When occurs any terrorist event in any corner of the world, especially in our country, a feeling of pain and horror haunts me for a while. We all know that nothing is more perishable than a newspaper and public memory is very very short. But for me, it lasts a little longer. I feel terrible for two reasons. One, to see my brothers and sisters dead or disabled because of the act of some monsters and beasts. It is difficult to imagine the plight of their family members, how they take it, how quickly a beautiful evening spent on buying bangles and dresses turned into a nightmare and how are they ever going to forget that fateful day. I pray to the Almighty that those who are resposible should be identified immediately and be chopped off. We don’t want any more killings of the innocent civilians losing lives for the agenda of some terrorist groups. Let us hope and pray for the same, insha Allah.

The next heartening thing is what the newspapers and magazines carry as ‘news’ following that incident. Apparently, to see them equating ‘Islam’ with terrorism. Yesterday I happened to flip throught the pages of the Tamil version of India Today and sank in the same feeling. It was extremely irritating to see words like ‘Islamia Adippadai vaadhigal’ (Islamic fundamentalists) repeated so often. Without doubt, it gives a normal reader a perception that Islam advocates terrorism and any Muslim is a possible terrorist. I do not understand what they mean by ‘fundamentalists’. I am a Hijaab clad Muslim woman who to the extent possible, tries to strictly adhere to the principles of Islam. Now I had this doubt after reading it. Do I also fall under the same category? What do they mean by that term?

When I was going to take Rockfort during my bim days, there was a metal detector and a police who stood at the entrance of the Egmore station. My brother was carrying one of my bags and I was having another one. He didn’t sport any beard nor wore any skull cap and apparently didn’t carry any signs of a possible so called ‘terrorist’. He was left to go to the station without the bag being checked. But the police stopped me and wanted to check my bag. I sincerely cooperated and was glad that the police is being so dutiful. But the question is why me alone? Though that incident happened for just a few minutes and I laughed over it to my brother, it is still painful to think about that.

We do see bomb blasts and killings of innocent people not sparing women and children happening in all corners of the world, be it Sri Lanka or Kashmir. We don’t call LTTE as Tamil Terrorists, do we? Thank God, that is not the case, if it was, I will have two reasons for being tagged: one for being a Muslim and the other for being a Tamil. Just because these morons carry an Arabic sounding name for their groups, mostly starting with ‘Al’ (which means ‘The’) and sport a Muslim’s looks, the entire community and the religion is blamed. I do not know how many people know the word Islam comes from the root word which means peace. And when we greet each other, we say ‘Assalamu alaikum’, which only means ‘Peace be upon you’. I can quote innumerable number of verses from the Quran that advocates peace, forgiveness, patience and perseverance.

What is more painful about the tagging done by the media is that impact that it leaves on a common man. One of my colleagues said, ‘why can’t there be some earthquake in Pakistan and Pak occupied Kashmir so that we won’t have any more bomb blasts like this?’. I was seriously taken aback at this statement from her since she has a firm belief that all Pakistanis are terrorists. Another incident is when someone in my office while talking about Iraq justified Bush’s killing of millions of innocent civilians in Iraq. He asked what do you expect Bush to do when there was an attack like that on WTC?

These statements are not from any school going child or an old grandmother, but from well educated individuals. Well, it is plainly their perception and it is absolutely certain that they will not think of any harm. But failing to think and letting their beliefs and thoughts be shaped by media is terrible. Though this may not have an immediate impact, it is sure to have one in the long term. I don’t have to say how many Muslims were chucked out of their rented homes following the blasts in Coimbatore, for the act of a few. I don’t want to blame those landlords, as it is the basic human tendency to avoid risk. When educated individuals are not able to reason properly, how can we expect the older generation to think beyond what is projected falsely?

