'Trust in God, but tie your camel'

'Trust in God, but tie your camel'

Preparing for another world war


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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I don't wish to sound too pessimistic, but the world is indeed heading towards another world war. The recent conflict between the US and Iran nearly triggered it. The situation is dormant for the time being, but there are tens of other conflicts and any one of those could trigger the unwanted.

Another world war is around the corner. Many analysts, based on their study of the current world situation, and considering historical facts, have concluded the same. Of course, none of us wish for it, because it means death, violence, destruction, and so much more. However, not many people, particularly world leaders, are making any effort to stop the march to such a tragedy. Leaders of the countries of the world seem to be securing their own agendas and putting the world on the brink of another war — a war the likes of which has never been witnessed.

This topic has occasionally come up in discussion when I talk to my fellow Jamaicans. I feel that most of us do not realise the extent of destruction a world war would cause. Since we are not involved in any major global conflict directly, most of us feel secure. We feel that if a nuclear conflict were to break out tomorrow no one would care to hurt us. It may be true, but one thing must be understood: Our lives would still be impacted greatly.

Our economic interests are tied up with countries which are involved in various conflicts around the globe. More than 25 per cent of our jobs are tourism-related — an industry which would nearly shut down in a time of global war. Being an island, we import many goods from other countries. According to The Commonwealth website, Jamaica's main imports are “food and other consumer goods, industrial supplies, fuel, parts and accessories of capital goods, construction materials, machinery, and transport equipment”. The list covers nearly every basic aspect of life as we know it here. Our transportation, communication, electricity (which uses imported fuels), food supply, water (which uses electricity to pump), and many other things would be affected.

I do not wish to paint a gloomy picture; however, I do wish for each one of us to realise the looming destruction and how it would affect countries, such as ours, which are not directly involved in any conflict.

If we cannot stop the impending war we can do our best to prepare ourselves for its mayhem. As individuals and as organisations it should be our priority to be prepared for any emergency. There are plenty of emergency preparedness lists published by various organisations to help us better. I recommend everyone should get one of these lists.

As a missionary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community I have been advising the members to store necessary items, in particular non-perishable ones, as within our means we should try and store the most basic items for any type of emergency.

We, as global citizens, should pray for world peace. However, this should not stop us from getting ourselves prepared for the worst-case scenario. There is a famous proverb among Arabs which says: “Trust in God, but tie your camel.”

Tariq Azeem is a Muslim imam (priest) for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Jamaica. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or tariq1azeem@gmail.com.

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