Sunday, June 27, 2010
Islamophobia?Are We Playing In The Hands Of The Morons?
It seems like as rapidly as human beings are progressing upwards on the ladder of evolution,they also tend to more and more categorize things.It started with religion perhaps but then came at a point sexualities (if I am missing any intermediate stages,excuse me,but religion and sex are the two most important categories before me) and now the people who tend to be critical of religions and religious institutions.
This case seems to be especially true for Islam.To make it officially wrong to be critical of Islam a new term 'Islamophobia' has been introduced to the list of already overwhelming amount of labels.Wait!apart from the old term anti-semitic and the new one Islamphobe,a much wierder and newer one is also available.Christianophobe.I just happened to have come across it on wikipedia which reads:
'Christophobia or Christianophobia are also according to Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) names for "every form of discrimination and intolerance against Christians"'.
I simply donot understand and/or approve of the term Islamophobia.What does Islamophobia mean? Going by the term,does it mean being hateful/phobia of Islam? Or does it mean being hateful/phobia of Muslims?If it means the hatred/phobia of Muslims,then it makes sense and I support it since not supporting it would lead to discrimination of Muslim peoples at the hands of xenophobic idiots such Geert Wilders and the Right-Wing asses of the West.But then it should be termed Muslimophobia.Islamophobia sounds like the first definition I so approve of,simply because criticism of religion is necessary,in whatever form.
The ever incredulous,lousy and showmaker UN has given in to the demands of Islamists.Since 1999 Muslim nations and their allies have tried to get UN to adopt suppression of the 'defamation of religion'.Well,now the UN has given in.
But the concerns are that this suppression of defamation of religion,which makes it simply wrong for being critical of religion,would further stagnate the already lagging behind Muslim world as this could be used to curb free expression.I know this too well because in my country,Pakistan,we are constantly told that we are living in an Islamic Democracy(again! I refuse to believe it.The only true democracy is Secular Democracy as a genuine modern democracy paves the way for secularization of society by process.There is no Hindu democracy,no Christian democracy and even the Israel is Secular state!Therefore there just cannot be an 'Islamic Democracy').This Islamic democracy is in actuality a pseudo-democracy.A democracy based on Shari'ah as well as the old British laws we were left with during partition,with little amendments.This Islamic democracy has contsantly given in to the Ulema and the Conservatives.The Left Wing has been too weak.The results are for all to see.
This dear Islamic democracy of my country grants me the luxury of free expression and free speech.But to what extent? The same constitution also unclearly states that defaming the Prophet of Islam and Islam is an offence which can be punished by death.
'Pakistan's Penal Code allows for the death penalty for directly or indirectly defiling "the sacred name of the holy Prophet Mohammed." It also stipulates a 10-year sentence for insulting the religion of any class of citizens, and provides for a sentence of life imprisonment for "whoever willfully defiles, damages, or desecrates a copy of the holy Koran."'.
So my question is:What's the point of free speech then? Islam for Muslims is a complete code of life.But this code of life has to be criticized because the Shari'ah contains misogyny,homophobia,allowance of treating the non-Muslims as Dhimmis (second class citizens) along with other inhumanities.Thankfully,Pakistan is NOT Afghanistan.Sometimes Shari'ah has been criticized on air on television channels and Nadeem F. Paracha can still make jokes about being 'too' religious or fanatic.But that is that.You openly criticize Islam as a political ideology or state what Fauzia Wahab stated,then Mother Mary,you are deep deep trouble! In short you have the free expression.But its quite meaningless except for political criticism.Then what is the use of free speech and expression if you are going to talk the talk of the town?
The prestigious newpapers such as Dawn have still got some secularism alive because of their staunch leftist inclinations.The exact opposite is seen in the Urdu newpapers.But even in the 'Liberal Secular' press you have to submit the article and the editor must be cautious that you must not be too direct or offensive.
Critical analysis of Islam as a religion as well as political ideology is necessary.This does NOT mean ridiculing Islam,making jokes about it and thinking of Muslims as not being equal partners in discussion out of fear that the only way they know how to respond to criticism is through voilence.Somehow amazingly I have met a Muslim who believes that striking the terror in the heart of Non-Muslims is something to be proud of.Its guarantees that you are subjugating Non-Muslims evils and serving Islam.But for heaven's sake! It is only leading more and more hatred towards Muslims.They are seen as voilent people and the whole countiries' natioanlity is labelled terrorist in the eyes of common man.
