Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Serious Things to Worry about, No?... Probably Not.

Pre-script: I know this is a very un-serious post, but I still have something important to say. In the end, I guess. Fine, I'll TRY to keep it short (LOL, LOL, LOL! What, sorry that was a joke.) And who ever decided that Qrratugai must always write about serious issues and nothing else that travels in her mind? Well :) Welcome to Qrratugai's world, and at last ... you're experiencing hearing Qrratugai's REAL Qrratey (the best way to translate that might be "The Talkative Girl's Useless Talks," I am thinking).

So... a few weeks ago, I was invited by a really good friend to join this website that is for Muslim females only; no non-Muslims and no males are allowed to join the circle at all. It’s called something like a "Sisterhood Circle." (I won’t give the web address of it because, as bitter as I may be towards it, I think it’d be dishonorable and wrong of me to expose it when it’s meant for females only.)
Now, I was really happy there, I enjoyed my time there, I enjoyed posting blogs there (about Pukhtuns and our current genocide and some random things about Islam because, after all, it was/is a Muslim Circle). As I am about everything that I’m a part of, I was very passionate about this circle as well; I was very active there and joined several groups and discussions wherever I thought my thoughts and ideas were needed. A lot of the females there were new converts to Islam and had several questions to ask here and there, something I really appreciated and enjoyed responding to. Now, their questions were like, "Are we really not allowed to keep dogs inside our houses?" or "Are we really not allowed to take pictures? I have a lot of pictures of my family, and they bring good memories. Do I really have to get rid of them?" and other such questions. Mind me all you want, but I thought it was important that I mention to them to – for God’s sake – be more practical, more realistic. Clearly, that wasn't the most brilliant idea I've ever come up with :O I thought it was, eh. Well, I wrote a blog saying that I think we have much more serious things to worry about.... What! I was and still am serious! :S People are dying all over the world, people are hungry and need our help, women are being raped and are shouting for justice, languages are being wiped off the face of the earth, and there are at leas three million and a half more problems that I can think of, or that you can think of, I’m sure. So I expressed my thoughts and said something around the lines of:

Look, guys, does it really matter? I understand that what’s important to one person may be something totally trivial to another, but we really should be focusing on the bigger picture. What kind of a God is gonna punish someone, say a really good person, for having a dog inside his/her home or for taking pictures? All Islam asks is that you don’t worship those photos and illustrations and whatnot, and all’s well. And if you PERSONALLY don’t agree with the idea, then is it really belief? I don’t know about others, but I don’t think that’s sincere belief. And what’s the point of believing if one’s not gonna agree with it in one’s heart? But putting this aside, does it make sense at all that we wonder if our fasts have been accepting just because we broke it or kept a few seconds after/before the times set on our time tables at home (or are they, like, actually carved in stones but copied on those time tables?)? Does it ever occur to us that there may be some discrepancies, and it should be perfectly fine if our fasts are broken a little while after or before those times? And should it really matter if we can eat skittles/Doritos/starbursts/etc. when we should be more worried about things that are destroying humanity?

And next thing I knew – I was BANNED from the website! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I thought it was amusing so I laughed at it :S. I mean, really, what the hell.

Well, I’m gonna continue enjoying eating my skittles and Doritos and starbursts, and you continue forbidding the pleasure of it upon your sad selves just because you’re fooled into believing that it is haraam (forbidden) No hard feelings; we just have different understanding of the whole idea of something that’s allowed vs something that’s forbidden, no? There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you let me live in peace with my beliefs and I let you live in peace with yours. And just as long as you don’t force yours upon me or consider me inferior to you just because yours are different than mine (I’d even like to say that ... well, just as long as you don’t think I’m gonna go to hell just cause I believe differently, BUT unfortunately, I can’t change the thoughts swimming in your head, so I’ll let you have that one, k? And so what if you think I’mma go to hell and you to heaven? LOL! I’m interested to see your ticket to heaven and mine to hell, actually. If you don’t have one for me OR for you, then quit talking BS about it :) It makes you look really, really dumb and unworthy of my respect and attention. No hard feelings, still, no hard feelings. Really.)

