Wednesday, October 13, 2010
By Emaan at 9:43 AM
While browsing through a list of shows, I happened to watch an interview of Pervaiz Musharraf. When talking about terrorism, the discussion went for a moment to the 7/7 London attacks. The host pointed out that a Pakistani man was also part of that attack and Musharraf went on to declare how that person was a second or third generation, born to Pakistani immigrants, Britisher. He himself and Pakistan has nothing to do with the acts of a national of another country, and the UK needs to take care of it itself. This led me to question, yet again, who am I and what is my identity?
Technically and legally that may be true. But how true is it really? Born-Abroad people I guess will always at some point (or all of their life) be caught up in this question of who exactly are they? I know I've been in a tug of war with it since forever. It feels like being in a magnetic field where there is constant pull and push.
Immigrant communities are nothing short of being as dirty as radical groups. Their radicalism doesn't necessarily lie in the day to day pulling out a of gun and shooting a flock of white birds, but more so like the politics of a jungle. The stronger members are fierce with keeping the group together. They do not let the youngsters get separated (willingly or unwillingly), and in the event of such an occurrence - has any one seen the Battle at kruger? Undoubtedly in the case of those buffaloes, everyone would applaud their courage and strength, but we are after all humans, and certainly different than animals. The game of will works differently with us. But coming back to the point of identifying oneself. Legally, yes that Pakistani involved in 7/7 is a Britisher and he is Britain's problem, not Pakistan's. But even so, culturally and emotionally, his association with Pakistan cannot be dismissed, even if he was a tenth generation immigrant. What is the reason for that? The activity and position of immigrants in a host country.
Immigrants are unique people with individual behavior that speaks volumes of their distinction from the natural citizens. Now this man may have never been to Pakistan, but because of his associations, he will never be purely British. But because of his British exposure, he will not be completely known or understood in Pakistan either. Considering the burden of his Pakistani immigrant community, he has more than not lived a very Pakistani upbringing. He may be walking around in England, but he comes home to a very Pakistani family and community. Depending on who he is walking with, he may have to be careful with restraining from areas where there are too many Pakistani restaurants. And after all this, if his personal tendency is more British than Pakistani, he is still unique and subject to racial stereotyping.
Migration is a very old human phenomenon, and inevitable. And as diverse and rich this planet is, it is aught to produce various kinds of people. God created one man and one woman only, the rest of us are a result of the processes and systems. This earth has a very deep impact on the human behaviorism. From people who build communities in the mountains to those in the flat-lands to those living close to water. Each element shapes us. We learn from, and find ourselves through the visual and non-visual metaphors of this earth.
"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." [Qur'an 49:13]
So why is it that migrants and immigration and integration and xenophobia are becoming such nuisance?
" To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed He would have made you a single people but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute." [Qur'an 5:48]
Because obviously with each passing time we are becoming more and more destructive, chaotic, selfish and corrupt.
I got a little side-tracked there. But it's still quite important. Because one, we are no longer interested in knowing one another. Two, we are way too interested in and arrogant about ourselves. Everything else is stupid, nonsensical, and less dignified. This creates tension within a born-abroad person. He has first hand knowledge of people who are not his "own", and secondhand information over those he must identify with. He may develop warmer feelings with his first hand associations or extreme love for his fantasy - a distant, exotic land where the genes of his ancestors have shaped. In either case, the opposition is unhappy.
Integration is a funny word. Your parents don't want it. And the natural residents don't seriously mean it. So what is the freakin' muggle to do? If I am born in England, why do I still call myself a born-abroad Pakistani? I have a Pakistani passport too, so what is my legal destiny if I kill someone? I've had a very Pakistani upbringing that I absolutely do not connect with, should I feel ashamed of that? The President has clearly cut me off as a Pakistani. Are these feelings and connections controllable? Must humans be predictable? As God himself says, if He wanted, everything would be exactly as what we would perceive as utopia. But it isn't, and that is the test. Being different isn't a crime, that is what's keeping the times rolling. Being constant would have killed us all a long time ago.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
By Emaan at 10:30 AM
This post is incredibly late, but as some of you might know of the poll I did a while back regarding Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men, the results left me quite amazed. So without further ado, here is the screen shot of the poll and it's results:
I had put two questions on my blog. One, should a Muslim woman be given the choice to marry a non-Muslim? Two, Should a Muslim woman annul a perfectly happy marriage with a non-Muslim man? In an glance you'll find a majority-vote against the conforming view, which is of course, excellent. But even more of a surprising result, at least for me, is the vote cast by men.
Initially when I started looking into this subject, and of course my first point of attack was Google-search, it looked pretty glum. Fatwas by the randoms, blogs, articles and forums, all against Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men. I read views by Muslim women being all arrogant and sarcastic. Men being pretty much barbaric and talking absolute insanity. But between all this strictness I found tiny voices questioning the what-ifs.
