Number 1 came to me this evening to get her agenda signed. About to finish doing dishes, I asked her what was written there. And she replied ” Religious- Festival-Hannukkah-Month-Menorah-”
And I suddenly felt overwhelmed; overwhelmed with happiness as I myself always have had a passion to learn about other religions, to study history. overwhelmed with satisfaction that most likely, my children will not grow up to be bigots like I come across every day on social media because I am teaching them their own religion and acceptance and the schools tell them that they co-exist with other from different backgrounds. Overwhelmed that I live in a country where everyone is welcomed (well yes there are exceptions) and allowed to practice their religion freely.
You see, ISIS is not a terrorist organization. Its basically a radical mindset that makes one believe and understand that what they do or think or see or say is right and every one else is wrong. And unfortunately this mindset is not limited to some bearded, black gown-wearing thugs who kill in the name of the Most Merciful.
Since Friday’s horrific incidents that took place in Paris, I have been reading and watching awfully lot. By Sunday morning, my mind was already numb after watching the horrific scenes of the attacks on tv and after I learnt that a Peterborough mosque, in fact the ONLY mosque in that are was set alight and police said it was not an accident.
By Monday there were numerous clueless clowns, the biggest remains Donald Trump proposing to shut down mosques because to him, thats where the hatred is coming from or it is Marco Rubio suggesting to NOT accept those poor Syrian refugees who are escaping from the same monstrous ISIS and war or be it Ted Cruz who suggested ‘selective’ acceptance of ONLY Christian refugees. Of course not to forget Jeb Bush who can say all that he wants but “Whose bother created ISIS”– Reminds me of Nazism!
It definitely suits them to ignite the anti Islam sentiment using Paris attacks to support their rhetoric for the upcoming presidential elections, using sensitive issues like these to stop and ban a religion because a bunch of lunatics who say they believe in the same, just like billions others who practice the same faith peacefully. But when it comes to judging, those billions fall far behind and the blood thirsty faces of ISIS, who some say were created and empowered by the West, become the very face of Islam, the very meaning of which is peace, purity and submission. Do they even know what it means to ban a religion? I’m sure not because that requires critical thinking, absence of which is quiet evident here.
What breaks my heart though, is that being a Muslim, as soon as something like this happens, we start feeling this sword hanging above us. Though again, I must say that Canadians are the most tolerant and accepting warm people, for I have seen far more greater number who respect and protect my freedom than those who just call on our new Prime Minister to send fighter jets to war-torn Syria or to not accept refugees.
Still the Peterborough mosque fire, and the sister who was mocked and ridiculed at a grocery store in the most diverse city of Mississauga because she was wearing hijaab and the Zara store that refused a woman entry into their premises because she was wearing hijaab and the woman who was racially and physically assaulted today outside her children’s school today. Plus the countless campaigns and status updates that are so defensive, passionately call out to not count all Muslims as ISIS or terrorists and asking for acceptance.
I am from Pakistan, and Pakistan is one of the few countries that has suffered the most from the hands of these terror mongers. We’ve lost over 60,000 people, mostly Muslims, in this war against terror. Just about 11 months back, I was in Karachi Pakistan when over 130 schools kids were shot in their faces and chests in broad day light in Peshawar. Yet the world chooses to mourn selective deaths. I do remember social media turned black on December 16th 2014, to show solidarity. Perhaps Facebook was not developed back then to produce a black filter for the dead children and their bereaved mourners.
But I am not here to question why someone chose to mourn ONLY Paris while in reality, just a days earlier the same evil ISIS attacked Beirut or few months back Kenya or every day in Syria kills hundreds.
My point is simple: No one, and I repeat, absolutely no one should have to justify in what they believe; Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buhddhists, Atheists-just no one. It is a feeling of utter disgust and low self esteem to have to justify your existence and your appearance and what you wear and what you do. Somewhere someone has to take a wise decision. A little tolerance, a little acceptance and just a little less judgement should be good enough to begin with!
Religion is between man and Creator. Let it be that way!