I’ve kept my opinions about religion to myself for a long time now. Even when I was verbally tortured in school all those years ago because of the mere reason that I did not wear the head scarf, at the most I’d say to the abusers to let me be a Muslim in my own right and to keep their version of Islam to themselves.
Discussions about Islam would mostly take place between my close friends and my family and that’s just about it, because I knew if I were to protect my right and my practices I’d be unjustifiably compared to a Kafir.
Women like me shouldn’t have to tell people like them how many times a day we pray and how many good deeds we do in a day! We shouldn’t have to tell them that we actually do not resort to narcotics, alcohol, violence and premarital sex!
So I always kept my good deeds and my belief in my Allah who is my sole guardian, who protected me through bad times and gave me much luck, to myself.
But I can see clearly now that I’m amongst the minority. So it’s high time I came out of my shell and spoke out. I’m not even in the Maldives right now and yet I feel like I’m going to be an outcast when I go back.
I’m here in a far off country studying to pursue a career in a field that would allow me to actively involve in helping my fellow Maldivians whom I’ve loved every single day since the beginning. I’ve always heard of Maldivian hospitality and our broadmindedness and how highly appreciated all these attributes are (were?) worldwide.
But then I came to know about these threats again non-buruga-wearers and how hard the Muslims that are higher on the extreme scale are trying to implement their islam into people’s hearts and minds. And then this whole Nazim vs Dr Zakir Naik plus the rest of the extremists thing came up and now everything is in a stir up!
Is it safe for me to go back to my home country at the end of my course? Will I be forced to take refuge somewhere else?
I thought I came from a religion which encourages people to ask questions about their doubts so that the people who know the answers can answer them and then everyone will be at peace! And I also thought my religion was one which had its foundation on peace and harmony with no bloodshed and violence.
Well, and I also supported Dr Zakir Naik and his logic, science and other various beliefs which I thought were more moderate than some other people who were, like I said, higher on the extreme scale. I supported him until he lost his cool [during his Friday lecture in the Maldives].
I expected to see something miraculous when Nazim asked his question; something remarkable where a Muslim ‘scholar’ peacefully instills belief in Allah and Islam into a non believer merely by his words, logic and science.
And then it ended rather abruptly without any satisfaction on my part, on Nazim’s part and I highly think neither on Dr Zakir Naik’s part.
Islam is a religion of peace (oh yes! I sill believe so) and I wanted something beautiful to happen! There could have been, I think, various efforts that Dr Zakir Naik could have made on his part to answer all the questions asked, that could have brought out an incredible result, rather than to ask the non-believer questions to deliberately humiliate him and create an unstable atmosphere.
Or, even when Dr Zakir Naik couldn’t satisfactorily answer the question, the rest of the “knowledgeable” people, also higher on the extreme scale, could have more peacefully taken the non-believers circumstances into their hands and attempted to also instill some belief into him.
All these could have been done more gently rather than build and uproar, threaten to kill and then actually attempt to do this eventually!
Where is the peace in all this that has happened? Isn’t Islam a religion of peace? Where is the beauty in all this? Where is the possibility of something remarkable happening? Oh wait a minute! Did those people who claim to know their religion better actually lose their footing and resort to something non-Muslim? Who are the non-Muslims now? I didn’t certainly go and threatened to behead a non-believer and run after him, so certainly I cannot be a “Kafir” now, can I?
I hope there are more people like me, who are more knowledgeable in this area willing to come out and prove their points in the face of all this injustice! Our beautiful paradise on Earth is in bloodshed and sinking in its own blood.
I say, we need to come out of this shell, prepare for anything that can possibly happen and attempt to bring an end to all this nonsense and violence happening in the name of Islam. What on Earth is President Nasheed doing?
First published on http://rehendhi.wordpress.com. Reprinted with permission.
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