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Category Archives: What Makes America

Religion, gays and marriage


On the wall of a friend of mine, there was discussion going around. Gay marriage being in the court, every one has it’s opinion. A friend’s friend’s opinion was laws have been previously derived from the religion (for that being the Christian religion). I divide my answer in two portions, one is just religion and country’s laws.

As for respect of religion in making laws. Today many unfortunately are little quick in dismissing anything that comes from the religion. Almost all the religions are great source of information and knowledge (at least some parts of all of them). Both religious and anti-religious people ignore the fact that all the religions have changed with the time. They might be divine but their current shapes are due to human reasoning.

Scholars and philosophers have debated what is the meaning of the message of revelations. Why certain interpretation is more correct than other, why one should be more beneficial to society and what view will be more helpful to a person . In the process they have defined and refined it. Their debates and explanations are education for us. Religions being the books of constitution for so many centuries will always be referenced.Ignoring them is will be ignoring efforts and works of great minds.

Question is should “All” the laws be continued to be derived from religion or not. I am not American so my point of view might not matter what American society needs, but I am sharing my point of view because this issue is going to become big issue in the countries which have not legally accepted this.

Problem with the religion is there are huge number of versions of every single religion (Catholic, Protestants  Suni, Shia, Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, Hindus who believe in one Veda and not others). One might say they are all (all versions of Ibrahimic religions) are together on this issue of gays, they don’t accept it (there is still debate whether they ask society to punish them). Accepting one law just because some religion tell you, will create logical fallacy  Like any mathematician or law professor will tell you once you accept the one law just because it is coming from XYZ-religion, we set precedence that could be used to add more laws belonging to religion XYZ. It breaks the rules, is muddles the axioms.

Either religion should be used to make all the laws or it should not be, if we want  a system that accepts part of religion to be made into law but not the other part, we end up with complex set of rules. Such rules will always be pushed to be changed and that’s what is going around right now. Let me give you example we don’t have now the punishment for infidelity or adultery and I don’t believe anyone wants that to become one, but what’s the logic behind it if we are accepting marriage should be defined by religion then what about infidelity? Or what about the people belonging to other religions? should they be burned on stakes?

I am fine with any nation saying they want XYZ to be national religion, thinking we can have non-religious state where XYZ is major religion is just wrong. But sir, if it is not (which quite clearly today’s America is not) then instead enforcing religion through laws and courts you have to go back to people and make them believe in what you believe in. Same goes with the civil rights, you cannot get civil rights by laws, you get them by having size able population believing in what you believe.
In terms of , My point has always being “marriage” as a word has been something that has been derived from the religion. I don’t want government to do anything with “marriage”, in the least that word should be removed from the law books. Government should issue some nicer version of “civil union” and declare we don’t do marriages. If you want to marry, go to Churche, Masjid, Synagogue, Gurdwara or any other religious entity you want to and which ever version of it you want to. if they want benefits they can register with government and government will not discriminate against people regardless of gender, cast, belief, orientation, etc. ….
 

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Gay rights, American Muslims and religious laws


American Muslims! do you want American Laws to be based on religion? if not then why all the arguments against gay marriage are coming from religion?

If you have been to Muslim gathering, especially for Jummah namaz, you would have met many concerned muslims and heard ceremons from the pulpits. I did…..

Recent declaration by Obama to end descrimination against Gays marrige rights have stirred quite a bit of uneasynes among religious leadership (if there is something like that in Muslim community of America)

In masajids you might be Imam mentioning gay rights and getting angry on that. You will hear things like they are going to indocternate the children, if we alow gays getting married then next they will going to allow sex with animals, and even you might hear the argument it is slippery slop if we tolerate gays getting married next it might be having sex with kids (yup, for a second i could not believe when I heard such arguments), one Imam pointed out that your child might come home and say dad today my teacher Ms. Jeniffer’s husband came to visit her and her name was Andrea, what you are going to say to them.

I will not go in details about “question of consent” which an animal can’t give. Or Muslim children grow in America where most of the kids are having sex (straight or not) or atleast know that kids around them have boy friends or girl friends. So how traumatic their teacher having gay husband would be?

