Raza Habib Raja
It is often claimed by my fellow Muslims that the world is unfair to us and harbors misperceptions about Islam. What Muslims often overlook is that world’s perception about them as well as Islam is shaped by their actions. So this is what they should remember before complaining.
- If you endorse terrorism, either openly or through apologetic defense, and that too on religious grounds, then please do not expect the world to consider Islam as a religion of peace, because it simply won’t. It is hard to imagine it doing so when some of the followers are ready to blow themselves in the middle of crowded places which contain even little children on the pretext that Israel has been unfair to Palestinians! Or West has been unfair to Islam. It is even harder to imagine the world doing so when an overwhelming majority of so called ‘moderate” followers try to justify such acts as a “natural reaction”. By the way many a times such acts are aimed at Muslims themselves!
- If you give apologetic defense to those who kill in the name of blasphemy , openly cheer such killers, and in particularly if you want the state to hang people accused of blasphemy, then please do not expect the world to consider Islam as a humane religion. It is downright nonsensical to harbor such completely contradictory wishes. Blasphemy, particularly in the way you understand, is no longer existing in the modern world. And please the real blasphemy with respect to our Holy Prophet (S.A.W) is caused by those who kill in His name and also by those who celebrate such killings. If blasphemy means disrespect to the name of Holy Prophet (S.A.W) then use your common sense as to what ACTUALLY causes it.
- If you treat your women like third class citizens, and use Islam as a justification for that, then please do not expect the world to consider Islam as an equitable religion. Once again, it is a matter of common sense that world won’t consider it as such.
- If minorities living in Muslim countries often live in fear and if the advent of democracy in Muslim countries, like Egypt, has ended up actually endangering the lives and properties of non-Muslims, then do not expect the world to consider Islam as a tolerant religion.
- If you want to wear religion on your sleeve and want to be identified foremostly as a Muslim , then understand that such a wish comes with repercussions as Islam will become your visible identity. And then you will be differentiated as well as at times even discriminated on its basis. And yes you will be stereotyped in the same way you stereotype followers of other faiths by allocating them titles such as: “Cunning Hindu”; “Conspiring and Controlling Jew” etc.
- If you believe in Pan Islamism, and are a follower of the concept of “Ummah” then please be ready to face its repercussions. Arab Israel problem, as the name suggests, and location pinpoints, is Arab Israel problem. It is not a Jew Muslim problem. But however, if you try to make it the latter and try to mobilize “Muslims” against the “Jews” (who are supposedly supported by the infidel West), then don’t complain of stereotyping which is generated as a result. When you make it like that, it will end up like that and instead of treating you as nationals of particular countries, the West will also paint you with the same brush.
- Israel is a rogue state, which may be unfair to a few hundred thousand Palestinians. To that there is no dispute. However, the states who are bitterly opposing Israel are actually far more brutal to their own populace which ironically is mostly Muslim. Getting angry against Israel in Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh etc over so called Jew atrocities against Muslims, is downright stupid when Muslims are far more unfair to Muslims themselves. If you don’t believe this assertion, just start checking human right records.
- If you insist on calling the rule of Lodhis, Ghauris, Khiljis and Mughals as just Islamic rule and by doing so intend to glorify it and seek comfort from it then also remember: all those also plundered, killed, raped and were at times horrific to the followers of other faiths. You cannot glorify their achievements as Muslims and call them merely individuals when it comes to their atrocities. If according to you their achievements are due to Islam then it is logical that their misdeeds will also be attributed to the same. Sorry you cannot have it both ways.