As austerity Britain celebrates last-minute seasonal consumerism, the Salvation Army reveals that 200,000 food parcels are being delivered to beleaguered Brits, twice as many as last year, with even more predicted for 2013.
One of the most popular Christmas songs reads, ‘Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time.’- initially aimed at addressing the needs of the developing world, who would have thought that charity (food-aid) must now actually begin at home.
|When any tragedy meets us we – rightly so – do our utmost to understand it, often in the media’s eye. Yet when it comes to drones and the death of children elsewhere we barely batter an eyelid|
Though, In Reality…
I’ve tried to understand the meaning of the seasonal spirit – a (dry) roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mince pies; all good and well. But I struggle, as do my friends, to reconcile the murder of 29 at Sandy Hook with the 178 children murdered by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen (as of August 2012, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism). Of course the former was intentional, a mad-man on a rampage, the latter, ‘acceptable’ collateral damage.; it always is when these dead do not appear on every TV channel or in every news paper, almost as if they didn’t exist in the first place, except to those who lost them.
It is however this image of information that took yet another twist of fate. By sheer coincidence I happened across a friends posting on Facebook of a rally that took place in Pakistan on Dec 23rd. Millions of men and women lined the streets calling for an end to corruption in the country, apt, given that just last week the chairman of Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau disclosed that between $51 and $72 million is lost a day through corruption.
|In the Bible, Matthew 7:12, Prophet Jesus says, ‘Do to others, as you would have them do to you.’ The same message is recorded by Bukhari and Muslim, that Prophet Muhammad said; ‘A person does not have faith until he wants for another what he wants for himself.’ If half the world adopted these two statements alone, imagine the change we could deliver.|
With millions of protesters in an area five times the size of Tahrir square, at the time of writing, there isn’t a single article in English on the rally of December 23rd.
When I inquired further I was told that a local Pakistani journalist said, “People are not interested in Pakistan. Maybe if something will go wrong. Taleban, attack, etc.” And that’s the problem.
That both domestic and international media have given such little coverage brings me back the spirit of the season. Scrooge!
|With millions of protesters in an area five times the size of Tahrir square, at the time of writing, there isn’t a single article in English on the rally of December 23rd in Pakistan.|
Most of us are familiar with the story: a man who has everything but only when he glimpses the loneliness of his future does he reconsider his approach to life. And so I wonder of the future of our countries, the UK and the US for while separate it seems our fate is intertwined by language and culture.
When any tragedy meets us we – rightly so – do our utmost to understand it, often in the media’s eye. Yet when it comes to drones and the death of children elsewhere we barely batter an eyelid, let alone acknowledge their deaths. And more recently, the revelation that the UK government is paying out millions for the torture of Iraqis by some UK soldiers; this makes me wonder how widespread was such practice? – Time for a public inquiry.
When the National Rifle Association responds to the murders at Sandy Hook by suggesting more guns in schools, just like drone strikes, we aren’t identifying a solution rather creating another different set of problems. There are laws and process that enslave men and then there are those who set men free. We must adopt better and higher standards. Those of us who live in democratic societies should make full use of our rights of protest particularly by contacting our representative members of parliament.
In the Bible, Matthew 7:12, Prophet Jesus says, ‘Do to others, as you would have them do to you.’ The same message is recorded by Bukhari and Muslim, that Prophet Muhammad said; ‘A person does not have faith until he wants for another what he wants for himself.’
Whether you follow the teachings of Jesus or those of Muhammad, together, according to the Pew Forum’s Global Religious Landscape Report, we account for 54.7% of the world’s population (31.5% and 23.2% respectively). If half the world adopted these two statements alone, imagine the change we could deliver.
For now, we return to our consumerism as hundreds of thousands rely on food-aid in our own country, we watch Americans re-look at their gun laws, we wait for the next report as drones strike kill even more children, we continue to petition our leaders for better policies domestic and foreign, and we wonder why millions can gather in a space to protest corruption and the world’s media not even mention them.
May The One to whom both Jesus and Muhammad would pray, grant us the wisdom to discover the right, especially in terms of our political policies.
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