Thursday, April 29, 2010

Joke: Dear Syed Abby

 Absolutely HILLLLLLARIOUS! :D:D I'm still cracking up -- and I read this like months ago!

Dear Seyed Abby,

I am a young Pashtun man of marriageable age. I have been raised in the West my whole life and so I have fairly liberal views in comparison to those raised back home. I consider myself not to be good enough for Pashtanas (Pashtun women), but at the same time I consider myself too good for Desi/Farsiwan girls. It would be a waste for a Pashtana to marry me, and it would me a waste for me to marry a non-Pashtana of ethnic extraction. What should I do?



*** 6-8 Weeks Later ***

Dear Confused-Pashtun-of-Marriageable-Age,

Let me begin with the name of the almighty: Allah. With that said I think you are not alone. I too was once a lost cause. I was doing the clubbing and the flirting with no care for the tomorrow. That was until my parents forcibly married me to a kharattah of considerable anger management problems. She beat me with the ugly stick until I was no longer able to flirt without scaring the other person involved into thinking that I was experiencing a seizure. Haha, those were the days, yes?

Alhamdulillah, I now have 13 children. Imran, Bilal, Safia, Abdullah, Marjan, Parveen, Qais, Shabana, Abid, Abida, Nabila, Pervez, and Mooda (short for Mehmooda). The last one is the youngest but a ditto copy of her dear mother. She keeps the others in line with smaller stick of her own. Even I am sometimes afraid of her.

Enough about my life story though. With regards to the Desi and Farsiwaan girls, it is unlikely anything will prosper from such a union. No Pashtun man has ever married a Desi or Farsiwan girl and lived to tell the tale. The essence of Pashtuniyat depends on a kharattah maintaining the focus of a Pashtun male. Pashtun women were the head of the household in pre-Islamic times, “dontcha” know?

I think you will be fine with the grace of Allah. Remember to perform istikhara at least 7 times a day. I cannot stress how much it will help you when it comes to making the difficult decisions.

May the almighty bless you with a kind kharatta and everything else you desire. Go in peace, CPoMA.

Seyed Abby
Facebook ID: “Rockefeller Shanksta”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On the Intellectual Mutilation of Today's Muslims

The average Muslim today has been taught that she/he is not allowed to hold any opinions in Islam because doing so leads to the division of the universal Muslim community—as if suppression of our thoughts will prevent the divisions we so adamantly fear. While it may be understandable to some why lay Muslims are not allowed to opine on any Islamic matters, one has to wonder why even educated Muslim scholars of Islam, with decades of studying Islam, are forbidden the same. We may want to avoid dividing the Muslim community by declaring it haraam for Muslims to speak up, but we should realize that universalizing and eternalizing the opinions and interpretations of certain Islamic scholars while completely eschewing those of other scholars is not the practical way of achieving unity. We should also understand that being united does not mean being the same, or vice versa; indeed, unity can be achieved alongside diversity. By diversity, I am specifically referring to the interpretations of Islam that scholars of differing views have to offer. It is therefore the cry of the day to encourage critical thinking among Muslims so that they might explore new vistas of more intellectually acceptable interpretations of Islam in the contemporary world; this can be achieved by taking the essence of divine guidance on the one hand and the crux of modern social sciences on the other to set free the intellectually mutilated minds and stagnant thoughts among today's Muslims.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hijab as a Response to Oppression, or Oppressed Because of the Hijab?

I am not supposed to be blogging at the moment, since I've got 3 papers due within the next 10 days or so. But I couldn't help, so here.

I've some ideas for future blog posts, and I'm gonna list them here just because.
- What does "equality" (or being equal or having equal rights) mean? Does equality = sameness?
- the differences between "roles" and "rights" (you know how people go, "I'm NOT a man! I'm NOT going to lead men in prayers! That's NOT a right! .... okay, what?)
- my definition of oppression, whether *I* am oppressed or not, the opposite of oppression, what's in between, etc.
- history of hadith criticism, a list of important people (Islamic scholars, both classical and contemporary) who have rejected hadiths as WELL as a list of those who have accepted them
- Mawdudi and what I think of him (ugh)
- Zakir Naik and what I think of him (ugh)
- ... and some I can't remember right now.

