In Your Face Islam.

Islamic Graffiti, Spamming and Colloquialisms:
Warning: Ranting here. If you do not have an open mind or if your comments are out of the ordinary bordering on insult, I shall simply ignore them.

Islamic Graffiti: It’s in the elevator in my building. Even outside it. It’s in the parking garage, the empty walls, the “For Hire’ notices on the notice board, on walls, doors, alley, walkways, on billboard poles, on the new bus stops in Karachi, on the back of cars, vans, trucks, school-bags, even on the fold-out meal table on Air Blue, on new under construction houses, multi-story buildings, the TCS truck, the Shell Oil Tanker, its outside the wall of many schools, and sometimes even on the school gate itself, on police pickets.

There is no escape from it – Islamic graffiti is everywhere. It is deemed a ‘sin’ (a kafir act) to erase it or take it down.

Islamic Spamming: It’s on message boards, the email, the “SubhanAllah” “MashaAllah” “InshaAllah” emails, the tree that resembles like a praying man, the boycott Danes, boycott Unilever, don’t eat McDonalds because its ‘haram’, the Dua emails, the Islamic classes email, the Islamic redemption emails, the Islamic stories in email, the Give Sadqa email, the Give Zakat emails, the 10 wonderful things about our beautiful Prophet (PBUH), the meanings of the 99 names of Allah, the debates on YouTube on how Dr. Zakir owned some Jewish priest on Peace TV, the ‘girl’ cover your head (hijab), else you will be a lollipop enticing flies (men). There is no end to it. It in your face and with no effort required in electron duplication, its being spread by the millions on emails, message boards, mailing lists, spams, forums, blog comments, videos, podcasts, etc.

And last, but not the least, Islamic  Colloquialisms – there is not a single hour – let alone an hour – half an hour that does not go by where “InshahAllah”  “SubhanAllah” “MashahAllah” et. al. are not inserted in mid-sentences, end-of-sentences, beginning of sentences.

I for one, have nothing against Islam. I am a proud Muslim. Equally, I respect other religions as well. I think of the minorities in Pakistan – how they face each and every day. A certain colleague is Hindu – I bet if he ever said “Bhagwan ka shukar hai” or scribbled a picture of a Hindu deity on the wall, or if even daring inside of an elevator next to the Islamic graffiti what sort of a reaction that would play. Not a very positive one I can tell you.

I converse with colleagues in Muslim countries and equally with colleagues who are Muslim in Non-Muslim countries, but I do not encounter it “as much” as I do so in Pakistan. Why is that? Can you imagine our Missionary teachers telling us “By the Grace of Jesus Christ our Lord’s savior – your Child is excelling in school” – I am sure that would have knee-jerk reaction of a lot of people fainting in disbelief.

Need I remind our citizens of the “White” in our Flag that is equally prominent. The White represents the Minorities in Pakistan.  Do we do justice to them by so much in your face Islam? Sure  – proponents argue you can tend to look the other way, or have I forgotten that the country is an “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. No I have (sadly) not forgotten that.

I have never witnessed so much religious advertising in my life in – for any faith, as much as there is in Pakistan for Islam. The few non-Muslim countries I have travelled to, have such a moderate approach towards religion (all religions), and the few Muslim countries I have visited have not only a moderate, but also a tolerant and ‘balanced’ approach towards religion.

Why must we exemplify ourselves as more holier than thou? Can others not see that this is our downfall in an economically driven world? With religion division causing even more hatred and violence. Interpretations (each by its own faction, sect, head) are further fueling the situation and people are so oblivious to what is right or wrong. They unilaterally absorb anything that is fed to them under the tag of religion? Are we so obtuse in our thinking and vision?

I love my religion. But I am sure, a Christian loves his too. A Zoroastrian loves his and a Hindu loves his equally – and they all consider themselves Pakistanis equally. So I thought. Ask around with your close friends / colleagues / family who belong to the minority, and they will tell you how ‘threatened’ they feel about Islamization that is happening in Pakistan and the pace of its propagation onto everything they see, touch, hear, smell and taste. Do we honestly want to have a Pakistan of “Muslims” only and everyone else get the fuck out? I for one – think not. So then why this Islam mashing in your face daily!

Why can we as professionals not have a conversation without bringing religion into it? I do not see the ERP or Core Banking Software saying “SubhanAllah” when a check is cashed or when an inventory sale happens? So then why must we have bank tellers, account managers indoctrinated into this Islamization lingo?

We abhor Jews – yet use their technology (stop using the Intel processor if you hate the Jews and amongst many other millions of things). We chant Anti-West slogans and chest thumping in synchronous beats on Anti-American agendas – yet we continue to love and use their methods, inventions and products.

Why cannot we let religion be the personal entity it is and not brazenly advertise it to everyone else. Why must we try to convert everyone who is not a Muslim and if a Muslim tries to convert into any other religion – we want to kill him. Why must we declare Jihad on the Americans and West and not declare Jihad on poverty, education, child labour, women’s rights, farming, skills alleviation, etc.

Why do we burn tires and break windows and chant slogans of death on the top of our lungs when some with a pen writes something to piss us off, and yet on the other hand when a woman gets gang-raped – it is just another news item. Wouldn’t you be enraged if that were your wife / mother / sister / daughter?

Why must we stay silent when people are murdered by our very own – in our acts of enragement? Why must we decide to ‘burn’ someone for what their views are on religion? Imagine if the West had a fatwa (equivalent) or law that would demand mobs to ‘burn’ a person who converts from Christianity to Islam – how would you feel?

Why don’t the Islamists of our country wage the Holiest of Holy Wars against beggary and the vicious monsters who butcher children and disfigure them permanently to induce them into the beggary trade?

Why cannot we collectively just like we do on a Juma prayer – decide for once to clean the very areas we work and live in?

I don’t have answers for these questions – but I tell you a few things in closing why it does not happen.

Because …

  • Religion in Pakistan is a Business
  • Religion in Pakistan is about Control
  • Religion in Pakistan is about Votes
  • Religion in Pakistan is about Money
  • Religion in Pakistan is about Power

Clean Streets, Educated Minds, Religious Tolerance and Harmony, Strict Laws and Follow through against Rape, Child Labor, Beggary, defy all the five points above.

I hope somewhere – somehow – we will stop having double-standards when it comes to religion. Stop being judgmental, stop being myopic, stop being obtuse, be more harmonious, be more tolerant, be more open-minded, be more forgiving and be less selfish. “InshahAllah” (“Ameen”) .

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