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Breaking point?

Guest Post by Faisal Kapadia from DeadpanThoughts

As Muslims, we are often informed by the local and international media of our innate ability to react emotionally to anything concerning religion. They say we react too aggressively to any remarks on our faith or system of values and have knee-jerk reactions to issues that can be solved through dialog.

Yet, we have been openly harassed since 9/11 world over, for having a beard that is too long or for wearing a veil. 9/11 was a tragedy which should never have happened, thousands of lives were lost. It is also the tragedy that led to religious and cultural intolerance. Muslims living in the US, Canada and even Europe live in perpetual paranoia, with some resorting to non-disclosure of their culture and religion in the desperate attempts to blend in, to find refuge from the scrutiny in their adopted countries.

These societies which are supposed to be paragons of democracy and tolerance, still view all Muslims as “potential if not immediate threats,” often equating Islam with terrorism. Mosques in these societies are still regarded with suspicion by the general public and the immediate reaction is to stay away rather than interact. This would be acceptable if one could simply shrug and say “this is the world we live in these days, this is the norm.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Islamophobia has taken deep root in these societies and is being used by nefarious elements to incite hatred for Muslims. Consider the latest example of such hatred: a nondenominational, conservative church in Gainesville, Florida, plans on hosting an “International Burn a Quran Day” on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. This will go over real well with the Muslims won’t it? This is all we need for international peace, the gathering space of one religion being used to desecrate the Holy book of another.

According to Pastor Terry Jones, who wrote a book titled “Islam is of the Devil” and is the leader of the Dove World Outreach Centre, “We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it’s causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times.”

Advocacy groups in the US and American Muslims have gotten together to fight this with “Share the Quran” dinners in the upcoming month of Ramadan with the local community. Even the National Association of Evangelists has called on the Dove Centre to cancel the event in question. But is all this enough?

I still remember the famous speech Obama made about a “new beginning” in Cairo, where he reached out to the Muslim world and assured them that “we would all work together to forge a better tomorrow, a more united tomorrow.” When Ms Farah Pandith (U.S special representative for Muslim communities) last visited Pakistan I was invited to a discussion with her, among other new media journalists, where she assured us that the US wanted further collaboration between Muslims around the world, and the US government and its people. On the front lawn of the Dove World Outreach Centre stand not one but three signs proclaiming “Islam is the devil.” Has Obama’s message failed in trickling down to its local populace? Aren’t acts like these which result in Islamic radicalization in the West? Why aren’t such institutions banned, with their licenses revoked? Why are they allowed to preach hate in the name of religion? How would they react to Muslims gathering at a mosque to burn the Bible? Would they still issue calls instead of taking action on ground?

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Oh by the way, two very esteemed news sources in the Pakistani blog sphere refused to publish this as not to draw focus to this issue. I wonder why, since blogging is all about freedom.


19 Comments

  • zetta |

    They are allowed to do it because we have freedom of speech and that means freedom to say anything, no matter how idiotic it might be. That doesn't mean the rest of Florida or the rest of the United States agrees with Terry Jones or his inbred followers.

    Actually, most of us think they're ignorant pathetic hatemongers, and they have no power whatsoever.

    But you wouldn't write about that would you, because it's not juicy, not anti-american, doesn't incite anger. You have no grasp of the facts, you're just as bad.

  • Mackers |

    I think that you have completely missed the boat. The first amendment in the American constitution guarantees freedom of speech. You can pretty much say anything whether it be speaking badly of other religions or of other races. For example there are many groups in the U.S that promote racist ideologies, against blacks and etc. The Ku Klux Klan still operates. It's not the job of the American president to ban any speech or groups. The U.S supreme court has interpreted the first amendment rights, to mean all speech, other than that which encourage obvious violence, e.g, asking people to kill someone else. You can pretty much burn bibles, the holy Quran, or anything you want, as long as you are not openly telling anyone to kill or harm anyone. So yes, if Muslims (and I am one myself) burn the bible in a mosque, the U.S authorities won't be able to do squat about it. And if you are suggesting otherwise, then you are dead wrong, and perhaps should do a little more research

    The U.S government is not in the business of closing mosques or churches. If a religious institution has a tax-free status, as a result of being an institution of that nature, their status, as such, can be removed, if they engage in political speech. And that is about it.

    Also, the pastor, Terry Jones, that you are talking about is a certified nutter who has a history of spouting intolerant nonsense, to help his church, and in turn him, make money. He even uses his parishioners as free workers, to run an online used furniture business which he makes money out of. You know how I know this? I did some research. Maybe, next time, you should do some too, before you make suggestions about what Obama and the American government should do, which are not even possible for them to do, and thus, somehow suggest that the American government is not doing enough to keep to the promises they made. Everybody has an opinion, but if you're going to write an article about it, do some research, so that you don't mislead the readers.

