Friday, February 20, 2015

Being a Muslim on a "Social" Network!

Dec 16th 2014- The black day. The flooded blood and the imaginary shrieks made me shudder. Just before that there was a Sydney Siege and 2 people got killed by a deranged man. I was just getting back to normal after inquiring about the safety of some of my Sydney friends . I had let out a sigh of relief when the deranged man Monis's act ended and when I knew it was not a terrorist attack,  but pretty soon after that, the terrorists attacked the Peshawar school , killing 140 + children which appalled me. I am a Muslim and like you all I was groping in the dark for solution. Due to some virtual experiences around me , neither #I'llridewithyou nor the #IndiawithPakistan relieved me  even if those acts highlighted the compassion some people actually have in their hearts!

Added  to that some Pakistanis blamed India for the attack when Talibanis themselves agreed that they are the people responsible for the attack in school, which agitated me a bit more. Like you all who belong to all other religions I was also trying to find the answers. Like you all , I was also trying to find a solution. I was worried that these A***holes quote Allahuakbar and recite Quran verses before killing.  Peoples' questions that why do Your folks not condemn ? why don't Muslim leaders raise voice ? why don't you raise voice  ? Why are you a coward ? - bothered me more Why will any sane person support such act where there is blood shed ? I myself am nonplussed thinking why and what shit goes in to their brain which makes them nonchalantly do all this. Like always  I started brooding. What can be possibly done to uproot this ? To eradicate this? Yes I too want to get rid of the terrorists . Will I get that chance ? What can I possibly do by sitting in my safe haven ? 


I had a heated up argument with a lady when she had put up a long status, 
after the Peshawar attack, the gist of which is that many of the Muslims are indifferent and are cowards. Islamists are killers and they don't react to killings is the summary of her update. After losing my sleep for 3 days , after long discussions where I tried to explain to her how her status message can be misinterpreted, I un-friended her for my own mental peace but the hatred continued in fresh status messages where she totally spiced up and presented a contorted view of what I said and how I said and made her friends pray for my mental peace. I could only wish her get well soon. During this fiasco many people supported me irrespective of their religion but there were many who kept jumping the walls. Too many opinions and updates again did a parade on my mind and most of them who have put them up are authors, fairly educated folks and are very knowledgeable ,who in the other times say empathy is more important than a religion.  

Excerpts from her LONG status message after I deleted her on Facebook: "Just because we need to live in peace, does not mean we bury our heads in the sand like ostriches as if all is well. A Muslim friend of mine unfriended me on Facebook for a discussion over Islamist Terrorism. I generally always speak brutal, because I don't fancy any nonsense placating or playing victim. But it's a shame that she took my so-perceived hate tone as a reason to stop talking to me, rather than coming to the point and discussing Islamist Terrorism! LOL, now that's laughable, and I'm not even angry! I'm not mocking at her, may she continue to do well, but again taking this opportunity to make my point. 


I've always said "many/most Muslims are cowards" and not "all Muslims are cowards"! Muslims are not extra-terrestrial beings that they won't feel the pain of victims, yet only few Muslims stand up against Islamist Terrorism; most come up with these foolish excuses as if we are targeting them and their religion. Peace will prevail! I'm not angry, just laughing at how small-minded some are, and sharing the experience here, though it all ends up as if I'm bitching about her, but that's not my intention at all. Just because we need to live in peace, does not mean we bury our heads in the sand like ostriches as if all is well. " The purpose of my posts was to condemn Islamist Terrorism in the harshest of ways, and I'm glad ****** spoke up too, and somewhere Muslims and non-Muslims, who are not expressive about Islamist Terrorism, will also speak up and stop putting up a charade or timidly behaving like it does not effect them."


I failed to understand how her harsh ways towards all in general is going to resolve this global issue of terrorism and she failed to explain to me and give me a transparent picture as to how her arm chair activism is going to help ? Facebook during times of rage does bring out real intentions and ideas! I wonder if the same ideas will be disclosed or not when he / she has to do it face to face! It is a must to condemn terrorism and also the leaders who fuel it more rather than curbing it. It is alright to express anger as it is tough to suppress it. It is fine if you are violent and harsh towards extremists. It is justifiable but when you are doing what ever you want to, it will feel good if the act is not used as a reason to show the hidden hatred towards all Muslims ! The border lines between apathy , empathy and sympathy always vanish on social network.

I did not reply . I did not retort. I know angst is building up in many around me due to increasing fanaticism and due to the mere fact that 60% of the killings are due to Islamist terrorism. " I and many Muslims like me are suffering more due to relentless opinions, bashing and hidden hatred towards normal people like us. But we are helpless. Yes if you think your religion doesn't have killers and we are born with the tag to kill anyone and everyone then congratulations to you. Celebrate your religion and feel lucky . That is what you intend to say every time you put up a status update but next time when you put up such update just give one thought to people like me who are also painted by the same brush." -- I actually wanted to reply this but I couldn't as I felt I can no more face the wrathful tongue and project my vulnerable side to her!


I embraced my self to stay away from many on social media who were and are suggesting that- Many of us are merciless, ruthless and non-humans. My keeping quiet doesn't  mean I am with killers and taking it all easy . Many like me cry and our hearts bleed too.. My sincere request to all those who are furiously updating statuses and who are generalizing that we all are filthy is that they need not worry. Even if I am pissed off, upset and feeling distressed,  I am tolerant enough to not kill them. Unfortunately every time something like this happens, we are mostly silent as we have nothing to say. We are sad, terrorized , victimized and numb too. As many who literally live in a social n/w believe that the reliable source of condemnation is only the status updates  or online write ups I thought of writing this up. Those who kill are mentally deranged - YES and every time I see that some massacre happened somewhere I get scared of the tag more than "others". I get burdened more than "others" when I hear the motive they mention behind the killing is Allah or religion. I or people like me are more impacted and always suffer a lotWe are burdened more than the others  as their actual motive is demeaning the religion and not avenging the prophet which they announce as the agenda.  But I will continue practicing my faiths. Yes we do have killers who say they follow the faith I follow. But I will continue believing in Allah, doing Namaz , reading Quran and reciting kalimas because that is what I learnt to do and will be doing  till I die or get killed. I am not myself from quite some time. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre I reminisced the actual sayings by prophet which my grandma used to narrate during Ramzan month and it made me cry!


I have unfollowed / unfriended many for my own peace. I felt if a person cannot be compassionate to others who just want to live and let live like he / she does and  feels unsafe and thinks that I might be one of "them" then it is better to stay away from him/her. That way  I can be at peace and he/she will have one killer less on the list !

Shared below are screen shots of status updates and some of my replies after which I confronted the lady saying when humanity has died million deaths I don't want directionless rage and negativity around me .

Her first status update. Save and zoom, if you can't read
My responses along with this post written during the Sydney Incident-Stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism. It's bigoted and Islamophobic.

I reacted as this was not her first status message of this kind. I ignored so many times when she mocked, ridiculed or insulted. When she went in to technical and logical details I too waged a war on FB to put forward my thoughts [this was the first time I did something of this sort and I repented almost immediately] . She is not used to smooth talks so she was spitting and farting  in all directions but I tried to end on a peace note saying" your rage is good but during these times it will be better if you are slightly compassionate towards living as much as you are compassionate towards dead. Give your angst a proper direction and use your words wisely" I told. For that she has put up another outrageous update which is shared above (in blue font) that She is LOLing at my unfriending act and that some people are irreparable and she conducted mass prayers on FB for my mental illness saying people like me play wonderful roles of victims and want sympathy and nothing else. I was disturbed for a week and then I blocked her.

Charlie Hebdo was indeed a sad incident. Humanity died million deaths after kids were killed in Gaza and Peshawar. Any kind of killing which is done by humans is a blot on mankind and makes me question almighty's existence. Any kind of killing cannot be justified. It troubles me that the barbaric act of terrorism is multiplying with each passing day and when people die you lose hope on life but some people do increase  hope by proving that even in the harshest circumstances, the religion of humanity will be alive. Thanks to Roshan for penning this post-  The world is not a bad place. 


