It is often difficult for me to truly believe that people read my rants daily or on occasion as I started this blog as a medium to catalog my thoughts as I continue in my sojourn in this life. As I begin to readily admit these facts, I now feel at least a little compelled to share with my readers about what’s going on in my life, mind, etc. as I would a dear friend. As such, I wanted to share a couple of things I have been brooding over in my absence from cyberspace as I believe my readers would enjoy them. Now without going into long explanations know that my mind is never at rest as it relates to the issues I blog about, but I sort of retreat into the “real world” where I attempt to carry out my words into action and attend to the necessary duties of physical life. One such activity that has consumed me is the organization and establishment of the non-profit DC area group The American Muslim Interactive Network (AMIN) where I sit on the Board of Directors and serve as the Director of Internal Affairs. Through our group we realize the words that I so often type in this medium not by prostelyzing Islam but by acting out Islam. We are a very diverse Muslim Network in both leadership, membership, and practice, that our ideals and actions while wholly Islamic in principle, is often lost in many Muslim settings. We are Arab, South Asian, African, Caucasian, African American, Asian, and European, we are Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Sufi, and many other “sects” too numerous to name, we are young and old, male and female, and just about every explanation of diversity one could fathom. What binds us all is our self professed title of “Muslim” and our love for Islam. Matters of division and/or acknowledgment thereof is greatly shunned and against our charter. What is important is that we are a group of Muslims who engage in interfaith, charity, and other forms of volunteerism. We neither shun interfaith and especially intrafaith, advocating love and respect overall and acknowledge that the final analysis belongs to God Alone. Now I didn’t mean to so much time to defining the great work we are doing and the great work of infrastructure associated with establishing such an organization to be vain or boastful, but to segway into my commentary on current event in the ongoing saga I call “As the Muslim World Turns” in which one such as myself often wakes up and wants to bang his head on the wall.
It greatly pains me the injustices committed by Muslims the worldover. For the record, by “Muslim” I mean those who call themselves that title neither inferring one way or the other that they are who they say they are as I believe our actions should bear witness of what we truly believe.
That said, I would like all Muslims to ponder the actions committed by some of us under the guise of belonging to the same religion as the rest of us. Those of us who value life and humanity as taught in our Holy writ, must universally commit to the condemnation and resistance in all forms of the oppression and slaughter done to the innocent among God’s creation. As Muslims this command is codified in the Qur’an and exemplified in the example of Muhammad (saw). Allah (swt) reminds us that the taking of one innocent life unjustly is like the killing of all mankind. Allah (swt) only allows us to kill or war against those who oppress and persecute us and even then we are commanded to not harm the innocent from among that people and to accept peace when it is offered. Fighting offensively is greatly shunned in Islam and the Qur’an reminds us that even if we hate a people we are still not to act against them unjustly (i.e. killing innocent civilians). That stated I would like to call up a recent incident against members a Muslim minority group and I do use the term “Muslim” as I fervently believe that Allah (swt) Alone decides on that matter, who were slaughtered because of their beliefs.
Before I get into specifics I have to state that it makes me sick to my stomach the hypocrisy spewed from the lips of many of our so-called leaders and the institutions we have set up and often support that supposedly represent us! Many of our “Sunni” institutions not leaving out the Shia’s or any other groups in substantial number, often refrain that “Islam is Peace”. While they are right in that assertion, I wonder if we realize how foolish we sound to the non-Muslim. The non-Muslim amongst us says “If Islam is in fact Peace, show us Peace!” or in other words “faith without works is dead!” as my Christian brothers and sisters would quote. Peace, true Peace, must be in universal realization that God is The Almighty! That means in it’s purest definition of the term that God does not need us, but we need Him!
