Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fools For Freedom & Justice

Its not that I don’t believe in the concept of Freedom of Speech, I just question the validity of it. And yes, all speech should be free and fair… but I have to wonder, are there any barriers that we shouldn’t cross? After all, some barriers exist for a reason.

Over the past decade or so, that freedom to say what we like on a public platform has taken on new meaning. We find that people can now openly mock our Prophet’s (Jesus, Moses and Muhammed PBUT), and they can openly question or ridicule God and His word. They can openly disrespect others, why? Well because they can, and they’re free to do so.

That said, I honestly don’t believe that we’ve ever really had freedom of speech, or that we ever will. The way I see it, that freedom is only ever afforded to certain people in certain sects, in certain social or political factions and it’s always been this way. If we look at the history of free speech, we will see that at any point in time, while speech was deemed free to some, it was not considered so for others.

For instance, in the Apartheid era, the governing whites had the right to refer to all the blacks as “kaffers”, both in private and on public platforms, like the media. But at that time, the blacks were not afforded the same rights or free speech. Today, it’s almost illegal to say the "K" word and those that still do are regarded as vile racists with no respect for human life. But barring a few minor protestations, it’s largely deemed ok for blacks to say white racist remarks. The tables have indeed turned… and while speech is free for some, not all have been afforded that privilege.

This is evident in almost every society or nation that we encounter. Mention any of the Zionist atrocities and you will be labeled as Anti-Semitic. But it’s ok to go around branding 1.7 Billion Muslims as terrorists even though terrorism, or any of its constituents, doesn’t even exist in the laws of Islam.

I often think of Facebook and Twitter as great examples of how censored we are. No one in their right mind, (whether they're Muslim or not) would ever post statuses about the texture and consistency of their feces, or discuss what it means to bleed at every menstruation, or thank their partners and go on detailing the previous night's exotic antics because it’s largely considered vulgar and immoral. But it’s not immoral to disregard the laws of Islam and disrespect its followers by drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and mock him. It’s immoral, despicable and downright evil to call people “kaffers” or “niggers” or to “hail Hitler”… the mere thought of a status with any of these offensive words is unfathomable... but it’s perfectly ok for depraved people to scorn the religions of other’s, disrespect their civil & human rights and hold their practices in contempt.

A part of me believes that we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that we ever really HAD freedom of speech. Free speech has only ever been afforded to some and sometimes I think that we will only have free speech when people can hate each other equally without one or the other seeking to intervene or intimidate the other into silence or compliance. Most of the time, it seems that speech is only ever free when it serves a greater political agenda.


Speaking of politics, I was looking at the Ground Zero Mosque debate the other day and personally, I can understand the sensitivity surrounding the issue. Many people feel it’s disrespectful to the memories of their loved ones and they’re entitled to their feelings and opinions… I can understand that. What I fail to understand is how they can blame 1.7 Billion of the Worlds’ population under the banner of Islam for something a few men did. I find it insulting and offensive, as well as an affront to worldwide concepts of intelligence.

For all the knowledge in the world (as I’ve said before, we have never known as much as we do today) we still have people thinking & behaving in a way that I believe is either the epitome of stupidity or the single most grotesquely ignorant thing I have ever witnessed in my life. I had this conversation with two Americans recently, one of whom is a friend and the other, an acquaintance of this friend.

The acquaintance dared to quote some of Islam’s so-called “terrorist laws” to me, citing passages of the Qur’an out of context with absolutely no knowledge of Tafseer etc… knowledge that she no doubt acquired online on one of the hundreds of dodgy sites seeping with inaccurate information or from uneducated sources.

Now, I know my religion. I don’t need some secular individual telling me what I believe in, based on tidbits of non-information that she picked up here and there, then quoting what can only be described as information so grossly inaccurate, she might as well have made it up out of thin air. It was surprising to her to find out that fundamentalism and terrorism exists in every religion and in almost every society on the planet.

I’m part Irish right… it’s a small part but it’s still definitive. You don’t see me slandering Catholics or Christianity as a whole every time the IRA decides to blow up some or other landmark for their cause. You don’t see people drawing blasphemous cartoons of The Virgin Mary every time ETA (who are blatantly classified as a terrorist organization by Europe and America) decides to attack the public transport system in Spain leaving hundreds dead in their wake. You didn’t see people picketing with Anti-Jesus slogans and burning bibles every time the Klu Klux Klan went out of their way to commit the most atrocious, heinous acts with their huge crosses emblazoned across their white robes.

Even today, when the Apartheid Zionist regime kills hundreds of people on a daily basis, the knowledgeable know that it has nothing to do with Judaism and no one is disparaging Moses and drawing offensive cartoons of him, or burning Torah’s.

I informed the acquaintance that she would be more than just a fool to believe that the terrorist/fundamentalist war with America has anything to do with Islam at all. Islam is its cover, an excuse to wage a war that has everything to do with politics, oil, power and foreign policies.