I will not even go and discuss that in this society people of any inclination are having sex with who ever they want and are open about it, so is big fuss is just giving them legal rights (which as a human they must have) not the physical act itself?

Keep all these aside, and acknowledging that all Ibrahimic religions (Jeudaism, Christianity and Islam) view being gay a sinful act. Question is which one of these wants to have American laws defined according to the religion? Do jews and muslims want America to have Christian laws? If not then why the reasoning they are presenting is coming from the religion?

Why I only hear God has forbiden this act, Allah destroyed a nation for that, ……. where are other detailed reasonings. Because if we start having religious argument here, where it will stop. Why not next have discussion about who could actually be called Christian or Jew or Muslim? Why not go ahead and ban any criticism of any religion? But then who will define religion? Why should Christians accept Islam to be religion? if they do then why not some Spagheti God? Should punishments be also derived from Bible, old and new Testaments?

American Muslims should know better, religious arguments about laws will lead to religions laws and those laws might not be ones that let minorities flourish.

 

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No, nothing Burned in Gainesville; only Candles of Unity were lit


I received an email from Pakistan asking whether Quran was burned or not? Email highlighted suspicion that Tery Jones of Dove Church went ahead with his plans and somehow Govt. of Pakistan is

blocking this news. This view was also part of column published by Express Pakistan, although author did not did anything to stop such suspicions.

So let me state, nothing was burned in Gainesville. That evening Gainesville saw one of the most amazing gathering, where citizens of Gainesville regardless of faith, beliefs, social statuses and views came together to celebrate diversity of Gainesville.  A vigil was held to represent Unity and Peace in community.  The news was covered by Sun Gainesville. When candles were lit and silence was held, the downtown plaza was looking heavenly, beautiful,…….

I don’t know about other cities, but following video is another example of  how people protested to stop Quran Burning.  If you go till end, a Muslim guy tells us about people who placed their hands on the grill.

The person who emailed me has emailed back telling they have confirmation somewhere Quran was burned and they are going to protest. I want to tell everyone, protesting is your right but when you protest do remember these people. When you shout anti—— slogans, do shout slogans in the praise of these people. Let’s spread peace and harmony, let’s balance our stories of Dove Church with the stories of Trinity Church of Gainesville, Jewish Rabbi in Gainesville,  Veteran for peace and hundreds of faceless people, who stood not because they love Islam, but because they love humans regardless of their faith and views.

Peace

 

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Sept 11: don’t associate it one more hate crime


Wish everyone to remain calm and peaceful regardless of what happens. Hopefully this day will pass without anyone burning anything.
News is Paster is in New York, wishing this changes his mind.

Want to pay respects to anyone who was killed on that day and all the people who have died in 9 years after it, in war that erupted.
I hope this remains the next year could be year of peace. I know it’s lame but nothing goes in wishing.

Few hours new dawn, let it be day of peace and unity.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2010 in America, Muslim, What Makes America

 

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Burn Quran Day and My City Gainesville


As many of you know I live in Gainesville. Among whom who don’t know many will hear this city’s name in few days, unfortunately, for a wrong reason. Recently a church named Dove Church, reportedly having less than a hundred members, announced that they want to burn the Quran (Koran).  I know what you will be thinking, or at least among many of you, there will be disbelief and anger. I want you to control your anger and listen.

Three and a half years in Gainesville and today for the first time I am little afraid. I live in fear of how my country men will react. Will they morph into the lynching crowd of Sialkot? Will they burn fast food restaurants as they did when protesting against caricatures killing two of their own country men or will they set cars and buses on fire? Will they become the monsters the Dove Church envisages Muslims to be?

Muslims of Gainesville need you to remain calm, remember that this does not represent America, this does not represent Florida and this does not represent Gainesville. It is one of the most diverse and welcoming city you can find.  Three and a half years in this city and I have not met one person who has discriminated against me for being Pakistani or being Muslim. My face does not hide from where I am and my name is quite indicative of what my beliefs are.

I want you to remember that this action is being done by a fringe group. Remember that this is not a global conspiracy against Islam; these are just few hate mongers trying to get attention.

