Double Standards…

A world of double standards, and many sub-standards.
This is the world we live in.

From the individual level to that of nations, we have a different set of rules (undefined, unexplainable, illogical, absurd) for different entities belonging to seemingly same category.

We the claimants of being ‘intelligent’ beings, behave so unintelligently, that animals certainly (with their limited intelligence) would mock at us, if they understood. Or maybe they do mock at us, and we don’t understand…

Let us look at a case in today’s news…

5 taleban men were released in exchange for Mr Mastrogiacomo (the Italiano), and Mr Naqshbandi’s (the Afghani) was killed, because (ironically, the Afghani) government didn’t think it fit to negotiate for his life.

And all the ‘president’ Karzai has to say is:

“[Mr Mastrogiacomo] was an extraordinary situation and won’t be repeated again,” Mr Karzai said on Friday. “No more deals with no-one and with no other country.” BBC

Human life is precious. All humans are equal. — umm.. maybe…

When nationality, or color makes life of one human being more important than others.. what would you call it? Sick double standards.

But then… This is what the world is like. United States, the big upholder and spokesperson for human rights, went and bombed and killed thousands of innocent Afghanis, to capture ‘one’ man, who they had ‘proof’ against (which even after so many years after the war the world is yet to see)… and the rest of the world is deaf, dumb and blind.

Pathetic.

oh please.. I cant help but comment on this:

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shias have gathered in the holy city of Najaf for a mass demonstration calling for US-led troops to leave Iraq. BBC

I would ask why? Weren’t the US-led troops (supposedly) welcome earlier on?

And they actually thought US-led troops were there because they, out of their ‘kindness’ wanted to come to Iraq to save them???

How naive can we get?

Glass of water test!

There are so many men who in their attempt to impress upon themselves the idea that they are ‘just’ and ‘sensible’ like to make statements to signify that they believe in the ‘equality of men and women’.

And it is so ironical that the larger proportion of these men are so ‘drowned’ in their egos that they don’t even see that they are lying to themselves. Years back I devised a simple test to check whether what they claim to believe is actually what they believe. Am I making sense?

Well the test goes like this:

If you are a man who claims to believe in ‘equality’ (note: not similarity) of genders, then answer this simple question:

“Suppose you and your wife are sitting and watching TV. Both of you aren’t tired or anything, just lazing about. You feel thirsty, and ask your wife to get you a glass of water.”
– Now, is there anything wrong with this scenario?

As expected from any sane person, the answer would be no. What on earth could be wrong with this scenario?

Now… [the twist]

“Suppose you and your wife are sitting and watching TV. Both of you aren’t tired or anything, just lazing about. She feels thirsty, and asks you to get you a glass of water.”
– Now, is there anything wrong with this scenario?

Surprisingly, a lot of men would actually find something WRONG with this.

I have had answers ranging from..
“aa… umm…. If I am standing, I will get it for her.”
“If she is tired, I will get it for her…”
to
“no ways… Why will she ask me to get her a glass of water?”

Unfortunately, a matter of glass of water becomes an issue of hurting egos.
So I would ask all the logical & sensible men to THINK and decide for themselves… how deep are they in the quagmire of ego.

btw.. u might want to read this too..

Muslim Nationalist!

Can a Muslim be a nationalist? Can a Muslim harbor a certain pride in being born in a particular place? Is it possible that a Muslim thinks that he is superior to another just on account of his/her color, language, nationality?

Look back at the definition of a Muslim (that is defined very clearly by the Quran & the Sunnah – way of the Prophet (s.a.w.)), and you would realize it is impossible for a Muslim (in the true sense) to be nationalistic. Just like you can’t be a capitalistic communist, you can’t be a nationalistic Muslim.

And that is exactly where tragedy strikes the self-proclaimed Muslims today. I say self-proclaimed because I am not so sure whether we are really worthy of being called Muslims… especially when the highest standards of morality have been laid down by the blessed Prophet (s.a.w.).

Anyway, the issue that we are looking at today is Nationalism. An ideology that has seeped right into the Muslim societies – breaking the social infrastructure, causing rivalries where none should exist. While all Muslims would say, yes all humans are equal as it has been clearly outlined in the Quran, there is much to be achieved when it comes to the practicalities.

