Tuesday 03 March, 2015

Islam: From Rhetoric To Reality.

Today when we hear the word ‘terrorism’ we think of Muslims, when we hear the word ‘Muslims’ we think of terrorism. People are assuming things that are not genuine enough and give unworthy opinions.

Terrorism comes from the word ‘terror’ which means ‘beyond fear’ or ‘extreme fear’. It doesn’t have any relationship with Islam. Islam propagates things to avoid terror, not to be a part of it. Due to the influence of terrorism, the Muslim culture and society have changed a lot. Their opinions have changed. Islam is not spread through violence or any kind of military means. Countries like Nigeria and Ghana have Muslim population not because they were forced to follow Islam as religion, but it happened because of the traders who went there and won the hearts of the dwellers of Nigeria and Ghana and people of that place liked the culture and accepted it.

Post 9/11, a Canadian author went on a book tour in the US to promote his novel. He was stopped at every American airport, so that authorities could verify that he was not linked to Al-Qaeda or another terrorist group. The Problem? He was wearing a beard as Muslims do to emulate Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). What is interesting is that the author was Rohinton Mistry and he was not even Muslim, but a Zoroastrain. He was held back at every airport because he looked suspicious or more specifically his appearance matched the characteristic of a typical Islamic terrorist. The main focus is that if the appearance of a person is more or less like of Muslim i.e. having a beard, wearing a qurta or a cap then he draws suspicion  and have characteristics,  which gives an impression of a terrorist. This outfit has also been stereotype.

If we take the example of the movie ‘My name is Khan’, we see that, if a person is somehow related to a Muslim or deals with Arabic-Islamic countries then he is a suspect terrorist. In the movie, Rizwan Khan(Shahrukh Khan), was held back at airport because his name was Khan.In the aftermath of the devastating tragedy of 9/11, the life of the protagonist is completely metamorphasized. His own family rejected him because he was a Muslim, and the thinking of his wife, Mandira Khan (Kajol), was absolutely radical. She blamed the death of her son on Rizwan and because he was a Muslim. The whole story took a different turn and it was the Muslim who was blamed and was the culprit of all the happenings. Even when he (Rizwan) wanted to donate money to see the President of United States, he failed. He was restricted from attending the charity because he was Muslim and the reason they got was that it was a Christian event. Because of the identity of Muslim, he was opposed to attend it. The image of Muslim is always being distorted and presented in a negative manner.

Another movie ‘Kurbaan’ directed by Rensil D’Sliva shows the Islamphobic stereotypes and again Muslim as leading the main role i.e. terrorist. It has become the prominent figure.

After 9/11 attack on US, the American Muslims are living with fear and they are hiding from the world. The growth of stereotypes impression against the Muslims world has increased much more after this dreadful 9/11 attack. People cut their beards, so that they can’t be judged as a Muslim and can’t get into kind of trouble. Muslims try to restrict themselves to their own community and because of the fear they try to avoid others. The trouble face by women living in US is very critical. A woman who wears hijab, which is traditional head-covering, is often taunted at work and on the street and the careers of these women are actually jeopardized- they are discriminated against at work and they are not given jobs. Again taking the example of movie ‘My name is Khan’ where the director, Karan Johar, tried to show how the life of Muslim woman gets jeopardized easily after 9/11 incident. Zakir Khan’s (Jimmy Shergill) wife, Haseena khan (Soniya Jehan), became the target after 9/11 attack. She became the case of eve-teasing and had to face trouble at work place. Women who wear hijab in the US are the obvious targets- they’re obviously Muslims, and because of that they face sexual harassment, and often their physical safety is jeopardized. Due to the trouble faced by Haseena, the response of her husband, Zakir, was typical. She was asked to leave hijab at home, so that no one would recognize her as a Muslim and there will be no bad consequences.

In today’s world, the main target is Muslim. This statement is quite hard to say, but there are facts that support this. They happen to be in news most of the time.

If we take the, moves like ‘Khuda kay Liye’, ‘Kurbaan’, or ‘A Wednesday’, we see terrorism and terrorists are involved. And yes, the terrorists are Muslim. Whenever there is need to portray terrorist, Muslim character is used. Zahir, Ikhlaq in ‘A Wednesday’ or Ehsaan Khan in ‘Kurbaan’, they show Muslim characters to depict the terrorists.

