Religion for people?
Incredible isn't it?! Not a peep out of the oil-rich Arab countries, the so-called-representatives of the Muslim Ummah, about sending relief funds for the Tsunami victims. But they have sent 200 radical group members to Indonasia to 'protect the muslim masses from the 'kafir' influence of the western relief organizations'! Ofcourse funding continues for the 'madrasas'(religious school) and supporting fundamentalist groups around South East Asia. Such is the state of Islamic world.
Only ISNA is doing their part in raising funds at all local mosques across NA.
Interestingly their flier mentions Tsunami affected countries in the following order: Indonasia, Bangladesh, Malayasia, India, Sri Lanka. Those of you following the news will note that is NOT the order of countries with most loses of life and property. Ahem- only 2 people(thankfully) died in Bangladesh! Even in helping people they would rank Muslim majority countries as more 'deserving' somehow of receiving help.
How can we ever expect the non-muslim people of the world to ever believe in the peaceful nature of Islam and our compassionate Prophet?
Good news about the Ahmadiya situation in Bangladesh: Ahmediyas are a branch of Muslims who follow a self-proclaimed prophet and consider him as the last prophet and not Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Sure their ideology is different, but considering history of any major religion of the world, it was inevitable that there will be branching out of Islam as well. Now the extremists Muslims in the world have taken it a step further and passed state laws denouncing these followers from the Muslim world, confiscated their books, refused building of their mosque and where ever possible driving them out of their homes, even killing them. That this law was passed in Pakistan does not surprise me the least- its only the second nation in the world built around a religion (the other being Israel). What saddened me is to know the same movement was occuring in Bangladesh, a secular nation built on a common ground of language and culture. But then the germ of extemist ideology had taken hold of Bangladesh for a while. Bombings at various cultural events that are deemed 'Hindu' by extremists, curtailing press-freedom etc are only one of the many examples of this expanding ideology. There were mass protests and even documentaries made on this issue. The latest news is that the Supreme Court has overturned the government's decision to ban Ahmadiya publications. Yey. We showed them. I'm so proud to be Bangali :D
Unity among the people of the world might be a foolish hope or a myth, but increasingly I am having trouble resolving any religion as an unifying force for human beings. If there is ever going to be anything that won't set up walls between people, it has to be Arts and Science. More on that another day.