By Asad Ali:
The recent spurge of events have forced me to rethink that being an agnostic in this country is actually worth it. Having a Muslim name might be the only reason as to why I will be murdered in a riot. The religion factor in our lives has dominated us to an extent that even insensitive media professionals reconsider their questions during an interview with a person from a disturbed religious background. I don’t blame them. After all, wasn’tÂ it Bin Laden who used interviews to spread his message initially?
The point which I am trying to state here is that maybe we have to accept the fact that religion would dominate us till the very end of our lives. I am not talking about God or any of the messengers here. With all its evils, curses and mythical solutions to problems, I present to you the new phenomenon of the phase of human lives: Religion without God or Goodwill.
A writer/blogger at The Verge Magazine named Paul Miller posted an article on how he gave up internet for a year. He mentions something startling and surprising in the last paras. He says that how the internet exists within ourselves. There is virtual in our reality. And in this virtual life exists reality. It seemed to be a paradox but itÂ wasn’t.Â Religion, in the end, is something which man had invented to solve the issue of self-confidence. The self-confidence later developed into personality disorders and hence came terrorism.
Believe me when I say that I am not much of a supporter of any Islamic movements but itÂ doesn’tÂ mean I will keep quiet at communal violence. The recent attack on Muslims in Myanmar made me think about how the world perceived this section of people. I waited on my social networking desk to see what people update about the situation. Soon, my news feed was filled with ‘Muslims killed’, ‘Anti-Muslim riots’, etc. related posts. I made an observation that none of the posts called us human beings. It is at times very demeaning to know that people with skull caps are often crossed quickly on streets or in corridors.
But is it worth even defending my religion when people prefer picking up arms than learning how to type? I maybe living in a city unaware of how many recruits from villages are being inducted into certain organizations which later bomb cities, but itÂ doesn’tÂ stop me from saving a village to stop sending in the recruits in the first place. A Christian missionary in India is treated with serious respect when they run a camp in a village; it can be a conversionÂ centerÂ depending on the diocese it is attached with. But MuslimsÂ aren’tÂ treated that way and I am not limiting the arguments to clerics only. I remember praying in a mosque in my hometown. I was on vacation with my parents. We happened to notice some Saudi Clerics standing outside the mosque. It disturbed us a bit because they were carrying mattresses on their shoulders. On a dialogue, it was revealed to us that the Saudis wereÂ travelersÂ who were spreading the word of the Prophet but due to the strong presence of Hindus in the society, they were asked to leave the area due to suspicion of being terrorists.
This rant is probably an outlet of my frustration but if you actually look at it, Muslims might be the least respected ones in the modern society. We may blame ourselves for it but we are not bloody doing anything to improve the situation.