Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The lashing of the year.

As I'm writing this I'm still astounded that something like this is so ... I'm speechless actually.

So... In this age of terrorism, Islamophobia and the dominance of terms nobody really understands but peddles anyway like sharia, jihad and taqiya. There is an unending source of interest the media continuously returns to whenever the news cycle is quiet or when the public attention needs to be diverted.

A cycle has now started that is so formulaic you can almost foresee it before it happens. Here is the latest breakdown of the formula

1- A news story breaks out, it's outrageous, it's clearly wrong, illegal, criminal etc... Muslims are involved somehow.
2- A direct or (in most cases) indirect connection is made to Islam. So this crime is sanctioned or caused by Islam.
3- Commentators on talkback radio and newspaper opinion pieces stoke the flames of xenophobia and intolerance. Breaking the story down into a black and white.
4- Spokesmen for the community come out and attempt to clarify, explain, distance the larger muslim community from the act, by this time though there is a strong foaming-at-the-mouth momentum of fear and hate too strong for any logic or sense.
5- Crazies come out from both sides making nutty claims and incredibly divisive statements that are of benefit only to said crazies.
6- The government, hungry for attention and acceptance from the voters and egged on by the media. Come out and make ill informed vague rhetoric statements that call upon the values and  integration. In some cases a politician may pass a totally irrelevant or even redundant law that makes lives harder for the whole community.
7- The noise dies down gradually, the crazies crawl back into their holes, the media latches on to another rating maximizing issue, until the next cycle.

So, what's the cycle this week, you ask ?

1- A dude gets lashed. It seems he was a recent convert to Islam who still had a taste for the bottle. Some "brothers" found out and decided to take a law  (not the law of the land) into their own hands.
2- The ever present fear of Islam and Sharia is jumped upon again. It's clear whoever did this not in any stretch of the imagination representative of anyone but themselves. That doesn't stop commentators and the scores of hateful trolls on forums and comment sections of news articles and youtube videos to warn of creeping sharia law Muslims going back where they come from etc...
3- The media tirade is too fast to catch up with, just google lashing Sydney (within the time limit) and you'll get plenty to keep you scared and angry.
4- Balanced, educated sane people try to put things into prospective, hence Ahmed Kilani's interview at 2UE radio speaks wonderfully. Alhumdulillah for people like him. He clearly states that Islam is innocent of such savageries. Others I'm sure have also tried to restore sanity.
5-The crazies, I'm not even going into this. (Though I have to say I'm disappointed with George Negus for giving a platform to that individual)
6 and 7 are yet to come, and then I can say I told you so !

The fact is, sharia law is a vast field of jurisprudence that has its own philosophy built on justice and its own purposes, sources and flexibilities. In a very specific context of time, space and culture, flogging a man for drinking was sanctioned. However in Australia, in 2011. This can not be sanctioned for two very simple reasons:
1- Australia does not apply sharia law. We may not like it, but people here (including Muslims) drink, gamble, engage in premarital sex, pee when standing up etc... We may hate it, but other than advising them, we can't do anything about it.
2- Sharia law isn't a stick anybody can pick up and beat up others with. If it's a law of the land. The authorities can apply it.

I don't want to get into the validity of flogging someone drinking if Sharia was applied today in some Muslim country, that's another topic. It is however important to understand that this type of action is not sanctioned at any time. This is plain criminal. I just hope those four guys who beat up the poor convert person weren't ordered to do so by an organization leader or something.

Wallahu A3lam.

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