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.

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