Tuesday, December 16, 2008

They Won't Let You Speak!

Being Muslim and diverging from the point of view held by majority of ‘Ummah’(Muslim community),means you are an apostate,atheist,infidel,detestable etc.If you are a Muslim you have to do what other Muslims tell you and don’t question their authority and their stance towards their religion and the mundane world.
Do I sound crazy?Well not till you live in a Muslim utopia and see it for your ownself.
I am a secular humanist and an Ex-Muslim.But even when I was A Muslim, I was a real secular Muslims’ voice.
I was a person who spoke against religious extremism,Ulema,those Muslims who called themselves ‘moderate’ but were still extremist,and probably even the literal reading of Quran.
I was the one who spoke in favour of secularizing Pakistan,of Secular Laws,reconciliation of Islam with modernity,of reading Quran in a symbolic manner,of gay rights,of Muslim women’s problems and what not.I even had the audacity to write an article in which I wrote as to where I think Pakistan would be in ten years.And guess what I wrote about?Legalization of Gay rights and secularization of Pakistan.Obviously I had to leave the school. Basically I was not expelled but you can say kicked out of the school.
The point here is not to narrate my story and present myself as the next Guru, but to show the real face of Islamic socities.I am not writing against Islam,but Islamic communities, who fail to recognize that if the Christian and Jewish world can reconcile modernity and their relgion,so can Islam, especially when Islam provides tools such as Ijtihad and maslaha.
When I left Islam and a few people came to know about it,one of them was my former teacher.What I remember most about her was that she had this urge,or so I felt, to turn this world Muslim and us into ‘Jihadis’.
You know what she said? She told my former classmate to let me know that I should contact her and she would turn be back to Islam by beating me on my nude body.
Of course the poor teacher knew she couldn’t do anything,so the only thing she thought was to make fun of me.
What did some of my former Classmates say?
That I wasn’t a Muslim anyway(who is to to judge that?),that I was an Atheist even when I was acting a Muslim, changing your religion isn’t fun…what the hell does he think he is, to the remarks that I was doing this to get attention from the people,trying to be different and stylish.
This is the usual response I get from the Muslim community and I am sure I would get it from any religious one.
But the problem here is a little more than in West.Here you can’t speak your mind.That wouldn’t be less than issuing a fatwa against yourself.
Pakistanis are liberal,but only in major cities such as Karachi,Lahore and Islamabad.
When you go to the smaller towns and cities and proclaim yourself non-religious or apostate of Islam there can be either a fatwa against you or a common disgust by the community.
The problem doesn’t end here.Even if you are a Muslim and hold Secular and modern views, you can be discriminated on the grounds of being ‘Baghairat’ (shamless) or an apostate altogether.
Irshad Manji and Nasr Abu Zaid are the two of the many names that come into my mind when I speak about such a Muslim stance towards the Islamic reformation.Irshad has been called an apostate in the mask of a believer,a MOSSAD agent,atheist and what not by the Muslims who have never read the Quran with translation themselves,and Nasr Abu Zaid has been be proclaimed apostate first by his colleague and then by the Egyptian legal system.Their only problem is that they had the courage to stand up against the religious establishment in the Muslim world and demand a reformation of Islamic thinking and societies if they are to survive in the modern world.
It’s not the case with modern and Secular Muslims only.The cursory reading of Sufic history shows that Ulema and the Sufis had almost always been head to head against eachother.
Muslim intellectuals such as Abu Ali Sina,about whom many Muslims may boast about, were persecuted or shunned by not only the Muslim clerics and Ulema but also the Muslim ‘ummah’.
Muslims often quote the saying of Muhammad when referring to the education,regarless of sexes,as a duty.
The saying goes like ‘ Travel even to China,to gain knowledge’.
This hadith is quite popular amongst the Muslims.
But what the Muslims have failed to understand is that knowledge keeps on changing since it’s not divine.And it’s application is what is it’s life.
Your knowledge is futile ,if not put to use.
I have no right to declare that I have any useful knowledge until and unless I don’t apply it to the mundane or spiritual world and prove it to be one which aims at the ‘common good’ of the society.The Muslims have also failed to understand that in order to verify the validity of the knowledge that each of us have, we have to allow freedom of thought,belief, expression as well as the need for debates and protecting the intellectual minds(even Salman Rushdie).That is one of the reasons why Muslim world,not only intellectually but also in respect to conforming itself to the modern times,is lagging behind whereas the Christian, Jews and other infidels are taking over the ALLAH’S LAND.
The time is ‘now’! There is not doubt that Muslims are earning themselves hatred,digust,discrimination and glares just because they refuse to reconcile Islam and Human Rights,endorsed by the UDHR(Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
If they go on to show this kind of attitude towards the non-Muslims world, I can clearly see the humiliation they will go through.
Muslim world has to let others speak up and even let them critique Islam,for if it is divine why fear it being scrutinized by non-Muslims, and apostates?
They(the Muslim fundamentalists and extremists) won’t let you speak.But you have to, and we all know that.They will give you the hardest time possible.
I know that if these extremists ever come to know my real name,they would lose no time in murdering me.
One day will come when I will comeout to the world as I am and speak for what I write in this blog,and these Mullahs and so called Muslims,but nevertheless the fundamentalists at heart, will try every then and now to make my liing life a hell and possibly even persecute me.
But I guess, if one death (that of mine) liberates the souls of even two people, and give them inspiration, it’s worth dying.Or as someone said:
‘It’s better to be killed than frightened to death’.

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