  • MB |

    @Faisal

    A good post but dude this is half story and like the fellows above said you have missed the REAL point.

    If one is to summarize the above post it is like "WE ARE NOT EVIL so WHY THEY CALLING US SO ". This is the typical sort of matam we see in muslim world. While the WEST has its share in failing to understand ISLAM, more important share is of ours in failing to see HOW THE WORLD works i.e the world works through love among faiths and not through dominating and declaring holy wars and forcing people to live in a particular way, which suits our faith.

    First, The Muslim world has failed to understand that THE WORLD ( or any world for that matter) will view us by the way we act.

    Second, If we are acting, citing our holy books (i.e. our preaching against infidels and all that in our gatherings and mosques etc.) and ahadith , the there is a logical argument the WEST has that , the root of the problem lies in not the MUSLIMs but their books, so consequently lets destroy (Nauzubillah) their books. Keep in mind, i am not justifying their reaction, i am giving you their LOGICAL-REASONING of hating us.

    Third, to add fuel to the fire the Muslim Ummah seems to have become a hostage to the CONSERVATIVE minds within the Muslims world. Lets take a very daily example of this :

    You and others in PAK might be frequently getting these anti-WEST SMS's ( i hate them so much ) ranging from Afia Siddiqui to FACE BOOK and anti-Infidel rhetoric to this and that. Only yesterday i received an SMS on how the USA RAW MOSAAD etc. want to destroy PAK. etc. I have received these in billions (sarcasm) over a decade now.

    BUT BUT BUT . . .

    I have yet to receive a single SMS saying the TALIBANs are evil, that LeT,JM,TTP and all those terrorists who are killing (and have killed 3.5k innocent ) kalima-go Muslims are OUT of ISLAM or any single bit of condemnation or something like that.

    What this shows dear?

    This shows a NATION (or a faith if you talk in terms of UMMAH-theory) is hostage (by will/brainwashing/force) to a group of mindset and is not willing to come out and say , YOU ARE NOT our REPRESENTATIVEs, so stop your crap, our ISLAM is not what you are portraying, its PEACE for everyone no matter what he/she believe in.

    This failure on part of the MODERATE (and majority) PAK (and Ummah) has what made the minority speak for ISLAM and when they speak , obviously the WEST is quite logical in concluding that , ahan so ISLAM is all about killing infidels, burqa and holy wars and jihad etc.

    And some of the black sheep in WEST then try to jump in joy in their anti-ISLAM rhetoric and tell their own MODERATE voices that, hey didnt we warn you that ISLAM is all about killing and jihad and conservativeness etc. So let’s kill the root which is spreading all of this i.e their holy text.

    This whole issue is about clash of IGNORANTs and not CIVILISATIONS. Civilize people live and let live. The WEST and more than that the MUSLIM Ummah has allowed itself to be hostage in the hands of a minority mind-set and so the WORLD is playing a price for it.

    I think MACKER has also tried well to explain you the missing point in your argument.

  • MB |

    I rather recommend the post title should have been "Hijacking Point".

    Kidding

  • Jazzi |

    Faisal Kapadia, we just burnt alive six Christians, bibles and churches. We just killed a couple of Christians, one of them a pastor, who were in police custody over false charges. Do you think others will love the ideology in whose name these atrocities occurred? Why do you complain when people respond in crude fashion as well? Even if they burn Muslims alive in US it will only bring US and Pakistan on par, nothing to complain about. If it's your breaking point than what about others? They too are fast reaching their breaking point.

  • readinglord |

    A good shot indeed!

    It appears the world have started reacting to the terrorism being carried out on in the name of Islam. So the apologists have also come out to declare that victory of the terrorists is the victory of the people of Pakistan and defeat of America. This is indeed a breaking point.

  • Hina Safdar |

    Oh by the way, two very esteemed news sources in the Pakistani blog sphere refused to publish this as not to draw focus to this issue. I wonder why, since blogging is all about freedom.

    I had written a post about it and Chowrangi published it.

  • anil |

    I have some question to muslims.

    What have they done to integrate with the world?

    What we saw happy fun making rallies in muslim countries after 9/11. What is the responsibilty of an average muslim in the world community?

    Highly educated muslims make so much fuss about slight inconveniences made to them in non muslm countries. Why dont they raise thier voice against muslim countries which are non democratic and non secular?

    • MB |

      @Anil

      Very very true and some serious pondering is required in the Muslim world on the above questions.

  • F.K |

    @ anil The fact of the matter is, that this is not a slight inconvenience…if this is allowed to happen the reaction will be extremely severe.

    @ Hina yes i read that post, i did not mean chowrangi.

