Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Concerning Issues

I hired Children of Men on Saturday. A fascinating movie, set in a dystopic post apocalyptic (say that ten times) England. In a way very similar to V for vendetta, but without the walking GHD advert. What caught my attention in both movies though was the place of Islam in that epoch. In both movies, Islam was seen as a major threat to society by the Antagonists, and therefore had to be eradicated. Do not misunderstand me - the films themselves were favourable to Islam, but herein lies the problem - Do we as Muslims encourage films that reference our religion, or do we rescind to the traditional three B Solution (as i like to call it) Boycott, Burn, Ban.

Has our inability to be self-reflective in some way prolonged a reformation that is so badly needed. I think about how we handled the cartoon crisis last year?

Do you blame the cartoonists for illustrating the Prophet (peace be upon him) based on how Muslims are viewed in modern times?
We have offered nothing in terms of technological or medical advancement in the past five hundred years( we tend to gaze lovingly at the tenth century when we ruled Spain, and invented the three course meal and what not) but what have we done for humanity lately. Islamic Ethics do not feature alongside Kant, Mill and Nietzsche. The only recent contribution i can think of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, whose microeconomics initiative is helping to eradicate poverty.

Someone remind me again, why were boycotting the Sunday Times? I remember when i was heading up the Media portfolio for SAHRO, last year, and the question of the boycott came about - and one gentleman stood up and said "The Sunday Times needs to be boycotted because its run by the Jews". No its not, i said - its run by a Black Empowerment group, and besides, they haven't showed the caricatures - M & G, and the Cape Argus did, and that too, it wasn't done out of solidarity with the Jyllands-Posten or anything - they were just reporting on a global event". I saw the cartoons. Yes, i was slightly offended by them (not to the extend of going pyro - does that make me less of a Muslim?), but the difference lay in my choice of wanting to see them or not - we have a choice - you can choose to see them or you can choose not to - either way, its not gonna go away. It'll be like what etv does in their Sunday News slot - if they show the score of the delayed soccer game, they warn the public and tell them to look away if they don't want to see the score.
We're becoming a bunch of isolationist elitist jackasses with no clear leadership, no sense of unity, and hardly a scrap of nationalism whatsoever. We have no one to take the place of our struggle heroes like Umar, Kathrada, Meer, Mattera etc. If a Muslim engages in Politics, we immediately stone him ( I might not agree with everything that Rafeek Shah does, but i do respect the man for getting into politics) While the ANC Youth league might placate on behalf of the Palestinian, the hegemonic state apparatus still deals with Israel. Don't get me wrong, I'm a card carrying member, but facts are facts. The same goes for people who say that by me drinking coke, i'm supporting Israel, but are brimming with pride when they tell other equally naive people that their kids work for KPMG and other auditing houses. Have a look at this piece of research concerning the economic impact of Coca-Cola system on South Africa, and then tell me how I'm drinking the blood of the Palestinian. You can then leave a comment telling me that it has nothing to do with Israel, but is all about boycotting American products. But you would encounter another problem as Blogger (this blogs host site) is an American product developed by Pyra Labs. How do you pick and choose what you boycott and what you don't. Hmm...


Unknown said...

Firstly, I think that the burn and ban process is self destructive and encourages ignorance. Most people who were up in arms about the cartoons and had developed granite opinions had never seen them. And islamicall that does question integrity. Solidarity is not just drinking avoiding your favourite icey cold beverage with your nandos, what about your wealth, what about how you view other muslims, blacks, reverts, the not so fair ones, the memons, the kokni, do you get the picture? Please tell me that a Jew is behind that type of prejudice that makes you shift away from your black muslim brother in the masjid. And if we are not going to support anything with the slightest Jewish ownership, then we should ban them from our businesses and we shouldnt work for them either.

One of my best friends at Uni was a jewish guy who really stuck it out for me when I needed friends which is alot more than I can say for the muslims on campus. Does this replect on all muslims or does it just mean some people are shit no matter what.

The bottom line is that our way of life is in dire need of a renaissance. And no that doesnt mean a change in our religion. But it means a change in the way we over rely on prejudiced old men and women who give baseless directives. Like the fact that we should boycott the sunday times, or coke. In most cases it's ignorance. And if people knew where things like the Jewish ownership of it all started, well maybe they wouldnt be so quick to use it. Seek knowledge. Because an informed muslim is stronger than an ignorant mxit aboding Muslim whose only frame of reference is the Moulana says. I'm not knocking the moulanas but it does place over reliance in their hands and becomes a very powerful tool or weapon.

The truth is is is easy to be muslim on some topics because they seem to be readily supported by the vast number of sheep... people but others we'll ignore because I dont want to "make problems."

Waseem said...

I dont care much for these holier than thou mofos that dont really take the message of the Quran to heart, you aren't supposed to be judging people but its done so much.

I think the real jihad starts from inside we need to straighten out Islam and ourselves, before we can talk about Jews and Christians etc.

Islam is a way of life, not pick and choose what you want to follow

h said...

i like this post
can i trade it for my poem
a straight fair swop:)

M Junaid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moe said...

Big deal. I'm tired of Muslim this and that! It’s a load of hog-wash. Why must we always push a Muslim / Islamic agenda? Why can’t we just be good freaking human beings? following on from movie theme MJ, this ever widening difference between Islam (and we as Muslims) vs. the rest of the world will only begin to change when we find some common ground and that means us as Muslims accepting, understanding and listening to what they have to say, and of course vice versa. Btw I’m tired of referring to "Jews". So do I agree or not. I agree with you MJ, but I think I’m gona start the burn and ban on some of our Muslim hog-wash. But I disagree on the fact we should punt and push for muslim’s doing great things in the world. Why not punt and push any1 muslim or not if they did something great.