By Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal
If one were to read between the lines of Wikileak documents, there is only one disturbing conclusion: At the end of the day, all that matters in the contemporary world is brute force.
The ideals which used to govern world leaders in the past have all disappeared. There is no mention of justice in these leaked documents, even a civil discourse on issues of great importance is absent. There are no signs of any major concern for peace based on dignity and justice, only an obsession with controlling all that goes on in the world. One finds troubling tinkering of domestic affairs of many countries, as if these are American colonies.
In a way, much of what Wikileaks has dumped on the internet is mere detail: expressive, convincing, raw, forceful, enticing, even captivating, but detail, nevertheless. These details outline features of the contemporary world in various realms (politics, economy, diplomacy, military, etc.), they confirm what was already well-known: the modern world is beset with a deep malaise and no one has any cure for it. At the heart of this malaise is the sickness of the leadership. Those who are ruling the world are doing what they are doing because they have no real intention of finding solutions to a very large number of grave problems affecting the lives of millions of human beings. Not that they are not trying, but their failure is due to a fundamental problem in their own makeup.
That fundamental problem emerges from being just too full of themselves. The world leadership, as seen from inside the diplomatic exchanges now available to all, is just so full of itself and the petty interests of a small minority of world population that one cannot hope to find an iota of hope in the future of the world so dominated by these men and women who are utterly bereft of any moral values rooted in any religion, philosophy, or ethical system of proven authenticity. All that they have, as guiding principle, is self-interest seen from a myopic lens.
Most of this leadership is young. It has emerged in the aftermath of a radical change at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This change was not obvious until 9/11, even though the twentieth century had led to accumulation of power in a limited number of power centers. This concentration of power inevitably made the new leadership Pharaonic in its behavior. But there is a greater problem in this emergent reality: This leadership does not really represent the will of people whom it governs.
This lack of representative leadership is an outcome of how a complex mechanism, involving money and power brokers, has emerged in the world in the name of democracy. Anyone who can count knows how much money is involved in elections and how this money is collected. It is this money and manipulation that brings to power a self-serving lot, which now controls huge amount of world material resources and war machines of great proportions.
It would be too much to ask for wisdom, but at least some sense of dignity could be considered a sine qua non for those who are meddling with the lives of millions of human beings around the world. Yet, all one can infer from the documents released through the historic disclosure is unending intrigues, devilish plots, and duplicity of the worst kind—all drive by phobias and manias.
There is simply no escape from this fact that one country is attempting to run the entire world through its military muscle and economic power—a frantic effort to control the affairs of other polities and a constant struggle to buy, coerce, or silence all who do not follow the dictate. And all of this is being done with such indiscriminate haste that there is no possibility for any serious analysis or evaluation, not to talk of the impact of brute force on lives, environment, and natural habitat. All that matters, it seems, is quick results in countries as small as Afghanistan and as large as Pakistan and as servile as Egypt. Regardless, certainly there is a price to be paid for all the follies which distinguish the so-called diplomacy of the contemporary world.
The price, however, is not paid by those whose ugly deeds have become common knowledge now; price is paid by those who have nothing to do with these intrigues, plots, empty diplomatic moves, and decisions to invade other countries on the basis of cooked up lies and outrageous plots. At least that is true for this world in a certain sense.
The disasters lurking now on the world scene are so huge that there is no sense of security left for anyone except for the very isolated and remote parts of the world; most people in the world are now living in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. This includes those whose deeds feature so prominently in the leaked documents and who are obsessed by remaking the world in their own image.
To be sure, it is a self-defeating and never-ending task, as Karazais and Musharrafs of their making inevitably get out of hands; it is a truism to say that puppeteers are never done with moving their hands, but apparently those who are obsessed with controlling the whole world have not heard the Bard: “Hercules himselfdo what he may, the cat will mew and dog will have his day.”
Muzaffar Iqbal is the founder-president of Center for Islam and Science (www.cis-ca.org), Canada, and editor of
Islam & Science, a semi-annual journal of Islamic perspectives on science and civilization. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry (University of Saskatchewan, Canada, 1983), and then left the field of experimental science to fully devote himself to study Islam, its spiritual, intellectual and scientific traditions.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan, he has lived in Canada since 1979. He has held academic and research positions at University of Saskatchewan (1979-1984), University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984-85), and McGill University (1986). During 1990-1999, he pursued his research and study on various aspects of Islam in Pakistan, where he also worked as Director, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) between 1991-96 and as Director, Pakistan Academy of Sciences (1998-99).
During 1999-2001, Dr. Iqbal was Program Director (Muslim World) for the Science-Religion Course Program of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS), Berkeley, USA.
Dr. Iqbal has published books and papers on the relationship between Islam and science, Islam and the West, the contemporary situation of Muslims, and the history of Islamic science.
His publications include Islam and Science, God, Life and the Cosmos: Christian and Islamic Perspectives , Science and Islam, Dawn in Madinah: A Pilgrim’s Passage , The Making of Islamic Science (IBT, 2009) and a few more titles.
He is the General Editor of the forthcoming seven-volume Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, the first English language reference work on the Qur’an based on fourteen centuries of Muslim reflection and scholarship. He is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker.