Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Woots just keep on coming

Folks there is a lot going on in the news that has irked me in some way. However I couldn’t form a strong enough opinion to say something about it. However the issues welled up inside me until a perfect storm had formed. Now witness the ensuing deluge.

Woot #1: Boobquake
It all started when Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi gave his regular Friday sermon at his Mosque in Tehran. In it he made reference to how we can avoid calamities from God. He argued that since this calamity is due to God’s power only God can protect us. How do we gain God’s protection, by not disappointing him. One of the examples he put forth of how we can gain God’s favor is to dress modestly. This is not something unusual. Muslim clerics have been preaching that Allah chastises us in this world with natural disasters for our transgressions. The recent earthquakes in Pakistan’s northern areas were blamed on budding homosexual relations between men in the restive province of Sarhad. Proponents of this theory often site San Francisco as having a notoriously huge gay community and prone to earthquakes as evidence.

My question is why a sudden interest in Friday sermons? I mean I am glad non-believers are taking an interest in our beliefs but how does this concern them? What difference does it make what a Cleric says half way around the world? Is it because he’s Iranian and this is a good opportunity to yet again show the world how loony these people are? Perhaps add fuel to the growing fire for war on Iran (btw Ahmadinejad’s speech at UN did not come across as unreasonable as the media will have you believe)? Instead of countering the Cleric’s argument with rational discourse, American women decided to bare all.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you boobquake the brainchild of Purdue University senior Jennifer McCreight. She challenged the cleric’s statement saying that it was offensive as it picked on women as the ring leaders of immodesty. Proving the cleric’s point further she then asked women around the world to wear immodest clothing to see if they could cause an earthquake. Over 100,000 women responded to her call. The best part is that they fully expected to prove him wrong however the day of the planned debauchery, April 26, the Island nation of Taiwan was hit by 6.9 magnitude earthquake! Boobquake fanatics are surprisingly moot on that point.

Says the holy Qur`an: “Nay here are signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: And none but the unjust reject our signs.” (Qur`an 29:49).

Now I am not one to simply sling some mud around and call it a day. I feel bad for these ladies, have they no self respect? Dressing immodestly only objectifies them and makes them appear as play things for men. People it’s not liberation it’s exploitation! Of course it’s hard for upholders of secular ideals to understand this, heck they will ban the burka if you try too hard. (Which by the way is a disgusting thing to do how can you order a women, by the power of court to reveal herself in public? This is a personal matter between her lord and herself how she chooses to express her modesty is up to her.) Girls I implore you, you don’t have to show skin to appear attractive the very opposite is true. Modest dress is beautiful just look what this designer came up with. I hope I presented my case with choice words and you see my side of the story, God bless.

Woot #2: Killing the Messenger
Those crazy cartoonists are at it again. Just like any other bully once they know you have a weak spot they just can’t help picking at it. It all started when I was relaxing at home flipping through the channels on my LCD TV when I came across a south park episode on comedy central. Now normally I don’t watch this show because I feel just a bit dirty when I am done. But it’s good for killing brain cells so I tuned in. Lo and behold they began parading religious Icons from the world’s major religions. There was Buddha snorting coke and Jesus (PBUH) looking clueless as ever there were some more but they slip my mind. I was wondering are they going to…yep they are. A black strip with the words “Censor” appeared in the place of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) image.

I finished watching the show, bear suit and all and came away thinking what a crock. Did I find it particularly offensive no, was it disrespectful, yes. Switching off the TV I knew a storm was brewing they weren’t going to let this go without making a huge stink. Just look what happened to the Dutch cartoonist. The first salvo was made by Revolution Muslim. After perusing their site I came to know the management of this group. It turns out I recognized the head honcho. He appeared at Friday Prayers at a Mosque I frequent when in Manhattan. After the congregation disbanded to go about their normal routine this guy stood on the sidewalk and began delivering a controversial speech. We gave him stares as if saying “Shut up dude if you know what’s good for you.” But he persisted. Eventually our Mosque’s administration had to call in the police to escort him away.

Jon Stewart picked up on their post that warned the south park creators to stop or they could face repercussion. Although I found the “Go eff yourself choir” to be a bit extreme Asif Manvi’s opinion on the matter are also my own. But the crisis did not end there a cartoonist by the name of Molly Norris began “Draw Muhammad Day”. As a sign of solidarity with the creators of the offensive and vile cartoon show series, South Park (A show no child should watch unless you want them to grow up with no character and moral compass). A Facebook page was set up to cache all the submissions.

Being a Facebook member I stumbled across the page. Yes it was good to see people being able to use their freedom of speech however the discussions quickly turned ugly. Blatant verbal attacks on Muslims and Islam soon followed (after all who else but Islamaphobics could devise such horrific images of God’s Messenger). Videos were also posted of vandals vandalizing a L.A. area Masjid. I and others quickly reported the page as hateful and went about our business. Our efforts paid off, I am glad that they have changed their tune, that I appreciate. Let the light in my peeps it’s good for you, the word of God delivered through his messengers whether it be Moses Jesus Mohammed (peace be upon them all) are for your benefits. Live by them and you will find success in this world and the hereafter, God bless.

Woot #3: Bomb Scare
With a fizz and a pop the city of New York was in a tizzy. Hey I am a New Yorker I am glad the car bomb didn’t go off but this is not something to get jittery about. Get jittery about actual explosions day in and day out limbs flying all over the place. Long time readers might remember my stay in Karachi and my near nervous breakdown because of the unrelenting violence surrounding me. (They will also remember out of character remarks on private forums and emails. Again I am ashamed it cost me their friendship something I regret, but life goes on).

The thing that struck me about this case was the perpetrator. He was Pakistani-American (like me) and came from a wealthy and well educated family (like me) he had a wife (like me) and kids and nice house in the suburbs (something I aspire to). He had it all everything he had worked for was finally his. And to throw it all away for a hopeless cause? It just seems absurd. While politicians and the media want blood I feel sorry for the guy. Who got a hold of him? Who brainwashed him? Who funded his exploits? Who indeed? As my father (God bless his soul and may Allah grant him paradise, Ameen) always use to say only time will tell. When the current power structure is long gone and their powerbase will no longer be threatened by the opposition our future generations will come to know the truth. Viable evidence will surface exposing, who were the real evil doers and who were the real victims.

On the most part peeps from my community condemn the attempted attack, heck I do too. I like traveling to time square and don’t want to come back in a body bag. (Remember guys I grew up in this crazy town and it has given a lot to me and my family) But what we fear the most is backlash. Do I fear it on a personal basis, no. Most of the people I deal with on a day to day basis are reasonable, friendly folks. No one has said anything to me even though I am sporting facial hair these days (just a social experiment will be shaving it off soon). Most folks mistake me for Hispanic. That’s cool my rudimentary High School Spanish adds to the façade. But what worries me the most is our modestly dressed women, they can’t pass of as senoritas with their Hijabs. Plus our kids are being taunted at school. So yeah there is backlash but subdued for the moment.

So that’s that, the perfect storm has come and gone the woots are in and I am sleepy time to say my prayers and head off to bed. God be with you my dear readers. Peace and love to all.
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