Just let me give you a little history: previously this pastor tried to pull of a stunt by asking school-going children of his congregation to wear shirts with “Islam is of the Devil” written over them. Before this no one knew of them. Even before the Muslim community became aware, that school’s administration asked those students to either change their shirts or cover them. This event pushed the Gainesville community to re-introduce school uniforms. Rest of the community in Gainesville, both Muslim and non-Muslim, reacted against it peacefully.

There is one more reason – I have not seen before Muslims of Gainesville as united, as energetic and as active. And Gainesville community supports us; they are against this hateful act. From the day this pastor has announced this program, we are getting support from all-around. Muslim Community of Gainesville has decided that they will not protest. We will respond by servicing the community. On that day we will be having multiple events to help the people of Gainesville who need us. There will be a food drive for the homeless, blood drive and book collection drive.  On other days we are having doing community outreach, having Koran 101 day and opening our Masajids to anyone who wants to come and ask any question.

Why are not we protesting? Because it does not deliver anything, it’s useless and it can result in confrontation. Confrontation is one thing we don’t want. And we don’t want Muslims living away from America to become violent. Your violence, smoke coming out of burning tires and effigies will only harm image of Muslims. We, Muslims of Gainesville, are setting example of how to react intelligently and peacefully; please help us.

I know you are hurt, but will anger go away by doing what we do? Don’t burn things; don’t come out shouting in the streets, drying your throats. There are many things you can do; Pakistan is going from worst crisis now, why not have Largest Donation Day? Or Biggest Blood Collection Drive? Many schools have been destroyed; why not get money for one School?

If you want to show your anger, do it by sending letters. Write letters to the American Embassy, to White House and if you want to Dove Church, telling them to read Book not Burn it.  Educate people about Islam.

Many people will ask why they are allowed to do it. They will say it because they are being allowed this means American Govt. is involved. Remember this is the country, where you can burn the flag of this country, where you can say you favor Hitler and not get arrested.

Most of you know these things and understand the Freedom of Expression comes with the extra responsibility of bearing ignorance, but most of our fellow citizens don’t understand it. Please educate them. Don’t let this become opportunity for radicals and extremists.

 

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No Health Care Budge!, Economics and Peter G Peterson


I was just listening Charlie Rose and there was Peter G Peterson. I am totally impressed by what he was saying about the Economics. He explained how the foreign lending is weak point of America, how this Foreign lending is giving China and Japan leverage on US. (Gave e.g. of Swiss Canal, where use US used this leverage on France and Brittan).

On Charlie’s question that China and US relationship is considered to be good because many believe China needs consumers of US. Peter replied that If he is hearing Chinese correctly then they are realizing that such relationship is becoming Un-Sustainable, and Chinese are spending huge money to build their domestic consumer market.
I was really impressed here, this concept of unsustainability, where lender recognizes that instead of crushing the borrower in further debt, he should shift it’s resources to make other market.

Then he said US is only Country that does not have Health Care Budget, I was what!
It can’t be. but he said multiple time that we don’t have it and best way to deal with the health crisis will be to make Health Care Budget. Because then Govt. can say that these are somethings which we will not do for you, e.g. medical interventions in last days of life when it does not improve the quality of life, second liver transplant for Alcoholic, etc….

Yes, realities, realities that everyone knows but no one says.

 

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Eglishized Arabic; America a melting pot


Today I read Namaz behind an Imam whose Qirat could be describe as Eglishized Arabic. It was quite nice experience.  I have never heard anyone recite in that way. Words were being pronounced correctly sounding slightly in different tone.

His ceremon was quite interesting. He criticized people who say that US is Kafar country;  he described it as a melting pot, where different people come and become one. A country where everyone is free to pursue their dreams, follow their faith.

He was quite true in it. Where laws cannot remove the biases people carry in their mind, they force people not to use them.  You can still find those biases present, perhaps unconsciously visible. If you see Turlington Plaza in UF from above you can find how it is devided in black and white, not by some lines but by some unconscious behavior.  But here you will not find any person being disallowed opportunity due to his/her color, religion or race.

This multi-cultural face of America has allowed me to meet many different types of people, even of my own faith. I read namaz behind African American, Arab American, White American, Desi American, etc… . Each having different style of Qirat, different style of praying.

And I thought in which country you will find so many different types of people. Some time I feel Muslims are more free here than their own country.

Freedom: That’s What Makes America.