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A Muslim woman responds to Tasleema Nasreen’s article “Let’s burn the burkha”

via A Muslim woman responds to Tasleema Nasreen’s article “Let’s burn the burkha”

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Human shield.

Two Indian citizens have recently been victims of the violation of international law by men in uniform -but the government of India, seems to be fighting only for the rights of one.

On April 10, Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer who had been arrested, kept in custody and put on secret trial  by the Pakistani military without being allowed to meet Indian diplomats, was sentenced to death. India took Pakistan to the International Court of Justice over violation of international law. Much to the relief of the nation, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to stay Jadhav’s execution.

And on April 9, Farooq Ahmed Dar of Kashmir, an artisan and weaver of shawls, was abducted and taken hostage by a group of Indian soldiers. This act was in retaliation. The soldiers tied Dar to the front of their jeep and drove him around the district for several hours, warning bystanders on a loudspeaker that this would be the fate of anyone caught throwing stones on the security forces. The use of a civilian as a hostage, or ‘human shield’, was a violation of the right to life and liberty enshrined in the Indian constitution. It was also a violation of international law as well.

A few weeks later the same major, who used Dar as a human shield, was awarded the army chief’s commendation card!

Army officials had earlier said the troops were forced to take the extreme step to save themselves from stone-pelting, which has become one of the most common and frequent forms of protest in Kashmir since the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.

Any sort of attack on the army by the civilians deserves a stern action but randomly selecting a man – one who belongs to 7% of the people who regularly vote with the hope of a better state – and using him as a human shield is indeed unbefitting conduct of the army.

 

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Intolerance in some countries.

I was once asked to be grateful for the perks of living in a democracy followed by the question, “What do Muslims do for the minorities in the Islamic countries? Do you know how intolerant they are?”

Indeed I am grateful and I do love the country I belong to. Secondly, yes some Islamic countries are intolerant in some ways especially for when it comes to their women. But that question got me going and I did a little research…

Diwali(Hindu festival) Celebrations in U.A.E

What!? They are selling pork in Dubai!

This Arab man is happily standing with the Gujrati family and celebrating their festival!

Gurudwara temple in U.A.E

Temple in Malaysia!

Krishna Temple in Muscat, Oman.

Christmas eve midnight mass in Indonesia.

Holi celebrations in Pakistan!

Church in Doha, Qatar.

Zoroastrian fire temple in Iran

Jewish woman reading Torah in synagogue in Tehran.

Christmas in Morocco

Christmas in Kuwait!

Synagogue in Istanbul!

Onam celebrations in gulf! Why is that Arab sitting there!?

Alexandria school of theology Cairo, Egypt.

Church in Istanbul, Turkey.

Religious procession in Egypt.

Buddhist Pagoda in Brunei Darussalam.

Saraswati Pooja in Bangladesh.

 

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Ramadan

As it has become these days, Ramadan is not simply an exercise in fasting during the day, binge-eating during the night and waking up for the predawn meal. Neither is it about irate drivers who feel entitled to exhibit road rage, employees who see the month as an excuse to slack off and overworked women slaving over a stove every day in preparation for the sunset meal.

If done right, Ramadan is none of those things, it is instead a chance for a spiritual boost, with lessons to be applied long after the month is gone.

It is one of Islam’s five main pillars (1. Faith, 2. Prayer, 3. Charity 4. Fasting 5. Pilgrimage) The elderly and chronically ill are exempt from fasting; however, it is incumbent upon them to feed the poor instead if they possess the financial means.

Many people ask,”What’s the point of fasting? Why deprive your body?” The fast is not simply about denying your body food and water. It also involves avoiding ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behaviour, which is a more difficult challenge for people these days.

Ramadan requires patience and mercy, which, let’s face it, we all need more of in these harried times. Ramadan is viewed as a month-long school where graduates leave with a developed sense of self-control in areas including diet, sleeping and the use of time.

There are basically two meals The Suhoor (predawn meal) and The Iftar (sunset meal)

Slow digesting foods like barley, wheat, oats and lentils are recommended and limiting fatty and sugary products is advised. There is a propensity to binge eat at sunset, but a balanced, moderate meal would really make all the difference and help one to maintain a nutritious diet even after the month is over. It is the time to give your digestive system some rest. It is a good time to decrease your blood sugar and cholesterol, if high. It is a time to be grateful for you what you have and to be helpful to those in need.

Sadly, people have turned the habit of eating moderately and wisely into pompous feasts and a way of partying. This is not the true Ramadan.

True Ramadan is when you inculcate generosity by being charitable, family-bonding by gathering around the iftar table, spirituality by praying, and self-control by practicing good manners.
All these habits build a feeling of peace, tranquillity and self-satisfaction.

Ramadan is, when the rich will taste hunger and thus will not forget the hungry.

Ramadan is when you learn to subdue anger and learn to be patient.

Ramadan is when you make- eating good, speaking good and being good- a habit.

Ramadan is when you try and make others happy and bring a smile on their face whether they be family or strangers.

And true Ramadan is when you choose to carry all these good things that spread love and peace within you and outside you, throughout your life.

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Jharkhand Lynching

Everybody has heard about the Manchester attack.  So far 22 people have been confirmed dead, with around 59 others injured.

Meanwhile in India, seven people were brutally lynched to death in two separate incidents by a mob. Two separate lynching cases in less than 24 hours. The acts of violence have killed seven citizens and injured at least six others. The lynching stemmed from a spate of WhatsApp rumours over alleged “child abductors” who had infiltrated the area.

It was a spontaneous reaction of the villagers based on unfounded WhatsApp messages about child lifting.All of this happened in front of police. Yes, the men were lynched by the mob in full view of police.

Both the Manchester and the lynching incidents are sad and unfortunate but response from the State is different to them. The first one is being condemned, the second one is being ensured.

While the P.M of India and other noted politicians condemned the Manchester bombing, not a word from them about the lynching.

Also recently in Syria, at least 68 children were among 126 people killed in bomb attack on buses carrying evacuees from besieged Syrian towns.

In separate incidents, Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan were both lynched and killed for cow slaughter! It was later proved that what Akhlaq ate was mutton and not beef while Pehlu Khan was only transporting cow for his small diary farm.

Not much condemnation from media over these crimes… Could it be only because it is not Isis driven?

 

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Condolences.

I know I speak for everyone when I express deepest sympathy to the friends and families of the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack. My thoughts and prayers are with them and with those who have been injured or traumatised.

Needless to say it was a terrible act and is much condemned. It has become so frequent these days for ISIS to carry out such terrorist activities and then proudly claim responsibility for it! But every time innocents are killed and their lives and dreams are smothered, my heart aches. And it aches much more because these suicide bombers think or are led to believe that they are doing it for their “religion”! It is only stupid to think that killing innocents would serve the purpose of Islam. God knows it doesn’t. I can only apologise for such heinous acts carried out in the name of my religion.

I always will remember the words of Antoine Leiris who lost his wife when terrorist gunmen opened fire at the Bataclan theatre in Paris in 2015.

“On Friday night, you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hate. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know. You are dead souls.” He would not, he added, give the terrorists the “satisfaction” of hating nor of fearing them: “You want me to be scared, to see my fellow citizens through suspicious eyes, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You have failed. I will not change.” And he added that his baby son’s happiness (Melvil was 17 months) would continue to defy them: “Because you will not have his hate either.”

The only purpose of these terrorist is to inculcate fear and hatred among people. Let us not let them win. Let’s not give them the satisfaction.

#YouWillNotHaveMyHate

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Before I begin, let me make it clear that I am neither an Aurangzeb admirer nor a Taimur fan and definitely not Babur ki aulad(the child of Babur).

Screenshot_20170506-155605

 

A ubiquitous notion in the 21st century India is that medieval Muslim rulers did their best to kill the Indian culture and society due their religious bigotry. Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor is believed to be the most notorious of the rulers of that time. He is accused of destroying thousands of Hindu temples, genocide of Hindus and large scale conversion of Hindus to Muslims.

Historians confirm that Aurangzeb ordered the destruction of select Hindu temples (maybe a dozen over his 49-year reign) but it had nothing to do with ‘despising’ Hindus. He is said to have ordered demolishing of temples to forestall future uprising and in the aftermath of political rebellions. This doesn’t justify his actions but it explains that it didn’t stem from his alleged hatred for Hindus. Moreover Aurangzeb issued orders to protect Hindu temples and communities from harassment and it is a well known fact that the highest number of Hindus was incorporated into his imperial administration than any other Mughal ruler before him.

And when it comes to talking about the treachery, bigotry and tyranny of the Mughal rulers let’s have a look at some other rulers who had the same traits:

Way before Aurangzeb, it was Ajatashatru who had imprisoned his own father Bimbisara for the throne – The same King Bimbisara who had offered Siddhartha (later Gautam Buddha) the throne when his army men saw the prince leading a life of an ascetic in the kingdom.

Later, it is known that Ajatashatru’s son Udayabhadra killed his own father Ajatashatru for the throne.

After the Haryanka dynasty of Magadh came the Shishunaga dynasty. The Shishunaga dynasty was ended by Mahapadma Nanda, the son of the last king of the Shishunaga dynasty – Mahanandin.

According to the available Indian history texts, Mahapadma Nanda was Mahanandin’s son from a Shudra wife. Obviously, he was not the apparent heir to the throne. Next, he killed all his brothers to claim his supremacy on the throne!! This was not just the end of the Shishunaga sons but also the end of the Shishunaga dynasty as Mahapadma Nanda started his own Nanda dynasty!!!

Samrat Bindusara’s third son Ashoka was neither a crown prince nor an apparent heir to the throne. Being a son from a Brahmin mother, he had no chances of sitting on the throne. However, right or wrong, he too killed his brothers to claim the Magadh throne soon after the death of his father Bindusara!
Yes, not just Muslim rulers, even Hindu Kings imprisoned fathers & killed brothers for the throne in Indian history!

And let’s not forget Ashoka. If we were looking for a fanatic who would kill others due to a different belief – the equivalent of the Modern Day Islamic Jehadis – in India’s history, then Ashoka is the closest who comes to that description.

 “At that time, an incident occurred which greatly enraged the king. A follower of the Nirgrantha (Mahavira) painted a picture, showing Buddha prostrating himself at the feet of the Nirgrantha. Ashoka ordered all the Ajivikas of Pundravardhana (North Bengal) to be killed. In one day, eighteen thousand Ajivikas lost their lives. A similar kind of incident took place in the town of Pataliputra. A man who painted such a picture was burnt alive with his family. It was announced that whoever would bring the king the head of a Nirgrantha would be rewarded with a dinara (a gold coin). As a result of this, thousands of Nirgranthas lost their lives.”

So again, my point here is ,you see, it was never about religion. Not always. Rulers of those times did what they did. They had many reasons for it and religion was not always one of those.

So, don’t go about calling these rulers as the ancestors of every Muslim and don’t bring religion into everything!

 

Sources:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/drishtikone/2011/12/ashoka-great-was-indias-first-religiously-fanatic-jehadi/

http://nationalviews.com/indian-history-facts-muslim-rulers-hindu-kings-fratricide

https://thewire.in/18919/high-time-discarded-pernicious-myth-indias-medieval-muslim-villains/

 

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Meaning of Madarasachap.

Yes. Madarasachap. Let us begin by learning what it means.

And oh, before I tell you the meaning, let me tell you that ‘madarasachap’ is a derogatory term.

Etymology: Its etymology lies somewhere in the words ‘anghutachap’ which means ‘illiterate’ and in ‘sadakchaap’ which loosely mean ‘homeless’. Here in India, I have come across many people who think that every Muslim is a madarasachap.

Meaning: Muslims

Synonyms: Muzzie, Mullahs, sand/oil nigger, raghead, etc.

Madarasachaps lack intelligence, patriotism and compassion; were born without any useful skills and are basically good for nothings who feed on taxes the Hindus pay.

The term has become so popular, that you can feel it when a non Muslim looks at a Muslim. These days, when I step out of the house I am more socially conscious than ever. I have to make sure that nothing about me would give someone a chance to call me a Madarasachap.

Being a Muslim woman, I wear the abaya. But unlike many non Muslim women who step out in their pajamas and night dress when they take their pets on walk or when they make a quick, short visit to the grocery store, I can’t wear pajamas or maxi under my all-covering abaya lest it shows while I walk the stairs and people point at me and laugh.

I can’t commit little everyday blunders like dropping my keys, mispronouncing a word, feeding the wrong pin to the ATM, taking too long to decide on the flavour of ice cream, spelling a word wrongly, missing the target entirely while playing archery at the sports arena in the mall, taking an extra minute at the billing counter, making a simple grammar mistake, shutting the door too loudly, pushing instead of pulling the door or even taking longer than half a minute to find change in my purse.

Nope, I can’t do all that without being judged. If I do those things it just proves I was born inept. That’s your certification for being a madarasachap. Infact, I turn into a madarasachap the moment I cover myself in the abaya which many people so lovingly call ‘the black tent’. Harsh, but true.

I have to be extra careful and extra generous everywhere. I have to be extra courteous and mind my manners to a T. But sometimes even this fails to make an impression. I then have to showcase my oratory and communication skills and speak in English. Only then people begin to believe that there’s a face behind the veil, a human being inside the abaya and a brain in my skull.

A few months ago, I started disallowing myself a lot of things. Like going to book fairs, cycling, archery or bowling because people look at me funny. They are short of screaming “Look! There’s a Moslem girl reading or playing a sport in an abaya!” I stopped playing in the rain or jumping in the puddles. When I click photos, I can hear someone snorting and I know what they are thinking. They are thinking “what’s the point of clicking pics when you are wearing the same dress every single time?!”

Not just me, my husband had to change several things in his lifestyle to avoid being unfairly judged. In India, every fifth person does something stupid or flouts the rules, for instance- walking on the wrong side of the street, jumping the signal, neglecting the helmet, speaking in the library, trying to sneak food items in the cinema hall, triple riding on a two wheeler, etc. These are normal things in my country. People will see you doing it, laugh or shake their heads and forget about it. But when a Muslim does it, they are hailed as madarasa…wait-for-it…chaap, madarasachap! The prejudice continues.

I am not saying that Muslims never make mistakes. There are dickheads everywhere, in every religion and they come in all colours and sizes and shapes. There are villains too. But very so often you’ll come across good Samaritans also. If I ever get in a debate, I can point out a ton of quirks and flaws and weird rituals in every culture of the world. But that would still not make me judgemental.

My point is, it’s easy to look at people and make quick judgements about them because they dress in a manner unfamiliar to you or they belong to a religion you don’t like. A few bad apples doesn’t make everyone bad. So, stop judging a book by its cover.