Leaders without Understanding is a Head without a Body.
Today the diadem that leaders wear to draw attention of greatness is studded with nefarious actions dressed in garbs of virtue soiling the earth with putrid filth. The politics of revenge are caveats of impending doom because the prayers, despair and misery of the oppressed has a resilience that will crush thrones as their prayers rush to Allah, the High, the Great with bidding acceptance. The diadem will fall from the head faster than how fire burns the bier set for cremation. Cremation is a religious observance of faiths other than that of Islam and when it is used as a tool for oppression it is a crime against humanity.
Phlegethon in Greek mythology is one of the five rivers in the Hadean regions of the underworld, along with the rivers Styx, Lethe, Cocytus, and Acheron which coils around the earth. Torture, like the rivers of Haden, coils around humanity. The imagery can be very vivid and grotesque conjuring up images of hell and its befitting when placed within the realm of calculated inhuman torture. Torture is the tool of power and in its very nature is noisome. The unpleasant, disagreeable and nasty effects of torture is never forgotten and it lies seeds for a bitter harvest. COVID-19 is harvesting thousands of lives and it never ceases on making us set sail in uncharted waters. Torture when set in motion begin to flow like a river of hell for the victims and each time the torture is intensified, another rive of hell begins to flow therefore, we need to stop the rivers of blood by showering mercy on humanity especially when you have power.
One of the rivers of uncharted waters is death and burial as a national policy. Sri Lanka is the only country in the world with the noisome law that all people dying from COVID-19 must be cremated whilst the World Health Organisation affirms that normal burials should be the norm and can be the norm. What is heart-wrenching is how the dignity of humans have been trampled upon in this time of despair and adversity. Adversity is your best teacher and the actions of the Sri Lankan government and its COVID-19 Advisory Board has taught us how resilient people are and who, because of belief, will not cower into submission. Their actions are like the warriors in battle and the POW are their emotions which emboldens the spirit to strive to survive against all odds.
Emotions are indications of humans deep rootedness in appreciating, responding and reacting to the vicissitudes of life. The work of government and its political machinery is to organise society but, when this machinery imperils society then it is clear the agenda is not balanced. On scales of balance, for example it can be just one grain of rice to achieve equilibrium or one grain also to avoid equilibrium. It is then just one incident like the unilateral decision of the Sri Lankan government to cremate the bodies of Muslims who died of COVID-19 to tip the scales of justice unfavourably. When justice is spurned for political purpose, peace gets drowned in rivers of blood and despair sets in like a plague. Plagues come and go leaving its mark and testimony of human’s courage to bear it and to eventually triumph. This emboldens humanity with vertiginous levels of perseverance, grit and passion to live, to love and to prosper.
To live, to love and to prosper have different pathways for those in power. Power means the ability to execute decision with force or with influential authority and wisdom. Therefore, I ask the question, ‘Why would the Sri Lankan government order the cremation of COVID-19 fatalities without scientific evidence? Is it a means to torture the Muslim population to engender despair and hopelessness? Is it to save the whole of Sri-Lanka from getting infections from graves? Is it to establish supremacy over minority groups? Is it a plain case of prejudice served on the cold platter of torture? I believe it is a plan case of prejudice served on the cold platter of torture.
What is the outcome of prejudice emboldened by torture? The outcome is an indication of weakness of authority and fear of the loss of power and relevance at a time when courage, compassion, generosity, steadfastness and mercy is needed to heal humanity. Humanity is undergoing tremendous suffering and what it needs is not more wars, prejudice and pain because we are at a crossroads of survival. The crossroads of survival is not likened to the life of the hunter gatherers but, it is the crossroads of living and dying with dignity or dying as lambs at a slaughter house. The holocaust amongst thousands of war crimes and crimes against humanity loom large on History’s index page with just very few chapters of justice, mercy and peace. However, it is the few chapters that are read more often, appreciated the most and acknowledged within the realms of saviours whilst the rest are spat upon or with faugh chasing a cur away. The overwhelming human rights violation and the destruction of human rights by the government of Sri Lanka on the Muslims falls within the many chapters of History that taints humanity worse than a drunkard lying in his own waste and choking on his vomit breath that sucks up the fresh air around him. The image is probably a reality for many. It is strange when you meet a man of sound intelligence and get inspired by his awe of presence but, struck with shock and awe when the same man under the influence of liquor behaves like an incredible fool putting the village idiot to shame. In the same manner, when you look at countries that are making great strides to maintain law and order, sincere attempts at advancing socio-economic growth and genuine effort on rooting out corruption; you are caught in that awe of magnificence, but when you read its intoxication of power you are shocked! Sri Lanka fits the profile. Alas! this human rights violation tears the veil and reveals the growl of an untamed cur that bites with racial hatred rather than in defence.