 The scenario is not like the lady who stated above that "Many Muslims are apathetic when it is a non-Muslim who dies and sympathetic when a Muslim dies." She argues that she did not say any but mentioned many . But it does seem like , her intentions are crystal clear. Her caustic tongue , angst and fire were being bombarded in every direction and she was at ease performing this act continuously and mindlessly thinking that she is reforming the world and her friends / followers supported her cause and some other people who were tolerating her from long thanked me for speaking up! I got myself deleted from her list to which she tried to dump some more dung on me. I know, Islamophobia is ruling the world and I know that the U.N. has coined this term "Islamophobia" too but when you see that people around you take this as a reason to hate anyone and everyone, you get distressed! Muslims die too in the terrorist attacks and sympathy or compassion doesn't vary based on religion!

Friends who seemed like they supported me at some point, also have kept status updates shortly after this  - "That Muslims are merciless and that he/she thanks God that she is not a Muslim." and that " They have foolish God men in their religion which is better than having killers like in my religion."  My status update after reading all hateful updates was like below.



There is no need to say that I condemn a barbaric act done by Islamist extremists but still as status updates are the living proofs to show our love , hatred and condemnation - here it goes- Yes I weep too and I am more impacted than others. U need to wait for my post to know why. The hordes of status messages from 2 days made me brood a lot ! I asked all kind of questions to all Muslims whom I know. I will be writing a post soon. Now too scared / scarred / marred to unzip my mouth. I will just be tolerant to all the mass hatred. I wont respond or retort. I can understand the angst. Don't worry. I wont carry a kalashnikov and kill u all even if u shove me from the margin to the page where killers stand! Before I finish mypost I want to share something I read which slightly lessened the burden on my chest -We think the Paris terrorists were offended by Charlie Hebdo's satire. What if we're wrong?  -"it is not about satire. It is beyond satire ."
‪#‎ParisTerror‬ ‪#‎FBattacks‬ ‪#‎TragicTimes‬


Replies : (Removed the names for safety)



  • XXXXXX  : nailed it good and proper!
    January 9 at 4:27pm · Unlike · 2
  • thanks for being the first and fore most reader.


  • XXXXXX  I don't think it's even right to call them Islamic Extremists. They are just plain Extremists who would find anything to take insane extreme measures on, without thinking about the consequences and hereafter and the true teachings. 
    I am more impacted than others too.
  • Afshan Khan XXXXXX : If we do not call them Islamist extremists, people like U and me are tagged along with them ,not that we are spared now  !
  • XXXXXX  Terrorism has no religion. They don't pray or follow Islam, its an excuse for them to create terror and kill innocents.


  • XXXXXX  They don't follow any religion, any God or any teachings. All they do is use the name of religion, God and religious teachers to their own benefit. I am sure none of our Gods or religious books would have preached killing someone.


  • XXXXXX : They are no different than the "Christian" group Westboro Baptist Church or the "Christians" who bomb abortion clinics. Those people do not follow the teachings of Christianity any more than the recent terrorists follow the teachings of Islam. It is sad that Muslims keep getting condemned for the actions of a few.


  • XXXXXX  I feel because of these extremists the good people who belong the same faith suffer a lot. Society needs to understand all are not the same, there is a greater % of population who understand the Koran much better then those extremists and love peace and harmony
  • Afshan Khan Thanks for replies. We actually suffer more for obv reasons and from quite sometime I m observing that if a Muslim is silent he gets verbally attacked. if he tries to defend his faith he is denied and even if someone shows condemn he is mocked! It is the opinion of ppl like u which reboots my faith and I feel better!
  • XXXXXX : Good one afshan


  • XXXXXX  No one needs to certify your loyalty to this country . You are as much an Indian as I am. Period:)
  • Afshan Khan : Thank U ! 



The replies which followed though didn't absolutely soothe me , they eased me a bit. There are few who share my perspective and can be compassionate and there are few who take every terrorist attack as a means to hate all Muslims, how much ever they deny it is not their motto! I am glad I finally finished this piece. Thanks to #1000speak.


If fearing for my own life, my friends' and loved ones' lives makes me a coward then so be it. If I come across some extremist in my vicinity I don't hesitate to give my piece of mind. If some one is spreading dangerous motives in the name of religion I am always the first to identify /  get rid of them or report about them if I feel they might create a bigger problem. I try to imbibe sense in them if I can. I am not Malala and I can't muster enough courage when bullets are being sprayed all over the world. I can be compassionate but I can't be a staunch arm-chair activist. Deleting people is not a solution but my mental peace comes above every thing to me. I am not burying my head like an ostrich but I am definitely saving my head from facebook terrorism which just keeps destroying my days and nights and my productivity!