And if there is anything 28 years on this planet has taught me, it’s that nothing is ever as it seems.

9 comments:

  1. Arent you just a melting pot of etnicity :P

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  2. well thought out post :) you're quite right.

    as for the ground zero mosque debate, its 2 blocks away and if its private land they can do what they want, the protestors should be asking why is ground zero still as it was 9 years ago, they were supposed to build a memorial blah blah but nothing has happened.

    hey i also have a tiny bit of irish blood from wayyyy back.

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  3. freedom is a pretty word used to cover all manner of transgressions. freedom of speech...the fight to maintain the freedom of the american way of life...free the women from the veil...
    just as terrorism is used to denote any muslim activity- including the right to self defense.

    and i know everyone will rear up and say- excuse me? what do you mean by that?
    well. im not going to take the word of a nation that murdered millions of innocent civilians and forced survivors to live with horrific progressive diseases (hiroshima and nagasaki, anyone?)
    as the truth.
    the nation that never ever apologised for its destruction, and continued to experiment on other poorer nations incapable of stopping them.
    the same nation that will stand by and pleasantly smile whilst it's pal is committing mass genocide in palestine.
    the truth from them?naa...they learnt well from joseph goebbels...

    you know what i always find strangely repuslive and intriguing at the same time?
    without fail, every year, some film or other has to be nominated with the holocaust being either a focus point, or haunting subtext in the movie.every year we are fed images of jewish victimisation, so that as they perpertrate mass genocide, we unconsciously try to rationalise and negate it with the idea of their eternal struggle and victimhood.
    such that they Never apologise for any transgressions-everything is always provoked or in retaliation- or best yet- the media might not have the 'whole story'.
    and as muslims, we can be assured of being edited and savaged and completely distorted.
    our stories will never be the 'whole truth'.

    freedom and truth are two very different things.
    it depends, you see, on who's talking.

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  4. What a thought provoking piece!!!!

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  5. Edge - LOL. Yeah, and I'm loving it too ;D

    Chantal - My Great Great Grand-dad came from Ireland and settled here in SA :) According to one radio station, Ground Zero (and the surrounds) were to be turned into a community centre for everyone... and it just so happened that this planned community centre was going to have a mosque. Whatever the story, I think its all blown out of proportion as it always is *sigh*

    Pserean - I ardently believe that there are three sides to every story... the third being the truth... which is extremely rare these days :P

    Prixie - Thanks!! Reckon I qualify and can join you in that crummy office of yours? Oh but we'd never get anything done :D

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  6. I don't think that people are offended by the construction of another mosque in New York City. There are roughly 100 in the city at present and it's never been a problem.

    However many Americans, and I'm one of them, saw video feeds from around the world with Muslim people celebrating the attack on the World Trade Center. And it created bad feelings that persist. There are a number of fundamentalist Muslims who still see that attack as a triumph for Islam.

    Nobody cares if they build the mosque elsewhere -- and the State of New York has offered them other locations in the vicinity but they seem to cling to the site adjacent to Ground Zero.

    All it serves to do is to whip up resentment and undermine their political support in the US.

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  7. LL - I'm quite sensitive to people's needs and feelings, so I can totally understand why they'd be upset, especially if, as you say, there is an arrogant sentiment attached to the issue. But I don't think attacking Islam as a religion is the answer. Yes, there are stupid Muslims too... stupid people exist in every race, culture and religion... but barring the ignorant ones, the majority of us stand against terrorism of any kind. Maybe America doesn't get to see that because of the media. Speaking of the media and irresponsible journalism, what's being displayed on this side of the world (and no doubt in many other parts of the world) is that stereotypical image of self-obssessed intolerant Americans determined to go to war on any issue. Like I said, there are always three sides to a story. And it seems like someone's playing Devil's Advocate and the truth is shot into oblivion.

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  8. hi L.L

    i think i remember the clip you're referring to...and I also remember that there was a lot of debate and unhappiness amongst the muslims- because it was actually an unrelated clip, and had nothing to do with the twin towers collapse.
    i might be wrong, but that's what i recall ...

    (shoddy journalism...or perhaps something else..)

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  9. Good morning, Azra. How are you today? Well, as for your post, let me start out by saying (again) that I'm not a religious person. It is my belief that religion is the result of our self-centredness as a species (meaning we human beings must play a special role in the universe) and our longing for someone looking after us. Of course, that doesn't mean I would deliberately mock your view of life. But what is offensive to you may be totally and utterly irrelevant to me, simply because I don't feel what you feel in the same way that you don't feel what I feel. Our mutual respect for each other will therefore be based on impressions and abstractions and interpretations, not on feelings. And I think that everyone around the globe - religious or not - is getting more and more sensitive in the ME-ME world that we've created ourselves.

    Just saying... :)

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