I have to admit, people are still not comfortable with being open about their stance on the subject. I wonder what the results would have been had I enforced an identity-reveal to be able to vote. Then again, this problem lies within the entire Islamosphere. If you're saying something that does not align with the prevalent viewpoint, you HAVE to be anonymous with it. Quite a negligible percentage of people actually do go all out with their scandalous opinions, and we all know what happens then. *cough*ontherun*cough*.
Coming back to the actual results. First of all, I knew there would be women voting against question number one. But it was amazing to see how little the number of such women was compared to those who were for it. I also knew that there would be a hell of a lot of men against this. But it put a nice smile on my face to see an equal number voting for it. What is very obvious from these results is the proportion of men to women that conform to the norm *i-wunderz-why*. As for question number two, again, the result is very anti-conforming.
I have a problem with these results though. Not that I wanted an opposing reaction. But rather why is this result so radically different than what real life has handed down to me? I am not going to question the need for anonymity, as that is pretty much understood, but rather how come it is so that a majority view is the silenced view? Some people are powerful because the rest give them power. And the more aggressive one group and ideology will be, the more will the rest seek refuge from it, or rather stay quiet and get on with their lives selfishly because no one wants unwanted and uninvited disruption. So is this the essence of modern day Islam? What Islam really is, is one thing. I've had enough people telling me to shut up and stop talking rubbish against Islam. Well honeys, who the hell is doing that? Let me correct those of you yet again, it is the culture and corrupt elite of Islam that I've honestly have had enough of.
Some of you may be wondering why I have lost my mind and taking the result of this insignificant poll to reflect the entire ummah of Islam? Sure I won't turn a blind eye to those having fun with the poll, but I can' turn a blind eye to reality either. In this journey of finding something fruitful, I've encountered quite a bit of insight into the working systems of our culture and society. And it's not pretty.
Why are we following something out of fear and not love? Why is this fear so strong that we are willing to live in inbreeding hatred and then take it to the grave? What has turned us into such cowards? Or is the sword of jihadis in our homes, mosques, neighborhoods, societies and this world so blunt that it is easier to kill ourselves with our own sharpened blades? Is Islam a system, or a way of life? Is hierarchy to be abused, or practiced to ensure everyone's protection? When they read there is no compulsion in religion, are they dyslexic and seeing something totally different? Or is it selective-dyslexia that is turned on each time a peaceful, inclusive and loving statement is encountered? What kind of insecurity is this that forces some to be permanently armed against those who just want peace? There is a heaven and hell ultimately, and a God for sure who will be making some final decisions. Then why are we already creating a hell on earth and making decisions that don't fall under our jurisdiction? Men and women who do good on earth to get their 72 virgins ... what kind of perverts are you?
Marriage is a union of two people where they come together to become each other's support through the thick and thin of life. I am not going to judge those who stay single since marriage is not a mandatory act, but having a sincere partner does give one a peace of mind. Everything on this earth comes in pairs, and so do we. So it is only natural to have these instinct of wanting a partner. What I am most certain of is that marriage was definitely not God's idea of making our lives a living horror. Unfortunately, today it is noting short of exactly that. There are lots of reasons for why that it so, but one of them certainly is the lack of understanding of the essence of marriage. It is not a business deal, not a way to pay for the harm you might have caused someone, not a way to gain power over someone, not to harass anyone, not to get rid of our daughterly burdens, not to conform to a society and neither to boost one's ego through getting the perfect catch. A marriage is to nurture healthy societies, bring a concept of respect, do away with a destructive and lust-oriented lifestyle and most importantly, make two people happy.
There definitely are lots of women who would not even think of marrying outside their religion. More often because they don't want to bring shame to their family than because that is what their heart truly desires. In comparison there are not many of those who choose to, or randomly end up with a non-Muslim. But the choice should be an honest, unadulterated and unforced one. Choices make up the very center of human character, and if these choices are heavily influenced, it is not resulting in strong people. And with the excessive freedom of choice, if we tomorrow find that a majority of women are choosing non-Muslim partners, then the Muslim men need to look into the situation and figure out why they are the lesser choice!
Muslim women in the West are growing up in and facing different situations today than their counterparts in the East. Different. Not better or worse. Their circumstances, their rights, and their legal strength allows them to make choices without falling into the trap of reasons that the Ulema give for them to stay away from non-Muslims. And all reasons aside, if this choice ultimately boils down to making God angry, then let Him talk to this flouting lot, and let Him punish them. Everybody else, please put your weapons away.
Those who oppress and those who succumb to oppression are both hell-bound.