Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hypocrisy of (Arab) Muslim "Brotherhood"

I read the following at BBC News. Now before people get upset and nationalistic, I want to spell out a few things:

This could be true for any group of people, does not have to be limited to Arabs and how they treat immigrant workers, however, this gives a good example to a point I am trying to make.

The story allows me to use this as an example, while I would love to give Muslims 70 excuses, I doubt that we will ever be able to fix our problems with out looking at the issue, discussing it and at least walking away better educated, or educating others, or better yet, working to change things. Not to belittle the 70 excuses hadith, I do believe that this falls outside its scope and context, since its to better the general sense and sensibility of the Muslim Ummah.

Please look at the content of whats being present, and don't contact me to provide me naseeha if you wish regarding how I am approaching this, there are all to many posts that have lost there purpose in the policing of "wayward ways". (Contact Affad via facebook or my personal blog)

The reason this piece uses such a strong word -"hypocrisy"- is because it applies. Before going out to do good, its important to make significant change in my own backyard. Read the article here and the gist of the article is below:

    Troops from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been delivering humanitarian aid to their fellow Muslims and, on occasion, fighting their way out of Taleban
    ambushes. Though Jordanian forces have been carrying out some base security
    duties, the UAE's troops are the only Arab soldiers undertaking full-scale
    operations in the country.
    Now I commend them for doing the work they are doing. However, when we talk about brotherhood, how about considering the treatment of the brother and sisters that are brought into the country to do certain jobs, ie construction, nannies, house cleaners, cab drivers?

    Its good to be able to connect with the Afghan people based on shared religious beliefs. Yet I think back to how Muslims from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh are treated in the Middle East and it all seems hypocritical to me. This is so bad that I hear WHITE NON-MUSLIMS telling me about how horrendous the treatment is. The double standards are just repulsive. Yet this is just Muslims, imagine the treatment of non-Muslims which is just as worse. (Is this the dawah we were instructed to do?)

    Lets not argue about how Islam is not being practiced the way it should be, because I hear anecdotes from families and friends who are religious trying to justify the horrible behavior toward these migrant workers.

    I was talking to some one about Sri Lankan nannies and how many kids in the Middle East are raised by Sri Lankan nannies. The Muslim mothers are the equivalent to OC Mommies- maybe the prescribed psycho-drugs haven't reached there. These nannies are treated like they do not exist, like expendable rubbish, a pair of 1000 dollar jeans you buy, wear and then toss. They go home to see their family once a year if they are lucky, but they spend their entire time with people who don't care for them, their lives, treating them with contempt.

    A good example of this behavior is that of Mexicans and immigrants from South America are treated, the perception from the pro-border enforcement "activists"and the consistent criminalization and dehumanization of being foreigners, especially through semantics like "illegal aliens"- connoting it being illegal to be working at measly pay, and that because one is an alien one is less human. God forbid we run into a person who is half terrorist and half illegal alien- yes, its like Muslims being treated like TERRORIST here in the States, but that is ten times better then the treatment fellow Muslims (and non-Muslims) receive in the Middle East.

    This might be a generalization, and its true that this is applicable to Pakistani's, as it would be to Muslims here in the US or any other group, though being Muslims and touting the equality of races makes it more incumbent upon us to truly live this as a reality. The internal racism, stereotypes and prejudices that are persistent in the way we behave toward others, the way we view inter racial marriage and do business, or even run the Masjids is a contradiction to what Islam teaches, yet we continue to buy into the things that divide us.

    Sheikh Tajudeen Shoieb in his khutbah at IIOC today talked about the "engineering required to build social relationships" and how Muslims are sorely lacking it, yet we hold this ideal of what Hajj does for the community, of how even the Prophet lived with the sahabah. Yet what surprised me was that there are two extremes- the one where people buy into the racial prejudices, and the other being that of whitewashing cultural differences and not appreciating the variety that exists.

    Where is the balance? What can we do as young activists to bring about the necessary change, something more then talking about it and thinking its bad? What to do? So what is real "brotherhood", that was the question Sheikh Tajudeen Shoieb left the congregation to ask itself at IIOC and I extend that to you all.


    Yesi King said...

    this is one of my favorite posts by you affad. i could not agree with you more and i'm glad you brought this up. i will do a deeper analysis of your post later when i get more time.

    Anonymous said...

    A scarier related issue is our inability to even talk about the problem. Resolving racism is only a dream until we can bring ourselves to discuss our weaknesses, in an adult and frank manner.

    I'm still reeling from seeing a few friends let a race discussion turn into a fight. People were mad for days.

    How do we progress if that's our state?