Today’s post, once again: Sheikh Taj Aldin Al-Hilali
January 11, 2007 update can be found here
In yesterdays post: What an eventful day I had 2 comments:
Well put, dear Sister. Muslims will never progress in any country until their attitudes of women as a piece of meat are eradicated. It helps that such attitudes are condemned when spouted in public.
While I disagree with what Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali said, I also believe that the Australian media pounced on his speech and turned what he said into a ridiculous sensationalist field day. Obviously, it’s good that his attitudes were condemned, but I feel as if the media here, by publicising these speeches, inflames anti-Muslim feeling in a very negative and unhelpful way. There were even phone polls on breakfast TV here today along the lines of: “Should the Mufti [as he is known as here] be deported?” But he’s an Australian citizen! It all just degenerates into “Them” and “Us” xenophobia. I suppose I feel especially sensitive towards it because I’m a migrant. If I voice my opinion, is somebody going to deport me?
Now, it’s not just Helen’s remark, but it was Irving’s remark as well that had thrown me into a state of total confusion, self-doubt and questioning. Originally, I had read Helen’s remark and had a sense of guilt, for she does have a point, the media is sensationalizing it at a time that xenophobia is getting out of hand. I went back to read Irvings comment for that motivation that one needs on occasions such as this. Instead of this sense of doing something right, I had this sense of dred. This sense of it all being pointless. This sense of absolute fear and paranoia.
I was thrown back into 1984, back into former Yugoslavia, back into a place where even though his name was Ahmed, Ahmed was not a Muslim, but an atheist. I was thrown back into that little world where most of us were Yasminas, Samahas, Ahmeds and Muhameds that adapted to the point of atheism. Later on a monthly, weekly at times on a daily basis I would hear about those atheist Yasminas, Samahas, Ahmeds and Muhameds losing their lives, their limbs, their children.
These were people that I knew. Some of them poked fun that I wanted to go to Madrassa and with all of them I debated whether or not god existed. In the end, what happened to them happened because they were Muslim. I didn’t make them Muslim, god knows that they themselves didn’t consider themselves Muslim. The Serbs said that they were Muslim and that is why they lost their lives and limbs and children. We’ve seen this before, it was then called a holocaust.
I worry. I do. I get scared that this happened in a place that I NEVER would have thought it would happen. I never thought that my friend Aleksandra (serbian name) hated me that much, and it really wasn’t that she did. Propoganda played a huge role in how that war played out.
There is one thing that I go back to when I get this scared and that is that there are people out there that are humanists. There are people out there that refuse to let fear take over their hearts. My geography teacher was a Serbian man named Radika. I had heard stories by so many people how he had sheltered Muslims and how he had helped Muslims escape from the hands of the chetniks. He died helping them. The Serbs killed him for it. In every thought that I have for my “Muslim” friends that I have lost, I remember him as well. It is the way that I can get beyond what happened. It is the way that I can forgive. I’ll never forget, but I have to forgive.
I remember that and then I know that I’m not doing the wrong thing. When something is wrong it is wrong. I can not let something like the statements of this Imam go because of Xenophobia. What he said was wrong, moreso it could actually encourage rape.
Now when I ask the question of when are Muslims going to adapt, I am in no way implying that Muslims should convert to the majority religion or accept injustices. I am saying that Muslims need to learn the ways of their host countries and act accordingly. Peaceful protest is much more pro-active than burning busses and buildings. If you believe that women need to be covered up and not leave the house, then you do not belong in these countries where we are not all covered up and staying in the house.
As to the polls being conducted in Australia about whether this man should be deported or not, I really do think it is a shame. I’m not sure what Australia’s position is on freedom of speech and just what people hold rights to freedom of speech.
I’m also, as disgusted as I am with this sheik, as disgusted with the media for NOT comming to the defense of freedom of speech, for not reporting on these polls that are being taken calling for this man to be deported. Yes, it has been sensationalized, I agree.