Africa, News Watch, Side Feature

Food Security: A Mirage in Capitalism

There is confusion among many Kenyans as to whether it was wise for the government to lift the ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). For a country that is annually plagued by food insecurity occasioned by among other factors, drought which has exposed millions of Kenyans to hunger each year, the myth held by many is that GMOs are dangerous to human health and agricultural sustenance. Barely a month after President William Ruto was sworn into office, the government announced the lift of the ban on GMOs in the country.

Famine and malnutrition cocktailed with extreme poverty in the arid and semi-arid region of the country is the norm or less perennial curse that man and livestock have to endure surrounded by pangs of death with no hope in the near nor in the far future under Capitalism. Kenya is a capitalist country whose economic policies are based on production that views man’s worth of how much they contribute to the growth of GDP, with this in mind the arid and semi-arid region that contributes little to Kenya’s annual GDP i.e. less worthy of government services with respect to other regions that contribute to the GDP.

This leaves the region with no infrastructure to deliver service to the population like health infrastructure and roads to facilitate movement’s electricity, etc. with this dilapidated infrastructure and prolonged spell of drought, the population in its true region come to face with inhumane capitalist political leadership that views human life of less worth to worth to production of goods and services. To quote CS Moses Kuria by just being in this country you are a candidate for death and because they are so many things competing to kill you and therefore there is no wrong with GMOs to that list.

Islam as an ideology from the Creator of man, life and universe revealed to guide humanity to achieve good life in this world and Hereafter. This is a system that was implemented for over thirteen centuries until 1924 when the world witnessed the fall of Islam and the light of its guidance propelled Man to achieve the security of his life by securing against all that threaten its destruction this includes food security that entails easy accessibility to nutritious and healthy food.

The world witnessed under Islam unprecedented agricultural production from Spain to river Euphrates in Iraq with mechanized irrigation systems by use of canals and wind mills that resulted in the elimination of mosquitoes and the spread of malaria in Iraq. No time in history under Islam that famine was a norm but rather in the great famine in Ireland of the 1840’s Sultan Abdul Majid I donated money and food saving Irish families from starving to death. Allah (swt) says:

[يَهْدِي بِهِ اللَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلَامِ وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ]

“Through which Allah shows to all who seek to please Him the paths leading to safety. He brings them out, by His leave, from darkness to light and directs them on to the straightway.” [Al-Ma’ida: 16].

Ali Omar
Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Kenya