Muslims who are more or less  deprived of opportunities get more irrelevant and angry. They get two options; they either go against the norms and protocols of Islam or they become too rigid about it. To achieve what they don’t have, makes them take a wrong path and that leads to further problem. Today when we see a young terrorist who blames himself to be a Muslim and fighting for Islam is totally irrelevant and absurd. E.g. Ajmal Kasab. They really don’t know what they’re doing. Majority of people who are  followers of Islam don’t know what Islam is, what it is about and what is that it wants to spread.

Younger people who follow the path of terrorism just by thinking it is for Islam or Jihad, but the word Jihad has different meaning. They don’t know the cultural values and think totally opposite of the topic. They don’t know true Islam. Youngsters of Moderns Islam are changing and are being radical. They are following that is not important. They are ignoring the facts and trying to achieve something different than they’re taught. There are reasons which are affecting the thinking of youngsters.  If the education they are getting is incomplete and biased then it will create huge problems and there are number of things that have changed the view of youngsters. Taking the example of the movie ‘Khuda kay liye’, where a cleric with radical ideas tried to change the mentality and opinions. The cleric taught the protagonist that in Islam there is no place for music. He taught him that music destroys the one who listen it. He further explained to the him that to win the hearts of Muslim and to do be a better Muslim, he needs to do some virtuous deeds and those virtuous deeds were blowing up public places, destroying the beauties of the world and creating a mess. This is how the wrong preaching changes the whole vista and affects the community and culture.

Rensil D’Sliva, director of the movie ‘Kurbaan’ said in an interview, “alignment of terrorism with Islam remains unchanged” which is extremely problematic and offensive.

The cultural trends have changed. People (Muslim) have changed their perspectives. Their views are radical and different. There are faults in every religion and everyone commits mistake once in a while, but is not true a fair to blame the whole group or society for what one person has done. Due to the emergence of terrorism, the society is not longer the same. It has impacted the society and changed the views and opinions.

The London mayor human rights advisor, Yasmin Qureshi, said that “As we wouldn’t say the Jewish people they shouldn’t’ wear the skull cap or tell the Christian to hide their crosses or Sikhs to take off their turbans, so a Muslim woman has the right to wear the hijab and this right should be defended”

Every culture should be propagated. People should understand each others culture and make and prosper into a healthy society.

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20 Responses to "Islam: From Rhetoric To Reality."

  1. Salman Zaki says:

    Nice work done my bro..i agree with you!!!

  2. Fahad says:

    I support your concern regarding Muslim being biased everytime. And the major role what i think is being played by the Media only.
    One thing i wanna add to this,. have we ever think why every terrorists are muslim??and we cant eradicate terrorism by killing the terrorist. Have we ever tried to read their mind?? i mean under what circumstances they took such extreame steps.. There can be many reason. BUt what one of the major reason what i think is INJUSTICE. being given to them. Anyways, lot more we can forensic it.

    But AADIL, you came with a great work. Keep it up.
    May Allah Bless you.

  3. Gary says:

    This article is inaccurate and misleading. The author (who appears to be a muslim) is trying to say that islam does not support terrorism and terrorists are not really muslims. One often hears muslims say things like this. They even go so far as to accuse the media or portraying muslims in a bad light. The truth of the matter is that whatever little positive ideas people have about islam is in fact thanks to the media which has shown a lot of tolerance and sympathy to muslims, a lot more than they deserve. If not for the media, and teh opportunities given to the people like the author of this article, people would have a far more negative view of islam than they already have. The truth is islam has been characterized by terror from its very inception. Many things have changed over the centuries, but terror has remained an integral part of islam, from the jihads waged by mohammad against people of all other faiths in deserts of arabia, to al quaida and the talibans jihad against all “kafirs”. Muslims, instead of confronting their religion, accuse everyone else of being biased and ‘unsecular’ against them. Yet in any country or region where muslims are a majority they terrorize minorities. They follow a religion which has brought untold suffering and unspeakable horrors upon people for an entire millenium, and then accuse the rest of us of being too critical. When one individual speaks out against islam, all these same muslims jump in to accuse him of being misinformed. Where are they when muslims are murdering innocents? Do they speak of the horrors of sharia in afghanistan? The slaughter of millions of hindus in mughal india? The suffering of jews under constant seige in the middle east? They refuse to admit even that almost every country in the world today is facing issues of terrorism caused by muslims. The USA has been terrorized by muslims, England, France, Germany too, Sweden has seen fatwa executions, eastern europe has suffered at the hands of separatist muslims, china is facing an islamic insurgency… these are not just individuals wrongly acting in the name of islam, they are infact fervent followers of islam who are doing exactly what mohammad would have done if he were alive today.

