Even before anyone had showed himself on the door, Bella – our lovely dog – started barking. If that moment someone had asked her as to what she experiences in her vicinity, she would have named that friend of mine as well. Had I been asked the same question, I couldn’t have said that. A few moments later, he rang the bell and I knew better.
World is what we experience through our senses. The way we see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Bella has a more comprehensive experience of the world than me. Interestingly, and importantly, our world and our psychology is defined by what we experience. This experience is limited and so is the world.
Beliefs are at best caricatures of the world we live in and as we know it.
Based on this and the many influences we have taken in – via education and social pressures – we have chosen to interpret whatever little we have experienced of the world.
This is the basis of our “beliefs and faiths”. Belief systems are a crude caricatures of what the world really is. For example, we live in a Multiverse (multiple universes) of which our Universe is one small speck, in that Universe our galaxy is not even a speck, and in that galaxy our solar system is not even visible and in that solar system we live on one of the smaller planets and on that planet we are one of millions of species. Yet we have the self-delusion to say that god made man in his image (notice the “his” as well!).
Beliefs are at best caricatures of the world we live in and as we know it. Despite our humanity – we endure and perpetuate crimes in the name of our beliefs simply because we have stopped looking at the world the way it is.
That is why, I have often wondered how does a modern Muslim – whose book itself is a guide to terror and genocide via hatred and aggression towards others reconcile his/her view of the world as a normal human being and that of the same world through the Islamic lens which adds a lens colored with theological aberrations?
I came across this piece by Beenish Ahmed on NPR. She is the founder and editor of “The Alignist”. She discusses an experience in New York subway and discusses her two worlds and identities.
I felt something I never felt before: that I was seen as a suspect and could be a victim — all at once. Fear doubled.
The desire to make both parts of oneself cohere can do damage to your soul. That’s what Du Bois wrote: “This waste of double aims, this seeking to satisfy two unreconciled ideals has wrought sad havoc with the courage and faith and deeds.
The dichotomy that she finds in her identity – which she is trying to reconcile and getting confused by surprised me. Nay, shocked me.
Islamic theological history is replete with motivations and actions on terror and genocide – 55 Quranic Verses that Establish the Islamic Path of Genocide and Terror. Quran and Allah ordains that and any arguments to the contrary – that are presented by moderate Muslims are part of the process of creating the self delusion and perpetuating the chasm between their humanity and belief!
Islam – as a Pakistani friend once pinged me via a personal message once said – is the Nazism in a religious bottle. He couldn’t have been more honest.
Beenish’s Struggle is akin to that of a Nazi sympathizer who feels victimized on being identified and questioned on his humanity!
To say the truth of what is said in Quran and Islamic theology and the ramifications it has had on people who have taken it literally and honestly – including Muhammad and his companions (not just today’s Muslims) – isn’t Islamophobia. Its speaking the obvious. The “emperor has NO clothes”!
Beenish’s state is like that of a Nazi sympathizer and believer who argues how Hitler was spurring scientific and technological progress (which he did in his twisted way) and that she is not concerned about the genocide that the “bad Nazis” are unleashing. As she is identified for what her belief sympathies clearly reveal and feared because of that – she feels like a victim. Quite an crazy situation, isn’t it?
The question I have is – How does a Nazi sympathizer feel victimized when he is feared and identified for his bigoted affiliations?
Why has the society provided the leverage for decidedly and definitively regressive and anti-human ideologies to get the fig leaf of legitimacy because they are somehow presented as theology?
Despite her “intellectual” capacity, Beenish’s humanity fails to triumph over her caricatured view of the world, called Belief. In the end, she instinctively puts a finger on her problem of identity, but yet fails to recognize a deeper chasm between who she is as a human and who she believes to be she is because of her belief system.
This is my reality. As a Muslim and American, I feel like a hyphen in the middle of two identities — a bridge between two worlds that do not quite connect.
And, therein lies the problem with the world of today. When we live as nothing but a human being bereft of our belief systems, we will go beyond our strife and duels.
(Muslim ‘Twoness’: Fearful Of Some, Feared By Others – by Beenish Ahmed on NPR)
Featured Image Source: Two Faced by R-becca