases. Other major problems like nuclear disarmament, environmental issues, hate, misunderstanding, and miscommunication among different nations – either poor or rich – can be clearly seen. Another serious problem, which cannot be ignored, is the absence of justice in different places, especially after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Humanity Challenges
I see that we – humans – need to stop for a while in order to make a real evaluation of the whole situation humanity is facing right now; such an evaluation must be honestly done on different levels in order to plan real approaches in order to solve those problems.

In spite of the failure in many situations, I still do believe that the U.N. is the meeting point; it is the best place for different nations to gather in order to cooperate. However, we need to ponder on how such cooperation could take place.

I believe that a good step on reforming U.N. role was the “Millennium Declaration”. It was the outcome of the 2005 World Summit, which took place between 14th-16th of September. It is an ambitious eight-point plan that nations are willing to fulfil by the year 2015. The points are:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
2. Achieve universal primary education;
3. Promote gender equality and empower women;
4. Reduce child mortality;
5. Improve maternal health;
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases;
7. Ensure environmental sustainability;
8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Finding the Way to the Light
In order to maintain such goals, it is important to emphasise the U.N. role within a collection of acts; where the priority should be and always be for working within the umbrella of the U.N. and not to legitimize unilateral acts from any country under any circumstances, like the invasion of Iraq in 2003; not only because this contradicts the U.N. mission, but also because this opens the door for duplicating the same mistake in the future – wherever and by whoever– and this will increase tension indeed.

No one accepts terrorism, no matter what. The war on terrorism is important, but not like what we see today. I believe that this war should be targeted towards the real problems that produce such terrorist rise everywhere, under different ideologies and religions. In parallel, people should not confuse the definitions of the illegal acts of “terrorism” and the legal acts of “resistance”.

I’m not looking for Utopia, it will never exist on Earth, simply because we are humans; good and evil will always be there. However, what I am calling for is simply Justice. This is what Martin Luther King, Jr. said before: “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

For any chemical reaction to take place it needs a medium. I believe that peace is the best medium for maintaining welfare on this planet. This peace, however, will not occur until real justice can be achieved in different places worldwide, in a respectable way for every human.

Justice, which I am calling for, is not only in the global relations; rather it must begin in between the citizens of the same community of every nation, and the radius of this circle should thereafter dynamically expand to cover the world. It must also highlight one very important point, which is respecting every nation’s culture, and not to force a special life style according to what others think.

Muslims and the Humanity
Muslims are part of humanity, as we are representing about 23% of the world population today. So obviously we are looking forward to make the world a better place. However, this can only happen when people understand what Islaam and Muslims are  – those who live in Muslim countries as well as the minorities in other countries. We have our problems but we are trying to solve them (as I discussed in a past article entitled “The Others: Who Hates Who” In the 5th issue of I-MAG).

Final Words
Technology never guarantees welfare for humanity unless it is adapted for helping people to be better, whatever the colour of their skin might be.

It is important to be honest in our approach as we will not succeed unless we pass through the barriers of fear, and this could only come by trying to understand and respect each other more than what I see today worldwide in 2005.

Allaah Almighty did not create us to fight each other for no particular reason; rather He Almighty created us to cooperate and maintain what is better for mankind. “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you, in the sight of Allaah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allaah is Knower, Aware.” (Chapter of Al’hujuraat, verse 13)

Shall we see progress in the future? I do not have an answer right now. However, via true acts, we may be able to avoid waking up one day to World War III or IV. 

Hicham Maged -

Hicham Maged [Hishaam Maajid] has a bachelor's degree in architecture and urban planning and design.


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