O mankind! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware. Quran 49:13

Muslims exist all over the world – from the wild wild west to the Javanese tropical rain forests. And the vast majority identify with a certain nationality and take pride in it. Some hollow pride at being born in a certain place (I say hollow because nobody chooses what place he/she is born in). And yet we cling on to this identity – which is accentuated by a distinct culture and way of living.

While all Muslims do know that the reply of “Assalamualikum” will be “Waalikumassalam” – wherever the other Muslim is from, somehow they don’t appreciate the overwhelming implication of it. While the Muslim leaders oft speak of “Ummah” – or a body of Muslims across all nations, there is a stark contrast when selfish, nationalistic interests actually make them make decisions against that very Ummah. What they don’t realize is that whatever is beneficial for the Ummah as a whole, trickles down and is beneficial for every Muslim in every part of the globe.

The issue where I really see the confused muddle of ideologies is where the word ‘Jihad’ is used. Muslims have used ‘Jihad’ to label any struggle that they make, for whatever reasons that they are making it. Kashmiris for e.g. call their struggle Jihad, while at the same time what has been going on for the past 18 years is a mixture of so many things. Islam is ‘hot’ and using it to fuel a struggle makes things easy for many. But strangely, if Islam was the reason for the struggle, the Muslims in Kashmir wouldn’t and shouldn’t have any issues with Muslims who happen to be Indians. Supposing Kashmir was “independent”, would it be ready to embrace the Indian Muslims who wish to migrate to this ‘supposed’ Muslim land?

Even when it comes to Palestine, an issue that all Muslims hold very close to their hearts, there are certain factions whose concern with Palestine is purely on nationalistic interests.

For that matter think of Pakistan – a state that was established in the name of Islam — how Islamic was it, that a part of it had to ask for separation on basis of a different language? Or how Islamic were the Muslim nations when United States went against the whole entire world community, without any proof and bombed Afghanistan?

There is a serious need for introspection, at the level of an individual to that of statehood. Where does the priority of Muslim nations lie? If nationalism drives them, then they prove without any doubt that they are Muslims just in name. If nationalism affects their decision making process, then ‘ummah’ is nothing for them, but just a word to lure the masses. If they think that their nationality, race or language makes them superior to any other human being, then Islam or submission to God’s will is something that they haven’t really understood.

And while I ask others to introspect, I need to question myself…. I claim to be a Muslim first, then a Kashmiri… but does it reflect in my thought and deed? Loving the place where you grew up is a natural emotion, but letting that cause biased opinions, leaving aside the ‘Muslim’ identity is where many of us have gone wrong….

The wrongs need to be put right. And right actions start from right thinking.

Are we thinking right?

—————————————————————————————–

You should check: Kashmir, 1990: Islamic Revolt or Kashmiri Nationalism

Men’s rights in Islam.

Oh yes you read it right. I didn’t forget any woe-some ‘wo’ anywhere. I am here doing a little research on men’s rights in Islam.

Its been a very suffocating and frustrating experience being labeled as a “feminist” just because I question the way the position of men has been portrayed in our society.

There was a time when I used to argue with any Little Tom, Mr.Dick and Uncle Harry, not to speak of Little Beth, Miss Susan and Aunty Betty. And then I realized that its pointless – simply because you can’t argue with walls.

And I have given up on reading from volumes and volumes that speak of women’s rights (sometimes speaking more in terms of duties) in Islam (which is, simply put, submission to God alone), because it is quite simple really.

What many people unfortunately don’t realize, much to my distaste and their own misunderstood definition of life, is that the rights and duties of human beings lies in the different roles that they play. They differ and compliment each other.

As an individual, each human being is equal and has same rights. It is only when it comes to the roles that they play that the job-scope, job-responsibility differs. It is pretty simple if you really were to think of it. But we human beings have our way of making simple things so complex and difficult that we end up fighting over the things that we all logically agree to.

For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Quran 33:35)

Ah! Now isn’t that beautiful. SubhanAllah! So all those freaked out men who think Islam has given them an upper hand, and all those freaked out women who think Islam is making them second class citizens – please READ and THINK!

