I’m sure most of your have either come across this study in your studies or seen it on The Contender (2ooo). The question is, how does company policy start?
Put five apes in a cage and in the middle of a cage, place a set of steps. At the top of the steps hang a banana. When the first ape starts up the steps, shoot all five apes with ice cold water from a fire hose for five minutes. When the next ape starts up the steps, do it again. That’s all you’ll need from the fire hose.
When the third time an ape starts up the steps, just wait. The other apes will beat the sh*t out of the ape. Now, replace one of the apes. He’ll start up the steps. Wait, and the other apes will beat the sh*t out of him. Repeat the process, one by one, until you have five ‘new’ apes in the cage. They’ll never let one of the apes up the steps. And if you were to ask why, the answer would be simple:
Because that’s the way it’s always been done.
And that’s what’s happened to us. It’s like there’re invisible lines, restriciting us. And the horror stories of the past keep us firmly within our limits. I know of many families who have felt the burn of the ice cold water. And so, their descendants aren’t willing to take the risk. But I was raised in Canada. Far away from the impotent and corrupt acts of the Middle East, the ignorance of America, and the deeply rooted ethnocentrism of Europe. It was so easy to be open minded. To be the ‘peace makers.’ We were raised differently. I was wearing my hijab at the time of 9/11, yet the majority of opinions I faced were ones of sympathy. I was shocked to my core when someone spat at me at work. But the man behind him literally grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, made him apologize, and threw him out of the store – to cheers from the remaining crowd. Recently, not so much what with the strong movement towards patriotism and being best buds with (or the lap dogs of) America.
I don’t buy into the methods of Arabs. I’ve never burnt a flag to show my displeasure with a country’s policies. And I never will, God willing. I’m above and beyond those methods. It follows that I can not call my self a Muslim, and thus a follower of the prophet Mohammed, if I don’t follow in his example. And so, I refuse to resort to their level. And I refuse to shove all the blame onto the shoulders of the governments who refuse to take actions. I am a human. I have a voice and I have a brain. And thus, I shoulder some of the responsibility.
But, while I’m all for peaceful measures – such as protests – a blind man can see the lack of effect they’re having. This is more than wearing your keffiyeh, marching in the streets, and writing articles. While those are important – the efforts have to be on two fronts. The short term and the long term. And as I’ve noticed, and please correct me if I’m wrong, Arabs tend to focus on the one – short term. So we get all riled up and storm our streets screaming “Jews are dogs” and burning the flags of those who offend us.
I believe the problems in the Middle East are more deeply rooted than that. We are the problem. These people need to revolt against themselves. They need to believe in the power they have. I don’t blame Hossni Mubarak when he decided to play the puppet for Israel and refused to open the gates and allow aid in. I blame the Egyptians who didn’t take matters in their own hands. And the same holds true for all the people who stood by and watched Gaza burn – especially the people of the neighbouring countries: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia (the last “Islamic” government). Myself included. The situation is now winding to a close (before Obama takes charge – clever, eh?). The question remains however, do we learn from our mistakes? Or do we continue down the path that lead us here?
One thing should be realized and taken as fact. The problem is not, as some believe, the strength of our enemies. The problem is our weakness. I’m sure you’ve heard the tag line “United we stand, divided we fall.” We are the divided. The weak.
The corruption that runs rampant in our societies has to stop. Twisting of Islamic law to suit the needs of some has to stop. Our lies, jealousy, manipulations, immorality – they all have to go. Ya Allah! Sometimes I’m dazzeled by the beauty of Islam. It’s so simple, and so sweet! Look at this line: None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself – the Prophet Mohammed. It wasn’t until they pray, or fast, or wear hijab. Islam is in your soul and your hearts.
So you can imagine, when a few days ago I walked into the elevator in my building and was faced with this, I was literally sick to my stomach.
And then later, in Bab Touma:
Why on earth?! When I saw people burning the Quran, or ripping its pages and stepping on them I was saddened. When I saw the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in that Danish magazine I was honestly exasperated. And I pitied the cartoonist. When I saw Fitna, the movie, I laughed. That’s what you’re reverting to? How pathetic! I know this won’t sit well with some. A lot of people believe I lack patriotism or dignity because I can look at the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and not go on a killing rampage, and see the genocide in Gaza and not condone the murder every Israeli man, woman, and child. I want to ask those people: what are we defending? What are we fighting for? If your answer is our dignity or Palestine, then you need to reorganize your priorities.
Personally, that’s not what I’m in this fight for. I’m fighting, as my brother Horseman taught me, under the flag of La Illah Illa Allah. And I fight using the methods of the Prophet I follow. I don’t stoop to their level. For those who disagree, read this article, by no2wars. I quoted the hadeeth of the Prophet and I will do so again: a neighbour of the Prophet (some say she is Jewish some say its a man) used to greet the prophet every morning by throwing her garbage at him. A few days went by and she didn’t show up so he goes and visits her to make sure she is okay. That is the prophet a follow.
If you still don’t agree, I’m really sorry. But please, bear with me for a moment When you see this
aren’t you filled with disgust? With hopelessness? Aren’t you struck speechless by the hatred and ignorance that went behind such an inhumane statement? Can’t you clearly see the hopelessness and redundancy of saying something like that?
So now the tables have been turned and I have to pity my own people. There are others of course, those who have posted more effective pictures such as:
but the thing is, Gaza is the tip of the ice burg. Below the murky waters lie problems and issues we’re too afraid to look directly at, for fear of being overwhelmed or having to finally owe up. And so we shy away from the responsibility, and hope it all resolves itself. Tomorrow Obama will become the president of the United States. I pray that he is a better man that Bush was, that he has the humanity not to commit Bush’s crimes. But that doesn’t mean I wait for him, and twiddle my thumbs in the meanwhile. I’ll improve myself. And you’ll improve yourself. And we’ll build for a brighter future. God willing.
Because: “Verily, God does not change the condition of a people until they change themselves.”
If you want a quick recap of why we need to change ourselves, read these two posts that have been brought to my attention. By Desi Diva regarding Israel’s past actions (thanks to Nadia). And another article, Gaza: The Logic of Colonial Power. (Thanks to A Student’s Life)
Let’s stop being the apes that blunder blindly into the mistakes and pitfalls of our forefathers. The world needs a solution. One that requires planning for the long term rather than indulging in short term actions that gratify our need for immediate action. Don’t you agree?