I hope the title caught your attention because I really want people to respond to this article. An incident took place in Sydney during the past week, an incident which involved Muslims. I thank the Almighty; there wasn’t any involvement from any Pakistani whatsoever… then again this isn’t the USA where everything that goes wrong is a responsibility of Al-Qaeda and Pakistan.
The incident was sparked as retaliation to a recent YouTube video which I am assuming most of you would have heard about. The video which was produced and put up by a conman, to entice the Muslim populous to react in the way the world perceives them and clearly he got his point proved. Now I haven’t followed the incident very closely as my internet access these days is very much limited but I have been asked about it over a dozen times by people at my work place in the past week which has led me to write about it.
Are we so predictable and gullible? So easily entrapped? This was like a simple demonstration of hook, line and sinker. Now I understand why people would get angry about this issue but I am not entirely sure that the people who were the ones who retaliated understood why they were angry or who were they angry at. They just sought out to hurt people. People who might not even have the remotest idea as to why this angry mob had assimilated in the first place.
There have been pages again emerging on social media sites in response to this video, pages which want people to join in protests, ban the use YouTube and the height of hypocrisy; ban the use of Facebook… by actually posting a page about it on Facebook. Now I believe most of us can also recall a similar incident happening last year in response to the publication of blasphemous cartoons by the Danish media, I can recall protests similar to the aforementioned being staged on the 23rd May 2011 (somebody correct me if I have the wrong date here). People disabled their FB profiles, expressing love for their faith, showing how extremely good Muslims they were… not more than 3 weeks later, more than half of these hypocrites were back online. Now I have no issues with people protesting for what they believe in and especially if they whole heartedly believe in the cause, however all of this can be achieved without violence or bringing about a sense of discomfort to people who had nothing to do with it… and it all starts at a personal level more than anything.
People are dying every day, injustice is prevalent and morality is perhaps at an all time low and we choose to ignore all this on a regular basis but as soon as some ignorant bigot mocks our religion, we lose it. Why is it so hard to turn the other cheek? Stuff like this has been happening forever it seems but it all gains popularity and global acclaim as soon as we start to acknowledge it. Why give it all glory in the first place? The cartoons that were insulting to the Prophet (PBUH) were spread more through ignorant people sharing pages in response to protest against them. What logic is this?
Now I believe in free speech but I also believe that free speech does not mean hate speech. We have a right to protest if we believe we have been wronged but the approach needs to change. We talk about injustice and as to how some religious groups are protected more than the others. You know why that would be? That is because they don’t give the rest of the world a reason to hate them, they don’t go about physically destroying property or hurt people in other parts of the world which did not have anything to do with the actual incident. Hardly have I heard or read about people who have actually been responsible for creating all the mischief being held accountable, that is because these people are hard to get to, they are protected. So what is the alternative? Loot, plunder and hurt the innocents, problem solved. Give people who have no ill will towards you a reason to hate you, then call it progress.
Now this conman Sam Becile (or whatever his real name turns out to be by the end of all this) has been apprehended but no further updates in regards to this have been provided. After the issue dies down in a couple of weeks or perhaps a month or two, this man would be walking free on the streets or if prosecuted, spend a couple of months or years in jail and walk out with a clean slate. The image of the Muslims however around the world though would remain tarnished. The people who are living abroad, the missionaries who travel around the world trying to spread the message, the people who actually strive on a daily basis just to promote an image of the religion like it actually is then what is perceived by the people, all goes to waste with such incidents. There is no such thing as damage control because fear is a great motivator and such incidents are hard to forget, that is how humans are wired.
What happened cannot be justified in any sense so how do we go about rectifying this mistake? How do we prevent all of this from happening in the future?
P.S: I am aware of the incidents that took place in Pakistan as well, although the article is not in response to what happened there I am sure that all of you can relate to it. I just hope we can get a healthy discussion going here just to get some insight in regards to the matter.
Also this article is over 2 weeks old, I just could not get around to posting it due to some issues.