26 May 2013
Anger consumes me as I write this.
Everyone seemed to have a strong opinion about the Woolwich incident. I think me referring to it as a mere incident is a hideous trivililasation and I should attribute another word like “calamity” or “tragedy” to it but that’s not even the point right now. I tried not to say much on the matter at first because I am sick of feeling responsible for the actions of other Muslims when what they choose to do has nothing to do with me, my faith or the fact we share a categorical skin colour. I despised that people said Muslims must be terrorists since these things keep happening. People of course who rather confidently steered clear of logic, failing to realise that if Islam indeed taught torture, barbarianism, the killing of innocents, etc then more Muslims would be killing instead of the hundreds out of the total of 2 billion Muslims. If we as a group supported that then we wouldn’t be trying to disclaim these mentally deranged people neither would we shoulder an extra burden of having to explain ourselves at all times like I am having to explain myself now.
As I scrolled up my timeline, I saw a retweet saying, “Muslims are NOT terrorists!” Ever the cynic, I questioned the motive of person who wrote it so I went to her page to read the tweet in sequence. I concluded that not only was she a person who loved to state the obvious; she was also self-righteous and felt she was doing the entire Muslim community a favour by standing up for us in our time of need. The idiocy and the false nobility struck me and offended me so deeply that even though she was “on my side” in a vague and insulting way, I just wanted her to shut the fuck up. Just to make trouble I retweeted her adding, “some are”. I realise my retweet was uncalled for. I could have and should have ignored her and I didn’t have much of a point in what I said but she was annoying and that means I wasn’t unprovoked. Besides I’m petty. I certainly didn’t mean to minimise the larger issues involved in the politics of this subject but trouble is a friend.
She replied me in this superior tone that felt like she was attacking me. She made mundane observations here and there, expecting me and other people to find them so profound and her so heroic. She jumped to insults and condescension, calling me “sweetheart” and I think, “oh honey!”. We exchanged a few tweets but at a certain point I was livid because how could she insist on missing my point so dangerously and repeatedly when I had tried to make it so easy for her? The grand effrontery of it all dumbfounded me. “This girl’s problem has to be English,” I thought. She woke up the next morning badgering me with even more of her annoying sanctimoniousness at which point I had to end the discussion, advising her to employ better etiquette when she disagreed with people.
Poor girl. I was pelting down all my emotions of anger, embarrassment and guilt on her for no reason. I used my misplaced passion as a weapon against her instead of the more productive ways I could have used that energy. With Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and the Hizbullah there are a lot of people to be mad at. The suicide bombings and spree killings due to Western policies, economic motivations or anything at all are what are causing my heartaches. Though I strongly disagree with the ideology behind these terrorist attacks, I am not yet eloquent enough to explain why Muslims take different meanings from the Quran but I can tell you that these radicals are wrong. All I know is from my experience, when reading you have to read in context of the time the words were written and in context of the other words written around them especially when you’re applying instructions given to soldiers during war to a different time, place, people. The terrorists simply have no social responsibility and in order to achieve any form of change it will be necessary to recognise the importance of working collectively to transform the image that has been projected unto all of us. We have tried but are we doing everything we can to stop this? Of course not
My anger about the world hating Muslims has continued to shift over the years. At first, I was angry with the mad Muslims who were so intent on ruining the Muslim name. Then I was angry with the people who introduced them to Islam for not having taught them better. More recently, I have been angry with the media for perpetuating such harmful stereotypes, forcing me and other Muslims to always have to put out disclaimers. But now I’m beginning to think I have entirely missed the point. The real question isn’t about this; it’s about something else that I’m trying to figure out at the moment. Muslims may not be invulnerable, and we’re not perfect, but we are human and we’re supposed to be peace surrendering, kind, generous, forgiving, all of that. I don’t think we are prepared to tackle whatever obstacles the future might bring. A pessimistic prophecy would be that this is probably not as bad as it gets but honestly, it’s still pretty horrible.