Friday, May 16, 2003

Serious Stuff (Don't forget to comment your heart out!)

Oh man, I really have to lose this new “I-think-I’ll-post-once-a-week” trend I got going on. This is sooo not me. lol. Actually, I’ve had another post semi-completed from last week, but this following post had been delayed for at least a couple weeks, so I seriously need to put this one up first. Prioritizing is good stuff. I need to make that my new philosophy. Did you know I have philosophies of the week? Yeah. So what have you all been up to lately? Wait, never mind; I already know your crazy antics (I’m the Lurker Extraordinaire, remember? ;) muahaha). Ok, so moving right along…

Note: Credit for the ideas reflected on this post must go to Shadaan bro. The only reason it’s on my blog is because I was offered a bucketload of french fries in return…which, incidentally, I still haven’t received. Nahh, j/k, yo. lol.

Ok, so, like I said, this post is wayyy long overdue, and it’s about time I took a much-needed break from my textbooks (I do too study!) and my usual rambling nonsense and wrote something constructive for a change.

I’m even going to refrain from any attempted forays into humor, because if I get sidetracked into the funny stuff, then so will y’all, and that won’t bode well for my topic for this post. So, no tangents. Sorry. :)

Shadaan bro’s Kashmir post from April 26th made me realize how ill-informed I am about world events, especially the state of affairs in the Muslim world. And yet, I can’t even blame my ignorance strictly on misinformation, because, quite frankly, half the time I don’t really make an effort to seek out knowledge when it comes to international relations and politics. Sad, but true. I think sometimes we just become desensitized to the bad things that occur everyday. We glance at the devastating headlines and their corresponding articles about the current state of the world and we wince in compassion, or maybe we gloss over them or avoid them altogether. We shake our heads mournfully when discussing politics and terrorism and war, and then deliberately push it to the very back of our minds and go on with our own lives. Is that just me? Or do we all do that to some extent? But we can engage in this self-imposed exile from the real world only for so long, you know.

This reminds me of the lyrics I posted on my Feb. 3rd post, back when I first began blogging…Kasey Chamber’s song, “Ignorance.” And right above the lyrics, I added my own thoughts: “So many of us have it a whole lot better than gazillions of people all over the world, but you know, complacency is not the way to go. It's good to be thankful for all the things we have, subhan'Allah...but ignoring the bad stuff, or blatantly denying that bad things even occur, is just messed up and sad. And what's sadder is that all of us, myself included, have been guilty at some point or another of ignoring the negatives just because they don't fit in with the rest of our perfect little bubble-enclosed world.”

So what progress have I made in over 3 months? Well, I’m still in the just-talking stage. Who wants to help take it further? We need to get beyond the all-emotion-and-no-action phase and start educating ourselves, each other, and the rest of the world. Anyone who possesses some little bit of knowledge has a duty to share it with another person. Isn’t that the way it goes? I received sooo much response to my Jenin post of April 15th…and I got the feeling that, like me, pretty much everyone was struggling with a sense of helplessness in terms of not knowing what we could do to make a difference. True, we can make so, so many du’as for our suffering brothers and sisters all over the world…but what about engaging in something a bit more proactive as well?

Shadaan suggested in his Kashmir post, “By highlighting and supporting [a] peaceful means of protest, we would make our contribution to bringing a ‘healing touch’ that no politician can provide. I suggest we build blogs or websites or both to highlight the injustice being perpetuated against innocents across the globe. A site that we could use as a mouthpiece and to try and catch the world’s attention.”

I’m totally not trying to preach here, and I’m sorry if it comes across as such. My own mellow, go-with-the-flow mentality so very often leads to prolonged self-absorption on my part. Shoot, to be honest, I’m all talk and no action most of the time. So this a way for me to stop talking and actually get something done, and I’d love it if y’all would help me out, cuz I like Shadaan's idea, but I seriously don’t know jack when it comes to html skillz, layouts, design, writing, and anything else remotely related to putting a website together. Collective efforts are usually the most effective ones, aren’t they? We already have the Bloggin’ Muslimz forum. We could expand on that, use it more often. After all, that’s why it’s there. And I bet you we don’t even truly realize the impact of our own blogs. Just look at how many visitors each of us gets to his/her blog on a daily basis. And I’m talking about just on a surface level, the visible visitors who regularly comment and make their presence known. Whaddaya wanna bet that we get gazillions of silent visitors who pass through or regularly check out our blogs without commenting? Mind-boggling, isn’t it? We could design slick-lookin’ buttons with catchy slogans (touching on Kashmir, Palestine, etc.) and upload them to our personal blogs. We could set up a sort of communal blog or website used solely for the purpose of highlighting injustices all over the world, and educating each other about the complexities of each of these situations. Each of us has his/her own respective community outside this blogging community of ours; we could spread the word through there. We have so many avenues available to us, in terms of reaching out to people; we just have to utilize them. And, masha’Allah, we have sooo many talented artists, designers, writers, etc. amongst us. If we pooled our various skills and resources, we could totally do all this.

So you don’t have time. Who does? Obviously this is looking like a long-term project here. I’m guessing it’ll require tons of time and effort and dedication. Nobody ever HAS time. But are you willing to MAKE time for something worthwhile, is the question.

And come on, peoples, if you can humor me by commenting in response to my psychotic posts on Miracle-Bubble bottles and all the other crazy things I say and do and eat and wear (which is not to say I don’t appreciate all your comments; you know I DO!), then you can take a minute out of your day to comment in response to this post and share your thoughts. I’m looking for ideas, comments, suggestions, feedback, you name it…but mostly, we need ideas on how to get the ball rolling and ACTIVELY IMPLEMENT our ideas.

So…I’m calling out to all my visitors, whether regular or invisible (don’t have a blog/website of your own? It doesn’t matter at all). I’m talking to YOU. Yeah, you. :) Go ahead and comment your heart out. If Enetation is down (it’s been acting up lately), just click on the little asterisk at the bottom of the post (that’s BackBlog, my old commenting system, and if you have a long comment, try typing it in Word and then copy-pasting into BackBlog)…so no excuses for not commenting, yo.

Am I being too pushy here? Again, I’m sorry. I’m just kinda tired of feeling emotional and helpless and complacent. Aren’t you? Don’t forget, courtesy of this cool website: “Never stop believing that dedicated people working together can make a difference.” I hope you're seriously taking that to heart.

May Allah swt guide us to the Truth, keep our feet steady on the Sirat-al-Mustaqeem, and light the way for us. May He help us better understand and acknowledge our roles and duties in this world. May He grant all of us compassion and a desire for justice, so that we actively seek out the truth and educate ourselves and each other regarding what is truly going on in the world and what atrocities our brothers and sisters are undergoing daily. And may we, insha’Allah, use this knowledge we gain in an effective manner, so that we actually make an attempt to somehow change the world for the better. Ameen.