How dare we think for one minute that it is our solemn duty to defend God! This is the root of many of the problems in the “Muslim world!” we claim to be faithful, but in fact we are guilty of one of the worst crime in Islam which is Shirk (setting up partners with God). When we claim to carry out God’s will through violence, oppression, or persecution we have proclaimed to ourselves and the world that we truly don’t believe in God and in fact, we are in fact god! We proclaim this through our actions as they testify that we do not truly believe God is capable of defending Himself! We proclaim through these actions that God’s communications, revelations, etc. need our confirmation! If this blasphemy were not so, why do we spend so much time in almost every Muslim locale East or West, wondering, deciding, etc. who is Muslim and who is not? Why do we spend so much time crying and protesting for the oppressed yet are oppressors ourselves? Why do we threaten with violence any and all who in our so-called ideas “insult” or “mock” God? Where is our faith? Where is our trust in our Lord God? For if we truly believed in The God who created all things yet is not created, if we truly believed in The God who neither sleeps, nor slumbers, if we truly believed in that very same God who through His will can create and destroy whom He will, then when any of these “issues” arrive, we would turn the matter over to God. We would pray, fast, and work toward creating communities and societies that truly reflect that which we claim Islam to truly be! Yet, what do we see around the “Muslim” world? If God called us all to Him today and asked us to discern whether or not we truly upheld the command in the Qur’an that Muslims are to be the best of mankind, what would we have to say? In our countries plagued with violence, illiteracy, poverty, ignorance, and the worst of what the modern world has to offer, what could we say? Yet, while you have countries like Pakistan who by no measure I’m aware of is the example of what the world should be, instead of focusing on it’s poor, it’s government, it’s society, and general well being, innocent doctors who serve the people as part of their religious duty and service to Allah (swt) were slaughtered because they were members of the Ahmaddiyah movement! This is by no means the first time this has happened, I ask all my non-Muslim and some Muslim readers to research the oppression and persecution of this group by Muslims who have no faith in God anymore and are barbaric monsters only fit for the hellfire and not so-called representatives of what Islam is!
These two dutiful doctors like hundreds of fellow Ahmadi’s before them were slaughtered because other self-righteous, blasphemous, “Muslims” felt that they were not really Muslim and as such should die. What nerve! As impoverished as Pakistan is, this shows you the level of sickness that plagues the minds of those in the “Muslim world” which touches every continent by the way, as evidenced by the slaughter at Bridges TV recently here in America. This sickness is nothing short of evil. We are taught in Islam in the Qur’an that the mind of the one who believes that they are better than another human being is the mind of the Shaitan!
There are no excuses Muslims! I already see the comments coming as I have faced them before when I have spoken against the atrocities committed against this group! Even if you claim they are “non-Muslim” so what? What does your opinion matter anyway? What paradise or hellfire do you have to grant a mortal to either? If their so bad, then pray for them! Why must destruction and slaughter be the answer against those you don’t agree with or don’t like? If that is your example, than keep it and hasten your journey to the hellfire! Here we have a country as well as many others who actually had the time to pass legislation banning this group as non-Muslims! If you only know how ridiculous that sounds! This is why non-Muslims laugh at us! They don’t respect us! How can you respect a person who claims to have knowledge yet doesn’t have anything to show for that knowledge! How can you respect a people who destroy even their own. Rep. Keith Ellison stated at the Muslim Inaugural Ball this past January that we have to judge these nations and people not by how much they can destroy but how much they can build! I wholeheartedly agree. We are 1 billion weak and misguided so-called servants of God! We claim spiritual and religious superiority over the rest of the world yet our lands reflect the complete opposite. You can judge a whole society by how they treat the least among them and especially their women! What would be our judgment were that standard held today by God! Look at what’s happened to a 75 year old woman in Saudi Arabia! What Muslim in their right mind would dare blaspheme and suggest that the Prophet (saw) would agree to any such actions? We are sick if we agree with this madness and deserve the swift judgment of God if we uphold these ideals. We will only truly exemplify that which we claim to be once we act in accordance with our declaration on TV that “Islam is Peace”.
What does Peace look like?
I encourage every individual Muslim, Imam, Institution, MSA, Group, etc. to join with me in a declaration and active enacting of our truth that Islam is in fact Peace. To this effect I am currently drafting an online petition for all to view and sign that will include these central themes. More on that to follow in the upcoming days. In the interim here is an article about the incident in Multan that I was referring to and a great article by a dear beloved friend of mine who wrote an op-ed in the NY Daily News condemning the outrage that is the sentence against a 75 yr old woman in Saudi Arabia!
WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — It is with great pain that theconfirms that two of its members were brutally murdered in Multan yesterday. The deceased, Dr Shiraz Ahmad Bajwa and Dr Noreen Bajwa were husband and wife and were both trained as doctors. Both martyrs were under the age of forty. Yesterday at around 2.30pm local time, unknown assailants attacked Dr Shiraz and Dr Noreen at their home in Wapda Colony, Multan Road. The assailants first taped together the hands, feet and mouths of both victims. They then tied rope around their necks and strangled them to death. Following death Dr Shiraz was hung from a nearby fan.
The brutality of these murders was further exacerbated by the fact that Dr Shiraz and Dr Noreen were.
Dr Shiraz was an eye-specialist who had served at various hospitals including the Fazl-e-Umer Hospital in Rabwah. At the time of his death he was working at a hospital in Wapda. Similarly Dr Noreen was working at a local childrens hospital.
What occurred inyesterday was an act of such cruelty that it can never be comprehended by decent and peace loving people. Dr Shiraz and Dr Noreen had been married for just three years and were expecting their first child together. They had both chosen career paths which allowed them to serve their fellow men, women and children.
Pakistan is a country that is currently facing absolute ruin. Amongst this chaos the hateful acts of religious extremists are ever increasing, to the extent that loving, caring and innocent people are being murdered because they belong to a community whose motto is “Love for All, Hatred for None.” The International Community, Media and Human Rights organizations are all urged to take action to protect the lives and rights of Ahmadi Muslims both in Pakistan and in other countries where they face discrimination. In an era where freedom of religion and belief is accepted as a basic human right throughout the world it is of disbelief that Ahmadi Muslims are being murdered for no other reason than their choice of religion.
Saturday, March 21st 2009, 4:00 AM
Attention all Saudi women: If you need assistance of any kind, you are on your own. The government of Saudi Arabia made this clear to all women residing in their country when, late last month, it chose to arrest a 75-year-old widowed woman for being in the company of unrelated males who were simply helping her.
In an embarrassing display of law enforcement, the Saudi government convicted and sentenced the widow to 40 lashes and four months imprisonment for mingling with her late husband’s 24-year-old nephew and his friend, after she had asked them to deliver some bread to her house. (Since her husband’s death, she often asks others for help. The Saudi government claims that she has sinned.)
As a Muslim who studies, understands and follows true Islamic tenets, such incidents sadden and infuriate me. There is nothing in classical Islamic jurisprudence, nor in the Holy Quran, that would condone this punishment. It simply is not an Islamic injunction.
Saudi Arabia has become infamous for its religious police (known by the Arabic word “mutaween”), who have the power to arrest unrelated men and women caught socializing, seize products regarded as “un-Islamic” and enforce Islamic dress codes and dietary laws. In March 2002, they forcibly barred schoolgirls from escaping a burning school in Mecca because the girls were not wearing head scarves and black coats. Consequently, 15 girls died and 50 were injured.
How sad it is that the country where Islam found its roots now has a justice system that contradicts the very message of Islam. Islam does not give anyone the power to decide who is a sinner. Islam does not give anyone the right to enforce religious practices on others. The Holy Quran openly declares in Chapter 2 verse 257: “There shall be no compulsion in religion.”
Under Saudi Arabia’s strict (and incorrect) interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, women face severe discrimination, particularly in matters like education, employment and the justice system. Although they make up 70% of university enrollment, women comprise only 5% of the Saudi workforce. They cannot travel abroad, be admitted into a hospital, be examined by a doctor or leave the house without permission or in the company of an immediate male relative. There is no basis for such restrictions in Islam.
Although King Abdullah recently has tried to put a more moderate face on his nation – he fired the chief of the religious police and a cleric who called for the killing of television network owners that broadcast “immoral content” – Saudi Arabia still has a long way to go. All judgments in Saudi courts are based on the judge’s personal interpretation of Sharia.
Women particularly face discrimination in the Saudi legal system. In 2007, seven men abducted a teenage woman and an unrelated man from a mall in Saudi Arabia and raped her. The seven men were sentenced to two to nine years in prison, but the woman was also convicted of breaking the law by not having a male guardian with her and for being alone with an unrelated male. She was the victim but was still sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes. Where is the justice in that?