This year’s Eid al-Adha was practiced in a different aura around the Islamic world. The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation carried out sacrificial slaughters in 111 countries and regions and 57 cities of Turkey, opening new doors to charity campaign. Totally 50,000 animals donated by the benevolent Turkish citizens were sacrificed for 500,000 families. The sacrifices donated for the sake of God turned into hope and happiness for thousands of Muslims from Caucasia to Africa, to the Middle East, to Far East, to Latin America and to the Balkans.
From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe
We were tasked for the IHH Qurban campaign to spend Edi al-Adha in southern African country Zimbabwe, “named country of stone-carved houses” at the bottom of the continent. Zimbabwe suffered greatly at the hands of Western powers during the colonial ages. Exploitation, slave markets, border tortures, tribal wars with no specific reason…. The country was first named after the British ruler Cecil Rhodes: Rhodesia. This name stayed as a disgrace to Zimbabweans until they gained independence in 1980. When British ruler Ian Smith was asked when Zimbabwe would be ruled by the majority, namely by its black inhabitants, he gave a spoilt response: “I don’t think it will happen within a thousands year.” Zimbabwe, one of the oldest civilizations in Africa, still suffers from Western exploitation and influence.
Inflation has soared
Zimbabwe, a country with a population of 13 million people, has striven to survive the embargo imposed on the country by Western countries since it withdrew from The Commonwealth of Nations in 2003. Three million Zimbabweans have fled to the neighboring countries to escape political and economic volatility in Zimbabwe. The reason behind pressure put on Zimbabwe is its western-minded policies. Everything is a need in the country. Inflation rate is around 15,000 percent. In Zimbabwe, which is vulnerable to every kind of speculation, currency could be changed overnight and one could see new banknotes in the morning. One cannot even find water at markets and grocery stores. A chewing gum could be bought for a bunch of banknotes. Foreign pressure has made life unbearable in Zimbabwe, a country that fed its neighbors for long years and was previously known to be grain cellar of Africa. Zimbabweans form long lines in front of banks at night to draw a few dollars from their accounts. The country is on the brink of social explosion, which is what the West is waiting for.
The hardest Qurban program
We practiced Eid al-Adha in a very different and interesting way in Zimbabwe, where it is almost impossible to exchange currency and buy gasoline; where the authority of the state is only on paper; where it takes hours and sometimes days to find a taxi and rent a car. I have taken part in IHH’s Qurban organizations for many years, but performing 402 sacrificial slaughters in different parts of Zimbabwe was the most exhaustive organization I have ever taken part in. Thank God, we successfully carried out sacrificial slaughters in Mount Darwin, Chiutsa, Mudzengerere, Mpunzi, Masvingo, Chinika, Hamandishi, Dambara, Tongogara, Chidune and Hwange regions of Zimbabwe, where poverty has become unbearable.
Our happiest day in Zimbabwe
We were honored with God’s blessing during Zimbabwe Qurban program, which was one of our hardest programs. Following the completion of sacrificial slaughters at Mudzengerere town of Mount Darwin, 150 Zimbabweans converted to Islam. This added to our happiness. We were greatly pleased by the conversion of the 150 locals to Islam. It was an honor and happiness to us. Mudzengerere residents, including the tribal leader, converted to Islam communally reciting the Islamic confession of faith after a 10-minute talk on Islam. It was undoubtedly one of the happiest days in my life. Following the communal conversion we worked out the project of building a mosque in the town and appointed an imam to inform newly-converted locals about Islamic subjects. We carried out a similar project for 800 residents of Chiutsa who accepted Islam two years ago.
Muslims denied citizenship
We paid a visit to Muslim organization in the Zimbabwean capital Harare. Although official figures put the percentage of Muslims at one, they actually form 10 percent of the population. Muslims are not allowed to use Islamic names and those Muslims who immigrated to Zimbabwe from Malawi, formerly known as North Rhodesia, Zambia and Mozambique in 1963 are denied citizenship. These groups make 90 percent of the Zimbabwean Muslims. The remaining 10 percent consist of Indians, Shona and Ndebele people. Like in other countries worldwide, Islam is growing like a snowball in Zimbabwe. Around 1,000 Zimbabweans of Shona origin converted to Islam during the last two Qurban organizations of the IHH.
AIDS widespread in Zimbabwe
AIDS is widespread in Zimbabwe as it is South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Malawi and Botswana. To be infected with AIDS in Zimbabwe is like catching cold in another country. One out of five Zimbabweans is infected with AIDS virus. Every week 3,000 people, most of them children, die from AIDS. Five out of eight children die before reaching age of five because of AIDS. Average life expectancy was 69 years in early 1980s, while it has dropped to around 40 years. Most of the people infected with AIDS virus do not know they are infected, which causes the diseases to spread fast. AIDS is once again warning humankind against destructive effects of unlimited sexual freedom and moral weakness. Thank God for granting us with the dignity of Islam.