Monday October 23, 2017
Home Opinion The holy mont...

The holy month of Ramadan: Unholy Killings. Why this disconnect?

What is our maximum life span on this moral world? Not more than 100 years. Then why is there bad blood among ourselves and brutal hostility?

1
413
Iraqi security forces and civilians inspect the site of a deadly bomb attack, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, May 30, 2017. Another bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad just after midnight on Monday, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, hospital and police officials said. VOA
  • The holy month of Ramadan is witnessing mass killing of people 
  • On May 30, a car bomb hit an ice-cream shop in Baghdad killing 15 wounding at least 30
  • Next day, a massive blast tore apart the diplomatic quarter in Kabul killing at least 90 people

By Salil Gewali

June 04, 2017: Ramadan is a holy month for Islam which we all must respect. More so when it’s observed with the rigorous austerity, renouncing the material indulgences, dedicating this to the Almighty who is “common” to all and one. True, always through the “austerity” one’s mind, inner heart and soul can be cleansed that finally raises one’s spiritual level. Of course, throughout the holy month, those who fast should not at all be hurtful to anyone, even the non-human creatures whether through the speech or action. Also, the “mind” must not harbour anything that precipitates the negativity.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

But when this holy month is defiled by the gory incidence of blasts — the most ungodly acts, how could we link it with the holy Islam or GOD? Is it a prelude to a bigger mission that it started with the Manchester’s suicide explosion on May 22 that shattered the euphoria of the concert-goers leaving 23 people dead, 129 others grievously injured? This is followed by the May 26 episode when a scary masked gunmen attacked a bus carrying Christians. The incident left 26 men dead, including many children in Egypt’s Minya. After a brief lull of four days, on May 30, a car bomb hit an ice-cream shop in Baghdad killing 15 wounding at least 30. Then immediately the next day a massive blast tore apart the diplomatic quarter in Kabul near the German embassy, killing at least 90 people, sources put the injured count at a whopping 460. Then followed another deadly carnage early Friday morning in the Philippines when a gunman burst into Manila hotel, who later set himself on fire, that left 36 people dead due to suffocation and at least 54 severely hurt. Now how many more tragedies will happen until the end of Ramadan…? Peoples are worryingly apprehensive.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

One very thoughtful friend of mine from Mumbai — Mr M. Nazeer, in a sorrowful tone, laments – These all are the heartless attacks on humanity which only sink the holy spirit of the true believers of the Allah, we are not feeling too safe on our own? I guess he is right. Of course, no one can disagree that the principle teaching of the Quran or the Bible or the Gita —  Love all and serve all should ever be allowed to be misinterpreted and harm the humanity? One strongly feels that those who kill and those who get killed, are both created by the “One Almighty”. What is our maximum life span on this moral world? Not more than 100 years. Then why is there bad blood among ourselves and brutal hostility? One feels that we should firstly determinedly practice believing that we all the children of the “same” GOD. The time is ripe that we all must introspect with all sagacity and human compassion. The merciless killing is never the way to the Almighty.

 Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘great minds on India’

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

Next Story

Iraqi Kurdish Leader Claims Victory in Independence Referendum

0
7
Iraqi Kurds
Kurds celebrate voting for Independence referendum from Iraq. (voa)

Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani on Tuesday claimed victory in the referendum vote for independence and called for a “dialogue” with Iraqi authorities, who have rejected the vote as unconstitutional.

“Instead of harassment, let’s have dialogue for a better future,” he said, adding, “Negotiations are the right path to solve the problems, not threats or the language of force.”

On Monday, Iraqi Kurdish voted on an independence referendum that drew objection from the government in Baghdad, as well as neighboring countries and the United States.

In response to the vote, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi threatened to ban all flights into and out of the Kurdish region if leaders there didn’t concede control of airports to federal authorities.

Al-Abadi said the Kurdish region has until Friday to hand over the airports or the ban will be put into place.

The referendum vote is non-binding, but Barzani said he hopes the “yes” vote will lead to increased dialogue between the Kurds and Iraqi government.

“I call on Mr. Haider al-Abadi and the others [Iraqi political officials] not to close the door to dialogue, because it is dialogue that will solve problems,” he said in a televised address. “We assure the international community of our willingness to engage in dialogue with Baghdad.”

At the polls in the Kurdistan Regional capital, many voters donned trditional clothes and carried Kurdish flags, saying they believed this vote could be the beginning of the realization of their dream for independence. (VOA)

Next Story

Displaced Villagers Return to Old Mosul Only to Find Destruction, Danger and Dead Bodies; Returnees Claim ‘Even Soldiers Stay Indoors After Dark’

The wreckage from a few of the destroyed homes has been cleared away as a handful villagers visit their homes in Old Mosul, which has been completely destroyed following a battle against the ISIS

0
78
Old Mosul
Abd Elaam is one of the only people living in the Old Mosul in Iraq, where the destruction has been compared to World War II Dresden, Aug. 27, 2017.
  • Old Mosul has been completely shattered in the battle to recapture the city from Islamic State militants
  • About 900,000 people have been displaced by the battle for Mosul, and many neighborhoods have been completely destroyed by war
  • Areas around the village are slowly being re-populated, but many places are entirely without services like trash collection, electricity, and running water

Mosul, September 5, 2017 : “All you can hear at night is the sound of broken doors flapping in the wind,” says Abd Elaam, a 50-year-old furniture maker. “Even soldiers stay indoors after dark.”

Elaam is currently one of the very few civilians living in Old Mosul, an ancient neighborhood shattered by the battle to recapture the city from Islamic State militants. Like many families that survived IS rule, he says, his resources are completely exhausted by the war and he has nowhere else to go.

