Heartbreaking painting commemorating one year since the tragic Camp Speicher massacre in which 1,700 young Iraqi men were lined up by ISIS and tribes supporting them and asked “Are you Shi'a?” Before receiving a bullet to the head and thrown into the river or mass grave yards. 1,700 lives lost and mothers mourned because their sons failed to be the “right” sect. Never forget.
If you were born in a certain part of the world in a certain era, you are more likely to have certain beliefs. For example, my grandparents came of age in liberal Pakistan during the late 60s and early 70s. Back when the country used to look like this:
(Karachi’s famous nightclub scene from the early 70s)
(Herald, a magazine that focused on the rising fashion trends among Pakistani youth but later focused on more political issues)
Ergo, they weren’t as religious as my parent’s generation, who were born and raised in the post-Zia Arabized Pakistan that became increasingly non-secular.
So what does it mean when you stereotype ALL the adherents of a religion?
Basically what you are saying is that you hate ALL the people who come from that part of the world.
I am going to focus exclusively on Islam because it’s my own religion, but this can easily apply to all ideologies.
People often attack Muslims under the guise of criticizing Islam. However, instead of attacking the Islamic ideology and providing rational arguments against the religion itself, they resort to using degrading slurs such as “terrorists”, “rag heads”, “towel heads”, “sand niggers” etc. They claim there is nothing racist about these slurs because, hey, Muslims are a very diverse group of people!
They aren’t exactly wrong…
...but they aren’t right either.
You see, because while this statement will help them feel better about themselves (hating people because of their religious beliefs is more politically correct than hating them for their race), there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove the opposite is true. Yes, religions can and do have a very diverse group of followers, but what happens when the people you ridicule through media only happen to be of a certain race?
Notice what all of these popular depictions of Muslims have in common?
They all feature brown skinned men with long beards, turbans and big noses.
I wonder what part of the world these people come from…because they sure as hell don’t resemble this Muslim man from Kenya:
…or this Muslim man from Indonesia:
hmm…what about this Muslim Hazara man from Afghanistan??
These depictions of Muslims as heartless, barbaric monsters out to destroy the wonderful western utopia are harmful. One only needs to look at the recent rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes around the world to see this. The hilarious and sad thing is that the Sikh community also suffers from this hatred. With their brown skin, beards and turbans, they fit the Muslim stereotype perfectly…more perfectly than an actual Hazara Muslim man from Afghanistan.
Why do people tolerate this shit & brush it off as “funny” cartoons criticizing Islam that are not racist? Does this not cross the fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech?
Also, what happens when you yourself are a Muslim? Does that give you the right to criticize and persecute other Muslims (or adherents of other religions) because of their beliefs?
& here’s the biggest reason why:
Going back to my original point, your geography has a HUGE impact on your religious beliefs. Unless if you converted to Islam, you are only a Muslim because your ancestors came from a Muslim nation. This means that your religious beliefs are hugely influenced by your race.
I am not condoning violence on either side. I just want people to be aware that hating others for their religious beliefs IS a form of racism that unfortunately society seems to tolerate even when it turns into a full blown genocide (like in Burma).
So stop using the “it’s not racist! [insert name of religion here] has followers from all over the world!” excuse to make yourself look like you’re not a hateful bigot. You aren’t fooling anyone but yourself.
“They lied to us and told us that Shi'as don’t do Friday prayers because they’re waiting for the Mehdi, we believed the lies until we saw their corpses coming out of the mosque.”
Praying for the victims of the Qatif bombing. Innocent Shia Muslims were performing Friday prayers at the Imam Ali mosque in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia when a suicide bomber went in and blew himself up while they were in the middle of prayer. Children and elderly were among those slain.
“Whoever kills a life it’s as if he’s killed all of mankind, who ever saves a life it’s as if he saved all of mankind.” - Holy Quran
Prof. Sibte Jaffer was a grade 20 officer yet he lived in very simple 2/3 rooms house. He rode a motorcycle despite having the means to buy himself a car. Instead of spending on himself and his family he chose to use his money to help people. He ran a school in Tando Adam where Muslim and Hindus studied for free!
He was offered higher posts including a job at Harvard University which he let go and many more offers from friends, relatives and well wishers.
He was a poet, an intellectual, principal in a college and the best marsiya khuwan ever. He was killed for being a Shia.
It breaks my heart to see this picture, to see the sorrow in the father’s eyes. To see my friend’s tears after losing her cousin and best friend. So many innocent people got killed yesterday. Please remember all of their families in your dua and please recite al fatiha for all the shaheeds.
It is no surprise that the Shia are still being persecuted and attacked to this day. We have faced hatred and attacks since after the death of the prophet. Remember, they martyred a 90 year old Ammar bin yassir, cut off Maytham al tammars tongue and hung him to a tree and they even killed Imam an Nasa'i (Sunni imam) for speaking out in favor of the commander of the faithful. We should be proud to be the Shia of Ali ibn abi Talib (AS). May Allah protect all of our Ulama and maraje Inshallah.
May God’s woe be upon all the hypocrites who use religion as an excuse to blow up holy shrines, murderer innocent people, and are able to justify that by saying they’re doing “jihad.” If your religion allows you to do this, then you have a disgusting, sickening religion.