So since all of you can read volumes about women’s rights in Islam, I think a little note on men’s rights ought to be there. InshaAllah one day I will dedicate a book on this … (that is one of my long term plans… oh.. plz dont steal my idea…:( ), but now I am going to put it in a little note for you all to read through and comment.

Man as an individual
Man’s rights as an individual are no different from that of a woman. Just like women, men too have to pray 5 times a day, fast the whole month of Ramadan, give charity, go to Hajj (if they have the means to).
(Note: Though women are absolved from praying and fasting on certain days due to their special needs, men have no such privileges.)
Also, the same rules apply to men and women when it comes to speaking the truth always, not backbiting, being honest and all the good good deeds. Also, just like women, they have right to work and earn a living through that work.

Man as a son
The first role that every human being takes is that of a child. As a child, just like women, men have to be good to their parents, to take care of them, to be especially kind to the mothers, and other good things.
However, in addition to these duties, men are also supposed to financially support the parents, and sisters( if they are unmarried, for if they are married their husbands are supposed to do that).

Man as a husband
This is a very special role that a man takes upon himself, and obviously his role is different from that of women counterparts.
First, to get married, the man must first prove his ability and serious intention to take care of the family that this marriage would lead to. So, he must provide the wife “mehr” (an amount of money that is demanded by the bride [btw, there is no limit to the amount that can be specified]).
Now that he has got his wife and the nikah (the marriage agreement) has been signed in front of witnesses, the man has to provide a feast to the people. This marriage feast called ‘walima’ doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair, but it is meant to announce and rejoice in the marriage.
With the wife brought home, the husband has to provide for her. Men have to protect (cool.. if a lion attacks, the man must risk his life to save the wife… cool.. this is religious obligation)

men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (Quran 4:34 )

Well did u read it properly.. did u read “beat” and get that grin on your face? If you grinned and thought men are supposed to beat up their wifes, shame on you. If you really understood what this meant, you would be saying just as I do.. subhanAllah!.
What is asked of women is to be loyal to their husbands – and it is in extreme cases when women tend to cheat on thier husbands, that men must do something to fix the case. So a guideline is laid for them
– first admonish them
– then refuse to share bed with them
– then beat (actually it is not more than a tap with a stick as big as a toothbrush as explained by the blessed Prophet).

So even in such serious matters where men can and do tend to loose their heads, Islam puts a restrain and sets a limit.

Anyways, since Muslim women are expected to be (and generally are, alhamdulillah) loyal to their husbands, this is to speak of fixing a problem. What we all need to focus on is the fact that the man is responsible to providing for the women. If you would like to get more information on that I suggest you listen to Shiekh Yusuf Estes (Oh, I absolutely adore this man.)

Anyways, if i were to talk of the responsibility of man towards his wife in the role of a husband, that alone would need a book.. but this is just a starter … so we shall leave the delicacies for the book.

Man as a father
As a father again, man has many many responsibilities. The man must provide for all the financial needs for the children alone. However, just like women men have to take care of the children, and ensure proper education of the children catering to their need for affection and love.
Even in case of divorce, the man is supposed to provide for the children regarding food, clothing, schooling, and health expenses according to the father’s standard of life.

What I have put together here in this small note is what Islam requires of men. Because Allah made us, He understands us best. He is compassionate and full of Mercy.

And He has asked us to deal with each other with love and affection. All humans – men & women – have been asked to keep faith and do good deeds.

Kashmir, 1990: Islamic Revolt or Kashmiri Nationalism

Kashmir Revoltworth reading!

93. Kashmir, 1990: Islamic Revolt or Kashmiri Nationalism
AKBAR S. AHMED
Professor Akbar S Ahmed is Visiting Fellow and Fellow of Selwyn College, University of Cambridge.