    The sad thing is that muslims living in secular and free countries, instead of seeing the reality of the situation, try to sugar coat it and offer alternative theories. Many of them actually believe that just because they themselves are not terrorists, islam must be a peaceful religion. This article is a typical example of this. See the world for what it is. Forget for a minute you are a muslim and look at things objectively. It might hurt at first, but you will realize that islam is equated with terror for some very good reasons.

  4. FAHD IBRAHIM says:

    Mr Gary,
    I,ve read your article and i’m really sorry to say this that you have been mislead by your elders.Looking at your article it seems like you have been grown in such an environment where you learnt to hate MUSLIMS and talk some shit about it.Talkin about media,it has always had showed false information.They just want some GARAM MASALA to add to their recepie.Hvnt u seen the example of it???Doordarshan will show 6 bomb blast….NDTV will show 8….AAJ TAK (sab se tej)will show some unbelieveable number of bomb blast as the name suggest.Your ignorance says all that you dont even knw, what the word ISLAM means???It means peace….the word itself suggest peace then how can be islam a voilent religion???Secondly mohammed(S.A.W)never preached voilence.He fought wars with even muslim rulers who tried to grab his motheland.He defended his land where he was born….Wldn,t that any nation wld do if they are attacked by some other countries???What wld you do if your home is under attack???wont you defend it???Want you defend your family??That is what he did..That is what we do even today…

    Lets come to ALqaida and taliban…who are they???i guess your history is really weak.or may be its just you are too immature to think on the fact….have you ever heard the name of Taliban or alqaida before Russia’s war on Afghanistan???NO. Because this were government body in afghan.Russians grabbed their land and taliban formed a group to get their land back….But as days passed their war turned into greed.Now they fight for their selfishness not for their people.They kick the butt of the people who live their.

  5. FAHD IBRAHIM says:

    Again in this comment m gonna point out your ignorance to know the fact and your half information on the history of WW2. Jews Were under attack by Hitler in the whole of Europe.the whole event is know as holocaust(wld u call this genocide and homicide or a humanly gesture)Americans and Britishers helped them to settle on the land which is today known as Israel.They were taken out of their home and those who were not ready were dealt with cruelty.They were forced to live in refugee camps and were disposed to a small piece of land known as Palestine.werent they driven out of their home??dont they have a write to protect their motherland.

    Also blaming ISLAM for terrorist activity is an uphill responsibility you are talking.It is a peaceful religion.Quran says killing a person equals to the murder of whole humanity.Terrorism exist in all religion….Sometime in disguise.From Taliban, alqaida etc in Afghanistan and world over to Hindutva terrorist in india,nepal to pagans in europe. All the examples are infront of you.If you dont believe about terrorism in all religion then you can search about hindutva and pagans. Have a look at the wikipedia of “klu klux klan” a terrorist organisation led by BAD CHRISTIANS….hope all your doubts are cleared and that you have become a level up mature to understand the world and its people,

  6. Pavan Jhaveri says:

    Well i m happy to know abt dis knowledge u shared thanks a lot i m glad to know abt. islam. i didnt knew dat u have such a good far sight thanks a lot

  7. Sachin says:

    here is a topic which is much important to be discussed……..terrorism is not at all related to any religion…..these are such great lame excusses by such organizations…..i think these people are the one who have gone through such circumstances which we people have never been thouth in our minds……n various cruel leaders like hitler etc are reasons for them……..as we know that people all aroud the world want peace….ISLAM is not an evil religion…..no religion on earth described evil deeds in it…….these are the mind sets…..got negetivity from such events like bombardment at kabul for just sadam hussain….n various people got burn into it……for erasing talibaanis from pakistan dron attaks would roug innocent pakistanis……last but not the least….railway bomb blast at mumbai&Taj Attack……for just terrorism…….so one cannot blame any religion for its follower’s evil deeds….

