Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A leopard has changed its spots?

Ayman Al Zawahiri, the erstwhile no. 2 in the Al Qaeda organisation has finally issued a plea to the worldwide Muslim community to contribute to the relief effort already underway in Pakistan for the last two weeks. This was broadcast on Al Jazeera TV on 23rd October 2005

You would wonder why it took him all of two weeks to respond to the work of SAVING lives when Turkey and the US offered their help right from the start. Perhaps Al Qaeda is so used to killing and destroying things that, when faced with a natural disaster that has taken away the lives of so many fellow Muslims (last count was over 79,000 dead, and counting) and threatens the survival of many more, they do not know exactly what the human thing to do is.

To its credit, the US, although facing disasters in its own back yard, has come swiftly to Pakistan's aid, just as they came swiftly to the aid of the Acehnese in Indonesia at the beginning of this year during the South Asia Tsunami disaster. The reality is that the beneficiaries in both cases were mainly Muslims.

How much longer will Al Qaeda continue to mislead the worldwide Muslim community about the truth? What is the truth? There is a Chinese saying, "In misfortune, you see your real brothers" (Huan nan jian zhen qing). I think actions speak louder than words.

Belatedly, Al Qaeda now realises that saving lives is more important, or is it saving Muslims is more important? Or is it saving the reputation of Al Qaeda? It doesn't matter. The Pakistanis need all the help they can get. Better late than never.

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