My small suggestion to whoever is reading this post is to mind one's words when he/she is angry. Yes we all understand that the world is in rage but when you talk to a larger audience, think twice before you speak or pen down your thoughts. Having said that I pray for all the victims and families of victims. It will never be the same again. Let us pray that we will be able to curb terrorism in coming days and instead of spreading negative vibes, I hope we stay united !


Amen.


This post is a part of activity - 1000 voices for compassion with an agenda  to get 1000 bloggers to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others,non-judgement, care for the environment 
etc, and ALL SHOULD PUBLISH ON THE SAME DAY  (Feb 20th) to flood the Blogosphere with GOOD! 

Use the hashtag #1000Speak to  promote this event. I am glad, I am a part of this.  Do post your thoughts for this initiative if you want to by Feb 21st!



I want to end this post with wonderful quotes.
As told by my favorite author in the book I adore the most - source - here

Image source : here
Image source : here

28 comments:

  1. The sort of misguided comments that Islam faces today comes from narrowed minds looking for a reason to start a fight. They need to prove their superiority by putting others down. They dont see people as individuals but as a collective of a religion and in that single step, their debate is flawed. Because people are good and bad inspite of being in the same religion - so many other factors come into play which they totally ignore.
    This 'racism' is faced by fellow doctors as well - it is less than 24 hrs since i have heard similar complaints from a famous radiologist in the city - and the person giving the comments was a highly educated doctor himself...
    Stooping to their level and indulging them in a debate is never going to end satisfactorily because their minds are already made up (eg: millions of trolls online in social media).
    Walk away from them and find things that make you smile again. That is your victory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha Ya I know. No profession is shielded from such people are views. One can have views but thanks to social media , these days every one is an active activist bombarding their views at all and rubbing hands in glee !
      It pains to see many whom I regard with respect also doing the same.

      Delete
  2. People need to understand that people are bad and not religion...even education can't change some people...walk away from them Afshan and don't bother to respond as well...

    Random Thoughts Naba -Why No One Talks About Compassion Anymore?...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is tough to imbibe sense in some people. I tried and failed but I always feel hopeful that there are all kind of perspectives and I am not alone :)
      Thanks for ur time Naba !

      Delete
  3. It hurts me to know that this hurts you so badly, Afshan. (I had something very eloquent to say here, but my phone ate my comment before it published and now I can't remember what I said.) I think fear drives a lot of people to say stupid things. Then again, some people are just stupid. (That was not eloquent at all.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ur comment is eloquent enough . U r one of the rare people who convey a lot in very less words unlike me ;)
      Yes some people are stupid when they are scared but some are just plain stupid
      Thanks and hugs Dyanne

      Delete
  4. It is sad how Islam has come under bad light due to the actions by those extremists who have interpreted the Holy Koran without a hint of humanity.
    It is also sad how the world has started to see Muslims as perpetrators of terrorism especially when all religions have been equally paving way to some sort of extremist activities. This woman seems to be educated but lacks wisdom. Best is to feel sorry for her mental disability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya she is educated but lacks sanity / patience / wisdom. Just when I thought we ended it on a peaceful note she showed her true colors by trying to defame me :)
      ANyway I have come across many such ppl after her

      Delete
  5. It is indeed sad that people feel that it's okay to lash out and paint everyone with the same brush. I'm glad you unfriended this person, Afshan! There is no point in losing your peace of mind over such bigotry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya thats the reason I deleted her. I felt self compassion is not a shame !
      I need my space and peace above all
      Thanks for reading

      Delete
  6. I'm glad that you took steps to protect yourself, Afshan. It upsets me that someone would act in such a prejudiced and ill-thought-out manner, especially now that employers and governments are looking at people's social media accounts to see what goes on in that person's life. Who THERE was promoting hatred and prejudice? *sigh*

    I don't precisely know how you feel, but I know that I get very shuddery and edgy when the Westborough Baptists do something else awful supposedly in the name of the christian God, and tar everyone with the brush of prejudice and hatred. It's awful.

