Thursday, June 18, 2009

Addressing the php bulletin board controversy

First of what’s an uber-secret online organization trying to take over the way we communicate online without a little controversy? I mean come on playing nice nice all the time gets boring. When I got the news that my password had been revoked I must admit I felt sad. But I saw it coming. I had no say in who was being inducted into the UCF. That was partly do the fact that there is a significant time delay between the time I receive a message and the time that most of the UCF will receive the message. The other dilemma was that I don’t know these new people and couldn’t judge on their ucfness one way or the other.

I had a blast chatting in our ultra secret chat room during elections. It felt great to connect with my fellow Americans at such a momentous occasion. Then the recession kicked in. Most of you guys are middle management and needed to speak about some confidential stuff from work. I know how that is with my whole “I need advice” post. As far as professional contacts only one or two UCFers are in my field and only a couple are approachable enough to actually guide me. After that I connect with UCF at an intellectual level. Mostly storytelling and dreams about getting published. You guys are great and I love sharing my life with you. And I love reading about your lives. That’s how we connect and have gone from net pals to actual friends.

The problem is that my problems are not your problems. My major concerns with regard to the new administration is related towards immigration, homeland security (specifically profiling based on religion and country of origin), foreign policy and then the economy. What’s more I had to live through some of the things you hear about in the news. That gives me a unique perspective which requires me to hold on to my faith that much harder. At these times I don’t hesitate to remove the sugar coating off of my beliefs and state them assertively. It’s a coping technique.

Plus at the time my father was diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t mention this at the time because he wouldn’t like his medical condition being discussed online. As he has grown accustomed to his situation and successfully completed his treatment he is on the mend. My house was in utter chaos. And on top of that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan declared war on the Taliban. I’ve got fighter jets flying over my house patrolling the sky. This is the sort of thing that really freaks you out.

Many of the conservations going on the bulletin board were irrelevant to me. Some of it was due to culture (this is the first time I heard of Apple Butter folks:) other times it was due to age differences. Many of you are married (or have been married) and have children. I just got engaged and still feel ecstatic. I don’t plan on coming down for awhile. But the hardest part was hearing that you guys don’t trust me and feel that you need to protect yourself from me.

That’s horrible! I work with special interest groups that work very hard to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in particular. If I gave that impression then I have failed and I am very sorry for upsetting you in that way. From my understanding you guys expected me to change my tone after the death of a UCFers spouse. Truth be told the news of this person’s death was a shock. My limited exposure to your customs and tradition prohibited me from acting in a way that was familiar to you. Again I apologize for any alarming actions.

I come from a reformist background lately I’ve been changing my mindest and moving towards a more moderate brand of Islam. However my reformist upbringings are hard to do away with. Hell we would be Amish if Islam didn't encourage us to learn and our societies didn't promote the spirit of Innovation. The only engagement with mainstream society was during six hours of school. Then I would head on home and do my homework. During the summers we would either go to Pakistan for two months because my mom had to meet her sisters or I would help my dad at his accounting firm which mostly catered to Desis.

My parents instilled in me a deep love for my faith. Since I am a practicing Muslim many aspects of American Culture made it difficult for me to engage with people “After Hours”. At the time I didn’t mind the religion of Islam is so vast that not even a lifetime of learning is enough to grasp it fully. So I immersed myself in studying the various Interpretations of the Quran given to us by many imminent scholars from the past. Plus the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has always been a guiding hand in my life.

Of course I am no prophet (God forbid) I am just a dude with many flaws. That’s why I struggle to better myself each day. So hopefully you can find it in your heart to forgive and can trust me again. This is what bothers me the most about this whole fiasco, losing the faith of friends.
Post a Comment