Standing Up For What is Right

“The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice

-MLK Jr.

Whenever I watch the news or read newspapers I can’t help but wonder why there are so many negative things happening in our society.Cultural, ethnic and religious clashes are on the rise while intolerance is spreading like a wild-fire across the world. These trends are motivated mainly by ethnocentrism, hatred and fear of unfamiliar practices & believes of others.

We know that some of these issues are just preposterous and plain rubbish. They are fabricated and used for propaganda by our enemies and critics in order to discredit us and  spread negative perceptions about us. For instance, some people  see cases of abuses against women in a Muslim country. Immediately they conclude that Islam doesn’t give rights to women.  The fact is, there is a difference between what the religion of Islam advocates for and what some people do and practice because of their culture.

However, there are also some issues which are real and need to be addressed carefully. It is a widely accepted fact that our religion is being hijacked by a few misguided and ignorant minority who think that they are our only saviors, know the path to salvation and  what is good for us. Since they believe that they are the rightly guided ones no one is supposed to disagree with their tactics and question their judgment. They  use every tool and  means in their power to achieve their goals and  even mostly justify the killings of innocent people by saying it is for “the greater good”. Those who dare to go against them are simply assassinated or branded as “traitors of Islam”.

They condemn and judge before preaching and seeking the truth. Instead of listening and seeking consensus they impose and rule by force. They alienate any one they see as an outsider and alien to their culture. They gave themselves the right to excommunicate anyone whose ideas does not resemble theirs, blatantly ignoring the Islamic doctrine that says no Muslim  has the authority to question whether someone “is a proper Muslim” .

What disturbs me the most is that our intellectuals and individuals of high influence in our society are scared of speaking up and standing up for what is right and just. Hence, the voice of knowledge and wisdom is silenced and overshadowed by the ignorant and this is the main reason why we are seen as fanatics and extremists by the outside world because the only voice that is emanating from our society is the one of the ignorant.

Since this is our situation, our enemies and critics have capitalized on it and are using it against us and that is how they always intervene and meddle in our affairs.

Now you might think that we  are in a dire situation where we have to choose between the lesser of two evils: weak and corrupt governments or radical and merciless lunatics with distorted believes. I strongly believe that there is another alternative to the above mentioned scenarios. What we need to do is to take matters into our own hands. We need to speak up and always make clear to the world what we stand for and never let any one or any group hijack our faith and our values.What we also need to do is to collectively be on the right and just side of history. We need to eliminate our fears and always be ready to stand up for the truth  even if it means putting our lives in danger. The day we become bystanders and don’t go against oppression and injustice is the day we stop being  moral beings.

When you Lose your way go back to the beginning to find your path

Τoday when I look my surroundings and try to understand the general feelings and perceptions of the people specially the young generations and elders, it is sad to say that all I see is desperation and confusion and I ask my self why? There is no one single answer to this but I am going to try to come up with answers which are based on my personal observations and experience .

Since childhood we were brought up to be good human beings, honest, truthful, cooperative and hardworking. We believe that  Islam is the one true religion and the only way of life and we have to be very grateful and lucky to  be born Muslims.

The harsh reality today is that our generation is lost and live in a state of limbo. We are like a boat  in the ocean that is caught by sudden storm and just floating direction-less.  Today the west is dominating  in every aspect of life and their   civilization is spreading like a wild fire. Our teenagers wear jeans, and T-shirts. We dine from their  top class restaurants and cafes. We listen to their music and watch Hollywood movies. Not that I am saying anything is wrong with that, because as the saying goes if you go against the current then the waves will push you back.  Politically the west is also calling the shots, America is the sole superpower in the world today. Financially the west controls the world bank and IMF. In a nutshell the west is playing the music and we are dancing to their tunes. Why this change of fortune and when will the tides change?

Contrary to some mistaken believes, the problem doesn’t not lay in Islam. Instead the problem lies with in us. We deviated from the right path, the just path and the road to salvation. Allah says in the Quran: ” Truly, Allah doesn’t change the (good) condition of people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves”.(13:11)

The above ayah truly explains the condition we are in today. God is just. When God created the earth he put all the things that we needed in it  and people were scattered all over the place and  were all equal. If this is the case why did some nations rose and others crumbled and  ended up in the wrong side of history? What made the status of one nation to rise than the other was not that they were the chosen ones, rather  it was their sheer determination and will power to take their fate and destiny into their hands, how they came together and decided to use their resources and brain-power in an efficient and effective manner. They realized  that fairness, equality, justice ,security , law and order were the corner stones that will lead them to success and prosperity.

What we are lacking today is a government that is for the people, of the people and by the people. A government that knows that they are there for the people and  that is accountable to its citizens.We are lacking  an environment that welcomes change, that is tolerant to differing opinions. W are lacking an environment that nourishes independent thinking and finally an environment that encourages and promotes positive thinking. In conclusion if we want to get to the right path we have to take the following steps.

  • Be God-fearing citizens
  • Establish a transparent and accountable system.
  • Ensure the rights of the people .
  • Establish law and order
  • Allocate resources of the nation responsibly and equally.
  • Protect the freedom, liberty and justice of the people.
  • Put more emphasis on health and education