In defence of burials according to religious rites under the pressing COVID-19 regulations, in South Africa the right to a dignified burial tops the list. Yes, we attended the funerals, read the prayers, filled the graves with sand and prayed again giving us closure with dignity that I believe made the angels weep. All religious groups were given their rights to shroud the dead and perform funeral rites under COVID-19 protocols which established newer bonds of spirituality with Shepard and the Flock of worshippers. This has made us proud to be South African yet, conscious of the corruption and scandals which plagues us it still made us realise that humanity prevails for all that live in South Africa. Minority groups, like Muslims feel because of the tremendous effort by government to redress the injustice of Apartheid feel that they must give back to the land by benefiting the people. South Africa has a story to tell of the likes of Gift of the Givers, Al Imdaad Foundation and hundreds more who work amongst the indigenous people of the land to improve lives of the downtrodden. I am proudly South African on this matter because the right of dignity overweighed thesis and counter thesis on how COVID-19 spreads and infects but, it did not err on the side of recklessness.
Sri Lanka, I believe has erred on the side of retribution rather than on the side of caution. It is a sad day for humanity that we have this noisome situation in Sri Lanka where the world over, the vaccine and true nature of the COVID-19 virus is not yet successfully understood but, we destroy the sanity of people on unfounded unproven schemes. Yes, the sanity of the Muslims in Sri Lanka have been destroyed by this nefarious act of law to ensure COVID-19 infections don’t spread. The tears of the oppressed adds more fire ad blood to river of Phlegethon and the other four rivers of hell because justice is not a thing of the world anymore but, an accountability must take place. Believers or not, death is for everyone and I cannot imagine that my life is destined only to be dust or ash after all the toil and suffering. Therefore, as a Muslim when I am buried in the earth, my body is my gift to Allah, the High the Great that I have sanctified the body HE gave me in this world. When my soul in the presence of Allah, the High the Great will look upon the body HE gave me, it will be time to join again for an afterlife in Jannah/Paradise. Not to sermonise but to drive a point home the following must be said:
The world is a place of preparation where one is given many lessons and passes many tests. What is bad is what you do with the world when you become blind to truth and totally consumed by your desires, lust and ambition for it.Ibn Arabi
My pain is intense for Muslims of Sri Lanka who have to bear the torture of witnessing or been told and been given the ashes of their beloved ones who have been cremated. It is a clear indication that the leadership of Sri Lanka are blind to truth, totally consumed by prejudiced ambitions and are hanging onto the slippery slopes of Power’s summit which plunges into the river of Phlegethon. Phlegethon is a myth but, falling from grace is a reality. It is truly humiliating when you structured your own fall. Where we should fall as humanity is in prayer calling to Allah, the High the Great for justice because all the evil we see on earth is the result of what man’s hands have done! Think about it from the pollution of the oceans, the depletion of the ozone layer, the diminishing rain forests and nuclear waste, we have done all this because of greed and power.
Power is in speaking out against injustice and that power is with you. If you cannot exercise it then, think of it as bad in your heart but, that weakness is also commendable but not written amongst the souls of the courageous. We all have access to social media and more, use it to discuss the injustices of humanity on humanity. Sri Lanka 2020 is just one chapter in History’s book of humanity. Add your chapter in History’s book that will read something like this:
I spoke and History recorded
Little did I know of the world but, when I saw the noisome action of Sri Lanka’s government on the Muslims, I had to tell History that I witnessed it and cannot be gathered with them when History will reveal all to the world…Abdullah Sujee