    @ MB Our failure lies in the fact that we do not protest injustices against us. Who told you that moderates are not speaking out? What do you think we were doing when gojra happened? Did we not speak out against it? What about the attack on Ahmedis? Did we not stand with them? Similarly i am not going to take the plan to burn my holy book lightly, this is my protest let me see yours.

    @Mackers i think i have replied to you enough on my blog, if i must repeat myself for the benefit of the readers here, my argument is that the us government indulges in several shady methods to deal with irritants, either taliban sympathizers or would be threats. However those are against citizens of other countries, they do have the ability to bypass their constitution when they want to but they will not do it for Islam, now obviously you would say this is conjecture and so on and so forth but then you are sitting there in the west behind a computer screen while we here suffer the results of your countries "policing the world"

    If anyone has any doubts as to the power of the u.s or how they can use it to silence people go speak to the 600 people who are still missing from Pakistan.

  • Jazzi |

    @Faisal:

    How would they react to Muslims gathering at a mosque to burn the Bible?

    In case I was not clear you already burn bibles, churches and live Christians. What are you complaining about?

    Would they still issue calls instead of taking action on ground?

    There hasn't been any ground action that I know of despite many Christians been murdered in Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt etc. Even in 'moderate' Malaysia ten churches were recently burnt over no fault of Christians,.

    You really must come out of your islamist cave and read up on some facts before even thinking of wasting everyone's time with post like this.

  • Jazzi |

    this is my protest let me see yours.

    Faisal, go to hell. As long as you are persecuting everyone in Pakistan no one gives a toss what you say…and they will continue to spit on your religion; like it or not. Your only chance is to get the Islamists like yourself to put and end to all sorts of persecution, then start working on good relationships with others. Only then can you expect some understanding from other side. In the meanwhile your threats and blackmail won't work. You can take whatever ground action you want; it will only declare you even more of a terrorist.

  • Jazzi |

    Oh by the way, two very esteemed news sources in the Pakistani blog sphere refused to publish this as not to draw focus to this issue"

    That it is published here is shocking enough. Obviously those two blog owners have better things to do then publish this one sided perpetrators-acting-victim rubbish.

    • F.K |

      @ Jazzi so Im a fundo living in an Islamist cave now? I think you are way off the charts. What i meant was that this event will only serve as propaganda fodder for recruiting more suicide bombers, who by the way have made Pakistan into a living hell.

      What is the point of burning the holy book of Muslims anyways? What will that achieve? I do not support the killing of anyone least of all god fearing priests or members of the christian community here in Pakistan, we need to stop the hate..not intensify it.

  • MB |

    @Faisal

    You have used "we" so many times, ignoring the fact that i am talking about the NATION not some internet bloggers or few journalists who are doing a good job in condemning injustice to minorities in same way it should be done.

    See the big picture fellow

  • MB |

    @Jazzi

    FK , a fundo? no no dear, FK isnt one but yes i agree he has painted half the picture here. Like i said his emphasis is on THE WRONG DONE BY THE WEST instead of "THE REASON" for the WRONG (supposing its wrong) being done by the WEST. Unfortunately PAK NATION and more importantly the media (and F.K here) come up with these IF/BUT (agar magar) when condemning terrorists (explained well by quite often by Pervez Hoodbhoy, NFP and Kamran Shafi). And this IF/BUT puts a big question mark in our ability to see things JUSTLY. We are not doing justice when seeing the whole picture and this injustice is what making us think WEST is wrong and so this whole behavior of ours. Yes the WEST isnt an angel's world but the problem lies with us. Since the WEST is powerful it is at times crossing over the limit in handling the affair but please before you condemn their over-crossing, we need to look into our (PAK/Ummah) collar first.

    My SMS point is the best example in this regard.

  • MB |

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-

    Ver well said:

    "

    Pakistani society is going through a gradual breakdown. A number of us are lashing out, hoping to find all kinds of enemies to attack for our misfortunes. India, Israel, the US, the UK, Ahamdis, Hindus, Christians, Barelvi, Shias… President Zardari, anyone or everyone but our own individual acts and morals.

    It is an act of selective nihilism in which most Pakistanis refuse to trust or listen to state institutions and the government; but then let this hard mixture of cynicism and defiance melt away when engaged by clever, media-savvy chameleons."

    Excellent . .

    "A country ravaged by economic downturns, violence and low self-esteem, and looking for ‘enemies’ (Jews, communists, gypsies, blacks) to pin the blame on. This attitude became fascist Germany’s rallying cry for regeneration, but ended up in its own destruction.

    We already have the army fighting a battle with armed fanatics. But what about a lot of those working in offices and studying in schools and colleges? These are ‘educated’ folks who may not be armed or look like the Taliban, but many have views close to what the fanatics advocate. "