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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Muslim Images

Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nehru

I wrote of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Afghan leader in the 20th century, who was a very devout Muslim who had established schools and supported the rights of women and been a proponent of non-violence along with his contemporary Gandhi. I had stumbled across his history a mere few days ago, and by coincidence, it was on the same day the jury came to a decision in the honor killing case in Kingston, Ontario.

I have heard many people express disgust at Afghan people, as if all of them were murderous maniacs. Furthermore, is it not a fact that over the past decade, we have probably been exposed to more  negative images of Muslim people in general than to positive imagery?

Is it not a fact that just months ago, Lowe's stores pulled advertising funding from a TV series about Muslim life in the US due to complaints from a Florida group that the show "misleadingly" showed Muslims as normal human beings?!

I ask the question: Why has Abdul Ghaffar Khan been relegated to the trash bin of history?!

Why have such potent and positive images of Muslim peoples been suppressed?

In my life, I have rarely been exposed to images of devout and strong and peaceful Muslim men and women. I was born in 1946. The timing is all important.

Now we are on the verge of a war with Iran, a possibility which most of us have totally tuned out. And why would we not tune it out? It is just another violence perpetrated on foreigners and we are tired of it all, and they are all benighted honor-killing-jerks, so who cares? Right?!

No. It is time for a line to be drawn: no more violence based on the imagination of entire Religions and Races of peoples being addicted to hatred and violence, while our side is the side of the angels. We have let the situation in the Middle East fester for almost 70 years, and its poisons are working to necrotise more of our minds and bodies once again.
It is time to put an end to it, and to do so by justice.

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