Agadir - I will not beat around the bush for long to let you know about the essence of this article. In fact this was inspired by a few stories a veteran Moroccan soldier who has taken part in the first Indochina war as a recruit in the French Army came to let me know about.
Agadir – I will not beat around the bush for long to let you know about the essence of this article. In fact this was inspired by a few stories a veteran Moroccan soldier who has taken part in the first Indochina war as a recruit in the French Army came to let me know about.
The man was talking about the horrors of war, the terrifying ordeals and dire situations the population and the soldiers alike were faced up with. In the first situation the man talked about an old indigenous woman in a rice plantation. She was peacefully going about her planting work and not very far from her was a cow that seemingly belonged to her calmly grazing when, in a surge of frenzy, a fellow soldier (from a different nationality) fired on the cow and killed it on the spot.
The old woman was so heartbroken and helpless she indulged in a fit of sharp screaming and yelling while rolling herself back and forth in the mud and tugging with all her force at her hair. The veteran soldier went on to tell me that in less than a kilometer down the road, he witnessed the following horrifying scene; the soldier who had killed the woman’s cow fell into a booby trap and was blasted into pieces while his fellow soldiers thoroughly flabbergasted but unharmed carried on their progression.
The second story I heard from the man directly involved him in person and a few other Moroccan soldiers. They were progressing in “enemy” terrain when they caught sight of an old warehouse so they cautiously maneuvered their way to get near and ultimately burst the door open to get inside.
There were no “rebels” there but instead there were about forty to fifty women scared to death and trying to find refuge by pressing themselves against one another in an effort to dissimulate their fear. The man went on telling me, he and his fellow soldiers inspected the premises and decided there was no danger in wait for them anywhere.
The man told me there was frozen silence in the place when all of a sudden the soldiers heard a new born baby cry. They got near and saw a young mother scared out of her wits holding the baby. Following the Moroccan tradition of “Zeroura” which consists in giving a sum of money to new born babies, the man started by putting a money bill in the baby’s tiny hand and as babies tend to have a strong clench, the bill, in that manner, was thoroughly secured. Fellow Moroccan soldiers followed suit and all of a sudden magically the atmosphere in the warehouse turned from fear and apprehension to rejoicing and hope. The women’s eyes brightened with hope and gratefulness.
The man told me at that point they feared the women’s rejoicing may not go on for long as some other soldiers could discover the spot and thus spoil “The party” so he and his fellow soldiers got out of that storehouse, closed the door behind them and when the rest of the troops got near, they signaled to them there was nothing to report and urged them to head forward.
The stories I mentioned above are at least six decades old. They happened in Indochina far away from most Arab and Muslim countries. The two stories, to my mind, embody that meaning illustrated in the thirty second Ayat in Surat Almaidah from the holy Qur’an which states “….whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” Although the killing in the first story involved a cow but the devastating effect of the act neared killing in its grave impact on the owner.
The second story reveals a facet of genuine Moroccan character involving a humane approach of sympathy and compassion for the terrified and the oppressed. The women in the storehouse could have been mistreated, humiliated, tortured or raped to let the invaders know about their men’s hideouts but fortunately enough, judging by the outcome, that option did not even conjure up in the soldiers’ minds.
Acting in like manner can be a universal quality shared by millions upon millions of people around the world in the past and the present. The irony however is that nowadays, on a daily basis, world TV channels are reporting scenes of violence and of “Heads rolling down the streets” in many countries and all of that done in the name of religion or let us be more accurate, in distorted interpretations of religion.
My conviction is that religion has long been unjustly used to cover lust for power, domination and massive economic gains while the gist of religion is simply, clearly and eloquently stated in the Hadith of the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) reported by Anass Ibnu Malik in which he states “None of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. ” and the biblical principle and golden rule stated in Luke 6:31 which records Jesus as saying: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
To conclude, I find it particularly inspiring to state Bertrand Russell’s quote “It is either co-existence or non-existence” which sums up the race to nuclear armament spirit that reigned among the world’s superpowers in the twentieth century and which set the world on the verge of massive unprecedented destruction. I think the same quote applies nowadays more than ever before. What do you think?
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