Opinion | Guest Contributor | 2015.02.23 | 03 Jumadal Ula 1436 AH
Ever heard the statement it doesn't rain, but it pours? This is exactly how I describe the past two weeks for Muslims across the globe, writes Saajida Malvina.
On February 10, a Tuesday evening, or Wednesday morning local time we got up to heartbreaking news that 3 young people - Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), his wife Yusor (21) and her sister Razan (19) were killed execution style in cold blood. No reason for their assassination can be gleaned but their being Muslim. They wore the hijab, which didn't sit well with the atheist murderer who was anti-religion. He claims he killed them in a parking dispute. In previous chats to her parents Razan lamented: "Honest to God, he hates us for what we are, and how we look."
Muslim communities were still reeling in shock from the Chapel Hill murders when even more shocking footage of a February 6 incident in Sweden emerged. This time of a child (9) whose head was repeatedly smashed to the ground so hard that it echoed through the surrounding area. On Friday 6th February, security guards at the main station in Malmö stopped two Muslim boys. It is alleged that the boys took a train without a ticket. The incident escalated when one of the guards grabbed the youngest of the boys. The boy, born in 2005, just (9) tried to escape but the security guard responded by throwing him down on the floor and sat on him. According to a witness the security guard smashed the boy’s head into the pavement so hard that it echoed throughout the waiting area. A witness and his friend rushed forward and begin filming the incident. The recording shows how the security guard sat on the boy’s chest and pressed his gloved hand over his mouth and nose. The boy looks to gasp for air. With tears in his voice he shouts out the Shahadah; “I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
To add salt to our wounds as an ummah, Chinese Muslims and Imams were humiliated as they were perversely forced to dance the streets brandishing the slogan, "our income comes from CKP not from Allah (nauzubillah). During the incident, reported by World Bulletin on Monday, February 9, State Chinese news said the imams were gathering in a square in the name of civilization where they were forced to dance and chant out slogans in support of the state. The slogans included statements glorifying the state over religion such as ‘peace of the country gives peace to the soul’. They also gave speeches telling youth to stay away from mosques, and that the prayer was harmful to their health, encouraging them to dance instead. Female teachers were instructed to teach children to stay away from religious education and made to swear an oath that they will keep children away from religion.
Then, across the world again we tried to make sense of the Charlie Hebdo copycat attack and death on a Copenhagen street - a habitual criminal who, after serving time in prison, emerged as an ideologically motivated killer, allegedly again, a Muslim.
Muslims were busy condemning the attack when news was released that ISIS released a gruesome video portraying the beheading of 21 Coptics. Egypt’s government reacted angrily and bombed "IS attack targets" but images on social networks showed indiscriminate airstrikes resulted in loss of lives of mostly civilians including women and children. A day later, a bomb attack in Peshawar resulted in the loss of lives and TTP claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ahadith mention that close to Qiyamat, the Ummah will face many challenges, and tests or tribulations will descend at large. We are living close to the Day of Judgment, thus we should pray for the protection of our Imaan as well as the coming generation. During these trying times we should recite the first and last 10 verses of Surah Kahaf often.
Our reaction is important. Character is an embodiment of Islam through which Islam spread, but it doesn't in the least bit mean complacency. We can challenge rulings, demand justice and play a politically active role. It's of no use being an armchair critic. We need to be part of the solution. Challenge rulings, demand justice and take an active role in politics forums. Youth should be encouraged to study and become journalists working for the corporate media houses or as field journalists covering the stories on the ground from a different perspective. Write letters/email and become an activist after arming yourself with the correct news. More than 5 complains on the same topic is bound to cause a stir and raise questions.
As Muslims we need to portray the character of Nabi Muhammad (ﷺ) who was a mercy unto mankind. Even though a small group of powerful people convened and spread messages of hate against him, (as we see today) the masses still saw his ﷺ exemplary characteristics. People thus embraced Islam in droves. Islam wasn't spread by the sword rather people witnessed the akhlaaq and followed Muhammad (ﷺ).
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