German Expert Describes US, Israel as Today's Oppressors
Interview by Zahra Mirzafarjouyan
Story Code : 882525
Imam Hussein (AS) is an important figure in Islam. The timing of Imam Hussein's life and death were crucial as they were in one of the most challenging periods of the seventh century. During this time, Umayyad oppression was rampant, and the stand that Imam Hussein and his followers took became a symbol of resistance inspiring future uprisings against oppressors and injustice. The martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) has had a deep impact on Muslims in general and on the Shia in particular; it has been a source of inspiration for various resistance movements and revolutions throughout history.
Throughout history, many notable personalities, such as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, have cited Imam Hussein's stand against oppression as an example for their own fights against injustice.
In an exclusive interview, Dr. Markus Fiedler, a German sociologist, Islamic scholar, and lecturer at al-Mustafa Institute in Berlin shared his views on Imam hussein’s uprising and its messages for the people in the contemporary time.
Every year, the freedom-lovers of the world keep the memory of Imam Hussein alive in the month of Muharram. Why is the uprising of Imam Hussein still dynamic despite the passage of many years?
The uprising of Imam Hussein and the positions of Islamic liberation theology seem highly topical, as the injustice in the world is becoming increasingly acute for everyone. According to an Oxfam report two years ago, 8 billionaires now own more than half of humanity, and the gap between rich and poor is widening. To a certain extent, he refutes the words of Karl Marx that religion is ultimately only “opium for the people”. It shows that people - because of their religious convictions - oppose unjust conditions without simply putting people off to the hereafter.
In his uprising, Imam Hussein sacrificed his position, wealth and even his own family to fight against the oppressive ruler. What are the guidelines and messages of his uprising for the popular uprisings in the contemporary time?
The uprising of Imam Hussein shows that one should not allow oneself to be intimidated, even in the face of the apparently enormous superiority of the oppressors’ camp. In the course of history, all great empires, however invincible in their time, have perished. There are timeless truths. Whoever hurls the truth at the oppressor - or whatever empire - and is not ready to raise the white flag, shows courage and steadfastness. Since it is a fight for a just cause, one knows according to all world religions that sovereignty is, so to speak, the basis of human dignity. It is undignified to crawl before oppressive powers.
Imam Hussein fought against Yazid to institutionalize the message of freedom and resistance to oppression. In your opinion, who are the oppressors of today's world?
It is actually clear who is acting as an occupying power in Palestine, driving out the native population, treating it as second-class people and occupying foreign land. On a global scale there is only one military superpower today that maintains over 700 military bases in foreign countries. It threatens the few sovereign states in the world, tries to destabilize them and carry out a “regime Change” there. Overturns and various “color revolutions” are staged. Instead of a democracy, however, such a regime change means the loss of sovereignty.
A distinction must be made between the American people and the ruling elite; the “establishment” is now also hated by broad sections of the US population. The US is really an oligarchy, not a democracy. This is not mine; it is the result of studies in the United States - one of which is that of political scientists Martin Gilens (Princeton) and Benjamin Page (Northwestern University).
According to the political scientist Jeffrey Winters who teaches at Northwestern University in Illinois, the super-rich controls politics and the media in the USA with their money. According to Winters, the super-rich only make up a tenth of one percent of the US population, i.e. 300,00 people. Today the financial elite is decisive. Around 1,000 trillion dollars are invested in derivatives that US investor Warren Buffet calls “financial weapons of mass destruction”.
What can today's freedom-seekers movements, including the anti-racist movement in countries like the United States, learn from this uprising?
The tendencies towards resignation in societies must be countered. Instead, people need to be educated about Western propaganda. As I said before: Today one can learn from this not to despair, even in the face of the apparently gigantic superiority of the oppressors’ camp. As we can see, given the events of our day (corona crisis, race riot in the US, economic crisis, etc.), the situation can change completely in a short period of time. It is not the person who determines the fate of the world. God also has His plan - and this will ultimately prevail.