  8. palak says:

    the article given above is very true.but one more thing is that,,all people doesnot think what is told and is not always true.I know islam is gr8 religion and it teach us humanity and like me many people knows this and we all respect for islam religion.but some people and ideologies lead all into trouble and create imbalance in our society.but we cannot change all people views so we should stick for positive thinking.!!

  9. sidrah says:

    POLITICS……that is all that is into it……its all pure business guys.They dont have a religion.Do you think you can get into a country with loads of armour undetected.It is simply stupid that people believe it.And all the talk that the media creates about “terrorism and islam”….its all bullshit…deal with media moguls and you’ll know that it is all business as usual for them too…..ISLAM is a religion based on its very five fundamental rules…and all those rules teach faith and compassion…and FYI it is very much in harmony with science…everything that is preached in islam has a scientific reason behind it..as simple as doing “wuzu” before namaz…..it keeps you clean and one movement in it prevents cancer…..In quran it is clearly mentioned that it is god who creates and it is god who kills..and anyone who disobeys that is not a muslim….and for that very reason, even commiting suicide is a sin in islam…and lets not just talk about ajmal kasab…lets talk about the three top officials killed…..their deaths are still shrouded by mysteries….talking about ideologies,and religion……it is all bullshit…it is just business as usual for some….>>>
    and if the media wants to report the truth only ..then why do they report the official deaths and not the real figure….look all we have to understand is that no one is clean here….and in such a system no one can be either…..we have to accept it and live with it…..I AM A MUSLIM AND PROUD TO BE ONE!!!

  10. Arsheen says:

    Muslims are not born terrorists; we are not comparing Islam with terrorism.
    Aadil, your article is appealing in the sense because it focuses on the existing harassing conditions faced by people, just because they are muslim.

    Keep up the good work.

    With lots of shavarmas and arabian burgers:)

  11. Aadil Fahim says:


    Yes, Islam doesn’t support terrorism and terrorists are not Muslims. If you go through the holy book Quran, you’ll find there that Islam talks about making a peaceful world. You’ll find that the Qur’an is quite clear that we should be peaceful with those who are peaceful with us. [Quran 8:61] “If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in God. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” And again, [Qur'an 4:90] “…. Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no excuse to fight them.” So, we can plainly see from these texts that it is not legitimate for an individual to unilaterally decide to attack innocent civilians who pose no threat to themselves, their families or their property. Another point I would like to put forward is that, there are very strict rules of warfare and distinct lines drawn between combatants and civilians. The prophet (PBUH) is recorded as saying, “Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman” (Abu Dawud). “Do not kill the monks in monasteries” or “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship” (Musnad of Ibn Hanbal). How can someone be called Muslim, if he is not following the rules and going against it? Media has its own agenda. It can focus on something which is quite absurd as well as untruth. Taking the e.g. In 1995 when Timothy McVeigh committed “the worst terrorist act in American history” by bombing the Oklahoma City federal building and killing 167 people, many of them children, reporters did not sensationalize the story by referring to McVeigh as a “Christian terrorist.” If the perpetrator would have been a Muslim, even a non-practicing Muslim, but with an Arabic name, the whole headline would have changed; Muslims and Arabs were initially blamed for it. In the end, I want to add that not all Muslims are terrorists and not all terrorists are Muslims. There is no sugar coating. Look with an open mind! Things are no longer same. Muslims are not the terrorists! What will happen if a guy from some another religion comes up and does some heinous crime and blames himself as part of that religion, and speaks up that this is what his religion has been teaching him? Will others accept that truth? No, because that is totally vague and he is misinterpreting everything!

