In today’s world, a vast majority of the world population complains of impoverishment. They are being systematically made to believe that the financial strain they are being faced with is mainly due to the rise in population, which is overburdening the “limited” natural resources. Millions dying of starvation around the world is no longer breaking news. Such reports even fail to make it to daily news bulletins.
The deluge of “well-researched” reports mourning the rapid depletion of world’s resources has made people indifferent to the plight of others. They tend to accept reports about people starving to death in various parts of the world as a natural consequence of the scenario promoted through those “well-researched” reports.
It is true that our planet has grown old and the human population has increased manifold but few people are aware of the fact that the current world’s resources would suffice the needs of twice the current human population. So, what is this hullabaloo? Why a large number of people is being pushed below the poverty line each year? Why a major chunk of human population is unable to access natural resources?
It is not a matter of a lack of resources or their depletion. A very well-coordinated “poverty lobby” has been long at work. The reason why people are becoming impoverished and unable to access resources is not the lack of those resources, but a poverty lobby that has for long been at work, which wants to take control of all natural resources around the world. That lobby has been spreading disinformation systematically to mislead people so as to maintain its monopoly over world’s resources. Let me clarify my point through statistics for a better understanding.
According to the latest report from OXFAM, an international civil society active under the auspices of Oxford University in England, 85 individuals in the world are wealthier than 3.5 billion people, in other words half the world’s population. The GNP of the world’s 48 poorest countries is less than the total wealth of the world’s three richest people. To put it in another way, the populations of 48 countries could enjoy economic growth with the wealth possessed by just three people.
As per estimates, $6 billion are needed to educate the population of the world and $13 billion to provide basic foodstuffs. While those figures are before everyone’s eyes, $12 billion is spent on the purchase of perfumes in Europe every year, $17 billion on cat and dog food in Europe and America and more than $50 billion on weight-loss solutions in the US. $640 billion is spent on military equipment in the USA alone.
These figures clearly indicate that there is no organic reason for poverty in the world. Of course, people can spend money on perfumes or dog food, but there is no need for other people to die of hunger or want in the process. The world has plenty for everyone.
However, an organized poverty lobby refuses to allow it. An exploitative system in which people and countries are kept impoverished has been set in motion. Wars are one of the main sources of income of this lobby. During the last 10 years, non-industrial production in the US has contracted by 19 percent, while there has been a whopping 123 percent rise in military output. Another element in the same analysis is that military economies are three times greater than other economies.
One percent of the world controls 99 percent in material terms. The world’s resources circulate solely among this one percent, and while that is happening people are becoming increasingly impoverished and are dying of hunger, and the UN cuts of food supplies to refugees, saying, “We lack the resources.”
As the peoples of the world become impoverished, there is also a category of countries that need to be impoverished. The most important feature of those countries is their natural resources. Afghanistan, 36 percent of whose population live under abject poverty and which has to make thousands of children work as laborers; Iraq, scene of the worst slaughter in the Middle East; Myanmar, which is coming face to face with genocide, and the entire continent of Africa, are trapped in war and shortages, despite their rich natural resources. Africa still has to act under a monopoly of the former colonial powers, because despite having underground wealth such as uranium, oil, diamonds and natural gas, it has not been allowed to possess the industry to make use of these or a transport network to move them about. Countries with industrial and transport power use these resources for their own interest, not for those of the countries concerned. It is no surprise that warfare and famine should always be plaguing these countries.
This global activity on the part of the poverty lobby is also troubling developed countries. The number of homeless people in France has risen by 50 percent, with 3.6 million having no fixed abode. Hunger is a huge problem on the back streets of London, while the number of homeless children in the US is reported to have reached 2.5 million.
We are in a unique time of the most horrifying tragedies, when hatred is very powerful and human values have been all but forgotten. As the end times approach we will see a constant struggle between the good and the bad. The bad will be truly evil, while the work of the good in this most difficult struggle will be exceedingly valuable.
Islam describes a wonderfully just system that does away with economic injustices, the gulf between rich and poor, exploitative mechanisms and all forms of injustice. Muslims have the strength to implement this just system and to save the world through it. However, in order to do that they need to act together. In order to establish that unity they must have a desire to eradicate injustice and to liberate the defenseless. It is obvious that a system that considers its own interests alone will inflict troubles and wrongs on Muslims as well, as on the rest of the world.
Muslims should refuse to be part of such an exploitative system and to consider only their own interests and comfort. They should behave like saviors of people in general. They should feel ashamed of a mindset that falls prey to an exploitative system, that tries to consider only its own interests and that sits back saying, “Just so long as I am all right.” They have a responsibility to expose this inequality and the poverty lobby and to propagandize and strengthen the just system as envisaged by Islam. They can develop a solution that will neutralize this terrible system under which people weep tears of blood but are still being exploited.
First, however, they should remember that they are in the world to be tested, not to just get rest. Muslims have a responsibility toward all needy people (Qur’an, 4/75). Allah will always help those who strive together on the true path.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arab News: