Jul 23 2012

Understanding Afghanistan, one woman’s fight

 

 

Last winter I read a moving story about two women’s lives in the war torn country. The Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini paints a vivid and often sad but still hope filled picture of the Human Spirit winning all odds. It has staid with me, an intriguing saga of solidarity. I recommend it without hesitation to all who care to understand our diversity and the value our differences.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Now I had the chance to read the powerful memoir of  Fawzia Koofi, a known women rights campaigner and the first female Speaker of the Afghan Parliament.

 

The favored daughter, by Fauzia Koofi

 

It was captivating read and I finally started to really understand the fabric of Afghan society.  And I only can wish from my heart that the country could  recover from decades of terror and horror. Her story captures the political and cultural complexity in Afghanistan. Coming from the northernmost remote, very poor and very conservative province of Badakhshan she grew up as the 19. of the 23 children of her father who had seven wives. According to Islamic law he had to divorce some of them in order to remarry. Fawzia Koofi was left to die in the sun after birth by her mother, but she survived and became her favored daughter. Through extreme hardship and threats to her life she has emerged as a beacon of hope for the country.

As it was customary in her village girls were given to marriage as young as 12-year olds despite the legal marrying age of 16 years. She escaped this  by losing her influential father and being a child refugee in Faizabad. She was the first girl in her family to be allowed to have a school education. Although her father was a well known politician who represented the province in Kabul parliament girls education was not appropriate in her village. Education was not seen necessary for girls as they were to marry and their husbands would be in charge of everything.  She was overjoyed to get this opportunity as her widowed mother insisted. And now a widow herself and a mother of two girls she is an outspoken advocate of women and children rights and is planning to campaign for the 2014 parliamentary elections. For a future for Afghanistan and her daughters.

When reading of women of stature and high moral character and their determination one cannot but wish more of their kind would be given the reigns of power to change the course of history, by some magic might. Would the world have a better chance then? Today it looks like we do not have a chance in the face of rapid population growth, hunger due to climate change, swindling natural reserves and the wars over them.  Men have done their best, although I’m not convinced.  What if..

Ramadan Kareem, my dear readers!

Mona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Apr 05 2008

Universial Soldier

Tag: Extremism,Religious tolerance,World PeaceMona @ 5:16 am

Universial Soldier

Today I would like to share with You one of my favorite’s music

Buffy Sainte-Marie

A native Canadian singer-song writer.

Listen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGWsGyNsw00

“I wrote ‘Universal Soldier’ in the basement of The Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early sixties. It’s about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all.”

He’s five feet two and he’s six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He’s all of 31 and he’s only 17
He’s been a soldier for a thousand years

He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain,
a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
and he knows he shouldn’t kill
and he knows he always will
kill you for me my friend and me for you

And he’s fighting for Canada,
he’s fighting for France,
he’s fighting for the USA,
and he’s fighting for the Russians
and he’s fighting for Japan,
and he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way

And he’s fighting for Democracy
and fighting for the Reds
He says it’s for the peace of all
He’s the one who must decide
who’s to live and who’s to die
and he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He’s the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can’t go on

He’s the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more

They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can’t you see
this is not the way we put an end to war.

peace dove

PEACE to mankind!

 


Jan 19 2008

Tolerance towards other faiths, Part II

 

Again and again while reading other blogs and forums the notion comes up, that Islam does not tolerate other faiths and that its main aim would be to convert others under Islam by violent means. As proof they quote isolated Hadiths and suras of the Quran .

Nothing would be more wrong and against the spirit of Islam.

It is true, that believers are encouraged to invite people of other faiths to get to know Islam by good example and friendly discussions, but never by force.

As I wrote in the first part of this theme (pls. scroll this page down) the Prophet himself instructed believers not to harm people, who came under the government of the new Muslim state.

There are numerous suras of the Quran and Hadiths to prove this. Many more than there are others, which are taken out of context (from a war situation, when Islam was under attack).

And as always, the text of the Quran is more accurate than the Hadiths, which were sorted out according to their truthfulness as late as 250 years after the death of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). Please read also on the right panel Topic No. 7 What the Qur’an says about… … other faiths.. tolerance and Hadith’s.

Freedom of Religious Assembly and Religious Autonomy:
Given consent by the constitution, the Jews had the complete freedom to practice their religion. The Jews in Medina at the time of the Prophet had their own school of learning, named Bait-ul-Midras, where they would recite the Torah, worship and educate themselves.
On one occasion, the Prophet received a delegation of sixty Christians from the region of Najran, then a part of Yemen, at his mosque. When the time for their prayer came, they faced the direction of east and prayed. The Prophet ordered that they be left in their state and not harmed.

There are also examples in the life of the Prophet in which he cooperated between with people of other faiths in the political arena as well. He selected a non-Muslim, Amr-ibn Umaiyah-ad-Damri, as an ambassador to be sent to Negus, the King of Ethiopia.

May God bestow upon us wisdom and tolerance to be able to tackle the problems the human race is facing in the near future.

. . . . .

There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan (Devil) and believes in God he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and God is Hearing, Knowing.” (Q.2.256)

“God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loved those who are just.” (Quran, 60:8)

“Say, we believe in God and that which has been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and to other prophets, from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit.” (Q.3:83)

 


Sep 03 2007

Sep. 11th 2001 – Tragedy in the US

 

This post was published in my first blog shortly after the incident at http://islam4women.8m.com/articles/tragedy.html

 

Sep. 11th 2001 – Tragedy in the US

I would like to express my deep condolences to the families of the victims. This horrendous crime has nothing to do with Islam. The aim of these people is to launch a war, “a clash of civilizations”. We must never allow them succeed! We must do our best to stop them and the best way to do it is INFORMATION; explaining the world the real message of Islam, promoting tolerance and cooperation between peoples. May God help us and prevent an escalation of the events. (September 2001)

“There shall be no compulsion in religion”. (Qur’an 2:256)

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (Qur’an 2:62)

“Do not argue with the people of the scripture (meaning Jews and Christians) except in the nicest possible manner – unless they transgress – and say: ‘We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you, and our God and your God is one and the same; to Him we are submitters.’ ” (Qur’an 29:46)

“You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones.” (Qur’an 6:125)

“God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable.” (Qur’an 60:8)

“Say: ‘We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord; We make no difference between one and another of them, And we submit to God.” (Qur’an 2:136)

“… and do not aggress; God dislikes the aggressors.” (Qur’an5:87)

“….. You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.” (Qur’an 6:151)

“And do not kill any person – for God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice, and whoever is slain unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority, so let him not exceed the just limits in slaying; surely he is aided.” (Qur’an 17:33)

“…You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant.” (Qur’an 7:199)

“Truth comes from your Lord. Let anyone who will, believe, and let anyone who wishes, disbelieve” (Qur’an 18.29)

“Shall I not inform you of a better act than fasting, alms and prayers? Making peace between one another: Enmity and malice tear up heavenly rewards by the roots.” (Prophet Mohammad, p.b.u.h.)

 




Switch to our mobile site