Feb 15, 2011

A World of Free Muslims

If world is a film then Islam is one of its pivotal characters with 'gray shades'. Its supporters vouch for the religion while the detractors leave no stone unturned in pin-pointing loopholes. Islam is a poet's (prophet's) beautiful creation that has been subjected to various and numerous interpretations. Today, the religion is perhaps undergoing its sternest test ever. It is tantalizingly poised at a crossroad, where all paths seem to be equally romantic. 

It is in this context that the just-concluded or say just-initiated Egyptian Revolution holds immense significance. It is a known fact that Arab world is the cradle of Islam. Centuries ago, it was in the deserts of the Arab World that this religion of glorious misinterpretations was conceived, born and nurtured. But sadly, today Islam, more or less, has been convicted within the confines of Arabic sands. When I say confined, I surely do not question Islam's geographical expanse. The Arab conquerors spread the light of Islam, far and wide, from Indonesia to Iceland. What I intend to say is that religion has not been able to break free from the shackles of its birthplace. This perhaps explains why Khuda Haafiz has suddenly paved way for Allah Haafiz, in the Indian Subcontinent. Nostalgia is okay, but obsession and fixation is certainly detrimental.

Arab nations, for long, have been ruled. They have rarely been governed. The medieval tactics have never allowed the modern democracy to blossom in the sand. The entire Middle-East (West Asia) and most of North Africa have been under the clutches of monarchy or dictatorial regime of some kind. People's aspirations have not been allowed to rise and shine. The regime has controlled its masses, the media, the resources, the land, almost everything with iron fists. A great and almost insurmountable wall has been created around the Arab World. Egyptians have just managed to inflict a crack in the great wall.

It is not just President Hosni Mubarak, who has been forced to step down, a baggage of stereotypes and suffocation has been shown the door. Its the victory of people, democracy and True Islam, at the core of which lies tolerance, inclusiveness and progress. Most importantly, the uprising is expected to act as a source of inspiration across the world. It is a sign of Muslim awakening, coming of age of an entire generation of young Muslims who seek freedom and are ready to take care of themselves. Clerics do not excite them. They loathe being ruled, they seek governance. 

As most legends and romantic fables would have it, the story started when a vegetable seller set himself on fire in tiny Arab nation called Tunisia. He was not happy with autocratic president and his goons, who took away his livelihood. His sacrifice paved way for the JASMINE REVOLUTION. A first of its kind in Muslim world, at least in recent memory. The flames of revolution reached Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain. It threatens to engulf other Gulf nations, the iconic Monarchy of Saudi Arabia included in the list. Quite satisfactorily, social networking played a very crucial role in the build up. And we thought, Muslims only create groups on facebook to banish India, Israel, US and that Danish cartoonist.

Those historic scenes at Tehrir (Liberation) Square have sent ripples across the world. The US has so far only warmed its own motives. It has promoted dictatorship in Arab nations at the cost of people's freedom. Sustainence of Israel and expoitation of Oil resources seems to be its only twin goals. The hawkish Iran is also perplexed. It fears recurpursions of Egypt might have a bearing on its harsh cleric-based system. People may seek freedom. They may plan a small little revolution of their own.

The formula is also echoing in Kashmir. The might of peaceful protests has energized the liberty-seekers, resurrected the likes of Gandhi and king from nowhere. The catch is to differentiate between legitimate demands and mere rhetoric. Freedom is wanted but not at the cost of order. 

The world, with bated breath, awaits/welcomes/fears A world of Free Muslims.


  1. Like many others, politics is neither my cup of tea or coffee. But, the way you carried your thought process from the very first line till the end is just so amazing.

    It seems that you have done good research on the topic before writing it.

    First line isn't only beautiful and catchy but also generates curiosity in reader's mind. Apart fromt his, i loved "It is a sign of Muslim awakening, coming of age of an entire generation of young Muslims who seek freedom and are ready to take care of themselves. Clerics do not excite them. They loathe being ruled, they seek governance."

    You are a commendable writer Ashish. All the very best! :-)

  2. Thank you so much Soumya, Glad that you posted the 1st comment on my revived blog. I will try and make politics your cup of tea..;)