Other families trickle in by day, looking to repair their broken homes or recover the bodies of their dead loved ones. But even during daylight hours, the neighborhood is dangerous, riddled with bombs and an unknown number of militants hiding out in the vast network of tunnels under the tightly-packed buildings and piles of rubble. The level of destruction has been compared to World War II Dresden.

 

Old Mosul
About 900,000 people have been displaced by the battle for Mosul, and many neighborhoods like Mosul’s Old City have been completely destroyed by the war, July 9, 2017. (H. Murdock/VOA)

“A IS militant came out of one those houses two weeks ago,” Elaam says, gesturing towards another dusty, broken street. “He blew himself up near two families. They were all injured and the bomber was cut in half.”

The militant’s body, like other fallen IS fighters in Old Mosul, was shoved under the rubble to reduce the smell of rot in the 45 degree-plus weather. When Iraq declared victory over IS in early July, the bodies of dead militants lay scattered in buildings and on the streets of nearly every block. Authorities searched through giant piles of concrete, once homes, for the remains of civilian families. But, they said, the only government department responsible for the IS bodies was garbage collection.

 

Old Mosul
Bodies of IS fighters lie in the rubble of Old Mosul on nearly every block, while the bodies of families killed in airstrikes have to be dug out from under the demolished buildings in Mosul, Iraq, July 9, 2017. (H. Murdock/VOA)

Old Mosul is far from re-establishing city services like trash pickup. There is no running water, electricity or businesses open. Yet other families are following Elaam’s lead, and plan to return to their homes as soon as possible.

“In a few days I will move back and bring my family,” says Ghanem Younis, 72, resting on a beige plastic chair in a sliver of shade. “If they provide electricity and water, everyone would come back.”

Younger men and children squat around Ghanem, recalling the isolation of the final months of the battle that began late last year. “We couldn’t go more than 50 meters from our front doors,” says Sufian, a 27-year-old unemployed construction worker. “We spent our time sitting right here with Uncle Ghanem.”

 

Old Mosul
Residents of Old Mosul say homes left standing after months of heavy fighting are often ransacked as soldiers search for bombs and IS fighters hiding in tunnels under the city. (VOA)

But it is not sentiment driving some families home despite the dangers, adds Elaam, as more neighbors join the conversation.

“People cannot stay with friends and relatives forever,” he says. Camps for those displaced are also crowded. “No one has anywhere else to go,” he adds.

Airstrike Damage

A few blocks away, outside the checkpoints that cut off the Old City, the Zanjelli neighborhood is slowly being repopulated.

Old Mosul
Areas around Old Mosul are slowly being re-populated, but many places are entirely without electricity, running water and other city services, like trash collection. (VOA)

 

Construction workers build a market to replace one destroyed in airstrikes, while the owners of what was once a shoe store paint the shelves, hoping to re-open in the coming weeks. The wreckage from a few of the destroyed homes has been cleared away, and the bodies of many of the dead are now buried in graveyards.

In less than five minutes of conversation, at least three people tell us about family members, including toddlers, killed in airstrikes in the last months of battle.

“There was an IS sniper firing from next to my house and the airstrike hit us,” says Youseff Hussain, 35. “Fifteen members of my family were killed.”

 

Old Mosul
Iraqi search parties looking for survivors and the remains of dead civilians in Old Mosul. (VOA)

Rebuilding the neighborhood, adds Hussain, is made doubly frustrating by the fact that it was Iraq’s allies, including the United States, who destroyed many of their homes as they battled IS from the air.

Many locals say the sacrifice of property and lives may have been necessary to prevent the city, then under siege, from total starvation. But after bearing the brunt of the war with IS, largely considered a global threat, residents say they thought the international community or the government would help them rebuild.

The only aid families here get right now, Zanjelli residents say, is Iraqi military rations, as soldiers share their food.

“There is nothing they can do to pay us back for what we have lost,” says Hussain. “But shouldn’t we at least get refunded for our property?” (VOA)

Next Story

After effects of Battle of Mosul: Orphaned Children work to Support Family

Right organizations say there are nearly 4000 orphan children in Mosul

0
35
Battle of Mosul that left thousands of children homeless
Orphaned children in school work to support their family. VOA
  • ISIS declared a “caliphate” in Mosul in 2014 
  • The children of many local residents who fought with the Islamic state fighters in the battle of Mosul were rendered homeless 
  • They work in Mosul to support their families and can’t afford to consider the idea of going to school

New Delhi, August 25, 2017: A war on ISIS or the battle of Mosul, that left thousands of children in Mosul orphaned and homeless, manifests its influence even now. It could be seen in the form of helpless children, of the people who fought with the Islamic state fighters to take the city back from ISIS, when the terror group swept in Mosul, and declared a “caliphate” in 2014.

A number of Mosul children were orphaned during the war, leaving them with the responsibility of taking care of their families. Many can’t even consider going to school, since they are too busy in helping their families.

“I sell tissue papers to cover my daily expenses. My father can’t work because he is sick. I want to go to school but I can’t,” said Unis Tahir, a child in Mosul, as mentioned in the VOA report.

However, many others do not wish to go to school because they are afraid ISIS would teach them fighting and send them for the same.

“I did not go to school because ISIS came and they would teach children about fighting and send them to fight,” says 12-year-old Falah by his vegetable cart in Mosul, mentions the NDTV report.

ALSO READ: UN Human Rights Chief Urges Iraqi Government to help Victims of Islamic State (ISIS) Sex Abuse

The memories of the war still haunt the children. They are very much aware of their poor present, with no definite idea about their future.

“IS fighters suddenly came to our house. They dragged my father on the ground and killed him outside of the house,” said Nazim Ali, another Mosul child.

Right organizations say there are nearly 4000 orphan children in Mosul.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha