Archive for December, 2012

Today must have been a slow news day in Australia but it most definitely was a day that really puts up on display the idiocy, inaccuracy and hype of the Media. Yet this is a trend that we tend to notice every year- the “War On Christmas” usually coming – according to the media- from the Muslims in Australia who apparently hold great offense to the festive season, everything from the Christmas Displays to the Carols. This years “War” apparently came from a Fatwa from the most populous mosque in Australia; Lakemba mosque.  According to the article, which soon became the most read article in most Australian News sites- The head imam at Lakemba, Sheikh Yahya Safi, apparently told the congregation during prayers they should not have anything to do with Christmas. The Facebook fatwa reportedly warns: ”Disbelievers are trying to draw Muslims away from the straight path.”

It says Christmas Day and associated celebrations are among the ‘‘falsehoods” for a Muslim to avoid.

Therefore a Muslim is neither allowed to celebrate the Christmas Day nor is he allowed to congratulate them” it says.

My "Fatwa" will be blown this big!

My “Fatwa” will be blown this big!

The News outlets very openly put up the Facebook page of Lakemba Mosque and suddenly a wave of hatred, bigotry, racism, xenophobia persisted and was the underlying theme until eventually the post was deleted. Yet one thing News Outlets failed to do- not surprisingly– was get their facts right.  First of all the Imam of the mosque never made any of these statements himself, but a junior from the organization posted a “fatwa” from an online website.  Comments came on by that were posted on the Mosques Facebook page along the lines of “Go back to where you came from“, “Muslims are Parasites“, “Why do Muslims Smell?” “You cannot trust a single one of them“, “We’re going to drink the beer and eat the bacon” and other taunts directly insulting the religion and its adherents. I seemed to be one of only a few reasonable people, everyone else just wanted to vent their hatred and they did.

Only hours later the mosque hired a plane to write “Merry Xmas” above the mosque in the sky to prove that they did not live by the supposed message. The media then quickly edited their text and took back all that they said and the story had a complete 180 degree flip around within hours. Yet that is what happens when you jump the bandwagon, when you don’t have a story to begin with and when you do not give a story time to grow before making assertions. Yet as i said, this is the yearly narrative- the cycle that i expect every year at Christmas time, there will always be some Muslim “Grinch” to spoil the day. Islamic Friendship Association spokesman Keysar Trad said the Lakemba Mosque post was damaging.

Merry Xmas painted on the sky above Lakemba Mosque to counter the "Fatwa" accusations.

Merry Xmas painted on the sky above Lakemba Mosque to counter the “Fatwa” accusations.

When I saw it I was quite shocked … It just gives people the wrong impression” he told AAP on Sunday.

I’m happy that they are not sticking by those comments and that they are distancing themselves from them” he said.

Now let us look at the subject at hand- first of all- even IF Muslims are taught not to practice any Christmas festivities, nor take part in Christmas, nor go out of their way to wish others a “Merry Christmas” specifically- what is the big deal? Do we put the same pressure on other Non-Christian groups to conform to Christmas? Do we tug them by the collar and tell them to shape up or get out? Traditionally what the post said is not entirely inaccurate but it was very poorly said. Muslims technically are not permitted to take part in Christian activities (especially those that relate Jesus to God or any superior status beyond being a messenger/prophet). For example a Muslim is not expected to sing Christmas carols, light their houses up and imitate the Christians during their holidays but it also does not mean we are to be rude, intolerant or ignorant of their beliefs and customs.

I have never met a single Muslim person that wanted to destroy Christmas, nor a single Muslim that declared a war on Christmas. I live in the Muslim hub of Sydney and Christmas and Muslims tend to get along just fine. This supposed war on Christmas is quiet a fabrication, it is non existant- especially from a Muslim angle. In fact when you look at who are the most hostile when it comes to Christmas it is the anti-theists (NOT Atheists: There is a difference) who have taken over nativity scenes with secular concepts, it is they who post “work of fiction” stickers on bibles all across the world and it is they who constantly taunt the Christians for their fictitious beliefs on a day that was stolen from the Pre-Christian Pagans. Yet they get away scoff free because you cannot tell them to “go back home” nor call them “parasites” because it doesn’t fit with the narrative of Muslim=Bad.!

Some Muslims believe showing tolerance to Christmas improves relations- others believe it is disgracing the strictest tenant of Islam.

Some Muslims believe showing tolerance to Christmas improves relations- others believe it is disgracing the strictest tenant of Islam.

Muslims are more than welcome to wish the Christians to have a fantastic day this Christmas – so long as we do not take part in the activities. Yet the fact is Muslims DO like to get others involved in their festivities. For example during Ramadan many Muslim households invite non Muslims over to enjoy the breaking of the fast. So it’s only natural that some Christians would expect the same level of engagement from the Muslims. Yet Islamically speaking it is not possible, mainly because we would be supporting the only unforgivable sin in Islam- which is associating partnership with God (Idolatry). Yet that does not mean we cannot get in there for a Santa photo, or admire the beautiful night lights and cool decorations that Christians put up, all of this is part of the festive message- not the religious one. Some Muslims claim that what the Mosque did was cowardly, and that indeed Muslims must have NOTHING to do with Christmas and that they are bowing down to the pressures of society and sacrificing their beliefs- the bottom line is no answer is wrong- so long as we are respectful. The general all about Muslim attitude to Christmas are along the lines of:

“And if they deny you, [O Muhammad], then say, “For me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds. You are disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you do.” (Quran 10:41)

“Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter being of those nearest to Allah.” (Quran 3:45)

Say, “O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah .” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims” (Quran 3:64)

Muslims VS Santa? This war looks bloody!

