As we enter upon 2018 I wanted to share a few reflections on what a magnificent year 2017 was and how much good came out of it.
This year I visited several countries around the world as well as going to different parts of the United Kingdom.
Having returned home from prison in mid-2015, it is only this year that I began to feel that my feet are finally standing on the ground again.
So here goes, my list of five great things that happened in 2017…
1.One man has succeeded in uniting the world
Yes, you got it: Donald Trump. I cannot remember in living memory a time when the other permanent members of the UN Security Council voted against the United States. Even Britain.
I cannot remember, not in my lifetime anyway, when a serving British Prime Minister dared to criticise the president of the USA.
So something good is definitely happening in the world. All the good people in the world are gathering together against those spreading and promoting hatred, fear and division.
As surely as the night and day, nations rise and fall. This is the tradition of history and this is the tradition of Allah.
2. The response of the British people to three terrorist attacks in Britain this year
This year was a very difficult year for Britain. The Grenfell Tower fire, three terrorist attacks in Manchester, Finsbury Park and London Bridge, losing our way over Brexit…
But the response of the British people this year was different to previous years.
Normally, a terrorist attack carried out by Muslims leads to an upsurge in hate crime against Muslims, led by the politicians and the press.
This year, however, things were different.
You had the usual pigs heads thrown into a few mosques and the hijabs pulled off by cowards but nothing of the sort that we have experienced in recent years.
For once, there seems to be a sense of realisation in both the politicians and the law enforcement authorities that self-serving statements attacking Islam and Muslims over the actions of a few ignorant Muslims actually embolden the ignorant ones instead of beating them down.
For the first time, politicians were quick to label as a “terrorist attack” the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, in which a man drove a van into Muslim worshippers in Ramadan.
I personally attended a Ramadan fast-opening event outside Finsbury Park mosque and was surprised by the thousands of goodwill messages left by the community on the walls around the mosque.
Words usually do not mean much, but as the example of Donald Trump shows, when they are spoken by the leadership, they have consequences.
A responsible leader unites his or her nation. An ignorant leader spreads hatred, fear and division.
The tide is definitely turning, even for the gutter press, as my next point demonstrates.
3. The British people are finally taking a stand against the tabloid hate-papers who spread hate while claiming to speak up for the “silent majority”
During the last twelve months, a campaign known as “Stop Funding Hate” has spread beyond all expectations until it is beginning to hit the hate-papers where it hurts.
Stop Funding Hate simply asks ordinary citizens to lobby big British brands and companies to stop advertising with hate-papers that are spreading hatred against foreigners, Muslims and migrants.
A few minutes of your time makes a difference to the whole country. The link is at the bottom.
4. The Muslim ummah is more united today than at any other time in recent history
I can certainly testify to this, given the thousands of people who I have met this year up and down Britain and in several other countries around the world that I visited this year.
Of course, we still have our haters and deviant police, but they are in the minority and hardly anyone listens to them.
Just like the world needed Trump to unite it, the Muslim ummah needs these haters to unite everyone else.
5. The emergence of Turkey as an icon for the Muslim world
Yes, I have several disagreements with some of Turkey’s policies but there is no doubt that in recent years Turkey has left all other Muslim countries behind in making a stand for justice.
While the world was issuing condemnations about the massacre of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, Turkish President Erdogan immediately sent a delegation to Bangladesh offering to cover all the costs if Bangladesh was to open its borders to the fleeing refugees.
These were not empty words. Six years on, Turkey continues to host nearly one million Syrian refugees, paying for their meals, accommodation, education and even providing jobs for them.
And soon after the US announced its unilateral decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, Turkey responded in kind and announced that it too would open its embassy in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian half of the city.
Proof of Turkey’s emergence as a regional superpower comes in the failed July 2016 coup attempt to overthrow the government of President Erdogan.
The undemocratic coup attempt was supported by most of the world until the Turkish people were able to take their country back.
As 2018 begins, this is an exciting time to be alive. The world is changing for the better. Good is becoming stronger and evil is becoming weaker. The future is bright.
This is intended as satire, and not serious. But could it…
In 1976, The Omen told the tale of the “Antichrist”, the child Damien Thorne, who murders – well, basically anyone who defies him.
This demonic child was born on the “6th hour, of 06/06/1966”. He was destined to return Jerusalem to his followers – satanists etc. He also would be born ‘into politics.’ Oh, and his first name began with “D” and the latter began with “T”.
Fast forward 40 years later.
A man, who was born (into politics) on the 14th of the sixth month June (yes, I know, that doesn’t add up) in the sixth year of the 1940s, is elected for president on the sixth year of the 2010s aged in his sixties. In December 2017, he declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel (his followers among many others.) And guess what. His name includes a capital “D” and “T”.
Donald Trump, the craziest man ever, is possibly Damien Thorne.
Really. They are so similar. Both crazy power-hungry kids who want to destroy everyone who doesn’t bend to their will.
One day ago, WannaCry hit millions of computers all over the globe, locking NHS computers, and causing severe damage.
Only a few hours ago, a researcher managed to find a ‘kill switch’, which has slowed its progress down.
But what if it happened again? On a bigger scale?
Could we have an A Digital Armageddon?
In 2012, Obama stated: “So far, no one has managed to seriously damage or disrupt our critical infrastructure networks. But foreign governments, criminal syndicates and lone individuals are probing our financial, energy and public safety systems every day. Last year, a water plant in Texas disconnected its control system from the Internet after a hacker posted pictures of the facility’s internal controls. More recently, hackers penetrated the networks of companies that operate our natural-gas pipelines. Computer systems in critical sectors of our economy—including the nuclear and chemical industries—are being increasingly targeted.”
Back in 1962, we had the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now, could we have a Computer Malware Crisis?
Within a few years, we could have a cyber war. When asked about how it might look like, Mort Zuckerman replied that a hacker “can tap into our computer networks and move money, spill oil, vent gas, blow up generators, derail trains, crash airplanes, cause missiles to detonate, and wipe out reams of financial and supply chain data.”
So maybe the nuclear missiles aren’t the most dangerous weapon of all time. Now, with a computer, skills and an internet connection, people could bring down a country with a tap of a key.
Power would go down. Communications and vehicles crash. Hospitals are infected.
Without any method of communication, it would be extremely difficult for politicians and leaders to get their act together.