Thursday, November 27, 2008

Human Suffering Overload

A couple of weeks back I hear of this boy "Baby P" in England who died only 17 months old.

"After 17 months enduring abuse of an almost unimaginable cruelty, the boy had been reduced to a nervous wreck, his hair shaved to the scalp and his body covered in bruises and scabs. Physical injuries included eight broken ribs, a broken back and the missing top of a finger, while the emotional damage was almost incalculable. Despite it all, Baby P was said to have still attempted a smile."

And all of this was done to him by his own mother, and the two boyfriends she took after splitting with the boy's father.

And yesterday I went to this movie "TV's Promised Land" at the Film Week in KUniv in Khaldiya. And its filled with western depictions of Arabs/Muslims as demons, rats, snakes, mosquitoes and many other sub-human beings. And in the middle of that film, a pretty long scene of 4 Israeli soldiers who barbarically kick and torture 2 sitting palestinians. Midway through that scene one of the soldiers picks up a rock the size of 2 fists and starts hitting on of the men on the shoulders, ribs and head til he passes out. And then another soldier holds the arm of the 2nd palestinian and stretches it out so the other soldier holding the rock can hammer his arm to break it.

The whole auditorium were watching this horror on the verge of walking out... it was very literally "unbearable". After the scene mercifully stops we see the Israeli soldier being interviewed saying that "this" happens "everyday".

This morning I learn from a Palestinian colleague at work that the same two victims were actually born and raised in Kuwait and that he knows the video and knows the two men personally. He told me how they all visited them in the hospital when they arrived back in Kuwait. That just brought my anger and loathing of the soldiers' inhumanity to a much more personal level. These men survived thankfully, and I can go meet them if I wished. The injustice demanded retribution. Allah ilmusta3an. La qowata illa billah.

Then this afternoon I hear on the news about the 100+ victims of the terrorist attack in Mumbay. How the attackers unloaded automatic weapons into civilians indiscriminantly, men, women, children, it didn't make a difference. The buzzing bustling city is in crisis as I am typing away. By some group that calls itself "Mojahideen Decan", Decan being an area. And no one ever heard of the group before.

The whole world is in shock. Real, attention-demanding, bleeding throbbing shock and pain of completely senseless murder and killing.

I arrive to see a movie with my wife, "Taken", and I'm touched by the father's feelings for his daughter. Her guardian angel. Safety and protection guaranteed. Then by the end of the movie (I don't really care if I'm spoiling the movie, coz this bit has pissed me off) you see the ugly, old, bald arab holding the "virgin" daughter as a human shield with a "knife" at her throat. And guess what he's wearing... a bisht.

Where? on an oppulent yacht on the Siene river in Paris. With half a dozen world-class body guards with machine guns on board. And the pictures on the sides of his bedroom door are of hunting falcons and arabian horses.

Demonize me more if you please.

As I'm driving back home my radio's on BBC as usual. My mistake.

She starts talking about more dead people and more evil.

And I just flick it off in a reflex move of pure self-defense. I couldn't take any more.

My mind was filled to the brim with way too much human suffering and injustice and lying. I need a breather. Some time off from it. I need to stop listening to news for a few days at the least.

I gave like a 100kd to my dad because he was collecting aid to help some old expat who needed an operation. Just to try and relieve myself. And it worked a little.

And I thought that I should share this, and spill it out. And thought that, what use is it to listen and absorb sooooo much human tragedy and bad news?

Yes ofcourse it is necessary to be aware. otherwise you can't do any good. You can't help people you don't know are suffering.

But to what extent?? It just crystalized in my head that, I should just hang on to the first bit of bad news I hear, and if I can help with it, just do that and block other bad news until I do.


sadia said...

isn't it just frustrating!
i mean what is happening?
i feel helpless when i see muslims being depicted in the movies like scumbags.
but then, it's even worst when it's on the news.
but is it really all true.
i would like to believe that they are as real as the weapons of mass destruction found in iraq.
but the sad bit is...i don't do anything about it.
can i do anything...something?
i just dread the time when we start accepting these images and pieces of news without flinching...without them bothering us...

falantan said...

The only thing I can do is to take good care of the way I carry myself personally and show a good example.

And no matter how good you are there will always be another muslim who'll embarrass you and give them enough reason to attack and slander.

o Allah said it in the Qur'an:
ولن ترضى عنك اليهود ولا النصارى حتى تتبع ملتهم

And when I watched the movie I believed this aaya more and more.

O ba3dain they HAVE to keep on discrediting islam day in and day out otherwise the message alone would decimate their nations. They already HATE the fact that it's spreading within their own children in their colleges.

sadia said...

you're right.
if nothing else, we should atleaset try to be the best we can.

may the word of ALLAH spread to all corners of the world...ameen!

Dee said...

tell u something? i watched taken in london last month and when we were in the bus going bk from the movies a black lady (n i say blk for i think ohom akthr nas shudnt Discriminate!!) you know how the kidnappers were russians and there were MANY nationalaties at the auction she summerizes the movie to her frnd -on the fone- "its about a girl who gets kidnapped by a Arabsheikh" HUH!
its only when i hear such words or see movies like you talked about that my blood boil bs lela'asaf (and im being honest here!) our Education and society taught as that we're Kuwaities and muslims NOT muslim-kuwaity..

Anonymous said...

Knowing that the two Palestinians in that video are okay now made a difference to me.

falantan said...

I wouldn't blame the black lady at all. the movie clearly made it a point and she simply absorbed it.

Also notice that the gangsters weren't russians, they were "Albanians". and what else do we know about Albania? its full of muslims.

And I agree with you about our own separation of 2 identities. for me il7amdella I come from a conservative family, and the re-discovery of my own identity as a muslim first took a while, but was easier because of my background.

Yeah, I also learned that what happened in the video was in a period when the israelis started a "bone breaking" campaign so that "a crippled palestinian burdens his people alot more than a dead palestinian".

they lie when they say they're God fearing jews o rabbelka3ba. they have deep deep psychological issues, they lie to themselves when they think they love or fear God.

Anonymous said...

The world has become a sad place where bad news is verywhere.

I think that is important for us to take note of all the positive and good things that are happening as well as to be aware of the bad stuff. It gives balance.

It certainly is worse when it is Muslims that are accused of some of the most heinous crimes.

I think though that sometimes we can become defensive simply because as muslims we would never commit such crimes. But the reality is, is that we are all different and we have different experiences and understanding.

I watched Taken and it was movie very close to my heart having been working on the side lines on a research project on human trafficking of young girls. The very very sad reality is that a large percentage of young girls that are traficked end up in the middle east. It was a fact that disgusted me and made me feel sick. However it was a reality that I had to face. As a Muslim I know my religion forbids such behaviour but I also have to understand that people who claim to be muslim do such things.

falantan said...

welcome to the blog! and thank you for the valuable comment. I'd be very interested in reading any results of your research if its available online.

and I was trying to figure out why would trafficking to the middle-east be higher than other places in the world, and it occurred to me that it can be because of 1 of 2 things:

1- Higher demand: meaning that men of the middle east use prostitutes more than other men of the world.

2- Lower supply: that prostitutes in the middle east are of short supply. Which would necessitate importing them from abroad.

And I have a much easier time accepting the 2nd explanation than the 1st. You can easily see them in hotels in Bahrain, Dubai and so on. usually russian brought by russian gangs.

I mean if there was an ample supply of local women willing to work in this sick trade then the whole trafficking from outside business wouldn't be viable in the 1st place.

And I think that's atleast a relatively positive thought.