Since Islam occupies each and every dimension of a common Muslim person's life (it doesnot matter if in the end they are hypocritical enought to believe some ideology which is obssessed with virginity and practice sex) the critical analysis of Islam is inevitable.
By introducing the ambigous terms such as Islamophobe and introducing suppression of Defamation of Religion, the West,which has a long history of intellectual renaissance,bloody war with Church and free intellectuals such as Bertrand Russel to look upto and even backto for lessons in history,has itself defeated the ideals it stood for.The ideals on which the modern Secular West was founded and the contitutions constructed.This might seem exaggeration to some as for them it might be a small step.But it by no means is an insignificant one.This is a time of worry for any self-respecting intellectual human,whether religious or non-religious.
Rather than these pathetic steps to overcome the short-sighted conflicts,the West and the UN especially should further the cause of Islamic reformists and the Western freedom be made available to the Voltaires,Sartres,Simone de Beauvoirs and Russels be fully supported as well as the Secular Muslims who are on their way for the Islamic Reformation.The Muslim world must be reiterated repeatedly,until they learn to listem,that closing ones eye at the time of trouble doesnot delay or vanguish the time of trouble.They must learn from the hard times and use these lessons effectively,just as Jews did.In all honesty,instead of hating Jews for what not including being dominant from politics to hollywood (Its their fault that they are on top poisitions in major world playing corporations today? What? They should wait for till Muslims take up all the positions first?) Muslims have alot to learn from the Jewish history.But nobody is saying to praise or even overlook the atorcities of Irsael on Palestinians.These acts must be condemned at all levels by all people.
Returning to my point,a revolution (somehow I have grown tired of reform.Reform is short-term solution I believe.Revolution a long term.I prefer the radical sound of Revolution,albeit a peaceful one.) in Muslim world from thoughts and conscience to media and the industries et al, on all levels is complusory for the well being of this 'world', apart from the Muslims themselves.There is a need for a Life of Brian' version in the Muslim world.There is a need for more Salman Rushdies.There is a need for more Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji and Tariq Alis as well (even if I dont agree with Tariq on his critique of Ayaan Hirsi Ali).Because only through blasphemy can there be innovation.Remeber! Once it was blasphemous to assume the earth is not flat but round or spherical.Today its taught even in the religious schools.Evolution was a blasphemy too but then today we have reaped much on following the lead of Darwin (who to this day is ridiculed by the conservatives).But when UN and the Non-Muslim world makes sch idiotc moves just to please the Mullahs and the fundamentalists,it takes away that opportunity,that chance for that revolution to come about.In my view,and I belive in any sane man's view, the supporters of Islamophobia and UN suppression of Defamation of Religion are accomplice in such a heinous crime against free thought and human liberties,perpetrated by the Islamic world.While the sanctity of Muslim human lives should be protected and that it be made clear that they are given their inalienable fundamental human rights,it should also be set out clearly that debating and even ridiculing the ideas (even religious ones) are not to be termed'-phobic'. If Communists cant say that ridiculing and criticizing their ideology is under the banner of 'Communophobia',why should the special previlege be given to Muslim community when we know it would further lead to playing in the hands of fundamentalists and intellectual backwardness,which would result in further economic downfalls and depressions in the Muslim world thus making it even harder to live in world for all of us.Just because Multi-Culturalist have started to play in the hands of fundamentalists.Discrimination against Muslim populace (or any other for that matter) must be condemned at all costs.But that doesnot mean using the term 'Islamophobia' to silence valid and constructive criticism of traditions followed widely or in parts of the Muslim world such as obssession with virginity,sex and sexuality,or resistance to Islamic Reformation,female genital mutilation,male circumcision, et al.
Some people believe that Islamophobia would be effectively used against Muslims as a population by the Right Wing Western Idiots.Thats true.And so was the AIDS used against LGBT community.Thats the part and parcel of being a minority.Using Christianophobia in Muslim world happens too.In fact to eradicate the Islamophobia I believe that the first responsibility lies with the Muslim Ummah itself to prove the hatred against Muslims wrong.That you can be an Arab and be a good human being.