Global outrages of violence fewer in this year’s Eid el Fitr

04May 2022
Editor
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
Global outrages of violence fewer in this year’s Eid el Fitr

MUSLIMS in the country and elsewhere in the world shared two days of marking Eid el Fitr, the festival marking the start of the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad, where believers fast for 29 or 30 days depending on siting the moon.

Observers around the world were somewhat relieved that the fasting period as well as the festival weren’t turned into especially violent moments for those fighting guerilla wars around the world, despite occasional flare ups. Hopes are now being stocked for the second festival, the feast of slaughter where the pilgrimage takes place that this relatively calm situation is maintained.

 

How much there is peace in any part of the world is a result of how far the idea of peace becomes the paramount value, above those competing with it for authority and resource mobilisation among various sections of the citizenry.

Chances of the whole world becoming peaceful and following laid out peaceful means to canvass for political, social and economic demands, are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but more than 70 years since that period the world hasn’t arrived there yet; still, a lot of progress has been made. How far or how rapidly this is happening now is a matter of savvy guesswork.

 

While earlier peaceful countries may experience explosions into warfare, the reality is that permanent tensions find expression in outbreaks of war, as political systems built on convictions that aren’t friendly to the universal declaration must legitimize their stay in power if things start changing.

Giving complete expression to the demands they know are supported in civil societies is a particularly enticing situation to rebuild regime support, and thus war breaks out. But with considerable advances in the development of civil society in such a country, any breakdown will take a while and then it is rectified; otherwise it lasts.

 

That is why explosions of violence in developed countries do not take a long time to heal, as society in due course starts correcting errors that gave expression in outbursts of violence.

But where traditional systems are dominant it is not easy for political forces to chart out new bearings, as there are few people with solid convictions on the primacy of human rights, and where they exist, they have fewer people to talk to. The reason is that large groups of people look out to see who shall favour their interests if they hold the reins of power, and when that aspect is assured, they let those rulers do practically anything.

 

Unless therefore an economy has been reformed enough for many people to start thinking as producers or consumers at various levels of industry, or followers of certain ideas of what is best for society from say a commercial, technological or industrial point of view, moving society becomes difficult.

Societies that are anchored in tradition know what sort of voices to listen to, and indeed what they are going to say as really endless repetition of what was said in past decades, if not centuries. It is a situation where theory or what is called research is irrelevant as everyone knows the enemy and the solution, and nobody can discuss the limitations of the national spirit, why they are after the wrong things. Fasting was partially a moment to reflect upon these things, whether life is first about power and using it over others, or it is to lend a hand.