Monday, February 13, 2017

Ambassadors of Islam

I have been watching the new season of “Homeland” and “Sleeper Cell”.

I figured out why there is such terror as soon as people hear “Muslim”.

It’s the music in the background and the use of “Allah Hu Akbar”.  As soon as Muslims’ are in the picture the music changes to middle eastern. The words “Allah Hu Akbar” are reverberated ….. and then a terrorist attack.

So even if the character is portraying a law abiding citizen, by saying “God is Great”, the perception in peoples’ minds  “he is a bad guy about to blow something up”. People have been brainwashed to expect the worst from a muslim, we are only capable of terrorist attacks. 

I also noticed that every time there’s a bad guy; he is either of Middle Eastern and North African descent.  The Arabic language has become a secret code for terrorism. Another bad portrayal of Islam is the Adhaan (call to prayer).

Let me educate you.

The call to prayer, is not a signal for Muslims to strap on vests. It is a beautiful sound; it’s a call to remember the one who created you, to stop what you are doing and worship the Almighty. Unfortunately,  that which identifies Muslims, that which we see as beautiful has been looked upon in  such a bad way. Sights & Sounds have been used to create a climate of fear and to signify violence.

Every religion has a sound which is a reminder of  God’s majesty. Our beloved Nabi (Prophet) SAW revealed, that this is a moment of humility, a reminder of the one who created you and for you to be in awe that you exist by God’s decree.

Islam my religion is abhorred by others because of the constant fear instilled by these platforms.

What happened to religious tolerance?

When I was growing up in Pietermaritzburg, we lived near a temple, a church and a mosque. We heard the different sounds emitting from these places of worship, especially on “Good Friday”, “Easter Monday”, “Diwali” and Christmas”. In fact my mother raised us to respect all religions. Even though different from our calls to prayer, we were not allowed to criticise or poke fun at sounds emitting from the temple or the church. Religious tolerance back then in my opinion was much greater than today even though apartheid was a law. We were able to practice our faith without a magnifying glass. Now we are sorely lacking even respect amongst each other.

Islam IS a religion of peace, We recite the Quran in Arabic, When we pray 5 times a day, we begin our prayer with “Allah Hu Akbar”. Our battle is not with anyone, it’s controlling our inner self and becoming better humans; this is JIHAD.  So when I hear terms being used to describe us, and in the wrong context; I get annoyed and irritated.
Radical Islamist, Muslim fundamentalist. Islam and every Muslim has become the boogeyman.

Do you know they are even considering changing fairytales and kiddies books. Instead of big bad wolf, or wicked witch – they just going to say – “Muslim”? kids will be petrified. (Just joking!)

We are the new “bad guys” – in our case not just the ones that carry out these crimes, but even I am painted with the same brush, just because I am Muslim.

I am not going to write another article about terrorists. I think I speak for every peaceful Muslim, anyone who kills and tortures innocent people in the name of any religion or cause are cowards; and should be dealt with in the harshest manner.

That broad brush of bigotry used against the remaining peaceful Muslims needs to be thrown out the window. Media and Entertainment are not hurting the radicals, they are hurting us the ones are make a living, educating our children, contributing positively in different ways to countries. They are giving victory to the radicals; the very same people who hate what the other Muslims stand for.

This anti-Muslim rhetoric that we constantly hear is becoming painful, we are labelled as a backward religion  or savages, because we live our lives different. I know I keep poking fun at Donald Trump, but quite honestly, yes he is a problem in my opinion. The bigger problem is the people who on a daily basis live, breathe and project hatred towards anyone who is not of “pure blood”. The people who actually put him into power. They didn’t just spring up with an election campaign, they have been reared to hate people of colour, people of diverse backgrounds. 

This is the indictment and problem, not just the USA but globally. Something has gone wrong with humanity, we see humans but no humanity. Right now, its Islam vs White Supremacy vs Brainwashed People. 

They are feeding this huge monster – Islamophobia.

What happened to portraying bad guys for what they are, BAD GUYS!!!

There are bad people in every religion, you don’t see any religious symbols next to their names when they commit a crime. Nor do we call out phrases or scriptures from any other religious book which we think incited their actions. So why do it with Muslims & Islam?

So before we remove people off planes, for mumbling a silent pray. Seek first to understand, maybe he has a fear of flying. I personally feel that entertainment platforms have the power to change this view. If one takes the microscope off that which is deemed “Muslim or from Islam”, we will be able to change perception.  

Islamophobia is never going to change until the way in which we are portrayed; changes. So we need to use whatever medium, to show the true meaning of Islam, it’s now time to be the Ambassador for our Religion. We need to create a better understanding of who we are and what we stand for; we need to unite to stand up against Islamophobia; different from what the TV, Movies and the Media portray.

How are you going to combat Islamophobia?

p.s : I watched a video clip of Hasan Minhaj on the Daily Show. If you haven’t, and if you follow me on Facebook, his video is on my page. He sums up fears so well.