A Muslim’s Perspective

A Muslim’s Perspective

The word ‘Islam’ means ‘peace.’ The word ‘Muslim’ means ‘one who surrenders to God.’ But the press makes us seem like haters.

Muhammad Ali

India is not a secular nation. We’re a nation comprising of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and other religions. The largest of course, Hinduism followed by Islam. By numbers and figures Islam comprises of a mere 14% of the overall population of India but historically and experientially Islam seems to form half the India. From the food to architecture, sports to movies, ornaments to lifestyle; Islam and the Islamic culture has moulded India into the great nation that it is today.

Before there was BJP there was Congress and before Congress there were the British, and even before the British there were the Mughals. Indians, the real, the authentic, the born and bred and pure Indians, were simple people with ordinary lives. They made pots, lived in huts, survived on subsistence farming under the rule of a Maharaja and the barter system was at its apex in those times. Until Sher Shah Suri introduced the prototype to the greens in your wallet. A muslim quite literally changed the facade of an entire country’s economy and gave the Indians their basic monetary unit, “a rupee”.

It’s often pointed out by economists and the thunderous neighbors that the British did a big favor to Indians by building monuments and buildings and structures and basically laying the foundation for a booming economy. But the truth is British did what they did for their fulfillment, for their privileges, and for their selfish objectives. The railways were introduced with the motive of speeding the transportation of the Indian goods and commodities to England, the parliament was made to sentence the nationalists that raised their voice against the oppression and mass genocide and to kill the farmers who couldn’t pay the copious amounts of taxes. Everything and anything any Britisher ever managed to initiate in India was not for the upbringing of Indians but for the augmentation of the British empire. So historically the only people who actually loved India were the Mughals, and I say India not Indians.

Mughals massacred and killed relentlessly to settle in India, but the Mughals wanted the “Hindustan” to grow, to prosper, to become the golden bird. Not a single Mughal aimed to exploit India, or denounce it of its natural beauty unlike the British who chopped down thousands of acres of forests for timber. But today when India and the Indians have bloomed and prospered to such great heights, the true essence of the Islam and the gravity of Islamic culture in fabrication of this nation, has been lost in time. If you begin to gather on when did so much change so quickly you will not be able to catch the tail of the culprit that time is. The difference in perspective of a young man today and his father seems like a century of evolution and change when it has only been 68 years since partition. Surely something has gone downhill in the process of moving forward.

A large section of society has comprehended Islam on the basis of dissipated generalization made by news channels. And society can’t be blamed, for major news channels such as Fox go out loud calling Syrian refugees terrorist on national television while reporters in Hungary kick little children for being a muslim. Six million jews were killed during the holocaust which is slightly shy of the four million muslims who have been killed so far due to the global war on terror. No one suffers more from a terrorist attack than a muslim. Whether it is in terms of education, finance, mental health, family, friends, basically every imperative factor of their life.

Syria, Al Tanaya village Adra (rural Damascus), 3 December 2013 Fatema, 24 years old - displaced with her family from Douma in rural Damascus to Adra - feeding her 18 month old daughter Haneen lunch. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa
Syria, Al Tanaya village Adra (rural Damascus), 3 December 2013
Fatema, 24 years old – displaced with her family from Douma in rural Damascus to Adra – feeding her 18 month old daughter Haneen lunch.

When ISIS beheaded hundreds my muslim neighbor was cooking shish kebab at his place with his beautiful wife and children. When Ajmal Kassab entered the Taj, Professor Qureshi of Aligarh University was returning home from college. There are a million more who were and are busy minding their own business while gruesome and heinous killings are being carried out in the name of Islam. My plea to every human being out there is to know and feel a muslim’s perspective.

Love Always

//bum

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A French Affair

A French Affair

When a child goes to watch a football game with his father or when a 15 year old girl plans an entire evening with her interim lover at a concert; the thought of men armed with military grade weapons attacking civilians doesn’t dawn on anyone. And hence the severity and travesty’s main root becomes the factor of surprise. Over the last two days the social and print media along with neighborhood summits and long morning walkers have indulged into a detailed post-mortem of the tragedy that hit the great nation of France.