It is may be that I’m exaggerating things by being scared for what is only perceived by people. Hmmm. All I can do is to have a good laugh and say ‘aio en munnadi zandu balm, tiger balm kooda solladhinga’ (don’t even say Zandu Balm or Tiger Balm in front of me).. Life has to move on and to make it a little more colourful, it is important to laugh at ourselves. πŸ˜€ 😦

“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.’ They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance.” (Quran 2:155-157)


8 Responses to “Tagging”

  1. Arun Sundar Says:

    Hmmm..well written. I say ‘Not all muslims in the world are terrorits, but most terrorists are muslims’. Thats precisely why I see many of my Islam friends have a similar thought-process that you do. Just because of some crazy bastards, the whole Islam community gets besmirched. Its gonna be alright. Dont worry.

  2. Ela Says:

    Hmmm…sounds like ur brain is overheated with thoughts….
    for the begining, LTTE are known as tamil terrorists…..here it happened to me many times when i say to people that i am from TN, India and i speak Tamil, they just joke ‘ohh then we must be careful with u since u could be a tamil tiger’…although it is a sensitive issue i try to make it lighter by laughing…

    the point is perceptions change from place to place and from people to people….

    It is not only Islam but every religion has its own group fundamentalistic elements which does not gel well with the way world functions today….if one or in this case the whole society adhering to such elements tries to redefine /refine itself…then it is ok….if not clashes happen and then the mean animal inside man wakes up aided with the technological inventions of mankind resulting in destruction…..

    in the end it is all becoz of the meaness of mankind which destroys us…not any religion or culture…

    and human mind just tries to accept this fear and handle this situation by trying to give an identity to it….like not all snakes are poisonous and not all snake bites result in death…but snakes are hated by death since they are equated to death!

  3. moffika Says:

    nice one ka….it really hurts at times…And there r these people who would link cricket with patriotism….Some always ask which team do u support india/pak?…tell
    me the truth..[that was before IPL ofcourse)And one gal even went to the extent of wishing me for Pakisthani independence day….I was dumbfolded wondering at the ignorance of people…And don’t worry about the filthy media…its going far than worse these days…They r preying on ugly issues to create few minutes excitement…..news,reality shows and other such craps…

  4. Ela Says:

    well, i don’t see anything wrong with the word fundamentalism…it is a harmless word…only the context that we are forced to use it these days..i don’t like….
    u know the whole problem, IMO, is due to the fact that we are using few basic elements in religion to create identity for ourselves…

    Although i grew with our culture, imbibed with lots of hindu way of life, my identity is my own character….so i never have problems or clashes with people from different walks of life with different opinions….i wish everyone lives their life with an identity created by themselves…may be it can reduce our problems a little bit!

    anyway chill down….may be we can all plan and change things in the future for good!

  5. The Victorious.. Says:

    I think I have found the answer. It appears that most terrorists are Muslims because of the what is done by the media. We all know what is happening in the North East, Sri Lanka and also aware of the Naxals. They are also terrorists. While to me all are the same rogues, and I’m sure to all of us, what media portrays about them is totally different.

    @ Moffika
    People wished for Pakistan’s independence day??? ROTFL πŸ˜€ Tell them you will complain to Gaptun.. πŸ˜€

    @ Ela
    About identity and beliefs, there is so much to talk! Naama thania pesalam πŸ™‚

  6. Vipuvijay Says:

    yup… i too ws of the same opinion some time back…happened to talk to a person (who follows the said religion) and nw i really wonder huv i got such a (thappana)thought…naan nenaikkiren people (ennayum serthu) are very judgemental and they find it difficult to change their notion..bt things wud change for sure….

  7. rahman Says:

    I’m really glad you came up with this post.
    This is kinda what I tried to write about on Broken Fishtank

    I believe this sort of generalization is not new…Afro-Americans have had this for a long time.
    And no, things are not simply gonna be alright…its going to need effort – every one of us doing our part to stop this mania.

  8. The Victorious.. Says:

    @ vipuvijay
    Thanks for visiting and I’m glad that you changed your opinion. πŸ™‚ I hope this change occurs on a large scale..

    @ Rahman
    I know your Broken Fishtank blog.

    I agree with you that it needs a lot of effort from our side. Lets see, insha Allah, what best we can do about this. πŸ™‚

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