    Well done for this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too feel the same - shuddery and edgy. My appeal to all the haters was to reduce the intensity atleast . YES shit has hit the roof and everywhere but it would be great if you can think once about your companions and those whom U call friends before generalizing. I am thankful to 1000voices which helped me voice my thoughts though my post is bit negative

      Delete
  7. I feel for you, Afshan. How easy it is for people to lash out at the innocents and get their 2 minutes of fame. I don't know who this lady is, but I know of another just like her who had the weird habit of taking people's comments and putting them on her status updates to laugh on them. What can you say about such bigoted individuals. You did good. Blocking is such a fabulous feature on FB. I have blocked out a few rabid ones too. Best not to get worked up over their venom. God bless the people who live with them. Just try to forget this episode. On social media, in such debates, no one wins. Humanity is the biggest loser though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya I knew that no one wins, In the moment of heat I argued and repented. After she was going on and on about me and how small minded I am I just had to write this blog post.
      Anyway I feel lil better after writing. Thanks for ur time here

      Delete
  8. Very touching words, Afshan. Can feel your anguish and sincerity in every word you have expressed.
    Can't help the way some people think. Am really amazed the way some overcharged people attack reasoning and logic. Can only conclude that it goes over their silly heads.
    I can totally understand your points. I have faced abuse on Social Media too.

    Not all believe that we belong to the Human Race; else human wouldn't have been missing in humanity...
    Only mentally unstable/deranged/non-humans won't feel sad about the killings and terrible news affecting us all...
    Let us hope and pray for compassion to reign.

    Have a great week! Keep rocking :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ya but when I read that many muslims are apathetic towards other killings I felt outrageous. FORTUNATE or UNFORTUNATE I have only good muslims around me and I was kinda broken reading her each word. She making fun of others emotions and vulnerabilities projecting her self as a pretty strong lady was too stupid for me
      anyway thank U anita for ur time and for sharing ur views :) Felt good

      Delete
  9. I can understand the feeling you are going through Afshan. It's a difficult time for all Muslim liberals who unfortunately get painted with the same brush. But you have to continue to stand by what you truly believe and as much as possible, ignore the hateful comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and allotting time to comment . Made me feel good. Trying the same Asha but wanted to vent it out just once on my blog :)

      Delete
  10. I always hate this branding and stereo typing. It is not only in India it is also in USA. If there is a robbery and a black teenager is involved they will always say "a black teenager was responsible for the robbery". But if a white teenager is involved they will drop his race and say "a teenager was responsible for the robbery".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That explains everything. It has become a norm for many to do the nomenclature and with terms like islamophobia being coined and being used liberally everywhere I CAN ONLY SAY THE WORD and the HAPPENINGS scare me more

      Delete
  11. Well said, Afshan. A whiplash to many. The post is very relatable. If only they understand the true Islam. You know, if a non muslim kills someone he turns out to be a murderer but if a muslim does, he becomes a terrorist. Actually, media also plays an bigger role in portraying Muslims like this. I read this post in Women's Web and wanted to give you a big hug for this wonderful article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @A rat: thanks a lot for ur time and for liking the write up. There is a big role by Media too - I agree but due to huge terrorism in Islamic countries all other normal Muslims have to face the wrath :(
      and thanks for the big hug :) :)

      Delete
  12. You are signed up for A to Z. Do you plan to participate? If so you need to start posting accordingly and display the A to Z logo badge so that all will know you are a participant. I will await your confirmation and if none received your link will be deleted from the list after April 4th.

    Thanks

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Arlee Bird

      Unfortunately I cant make it this year :( Please delete my link

      Thanks for checking

      Delete
    2. thanks for the response. Your link will be removed from the list soon. Maybe next year you can try again.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
  13. I really appreciate your idea on writing ideas for posts, etc. every single day. That’s how you get better at this craft of writing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is sad but today's reality. The thing they only know Islam the way they think it is, not like it actually is and the way Prophet peace be upon him, portrayed and lived it thoroughly.But I appreciate you taking the time and courage to write about it. :)

    In sha Allah , one day.

    Toobs,
    www.alwaysandforevertk.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

What do you think about this ? I always love to hear back.A comment or a brickbat boosts me to write more but the mud slinging shall be promptly vacuumed.
Thanks for your time :)

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