My resolve is similar to that of a man who has stayed silent behind the scenes and listened to the opinions and gathered an overture from the plethora of views that have been tossed around in the last two days. For some reason when the “prayforparis” posts got too mainstream people resorted to the classic “why just pray for Paris, why not Lebanon or Beirut or Iraq or Syria” and it goes on and on. Now one of the things that the avid facebookers need to understand is that you are no better. Your basic understanding and knowledge of the issue has come from some blog on internet that has changed its total casualty count more times than you’ve changed your clothes. So do not try to be the united nations ambassador who is acquainted with the terrorist activities of the entire world. It’s widely accepted that the bombings in France have been played on every news channel and website and every single blog on internet, and the terror activities in other nations that are not so much into the loop of vogue have been left out. But the fact that France is a major major player in today’s economy and because it is so well connected with the rest of the world in both economic and cultural factors, an attack on France will catch a much more elevated attention than a third world country. Hence, the term “a third world country”.

There is a reason why life insurance companies do not put a number on your policy. The cost of human life whether of a French, or an Indian, or an African is incomputable. But in the light of this fact I must also point out that the cost of a country and it’s current position is downright calculable. Hence, even Al Jazeera will showcase the Paris bombings instead of their own headquarters being bombed. Simply because the people out there know the capital of romance more than the paris of the middle east. So the people out there who have resorted to take a stance against the media, just know that you’re voicing your opinion at the same time when someone else is “praying” for paris. If you were an ardent humanist then the story would be something else. But for now you aren’t really in a better position.

Next comes the reaction of the various western and European governments. One of the discoveries from the crime scene have been the unearthing of a Syrian passport. Now I will very wisely presume that the erudite and highly intellectual political leaders have not shut down their gates to refugees and planned to revise their Schengen policy just because of that sole fact alone. Because that decision would no doubt be cruel and illogical but also a highly emotional one. So the hypocrisy clearly comes out in times like these. Great nations preach their outlook of society with secularity and equality and highly indiscriminate on racial and other peculiar factors. But because a “Syrian” passport was found at the scene of blast it is assumed that the intake of refugees must be revised.

The Muslims all around the globe condemned the acts of ISIS and united as a different voice of Islam, the one we are not much acquainted with, the voice of love, and peace and tranquility. As much as I respect the initiative I must also indicate that the duty of a muslim does not finish with the post button of a Facebook status. The killings are done in the name of Islam; your religion. Hence it becomes your duty to take a step further from just voicing your opinion. Do not mistake me to be advocating against Islam. The only concern that I raise is the one of initiative that goes beyond you stating your opinion.

Now as far as India is concerned, the government will wait for an attack on the public and then “strongly condemn it”. Since I am an inhabitant of the NCR region and because I am still alive, I must draw your attention to the fact how lucky I am to not have been attacked… yet. Places like Sadar Bazaar and Sarojini Market still lay without even the diminutive amount of security. So my hearty gratitude to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi for not attacking such a populated area and curses to the government elect for not doing the needful. Here in India the taxpayers’ money is used for top notch security of politicians. But for the security of the very citizens that elect these representatives there are four policemen posted on duty in Sadar Bazaar with a salary of 10,000 each. So for the crowd of 5,000 people 40,000 is spent on security, and for 4,126 politicians crores.

Our hearts go out to all the victims of acts of terrorism. Whether these victims are from Chhattisgarh, Beirut, Islamabad, Delhi, Paris, Washington, or anywhere. Only a survivor can understand and empathize with the pain of the lost. And as an outsider to this adversity I can hope, not pray, but hope that tomorrow will be better. That tomorrow the fallen shall rise, tomorrow the hope with inhibit the fear, tomorrow we shall unite, stand together to love and play on one land. The land where fear exists but not of guns and grenades, instead of dropping your ice cream on the floor. The land where race won’t be of color but of olympic games. The land where refuge won’t be from enemy tanks, instead from mother’s scoldings and father’s silent treatment. A land where love prospers and hate becomes history.

Love Always

//bum