Muslim Moms and Drone Democracy

Majid Ali, M.D.

Reflections on Dark Clouds Over Humankind

Adapted From My Commentary Published Online by the Journal Nature.

Drone Wars, Drone Democracies, and Default Democracies
Technology of drone wars has been described well. Ms. Finkbeiner (ref.1) informs that 76 countries now use drones. Drones do not determine what they deliver. I shudder when I try to imagine where default democracies will take us and what their drones will deliver. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
The inner toll of pilots flying the pilotless killers can be imagined well from narratives of past wars. Democracy enforced with drones on distant lands is an altogether different matter. In Drone Democracy (2011), I described one image with the following words:

    In a land of tormented silence,
    Of killers’ prominence,
    Despair delivered by drones,
    Of full spectrum dominance.
    A world enchanted by your eloquence.
    But does that hide the stench of death, your Eminence?
    The Empire’s fear trader.

Ends of wars are different from their beginnings, for conquerers as well as for the conquered. The tools of the trade change. In Drone Democracy, I saw those tools through the eyes of the people in the lands visited by drones. Now when I hear about drones, my mind drifts to a coming era of default democracies –the spreading nihilistic notion that when drones decimate the old orders in remote regions of the world, our American vision of Jeffersonian democracy will jell out of barren lands of starved children and suffocating women.
Rights of children, we know from history, cannot be established or preserved without establishing and preserving rights of women. Here I try to see things through the eyes of a boy growing up with five sisters, which allows me to have a much wider and deeper perspective than that of ideologues of all ilks. I state my case simply: The future of humankind is not a zero sum game. It now depends upon Muslim moms, not on the technology of drone wars, nor on giddy visions of drone democracies.

A Secret
Here I also share a well­ kept secret: Muslim men are suckers for their mothers. They largely pay lip service to what the fathers say, but its is the mothers who move them.  The only real way to reach the maniacal killers is through their moms. Just ask the killers everywhere: do your eyes become wet with words from your dads or from your moms.

Stick Monkeys
“Stick monkeys” is the term coined by Hugh Gusterson in his book for drone pilots. I wonder how the U.S. Air Force pilots will take this. But those pilot, whether hiding in hills or deserts with their joysticks and killing machines, have no chance of bringing peace to our world. It is hard to imagine that anyone among them — many already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — would not know this. 

I anticipate that many will dismiss my vision of Muslim moms rising to rescue decimation of our species as a delusional plausibility of an ideologue. But this writer —-­­ a son of a Hafiz-e-Quran mother and a father who was a distinguished Quran scholar, and a  younger brother of another distinguished Quran scholar —­­­ sees no other possibility. If not for Muslim moms, default democracies will continue to sprout not only in the ruins of Middle East but everywhere blasted by missiles from drones.

Who are the Muslim Moms of My Vision?
They are the moms who follow the ways of Hazrat Kadija Kubra — moms who follow her life of truth, strength, compassion, and endurance — and strive to uphold the rights of Muslim women and Muslim children worldwide. These are not Muslim moms with empty and angry slogans but women with quiet strength who know how to instill values of learning, understanding, and knowing in their children. They know that they and their children will be respected by others only when they earn the right to respect themselves. 
The future of the humankind is neither with drone pilots nor with holy men of hijab — men who claim Divine rights to define the rights and aspirations of Muslim women  and their children. As far as I know from the written early history of Islam, Hazrat Kadija Kubra and her companions, when riding camels side by side with men, did not cover their faces nor wear what passes for hijab or burqa today.  From whatever I can   his  right for womenhuu Muslim moms in violated counties and women worldwide.
Were there to be an authentic and sustained global initiative to pursue this vision of Muslim moms, it will have a most powerful ally:  ­­­moms worldwide —Hindu moms, Christian moms, Israeli moms, Palestinian moms, Eskimo moms,  and moms elsewhere  with religion of pure love and ethics.

I end my brief comments by offering some additional words from Drone Democracy:
    Too much hate bred,
    Too much blood shed,
    Too many tears wept.
    Is this the heart of a God junkie?
    Or the mind of the mutant monkey?

More From Drone Democracy 
Readers interested in reading more from my book Drone Democracy can please enter my name and the  title of the book on their internet search engine.

1. Finkbeiner A. Death by remote control. Nature. 2016;534:618­19.
2. Ali M. Drone Democracy (2011). Canary 21 Press. New York, NY 10023 Subscribe to comments Nature : Nature Publishing Group 4/4 © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. partne


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