But lemme talk a little on the idea of oppression and hijab, which is the headcoveirng. It just occurred to me that perhaps some women wear hijab because they are oppressed, however they might define oppression. I mean, I certainly don't think that ALL women who wear the hijab are oppressed, but I'm starting to believe that the hijab is a tool of resistance for at least some women. I'll explain this later, I promise, ka khairee, but it's an idea, yeah.

SO! I am noting connection between the hijab and oppression, NOT in the sense that it leads to oppression but in the sense that it's a response to it.

More later.
I miss my blog.... and I wish we'd have emoticons in here, damnit.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dear Samar Minallah

After reading this article/letter written by Samar Minallah entitled "VIEW: The Swat Flogging Video," I decided to write to Samar as a way to show her my support. I love and admire this honorable lady. She impresses me with her every move.
God bless her and give her a long, healthy, and peaceful life!

Here's what I wrote to her. (Okay,okay, I corrected some changes I'd had in the original post, but whatevs.)

Dearest, Beloved, and Honorable Samar:

You have done an excellent and superb job in giving the silenced women of our land a voice by taking us out of an invisible spectrum and placing us into a visible world where we women DO matter. Ignore their remarks about the beautiful work you're doing and about the video to which you brought people's attention. That video of the lashing young girl has left an indelible mark on most who viewed it. As for the jerks it didn't move at all, I can only say that misogynists don't matter a bit! Sure, they might be a majority in many societies even today, but with intelligent women like you using their intellect, skills, and education to help amend the lives of miserable souls, we have some hope of one day blotting out all signs of misogyny from our society.

I don't know of ANY female who doesn't appreciate what you do. I also know of many, MANY males who are with you, who support you, who applaud you for all your work. And I don't need to say anything to encourage you because you're doing an amazing job already, and your persistence is clearly portrayed in your actions, writings, and thoughts. It is quite unfortunate that we live in a backward society that makes pitiful (but sometimes successful) attempts at silencing the truthful members of a society burdened with illiteracy, extremism, backwardness, and injustice.

I was very happy and relieved to read your letter below. You cannot imagine the waves of pride that travel through me when I talk about you to friends and teachers and other interested individuals, show them the videos you've made and the articles you've written, and tell them with a bright smile, "AND she's Pukhtun! One day I hope to be just like her!"

Please keep up what you're doing, and we're here for and with you! May peace be upon you always, and may you be blessed with a long and healthy life so that you can continue being an inspiration for millions of young Pukhtun girls out there who, until you and very few other honorable women like you came along, had no hope for a good future.

Take care ao pa makha de gulona!

~ Qrratugai

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On "The Islamist: Why I Became an Islamic Fundamentalist, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left" by Ed Husain

So I'm reading this book called The Islamist: Why I Became an Islamic Fundamentalist, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left by Ed Husain, and OH MY GOD! It's a must read for all humans, both Muslims and non-Muslims, both moderates and extremists. It is the story of one Muslim who was an extremist/fundamentalist Muslim during his late teens and early 20s. He explains very thoroughly and powerfully why extremism appealed to him and then, later on, why he left it.

I say it's forall humans and not just Muslims because the book proves that not all Muslims are alike, not all are extremists, not all are moderates/normal. Readers of all faiths will understand and be aware of extremist norms and, hopefully, avoid adhering to them. Muslims will learn that Islam is NOT an extremist religion (unless we make it as such, of course) and that there's not just one way of practicing Islam but at least a million. Non-Muslims will learn that Islamic extremism is dangerous not just for the Muslim world but for the non-Muslim world as well, since Ed Husain's extremism was nurtured *inside Great Britain*.

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