Extremism in any shape or form is wrong, be it religious or secular. Unfortunately, most of the critics tend to focus only on the extreme part of Islam and the people exploiting it for their own interest. They either do not know or deliberately hide the fact that Islam as a liberating religion; something that it actually is! Islam doesn’t stop us from living or enjoying ourselves. It only stresses on acknowledging the fact that I’ve been created by the one and only God-Allah and I am only His slave and answerable to Him only and should try my best to avoid His disobedience. People have rights over me and serving humanity should always be my first priority. Is that too much to ask for?
Our beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is a great example who made smiling a Sunnah! It’s a virtue in itself. He has asked us to gather as much knowledge as possible. What could be more beautiful than that? I’m thankful to Allah that I was born a Muslim and follow a religion that gave women their rights 1400 years ago and made me a princess where a man is responsible to earn for me. Yes, I am free to work too and wow, my man has no right over my money. Doesn’t that sound great?
Yes, I’m free to be educated, free to choose my own groom and no, I cannot be forced to marry someone I dislike. No, my religion does not oppress me. I like hanging out with my friends, dining outside, attending family events/weddings and love sports and gym. I like following latest trends and like every other girl I love cosmetics! And someday I would love to go scuba diving too! Did I mention swimming? I love adventures, hiking and travelling! My all time dream is to travel the entire world before dying!
I’m liberal but thankfully not like the ones you see these days who believe in mocking others religion and beliefs. No, I don’t believe in bigotry and I don’t abuse people or call them “fundo” when they don’t agree with me. No, I don’t make cartoons of other’s religion’s holy personalities and call it “freedom of expression”. There’s something so wicked about freedom of expression, it’s barely used where it should be and actually used and abused, where it’s not really required. If you ask me, it’s a way of creating rifts between people. And no, I don’t blast out whatever comes into my mind without thinking about its repercussions and cover it up with my “right to speak up”. I believe if I’ve got the power to express myself I would rather do it in a more educated manner and when someone tries to defend their opinion, I don’t call them intolerant or fanatic.
I’m liberal but it doesn’t mean I look at everything as a rebel. What is wrong remains wrong and I have no authority to change the rules of the creator. I’ve seen Pakistan’s English press lately trying to promote things forbidden in Islam by somehow turning it all into legal and permitted. Oh no, don’t mistake me as a liberal who prays five times a day but believes that homosexuality should be legalized. Nor do I stop praying when a brainless person does something dumb in the name of religion. Yes you’ll find 200 blogs for gay and lesbian rights but when it comes to burning the Quran they would rather call it “freedom of expression”. They are willing to write a thousand blogs on Veena Malik’s “boldness” and praise her guts for standing up to a mullah but will not speak a word when it comes to Aafia Siddqui. They are for women rights but Aafia siddiqui deserves no rights. Let her be raped every day, let her be sexually harassed and it is none of our concerns. Sadly, you would be considered a hate monger or a bigot if your opinions are different from theirs and more towards religion. Funnily, you’re likely to be called a modern version of Taliban if you say you’re liberal but want Islam at the same time.
Why isn’t it possible? Why is the world bent upon portraying that we can’t afford to take religion and this world together? Religion is not how some people have defined it to be, it’s actually a way of living. I am not a scholar, but what I have learnt till today is that Islam is the most beautiful change you can bring into your lives if you decide to follow it properly. I’ll try my best to stick to my religion and call a spade a spade and ready to be called a fun-damentalist!
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