One of the greatest problems facing the world, and Africa in particular, is that of poverty and people living on the edge of starvation.
When we look at research into poverty and publications on the subject, we see much statistical data, comparisons between countries and societies, lists of rankings of poor and rich countries and the like. Of course this data is important in terms of grasping the scale of the problem, but what really matters is what these figures cause us to reflect on.
How many of us are able to focus on solutions in the face of these figures, rather than just regretting them? Can we look to permanent, rather than temporary solutions?
Let us have another look at these figures in terms of grasping the scale of this global problem:
Eighteen people die from hunger every minute. Eleven of the 250 babies born during that time joins the ranks of those on the threshold of hunger. That means that while you have been reading these lines, 18 people have starved to death and 11 newborn babies may starve at any moment! Looked at in global terms, the horror is even more striking. The fact is that 46% of the world’s population, 2.8 billion people, are living under the poverty threshold.
One piece of evidence that the threat of starvation affects children the worst is that 50,000 people, 34,000 of them children under five, die due to poverty-related causes every day.
The figures affect everyone, because they are concrete facts that are all too real. They have been measured and proved. People of conscience who see these figures will compare them against their own living standards. At the same time as we complain about opening the fridge and not seeing our favorite brand of margarine , 18 people in different parts of the world die from having no food at all. While tons of left-over food are being thrown away in restaurants, 11 babies in desperate need of it enter the world.
The majority of those under the poverty threshold live in Africa; Malawi, Togo, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Niger, Eritrea, Liberia, Congo, Burundi, Sudan and many more. These countries have other features in common apart from being very poor. These include endless ethnic conflicts and tribal wars, the way people are constantly incited against one another and insufficient interventions by peacekeeping forces. To summarize, the most important common feature of these countries is that they have been entirely abandoned in want and oppression. Similar situations apply in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria; Palestine is under blockade and there are numerous Middle Eastern countries that know no peace because of severe political and economic dysfunction.
Every rational and conscious person needs to ask himself:
How is it that the majority of people in the world are able to remain silent in the face of such sufferings before their very eyes?
How can some people carry on with their lives as if nothing were happening while children and other people are dying from starvation and poverty?
Humanitarian agencies and the work of international aid organizations is of course very valuable and can lead to temporary resolutions of problems. However, is not the important thing to find a permanent solution, rather than a temporary one? Would it not be better to save those people’s lives entirely, rather than merely postponing their deaths?
All the financial aid to these countries to date has failed to resolve this corruption. Maybe nobody has seen the real cause of the problem or spelled it out. The main reason for the poverty and misery benighting the world is that lovelessness has pervaded to almost every level of society throughout the globe. As a result of the lovelessness in the world, people become used to being selfish and egotistical and seek to solve poverty through financial assistance and with fundraising campaigns alone. If the aid provided is given out of a sense of duty, temporary solutions can be achieved. However, we really need to stand up for these people by saying, ‘My brother, father, child or relative is fighting hunger and might die at any moment.’
Could you feel at ease if you knew that your next-door neighbor was about to die from hunger just a few steps away? Of course, none of you could just lie down and go to sleep. The fact that other people are miles away from us, or even in different countries or continents, does not in any way mitigate our responsibility.
The permanent solution to the threat of hunger ravaging much of the world, and especially Africa, lies in approaching the problem with empathy, justice and love of God. When intense love and empathy are allied to a love of God spreads across the world, all these sufferings will come to an end. Therefore, a sincere person genuinely looking for a solution must call on all Islamic countries to be united and on all people to join together in love and brotherhood. Everyone must finally realize that funds raised in a loveless and chilly spirit can only provide temporary solutions and must shake off the lovelessness pervading the world. Let us not forget that all children have a right to live well, to enjoy the blessings provided by God, to make use of health services, to eat well and to lead a happy and peaceful life. A union of love based on genuine and sincere faith will free the world from this scourge that is plaguing it.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Weekly Blitz: