By: Tahira Shaheeda
It's no secret that the American economy has been propped up and getting ready to collapse for quite some time. For a while it was easy to hide the decay that has been going on inside the American economic and social systems with the thin outer facade of strength, prosperity and material success.. But as the economy continues its downward spiral and the social problems increase at an alarming rate, the facade is quite obviously growing thin.
Every day there is another horror story in the news (see Islamtimes "All that Glitters..."
). Recently in Chicago there were 8 children and adolescents shot and killed in drive-by shootings in one night. Unemployment continues to rise, home foreclosures are at a record high and hospital emergency rooms report that the number and severity of child and spousal abuse cases are increasing.
It doesn't take an economist or a social scientist to see that there is a direct connection between the sinking economy and the increase in social decline. All of this is accompanied by an overall sense of helplessness and desperation that is beginning to permeate the country.
To add to it, every time one turns on the news there is another story about one kind of weather disaster or another. Even years later, the lives of hurricane Katrina victims have not returned to normal and many people are still without decent housing. Wildfires, flooding, tornadoes and drought are ongoing and have destroyed huge areas around the country. The toll on homes, businesses and farmlands has been tremendous.
The situation has become so overwhelming that many Americans have stopped watching the news because they cannot stand to watch the growing problems that are surrounding them every day. They become even more disturbed when they see the ripple effect that appears to be spreading the problems not only in their own families and local communities but across the country and around the world.
But what is really going on here? It is fairly easy to look at the economic policies of the government and see where the money goes. A huge percentage of tax dollars go to the military war machine and to countries that support its policies. The Senate and Congress members draw large salaries that keep increasing in spite of the overall economics. Large businesses are being bailed out with billions of American taxpayer dollars while their offshore companies bring in huge profits but are exempt from paying taxes.
Every day the economy continues to serve one of the golden rules of American economics - the rich get rich and the poor get poorer. As one woman who worked in social services for over 30 years said "America has a long history of systematically kicking the poor, the handicapped and the elderly to the curb".
Although it takes time and effort, it is not impossible to fix an economic system by examining its priorities and rewriting its policies and procedures. Social problems can be more effectively addressed when the monies are made available to provide the needed services.
But one has to look further than this to see the root cause of the problem. As one American who recently converted from Christianity to Islam said: "These people are just too far from God - that's why all this is going on". Everywhere one looks people are breaking the laws that Allah put in place for our own protection and safety. If one looks at all of this through the Qur'anic perspective it is easy to see that everything Allah disapproves of is currently acceptable in America. All this is topped off by the worship of other than Allah that has taken root in every sector of society. It has become obvious that American society is spiritually bankrupt.
The question is "How has America survived this long"? Slavery and the slaughter of Native Americans served the greedy needs of those building the foundation of the country. This provided fertile soil for all of the spiritual, economic and social ills that followed and have become woven into the very fabric of the society.
If one looks at reasonable cause and effect on every level it is not difficult to see how America went from being the "highest" nation in the world to one teetering on the edge of its own destruction.
But every crisis brings an opportunity and Americans are incredibly resilient, resourceful and hard working people. To reverse this downward spiral a complete change, a revolution in fact will have to take place. The rampant problems will have to be addressed and effective changes implemented. If America is to survive on any level, it has to stop waging war on other countries. Then it has to look inside itself and start fighting the enemy within its own boundaries.
But no matter what other changes take place, if the spiritual issues are not effectively addressed there can be no meaningful or lasting change. It seems that in this rush to build the material world, the people have forgotten God and put something else in His place. In Qur'an and hadith, the way of the Prophet Mohammad and his Family, Allah cautioned mankind contiually over the past 1500 years about the causes and danger of social ills and their consequences on mankind. One hadith pertinent to this topic tells us that high prices are a sign that Allah is displeased with the people.
If they are going to reverse this downward trend, Americans on every level will have to become actively involved in the change process. They will have to to go to the root of their economic, social and most important of all their spiritual beliefs, policies and practices and begin to rebuild on a firm foundation. It is only by doing this that they can expect to survive in this life and more importantly in the Next.