Oh, and then when I tried to discuss this with the girl who owned the website, she refused to talk to me about it. I don’t know why? BUT she claimed to someone else that the fact that I’d NOT given my real location was another reason she banned me. Oh, GEEZ, why on earth would I reveal my location like that? :| Anyone who wants to know can ask me any time, and the people who are important to me KNOW already where I live, so what’s up with that, buds? And then not to mention – I was never warned about this! I was never even INFORMED that I was about to be banned :| I thought that was very childish, cheap, and insecure of the person to do because it proved that she (or those who asked for my being banned) were just very insecure about their beliefs and didn’t want someone like me introducing new thoughts to them. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I pity people who live in a little hole like that; don’t they get suffocated at all? Lord, have mercy on such sad and helpless and low self-esteemed creatures.
Wait, so they banned me, and I'm thinking ... didn't they actually judge me, when they hypocritically claimed that it was a non-judgmental site for non-judgmental sisters? Okay, I think we should laugh at that because that was very hypocritical -- not just immature and sad and pitiful and unwise -- of them to do what they did. They should have a big sign on their website that reads: "No, Sister, you're NOT welcome to disagree with the mainstream Muslim thoughts; you must agree with everything the typical Muslim preaches, teaches, practices, and believes, or else, we ban the cow outta you. Sorry in advance. Oh, but please bear in mind that you're not allowed to judge anyone here, all right? Thanks for understanding. Now, welcome to our Circle :) We hope you'll enjoy your stay with us and contribute your mainstream ideas to us -- in a non-judgmental manner! Thanks for joining."

Anyway... :) This was just to say: We have MUCH more serious things to worry about than whether a girl should cover her hair, whether my prayers were accepted if I showed a strand or two of it while praying, whether my fasts were accepted if I broke then a while after or later than the time on the tables, whether I can keep a dog inside my house, whether I can eat my favorite candy (skittles, etc.), whether I can take pictures, and other such totally unimportant questions that waste our time when we could be discussing methods to help people who are suffering from poverty, lack of education, oppression, etc., etc.

Peace be upon this world and ALL of its citizens! Aameen.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Psst -- Hi, People are DYING in Swat, Bajaur, and Waziristan!

Since late summer 2007, Pashtuns – an ethnic group of some 40 million people who live in Pakistan and Afghanistan – have been suffering in the hands of Taliban along with the Pakistani army (this time, in my beloved Swat). Fazlullah and his followers raised funds in order to create their FM radio show through which they claimed they were going to preach the real Islam to Pashtuns. Because the leader had a long beard and acted all holy and divine, it was not a challenge for him to attract any followers or to receive funds and other donations from any Pashtun. Many women went so far as to donate him their jewelry items in hopes that they will be rewarded for this generous act in the hereafter, just for supporting someone who wanted to bring the “true” Islam to the people.

Now, I'm sure we all know that Taliban are known for their extremism, which has led them and their followers to value and defend their barbaric beliefs such as forbidding education upon females, beating any adult female who is outside of her home without her husband (they even made it a law for couples to carry their nikaah naama / marriage contract with them wherever they went!), throwing acid upon any female whose face wasn’t covered, forbidding the taking of pictures upon everyone; enforcing men to grow beards; forcing everyone to stop listening to music, hence causing them to burn their televisions and radios (oh wait! Nothing's wrong with having radios as long as ALL they do on it is listen to Fazlullah's "preaching" of Islam); and so on.
THIS is their version of the “true Islam."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Women, Rape, and Pashtuns

Oh, man. I have SO much to say on the matter of rape (and how women are always the ones who get the blame) that I don't even know where to begin ...
As everyone knows already, rape is an extremely sensitive topic, in every culture and time. Unfortunately, in our Pashtun culture, as in many others, we still punish the victim and set free the criminal; we haven’t learned how to penalize the latter nor how to handle the whole issue. Many of us also seem to think that only girls get raped when in fact, boys do as well (though, yes, not as severely and not as much as girls, and male victims of rape don't have to suffer as much as female ones do). Less than a few decades ago in the west, too, it was considered a female's fault every time she would be raped; but today, that’s not the case for the most part. And it'll take a while for our people to reach this level, but we have to START somewhere.

Perhaps we Pukhtuns need to start re-evaluating our thoughts about females; we need to STOP treating the female like an "honor of the family"; we need to STOP letting her symbolize our whole reputation, our honor, our everything else. Does anyone have any idea how much pressure that puts on the female? *That* is the sole reason a female will rarely speak up about having been raped or molested. What is more important, a daughter or a reputation? Clearly, to too many Pukhtuns, their reputation/honor is more important because that may be all they have, but why use your daughter to represent it for you? I think that’s just selfish, and I have NO respect for any man, ANY family, who thinks this way.

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