Last week saw a great deal of tears being shed on news channels; some of pain, some of sorrow and some through force.
The death of former US president George HW Bush made news headline across the globe. Then we saw his son, again former US president George Bush paying an emotional tribute in the eulogy he read at the funeral of his father in Washington. He was seen breaking down in tears as he reached the end of the eulogy. His tears must have reminded most people of the tears that were seen during the Gulf War led by the late president; tears of thousands of innocent civilians of the war-struck region who had been orphaned, widowed or left homeless.
According to statistics, the civilian losses during the war was in thousands; 1,000 Kuwaiti, 3,664 Iraqi and 300 other civilians lost their lives in this war that was a preamble of the unrest and conflict that was never to depart from the region.
Then BBC reported on the plight of a Bangladeshi lady, Ms Rubie Marie, who expressed her sorrow on a marriage that was forced upon her by her parents, and that too to a man double her age. Tears rolled down her face as she told her tragic story.
Stories of forced marriages are now frequenting news bulletins and columns, but in a way that it posed, by media outlets, as a problem stemming from Islamic beliefs. We must point out here that Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, while talking to the press on various occasions in various parts of the world, has clarified that not only does Islam discourage forced marriages, but it requires for the girl to be clearly asked if she agrees to her marriage with a certain person or not. The issue of forced marriage is cultural and not Islamic as branded by some anti-Islam enthusiasts.
Footage of the Gilet Jaunes – or the Yellow Vests – protests brought to the minds of many, flashbacks of history lessons at school where the French Revolution was mentioned with much glory. The roaring flames of fires on the streets and the thick clouds of black smoke with the Arc de Triomphe on the backdrop of these scenes are reminiscent of what must have happened during the days of the revolution; albeit with a hint of modernity with torched motors and the barricades ablaze.
It is said that the government had to bow to the demands and has decided to set aside any plans of oil-price rise. We know from news reports that the issue only started with the oil-price issue, but the scale of the demonstrations clearly depicted a wave of frustration. Is this frustration only brewing in the people of France or is it a universal phenomenon only waiting for the lid to be kicked opened?
We don’t want to answer this question here. We refer you to the addresses of the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, who, on more than one occasion, has highlighted the fact that a stark rise in the frustration of youth in the West is leading to a range of social problems – radicalisation being one and vandalising public property in protests being another of so many. However, tear gas had to be used by the French police to control the protestors and this episode, too, ended in tears.