    Gary, I am not aware of what has been taught to you about Islam, be it at your school or home, but I do feel, you really need to widen your knowledge about the same. If my Name Is Khan was made and the related issue behind it was to bring the tragedies of a man who suffers just because he is a muslim and offers namaz, I think the issue is worth recognition, especially by people like you. Movies are made every another day and crores of rupees are spent on them, but the issues that really relate to the people make up the movies that are honestly accepted and appreciated by people.

  12. Aamir says:

    A wonderful piece and a wonderful website “indiastand”. @Gary: Hello sir, I’ve no idea why a name appears to you a muslim, I wish muslims had numbers instead of their names and I’m sure about it , even after they had numbers, they would have been discriminated saying that they are not even numbers or they are not prime numbers. Gary, you need to change your thought and work towards peace rather than finding who appears to be a muslim. Peace buddy!!

  13. Shadab says:

    Gary ,
    Lets start with your few examples ! You discussed about the killings of Hindu during Mughal period. Its true , It was Aurangzeb and Nadir Shah who found no objection killing Hindus. And as far as your other examples are concerned , it describes the violent face of Islam. Well , when we talk about humanity , where was it , when 300,000 civilians were beheaded and thousand women were raped in front of strong province like China , by japan before the world war II in Nanking. Hitler killed millions of Jews , Stalin slaughtered millions of Russians. Oh they were called the “leaders” , right ? Well , you know what , just take a simple example. Read the Jain version story of ” six blind men and the elephant”. One touched his tail , and thought its a rope , the other touched his trunk and thought its a pipe where as the other touched his ears and thought its a fan. We know what Jihad is. But these Talibans think it the other way. those six blind people found six different observation but in real life it was an elephant. Its the people who cant judge what Jihaad is , but the holy Quran describes it all !

  14. Oskar says:

    The discussion amuses me . .
    I want Gary to elaborate on “the crusades” . .Also, Christians wiping off pagans and jews and who not (Now, why the pagans? If the war was to be fought only against the muslims to regain land? Easy indulge?) in the name of God. Something you want us to take a positive spin on?

    Every religion has fought wars for righteousness . .For triumph of the good against the evil.
    You are badly informed so I am pleased to enlighten you that Muhammad (PBUH) fought the early battles only because he was forced to! It was because of the persecution, aggression and confiscation of property the muslims suffered at the hands of the Quraysh.

    Have you been reading Bernard Lewis lately? :D

  15. Oskar says:

    @Shadab : Sir, Nadir Shah butchered as many muslims!! THOUSANDS OF PERSIANS BEFORE HE DID THE SAME TO THE HINDUS HERE. But why would we care to know, right?
    We are just interested in stereotyping and feeding on easy excuses to strengthen prejudices. Right?

  16. Saif Sayed says:

    I like the article..there is certainly a universal message attached to it which i appreciate, although the article relied a little too much on Bollywood :) , and i would like to rectify here in the article, the wrong use of the word “emulate”(creates a very contradictory meaning here).We do not “emulate” Prophet Muhammed(PBUH), we follow his teachings, brother Aadil, there is nothing wrong with it but since it is the addressal to our Prophet Muhammad(PBUH), there is a level of sensitivity added to it.Again, Keep up the good work brother.and very factitious comments by Gary…

  17. irshad alam says:

    Bismillah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim (I start in the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful)

    Note: 1. This note is for mature readers only.
    2. Constructive criticism is always welcomed.
    3. Terrorism: Use of violent acts in order to achieve political aims or to force a Government to act.

    I am actually writing this note out of a lil excitement and a lot of frustration. Today in this note I would not write long theories and emotional arguments regarding Muslims being terrorists neither would I give any solutions. I would just ask you all, as readers, a few questions. This is so because it is not the solutions that we don’t know, but the present scenario that we are not aware of.

    Starting with the heading of this note itself “Is terrorism a Muslim monopoly?”
    Regarding this I would like to state, rather mention a statement from a very popular professor from the University of Illinois, William Blake. He said “It was very unfortunate what happened on 9/11. I guess its time to take some action. I am very sure of the presence of Islamic terrorists in this. All terrorists are not Muslims; all Muslims are terrorists” And William Blake is one of the large group of people who feel the same.