In an analysis of Muslims living as a minority in a non-Muslim state I had suggested that the traditional Muslim responses of hijra, migration, and jihad, holy war, to unsatisfactory circumstances were no longer possible in the modern era.’ A third alternative appeared to have been developing, that of accommodating as a minority in the modern state. Recent events in different parts of the world have challenged this assertion. Although the minority condition affects a large percentage of Muslims, as many as one-fourth of their total number, we will look at these in India, the USSR and Israel.
The central question we wish to address is whether the contemporary Kashmiri expression of independence in 1990 is part of a global Islamic pattern or yet another temporary reaction to some local provocation?2 If the former, is it linked to the uprisings in Israel and the Muslim Central Asian Republics of the USSR? We look for a link, not a direct political one but a conceptual one. What are the similarities, what identical patterns, what unifying principle may be identified, common to these movements? Numerous related questions arise. Is this a Kashmiri intifada? If the latter, what are the sources of disaffection, what are the objectives and what affect will they have—and arc having—on the fate of other Muslims in India? Also, how has the Kashmiri uprising fed communal feelings among the majority Hindus and thus reinforced parties like the BJP?

Let us attempt to discover the familiar topic running through the Muslim movements by identifying the structural similarities. We may identify seven features.

SENSE OF DEPRIVATION

A feeling of social, economic and political frustration exists in these areas. There is little industry, growth or economic opportunity. This stagnant economic picture is related to the feeling of being deliberately neglected-or discriminated against—by the central government. Kashmir has virtually no major industrial unit in the state. Tourism during the ‘season’ in its only source of income. The Kashmiri language and culture have been allowed to atrophy. Politically, Kashmiris have incessantly complained that their state is almost unique in India for not having— or almost never having—fair and free elections since independence. Its own local government is seen as corrupt and inefficient, imposed on them by Delhi. Promises, from those of Mountbatten to those of Nehru, for plebiscite have been ignored and forgotten. These grievances bring together the desperate Muslim ethnic groups in Kashmir, including Ladakhi Muslim and Jammu ones, although their political positions may be different. The concept of “Kashmiriat” as a distinct, local culture is thus fuelled.


POLICY OF REPRESSION

The central governments in each case have clearly shown their bankruptcy in their dealings with these movements. Failed methods, exhausted ideas and cultural stereotypes emanate from government. The bankruptcy has ensured the over-reaction. They have neither understood the mood nor its causes. The problem is seen in simplistic terms, as one of law and order, one linked to terrorism, one created by fanatics, “fundamentalists”. Bullets and batons have been too frequently used.
The impatient reaction of the government is linked to its fear of the international implications of foreign involvement and possible future developments. All three Muslim areas are situated on sensitive international borders with a history of dispute and restlessness. The state simply cannot compromise on these areas without a genuine possibility and fear of unravelling its own fabric. The USSR fears that its Islamic Republics may one day break away, Israel is concerned about a separate Palestinian state and India about Kashmir joining Pakistan or becoming independent. The impact of Kashmir breaking away from India would be devastating for its 100 million Muslims. It would confirm the BJP argument that Muslims cannot be trusted and must either ‘Hinduize’ or leave the country. Forty years on, Muslims in India again face uncertainty, the old wounds have opened. Religion, politics and communalism are inextricably mingled in India, affecting every aspect of life, even the popular cinema.3

These fears ensure the extraordinarily harsh measures of the state. The brutal handling by Moscow of the Azerbaijanis is contrasted to its gentility with the Lithuanians; in one place tanks and killing, in the other, talks and promises of concessions. The Israelis have lost considerable support among their traditional allies in the West for their repressive handling of the intifada. And the Indian government is critcised even by Indians for its unprecedented heavy-handedness in Kashmir. The point is not that government-inspired agencies did or did not kill Mir Waiz; the important point is the people in Kashmir believe he was killed by them. Unending curfew, total disruption of life, escalating violence and reports of rape and torture as reported.4 Again, let us not isolate events in Kashmir from the rest of India. The last years have seen an increase in the trends mentioned above.5

To be fair to the Indian government, it is important to point out that their actions in Kashmir must not be seen as specifically designed for Muslims. The response to Sikh assertion of independence was, and is, similarly harsh.6 It is the deep-rooted central government nightmare of disintegration which is linked to the events of 1947. The only reaction to assertion of identity is suppression. “Pakistan” must never be allowed to happen again.