Friday, March 18, 2016

Women Victorious over War in Liberia

Can women of Syria and Iraq contextualise this victory of peace in their region? How can we take this example there and inspire them to write their own story of victory over war?


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Agree to Disagree Respectfully

Sharing with you part of a conversation that took place on my Facebook page recently. I shared the photo below on my page just to remind people that Islam is not about terrorism but it's mostly about peace. I am aware of the verses in Quran that may allude to violence but there are similar verses in the Bible and other holy books. Yes, most violence in today's world might be coming from people that have some sort of association with Islam but we know during the crusades, Christians committed some horrific crimes against humanity as well. The point is no matter what religion one belongs to, lust for power makes one commit atrocities and there have been different phases and places where followers one religion have outdone others when it comes to violence.

Found the photo on Facebook 
Going back to the conversation on Facebook, when I put this photo with words from Prophet Mohammad that says, 'Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind'. One of my respected friends from church commented, "Sadly they have removed verses like this from Quran." What an ignorant statement! Before I could respond, my dear friend from Pakistan responded. Here's the excerpt from what she said:

"All That You are reading on the Internt is a propaganda of Some people who just don't want to see peace in world, specially between Muslims and other religions. They have many translations uploaded on the internet which are misleading. The Surah You Mentioned Are not Talking About killing without a cause. I am sure everyone is familiar with a Word "Jihad".ji·had, jəˈhäd/ noun
1. (among Muslims) a war or struggle against unbelievers.
* The Arabic word "jihad" is often translated as "holy war," but in a purely linguistic sense, the word " jihad" means struggling or striving. The arabic word for war is: "al-harb". In a religious sense, as described by the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, "jihad" has many meanings. It can refer to internal as well as external efforts to be a good Muslims or believer, as well as working to inform people about the faith of Islam.

The meaning of jihad is to fight in case a disbeliever ATTACKS your religion and points finger. Our religion doesn't even allow us to waste a drop of water without a reason so how can our religion promote a bloodshed?

Surah 9:5
And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, and those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah present to the people their comparisons.

Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, "I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip."

I am so proud of her to step up and respond to my other friend in a calm and respectful manner. Now a days, it is rare to see people making their point in deference to those who they do not agree with. The trend, unfortunately, is if they disagree with you, they are to be insulted. But my friend didn't do that, she took the high road! What an inspiration for all of us! Thanks Amber for reminding us that winning hearts is way more important than winning a point! 

By insulting or marginalising those who do not agree with me, I don't win my point. As a matter of fact, I lose them, I lose respect, I lose the opportunity to learn and evolve. It is ok to educate each other about our perspectives in an honourable fashion and it is perfectly alright to agree to disagree with respect! 


It’s all about the roots! Our roots don’t pull us down, they enable us to grow farther away to explore the unknown skies! #roots #trees ...