Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Response to Anonymous et al.

When I decided to start blogging, I swore to myself that while I would always espouse my views and post articles rooted in reality, I would never make this a personal blog. However, I received a comment on my last post called "Enough" that I feel I must reply too. The person who posted this comment, posted anonymously so I have no way of contacting them. This person obviously disagreed with my stand that all Muslims have a duty to report any extremists in their midst. What Anonymous may not have realised until I posted a response to the comment is that I am in fact a Lebanese Canadian Muslim female.

My response to Anonymous basically said that we as Muslims are suffering from the extremism pervading our religion. I stand by that.

We of the moderates have watched our religion systematically torn apart by extremism. We have watched our religion be picked apart, misconstrued, spit upon, reviled and in some cases, watched as other Muslims in far away lands are blown apart right along with the "infidels" that are supposedly the real targets. The reality of it is that we are all targets and we are all victims. Whenever there is a new attack, the fear of retaliation builds. I automatically phone home to tell my mother not to leave the house alone for a few days. My mother is a small woman and can be easily hurt. Thankfully, we live in Canada which truly is the best country in the world with extremely good people but no matter how good the country is, living in a climate of fear is not a good way to live your life.

Being a Muslim since 2001 has become synonymous in the minds of some with being a Nazi. No longer is our religion identified by the charity work that many many Muslims do. No longer is it identified with our beautiful call to prayer that starts with the words "God is Great". The terrorists have even taken that beautiful line and perverted it by uttering it with each new atrocity they commit. It does not help that we seem to have a string of supposedly educated Imams who do not speak out loudly enough nor does it ever make it to the media when we do speak out. I have written countless Op-Ed pieces that have not made it to print denouncing terrorism and extremism in all forms. The reality of it is, moderate Muslims do not sell papers, hate-mongering and extremism do.

In closing, I would say to all of you out there who are judging me by a post, walk a mile in our shoes and then tell me what you would do.

6 Comments:

Blogger Andy Dabydeen said...

There is no one more qualified to speak on the topic than Muslims themselves. I have Muslim friends. They are hardly extremists. I myself could be mistaken for a Muslim -- I have the right skin colour, and for most folks, that's all they need. While I've lived alongside Muslims most of my life, and have friends in the camp -- for me, it will take years before Muslims gain credibility and general acceptance again. The few have marred an entire culture, religion and people -- and it will take a long time before I look upon a Muslim stranger without prejudices. The few have done this. And if the general Muslim population prefers to sit on their laurels and watch themselves be destroyed, that's exactly what's going to happen. The rest of the world can shoot and kill, and invade and kill, or simply try to ignore -- but this isn't about a few extremists anymore. It's about ideas that appeal to a few, especially the young, and the ignorant. If Muslims don't start taking back the ideas that are being used to kill, they will continue to be marginalized and the extremist world view will continue to speak on their behalf. The hole just gets deeper the longer the inaction lasts.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous J. Fielder said...

Although a Christian, I've been studying Islam professionally for 11 years. Indeed, one of my prized possessions is a leather-bound Koran I received as a gift, which I treat with probably more dignity and respect than my beat up copy of the new testament. Thus, I hate to see what I call the 10-percenters ruining the image of the other 90% of Muslims.

Hoda Hafez, Hanum.

(Persian for, "God/Allah be with you, ma'am.")

8:09 PM  
Blogger The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

I fear that Christianity is also going the same way you have had to watch happen to Islam. Once, the Muslim world was ahead of everyone in math, science, poetry, literature, etc... and fundamentalism ate it from the inside until we have what is happening today. Today, the United States is the nation that has led the world in technology and development since the 1940s, and we are undergoing a similar fundamentalist (fundy) transition.

It frightens me-- this is why I have called for the secularists, the moderates, and the other rational types among each religion to loudly call out the bigots within their ranks; to call a spade a spade with respect to the differences between tribal shepherder society and modern society thinking with respect to human rights (gays, women, etc).

Until that starts to happen, I'm afraid I think that these religions remain and evil thing in and of themselves.

9:05 AM  
Blogger eeore said...

I've never found anonymous to make a sensible comment...

2:17 PM  
Blogger aka.alias said...

You have made your point well. The peace-loving majority within your ranks need to speak out loudly against the radical rot that threatens your religion. If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.

Oh, and ignore "anonymous". S/He is a cowardly idiot who spouts drivel.

9:26 PM  
Blogger profmarcus said...

you just keep right on saying what you know in your heart is right... love, peace, compassion, beauty, tolerance, faith - these are not qualities that are the private preserve of any one religion... they belong to all of us as human beings on this earth and should be valued highly by everyone...

1:56 PM  

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