As we approach 2019, we are busy wishing each other happy new year. But what does “happy” really mean? Better job, prosperity, good health, good education for our children are certainly among them. But do we also think beyond our own selves, friends and families when wishing a happy new year?
In addition to wishing you all a happy new year in the traditional sense, following are my additional wishes for 2019 (and beyond). Hope you will pardon me for making several generalizations but hopefully you got the point. I wish:
- The Trumpian evangelicals would act as Christians and follow the way of Jesus Christ, especially when it comes to dealing with immigrants, the poor and the needy. I wish they would stop supporting building the wall, and will be more sympathetic to the needs of the poor children and families crossing the border. “You must not oppress or mistreat the foreigner in any way. Remember you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 22:21
- Muslim leaders would act like Muslim leaders. They would stop giving lip services to the sufferings of the Muslims in various parts of the world, especially in Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Kashmir, Rohingyas in Myanmar and Uighurs in China. I wish they would stop the injustices and oppression against their own people. The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever. Hadith of prophet Muhammad
- I wish that the treatment of women in certain parts of the Muslim world would be according to the true Islamic values and teachings, and not the tribal system dubbed as “Islamic law”. That the women would be able to exert their rights and get justice according to the true teachings of Islam and the laws not be tailored to the wishes of elites of the tribal leaders and the political Mullahs.
- The Saudis and Iranians would stop the proxy wars in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, among other parts of the Muslim world. I also wish that the western countries would stop supporting these regimes and wars. This has brought destruction, massive immigration and famine like never before. Yemen alone is considered the worst human crisis in the world today, according to the UN News. According to the UN News, 75% of the population, 22 million people, need some form of humanitarian assistance and protection, 60% of the population, 18 million people are food insecure, 25% of population, 7.5 million people, need nutrition support and 50% of all children are stunted. Similarly in Syria, the U.N. estimates that 6.2 million people are internally displaced. When you also consider refugees, well over half of the country’s pre-war population of 22 million is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders. And Palestinian situation continues to be ignored.
- There would be peace in the holy land. The Palestinians would live in dignity, rather than a massive human prison. According to the United Nations, some 15,000 Palestinian injuries since 30 March in the context of demonstrations; a health system on the verge of collapse; and an 11-year humanitarian crisis created by an Israeli blockade that has raised concerns over collective punishment and an internal Palestinian political divide. I wish the Israeli administration would behave more Jewish, and remember the rich tradition in line with the teachings of Torah and Talmud on empathy, human rights and social justice.
- There would be real progress towards interfaith dialogue and that people of various faiths will come together to fight for, and stand for the common values we share- human dignity, social justice, equality, helping the needy, the poor and the orphans. I wish there would be no more demonization, dehumanization and mud slinging at each other.
- There would be real progress towards Intra-Faith dialogue. As a Muslim, I wish there would be meaningful efforts to unite Sunni and Shia Muslims as one Umma. After all, we believe in the same God, love prophet Muhammad and follow the same Qur’an. We may as well act as one community. (My last post was on the subject of Sunni-Shia unity).
- There would be real progress in race relations and social justice in America, especially when it comes to the treatment of African Americans in the society in general, and in the criminal/judicial system in particular. African American families won’t have to fear for the worst for their teenage/ young son who is late coming home, or when they are approached by highway patrol.
I could add many more wishes on numerous other issues but I would be thrilled if these 7 wishes came true in 2019. I am not naïve enough to think all my wishes above will come true, but we can certainly do our part to make sure we make progress towards these goals.
Happy New Year to you, your friends and families and to all the oppressed in the world regardless of their religion, ethnicity, color, national origin, gender, and gender identity.
What are your top 2019 wishes and goals?