Muslims VS Santa? This war looks bloody!

Disassociation is a great peaceful way to highlight disagreeing. Instead of attacking Christians and Christmas Muslims are advised to simply disassociate themselves from things they do not believe in, nor feel complies with their world view. Yet the media decided to create a huge spin from this and make it out like Muslims are attacking Christmas, which they clearly are not. Stop giving in to this imaginary war on Christmas. Muslims are not at war with Christ or Christmas- open a Qur’an and see the kind, loving things the book says about Jesus. Muslims are not trying to destroy the culture or way of life of the majority of Australians that do celebrate Christmas. The fact is people tend to ignore that Muslims do not expect non Muslims to wish them a happy Ramadan, nor we get offended if you do not- heck most people don’t even realize it’s Ramadan. Likewise for Christmas, people should not get offended if not only Muslims but ANYBODY decides to not partake in its festivities or customs- it’s simply disassociation- not hatred, not anger, not a war.

Peace.

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I have come to realize that each and every person is a unique individual in some way, shape or form. We may look alike and even have similar mannerisms but when it comes to the detail people are incredibly different- and that is okay.!! The world is a much more exciting place for it, but to me there are the golden 5 traits that i have personally chosen to be my favourites when it comes to engaging with other people. These character and personality traits are important for individuals and essentially also partners or friends. So get your pen ready and see if you tick all of my boxes :).

Trust is absolutely vital.

Trust is absolutely vital.

TRAIT 1- Trust.

Trust is quiet a deep word and we tend to throw it around too much nowadays, but the fact is trust is more than just keeping a secret. The essence of trust and the burden that it carries is huge, basically if a person is truly trustworthy, they are maintaining a human trait that is highly advanced, highly sophisticated and extremely important. A trustworthy person is a person that you KNOW will keep a secret, pay you back, be true to their word and be reliable. If a friend or a partner is trustworthy there are no second doubts when you are digging deep and letting them get to know you, these people always speak good words of you and are consistent in delivering the truth, it’s a rare and very powerful trait, the fact is yes – everyone does lie, but the trustworthy person is so overwhelmingly honest that their little white lies diminish into oblivion.

 

Attentive enough for you?

Attentive enough for you?

TRAIT 2- Attentiveness

You are probably thinking…attentiveness? ATTENTIVENESS? Yes. Attentiveness! What does it mean that one is attentive? Well first of all, these people are fantastic communicators, great to speak to and they themselves love to speak. Yet an attentive person is a fantastic friend or partner to have. They are people that actually LISTEN whilst they are spoken to, they gather information, collect it and compute it to their memory. They remember things that surprise you- recalling stories you told them months ago, recognizing your scent and clothing, they are in essence “connected” to you. Many people whilst listening to you nod and smile but that information is going nowhere, the attentive person is one who shows care about you and your life by saving this information and becoming updated in it, all in the while offering assistance. The importance of the attentive type is that they actually CARE and you can see it in their eye contact, relaying of information and reminders of stories that even you forgot yourself.

Generosity makes a stone a gem.

Generosity makes a stone a gem.

TRAIT 3- Generosity

Generosity is a humble way of one to reveal to the world that they are caring, giving people. There are of course limits when one is generous, being generous to the point of stupidity is just that- stupid. Yet the generous type is a beneficial person to have around, not so you can use and abuse them but because they truly are sharers. They motivate and influence those around them to be more caring, giving and hold the influence of sharing which is a human behavioral pattern that goes back for thousands of years. When a person is willing to sacrifice their money, belongings, time and effort for you- they are being generous and thus this person does care for you. Generosity is a trait that is literally a beautiful thing to see in a friend or partner, where they see money as literally an object that does not get in the way of a true friendship. A generous soul is a beautiful soul and this powerful human trait is often taken advantage of, yet the few generous gems that still exist really keep the spark, energy and connectivity of a relationship or friendship alive, even at its most dire moments.

Patience is a virtue.

Patience is a virtue.

TRAIT 4- Patience

Patience is a virtue. It most definitely is. In a world where we tend to get everything with the literal push or snap of a finger, we are finding this amazing spiritual trait to become less and less common. A person that is patient is an overseer, they are capable of looking far off to the horizon with optimism and zero arrogance. A patient friend or partner is a very vital part of life because such a person is one who tends to forgive, forget and overlook a persons simple faults. They are strong because they are capable of taking hardship for a longer period of time without breaking down and they are willing to give people a fair chance before placing incriminating judgement against them. When one is patient they make it clear that they still intend on getting what they want, but at a pace that does not tire or overwork them- it is not laziness but a tactic employed by people that are capable of doing such things, and that is a very few people nowadays. A patient person is one you know will turn around, pat you on the shoulder and tell you “It’s okay” – while you know most others in their place would have your head off with a shovel…pretty important i’d say!

One can never go wrong with compassion.

One can never go wrong with compassion.

TRAIT 5- Compassion

A person that carries compassion carries feeling and emotion- traits that many humans nowadays try to avoid showing- in fear of being seen as “weak“. The fact is having empathy for other human beings and being able to put yourself in other shoes is very important to find in a friend or partner. Compassion is putting your guard down, returning back to earth and finding common ground with others- whether strangers or family. A person that is capable of showing compassion and not fearing the repercussions of that is actually a person that is stronger than most, because they fear nothing about the reactions to a natural action that humans have been trying to get rid of for centuries. There is nothing wrong with having a heart or being somewhat sensitive, to me there is nothing sexier than realizing you are a human and being able to understand and put yourself in the situation of others, the world greatest charity founders and travelers were people that had this trait, being able to see the world from another persons eyes makes you a very important person on this list.

Salam, thanks for reading.