    What is the root cause of terrorism?
    In this regard I strongly believe that a person takes up some hobby/job/occupation only when he has certain amount of interest in it or he feels that this job will fulfill his needs/desires. Similar is the case to a terrorist. NO ONE IS BORN A TERRORIST.
    Its people like us who contribute in making of terrorists. Actually the main cause of terrorism is injustice rather than insecurity. We have a large variety of examples in this concern in the form of Kashmir and Palestine. To be very clear with the case of Kashmir, being a true Indian, an aware citizen and an unbiased human, true democracy was and is NOT followed in Kashmir.

    Hmmm…so where were we..? Ya…..injustice.
    This injustice done to a group of people causes a certain amount of retaliation/fight by those who have suffered. Terrorism is actually a very political term. Dunno why people relate it with other aspects as well. A person considered a terrorist by a certain group of people might be considered a hero for some other group. The British rule referred to Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and many other Indian freedom fighters as terrorists. But for us they did a noble job.

    There is nothing new about terrorism.
    1. In 1881, anarchists killed the Russian Tsar Alexander II and 21 bystanders.

    2. In 1901, anarchists killed US President McKinley as well as King Humbert I of Italy.

    3. World War I started in 1914 when anarchists killed Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. These terrorist attacks were not Muslim.

    4. Guerrilla fighters from Mao Zedong to Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro killed civilians during their revolutionary campaigns. They too were called terrorists until they triumphed. Nothing Muslim about them.

    5. In Germany in 1968-92, the Baader-Meinhoff Gang killed dozens, including the head of Treuhand, the German privatisation agency. In Italy, the Red Brigades kidnapped and killed Aldo Moro, former prime minister.

    6. The Japanese Red Army was an Asian version of this. Japan was also the home of Aum Shinrikyo, a Buddhist cult that tried to kill thousands in the Tokyo metro system using nerve gas in 1995.

    7. IN PALESTINE, after World War II, Jewish groups (the Haganah, Irgun and Stern Gang) fought for the creation of a Jewish state, bombing hotels and installations and killing civilians.
    The British, who then governed Palestine, rightly called these Jewish groups terrorists. Many of these terrorists later became leaders of independent Israel — Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon.

    And then they say we are terrorists!


    They show us that 10 soldiers of us army were killed…..they don’t show the tens of thousands of people who were being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    They show us that there are few Muslim terrorists and name them Saddam Hussain and Osama bin Laden but they don’t show us the large number of Muslim women and sisters raped in front of their families….with their fathers and brothers crying and begging for mercy on their mothers and sisters.
    They show us that they collect facts and then take measures…..but they don’t show us what treatment is given in their prisons. Innocent people are given a third degree torture where they have to eat the food in which the dogs of FBI have urinated.
    Such sights are unimaginable!

    Recently even I was in news in my school, our lovely DPS Mathura Road.
    Even tough my intentions were not to cause destruction on such a large scale, but still it happened and I am very very regretful for that. I have accepted my punishment (although I am enjoying the holidays!!!) but at the same time I have decided to bring a change in me.
    But you see there are some who will never bring a change in their opinions and their thinking and will continue to believe what the media shows them.

    Soooo…..finally ending this long note with some verses from our holy book Qur’an:

    “And if you punished, let your punishment be proportionate to the wrong that has been done to you; but if you show patience, that is indeed the best course”. [16:126]

    “Whoever kills another one without justifiable cause, surely he is killing all of humanity. And whoever saves the life of another one, surely he saves the lives of all of humanity”. [Sura Al Ma'aidah: Ayah 32]

  18. this post is very usefull thx!

  19. Ejaz Mohammad says:

    Very good article. Congratulations on a good piece of work.

    And yes, I am a Muslim. Proud of it. If somebody does not try to understand Islam and just paint it with one color, that is his problem. Gary, you need to learn more about Islam.

  20. Nermine says:

    it is a great article. Congratulations it is a really nice and open-minded piece.
    The word ” Islam” came from the word” Salam” in Arabic which means Peace, Islam is the religion of peace.

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