Saturday, 3 March 2012

Hate plus hate equals what?

I know I am most certainly going to leave certain people thinking that I'm not being true to my faith, but these are my true feelings on the issue, and it really can be applied to anything.

In my opinion, hatred begets hatred begets hatred.  So then that leads me to the question, if people continue to teach their children hatred, how does anyone ever expect the world to change?

What has lead to this thought was a couple of Facebook posts that have lead me to "unfollow" a couple of people in the past couple of days.

It always amazes me how people can just suddenly (or so it seems) become so vitriolic against Israel when they convert to Islam.  It's as if they somehow think that because they are now Muslim the very first thing they have to do is hate the State of Israel.  And start saying some completely bigoted things against Jews.  I often wonder - did you have these feelings before you became Muslim? Before you started studying Islam?  Or are these influences of the Muslims in your area?  Or what you think you should believe?  Can you truly explain to me why you are anti-Israel aside from the Palestinian issue?  And yes, I admit that in and amongst itself is a good reason to not be pro-Israel.  But to be that hateful?  And to not admit that there are issues on both sides?  To not realize that at least some of it is caused by the Palestinians themselves?

I mean, if you lived in fear of someone getting on the bus with a backpack, looking like a normal student going home or to school, actually carrying a bomb, killing you, your children, your spouse, I do get why the Israeli government has the policies they do.  But then, I understand why the suicide bombers do what they do - they live in cramped, impoverished conditions, that see no hope of things changing, that live the way their parents and grandparents did before them, that lack clean water, safe housing and a good education, I get why they feel that is the only way to do things.  I also think that the Israeli army shooting boys who are throwing rocks is a disproportionate response.

However, do I hate a whole group of people who, the majority of, don't set the policies?  Do I go on tirades blaming "the Jews" for any wrong doing in the Arab world?  No, because that's not really logical or rational.

Do I blame the Israelis for being scared of what Iran is up to?  No.  Why don't I blame them?  Why do I understand why they're doing what they're doing?  Because, well, Iran and its' policies scare me.  As I said on someone's Facebook status last night - I do not begrudge Iran using nuclear technology for power.  To give their citizens more access to electricity, clean water, and a better life.  However, using that same technology to promote and develop nuclear weapons I am very much against.  When I look at Iran, I see crazy people running the country.  I see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and do not see "stability" or "rationality." I see someone who would very simply press a button and destroy a good chunk of the world purely due to hatred, not due to any real reason to go that far.  Not that I think there is any reason to deploy nuclear weapons.  I also wonder about the sanity of the mullahs in Iran sometimes.  There are some very silly fatwas out there.  And I do not trust (nor approve) of anyone issuing fatwas calling for the death of someone else.

As a friend has said to me, we, as Muslims, have enough issues from the outside world that doing silly things to make ourselves look crazy.  Things like fatwas against bananas and yoga.  Or to be killing ourselves in conflicts like Sunni vs Shi'a.  Or killing each other or others in protests over Qur'ans as has happened in Afghanistan recently.

Now, with that?  I think that the Americans should have done their homework a little more.  But I also understand why they did it that way.  And I also see the hypocrisy of the Afghans that were protesting.  Why were they not also protesting the fact that the Muslims that originally destroyed those very Qur'ans did just that?  The Muslims within that prison were writing on the pages of the Qur'ans and passing them back and forth (Associated Press article here).  These extremists who I loathe to call Muslims were the original desecrators of those Qur'ans, not the American soldiers who were following the orders to remove vandalized books from the library.

It is also about intent.  Those soldiers did not move forward with the intent to desecrate the Islamic holy book.  That was not their intention.  Had it been, then I would not be taking this point of view.  But what I think they should have done is find out exactly how you should dispose of a Qur'an that is no longer appropriate to be kept - such as ones that were found in that condition.  Burning is not the first option.  Burning is a last resort that should only be done if the two proper ways cannot be done.  (Those ways can be found here.)  And if they are going to burn, they should not have been burned with other books.  The ashes are supposed to be disposed of in a certain way as well (as is stated on the previous link).  But how many people there knew this?  I'm not even sure that the Afghan military personnel with them even knew that, as they were helping to do this.  Honestly, until the last couple of weeks, I also thought burning was the proper way to do it, only to find out it's not.  How many average Muslims honestly know this information?  Most of us have no reason to know it.  It wasn't intentional.  And I do not support the Ulamu's call for the American personnel to go on a public trial in Afghanistan.  Any rational person knows that they would come up with one and only one outcome which would end in just one way.

But really, when you look at those situations, when you look at how quick "the Muslims" are to protest (often violently) the tiniest things, we make ourselves look insane.  My friend with whom I discuss this often says to me that Islam is the best of religions with the worst of followers and I completely agree with this.

And here we are.  Teaching the kids to hate "the Jews" or "the Americans."  And why?  For policies that millions upon millions don't even have anything to do with?  Who are just trying to do what the rest of us are doing and live our lives in peace?  I had an interesting conversation with someone one night in which he told me that until he moved to Canada, he hated Jews.  Why?  Because that's what he was taught.  That the Jews are bad, that they are the cause of so many things.  And then he came to Canada.  He learned that Jews are not the monsters (not his words, but the meaning is the same) that he had been taught after meeting and talking to some.  How can we teach our children to hate people that we ourselves have never met.  It is no different that the Germans teaching their children everything that lead to the creation and acceptance of the death camps in World War II.  It is no different than the pro-Fox media families teaching their children to hate Muslims.  It is entirely hypocritical to be anti-Fox because of their anti-Islamic stance and then turn around and teach our children to hate in exactly the same manner.

I teach my children differently.  I teach my children that you treat someone based on who they are - their attitude, how they treat you, and most especially, how they treat others when they think no one is looking.  I teach my children that it doesn't matter what colour someone's skin is, what faith they choose to follow, how much money they have, where they live, whether they have a disability or not.  My children are friends with so many different people - a little Hindu girl, a boy with severe Autism, kids who other kids won't play with, and even a little Jewish boy (who we never see, but Hammad is becoming penpals with.  *note to self - find the envelopes to mail the letter!*)

My boys also see their mother practicing what she preaches.  They see their mom talking and laughing with the little Hindu girl's Mom, with the mom of the boy with Autism, with people with different skin colours and religion.  They spent a day with their mom and her Orthodox Jewish friend and her family (mom of said little boy).  And one thing they didn't notice were the unusual looks we got that day - my friend in her tischel, her husband and son in their yarmulkes, me in my hijab.  Why?  Because the kids just saw another kid to play with.  And a Mommy to freak out on the ferris wheel, learning she is afraid of heights.

That is what we should be teaching our kids.  To treat and decide on someone based on their character, not any anything else.  Because to teach our kids to hate  is to teach them to teach their kids to hate, so the world will never change.  And that it's really not nice to make the ferris wheel car swing when Mommy is already holding on for dear life.

1 comment:

  1. Aha! I can finally comment!! So here it is - copy and pasted from Facebook:

    I couldn't agree more. Our own Prophet (pbuh) had Jewish and Christian neighbors whom he treated with respect. We should be so lucky to be able to act with the honor and dignity that he (pbuh) did.