Contemporary and Social Issues

Riots at Capitol Hill…the Beginning of Civil War in the USA?


Reehana Shah, USA

In case you haven’t recently checked the news, in the United States, as president-elect Joe Biden’s victory was to be formally confirmed by Congress, a routine procedure, thousands of hardline pro-Trump supporters gathered in Washington D.C. to protest. Ultimately and unfortunately, but not entirely surprisingly, this protest turned violent as crowds of people stormed the Capitol building and entered the offices and the halls and chambers of government. After hours of violence, President Trump finally addressed the instigators by first repeating his allegations about election fraud, and then vaguely asking his supporters to go home. 

In light of these events, it would seem that the recent letter His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, wrote to President Trump has fallen on deaf ears. Highlighting the need for absolute justice and transparency, His Holiness (aba) wrote in a letter to President Trump:

‘…it is imperative that the leader of the nation sets an example for the rest of society. For the sake of peace and harmony of any nation, it is a prerequisite that the government, local authorities and law enforcement agencies treat all of their citizens equally, irrespective of their skin colour or ethnicity. In this regard, the expectation of absolute justice and non-discrimination from the leader of a country such as the United States is especially high.’ [1]

Though such events would have been inconceivable four years ago, His Holiness (aba) also alluded to such circumstances in 2016 when he spoke at the Peace Symposium held in Canada:

‘Human nature is such that it is impossible for people to agree on everything and so disagreements will occur from time to time, but the key is to solve those disputes with justice and fairness, rather than to prioritise one’s own interests above others. To bring any conflict to an end, justice is a prerequisite. If a person is not fair and ethical then whatever grievance or problem exists will only escalate. Rather than peace, all that will be achieved will be increasing hatred and contempt.’ [2]

Much of the current state of affairs can be attributed to a lack of honesty and integrity. As the Caliph (aba) has stated, ‘Certainly, much of the division prevalent in the world today is because the underlying intentions of the parties involved are not innocent or honest. There are clear contradictions between their words and deeds and there can never be peace if there is disharmony between what a person says and what he does.’ [3] 

As unbelievable as it sounds, the threat of civil war suddenly feels more real. His Holiness (aba) predicted as much four years ago when he spoke with the renowned Canadian journalist Peter Mansbridge about divisive politics and the threat they pose to peace and stability. [4] Understandably, tensions are high in the United States right now. With the threat of more violence hanging in the air, the presidential inauguration ceremony will take place on January 20th, and no clear direction from any leaders, no one can predict what will unfold over the next few days. 

Over and over again, His Holiness (aba) has reminded world leaders of their responsibility towards justice and peace. He has spoken consistently about the need for leaders to be truthful, compassionate, and motivated not by greed or ambition, but by a desire for establishing peace around the world. It remains to be seen if the leaders of the United States will heed the words of His Holiness (aba) and put aside their personal interests and differences for the sake of mutual peace and ensure a peaceful transition of power. 

About the Author: Reehana Shah is a Canadian-American currently living in the United States. She holds a BA Honours in International Studies, Cooperation and Conflict, and Russian Studies and is a part of the Review of Religions online team.


  1. Letters Sent to World Leaders by Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community During Covid-19 Pandemic (2020), Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba).
  2. Justice – The Prerequisite to a Peaceful World, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba).
  3. The Need for Outward and Inner Peace, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba).
  4. Interview with Peter Mansbridge, CBC/Radio-Canada.