It is the year 2020 and as we step from 2019 which we thought was the worst of years, we discover that we were wrong. This New Year appears to be in a race to see how much more devastation can be inflicted upon the Earth and its people.

Have we come to a time when the angels are no longer holding back the winds of strife; when all the prophecies appear to be being fulfilled? If so, where do we fit in?

We know that we have a duty to Allah, to our families, neighbours and people around us; to other created creatures, and to the Earth itself. This duty does not end but becomes more consequential in keeping with the times in which we live.

As fires devastate Australia we see the best of mankind in those who have put their lives at risk to save the lives and property of others. We have seen acts of kindness and heroism and we have seen deaths of those who have given their all. Lives have been lost and families still mourn; homes are lost and people still huddle in shelters owning so very little.

It has been heartening to see that many of our people have worked and given of themselves to alleviate the suffering. May Allah grant that this spirit of empathy and love for our fellow travellers be enlarged; that we may be known as those who bring light, peace and comfort to all in times of need.

Political Fallout
During this time of devastation there has been another form of devastation: loss of faith in Government. It is patently obvious that there is unrest following a number of incidents which can neither be denied nor swept under the carpet.

Fallout from these failures and incidents is something which has exploded onto the social media sphere and is reflected in the frequency and number of protests which are taking place.

We have entered a time when falsity is projected as acceptable and truth is being trodden underfoot by people in high places. This may be seen in many situations across the globe.

We have entered an era when Democracy is no longer the fortress of the people; rather it has become a platitude used to cover the misdeeds of those who use it as a cloak to bring it ever closer to dictatorship.

Protests
We have entered a dangerous era where people’s anger worldwide is erupting into violence and destruction. Lives and property are falling foul in this scenario and it is something that should be avoided.

For weeks and months we have seen demonstrations which have started peacefully to right social wrongs but have devolved into catastrophic battles. Regions can no longer function; police and army have been called out and are battling against the people; death and injury are becoming a daily occurrence.

But how can citizens halt the onward march of wrongs that are becoming blatant? Is it wrong to protest?

Be Aware
Have we tried other methods before considering protesting? There are several ways of doing this.

Firstly, however, we must look carefully at what we consider to be unjust. Do we have the full truth of the matter?

a) Have we scanned the documents that are being used to push for further protests? If these are not clearly understood, or if there appears to be ambiguity, then one must seek advice and counsel from a legal person who can bring clarity. It may be that just one clause or sentence will reflect a completely different meaning to that which has been heatedly pushed.

If, however, one is still convinced that the cause requires protest, then there is the second aspect:
b) Contact your local member of parliament. This may not always be helpful if the Politician is part of the problem. Or perhaps it will be helpful to this Representative to know your concerns and share them with his Party. However, if this is not the case then,
c) Contact an opposition Parliamentarian who will listen and react more favourably to your concerns. He or she will be more than happy to bring this to the notice of the Government if the truth of your concern is apparent.

A slippery slope

As I engage with Social Media and see what is happening across the board, I confess that I am worried. Patriotism and politics are now catch-cries in some regions.

I see some who are so caught up in anger that they are not seeing clearly. Some whose hatred has become so great that they fail to acknowledge that which may be completely correct.

More worrying is the fact that there are those who are deliberately pushing buttons and fuelling the fires of discontent. This is how peaceful protests are geared to erupt into civil war.

The word “sedition” means to stir up rebellion against the State. This, in fact, appears to be happening. I note that it is not brought about by major opposition Parties, and I would say that they are aware and trying to quell any unrest. This is not something wanted by any who place Australia and Australians first. It is dangerous and unwanted.

The remedy
As a democracy Australians have the right to oust governments by the act of voting. It should also be possible that the Government could be dissolved by the Governor General at the behest of the Queen. This may no longer be a possibility as during the past Prime Minister Bob Hawk’s time in office, legal attachment to Britain was dissolved. It was Lionel Bowen who carried out this task.

Voting
Now I know that there are many Muslims and some Christians also who believe that we should not vote. However, as Muslims we know that should the country in which we live, come under attack, we, by Islamic Law, must fight to protect it. This, incidentally, goes against the actions of IS and any who try to destroy a country from within.

Therefore in many ways we have to protect also the rights that are enshrined. If one does not agree with the laws of the land then one should leave that land. However, as the laws of Australia do not impinge upon belief or practice, it is up to us to preserve its laws and principles. Voting wisely is the best way of doing out duty in the preservation of Australia and Australian values.

Clearly I believe that it is our duty to use our vote in the best way possible. We have to examine minutely the aims and objectives of all the parties and make a choice for the one which will bring the most benefit.

Do not become caught up in the negativity which brings people to their knees and destroys not only Governments but the lives and welfare of its citizens.

May Allah Most Merciful grant us wisdom to be aware and to guard against this modern warfare.