Sunday, May 07, 2006

Why Are You Marching?

I went to meet a couple of friends downtown to watch Mission Impossible 3. As we were walking down University Ave., I started to hear shouting and chants. We looked at each other - the chants sounded familiar. Could it be ... Arabic? And why were there so many policemen on the road, blocking off lanes?

Then they came into view. Marching straight beside Mt. Sinai Hospital, where it says "Quiet Zone", came hundreds of men in white tunic and green turbans, followed by women in jilbabs pushing prams with kids in tow, marching and chanting.

As we watched, puzzled, the march was led by a car with speakers attached to its roof, and we could see a guy inside, with a microphone in hand, screaming what sounded like nasheeds. And following the car was a marching band!

Apparently, someone forgot the memo from Saudi clerics that musical instruments are banned. Or are drums the new dafs?

But what were they protesting/marching about? As far as I could remember, the Danish cartoons were a distant issue, and we Muslims have it pretty good in Canada. Especially South Asians. Then came the banner.

Wait a minute - celebrating a birthday? Lost that memo too?

Honestly, Satan is very creative. A female Muslim ex-blogger and MSA exec of UofT once commented that the Ummah seems to have a lot of time on their hands. Looking at this march, I can't help but think she was right. We have so many issues to deal with. The lack of spaces allotted to women in the mosques. The false interpretation of Islam by many clerics. The oppression of women in our rural communities. The false cultural dogma that colours our religion. The awful treatment of expatriate workers in the Arab world.

It's hard to solve those problems. It's impossible to criticize our clerics. It's much easier to grab a 'I Love Muhammad (s)' sticker and go marching. So go ahead, pick up a placard.

As one Saudi girl who was with my friend remarked, "You know, I am an observant Muslim, but when I see stuff like this [women screaming at the top of their lungs that Muhammad(s) is protection against all evil and sicknesses - shirk in my book] and that if I were non-Muslim, I would think Islam is so-uncool."

Satan is indeed creative.

These tourists got more than what they paid for.

The Metro



Anonymous said...

This isnt somethign that we shud celebrate ... considering the fact that the prophet pbuh passed away on the same day as well...

- Farah

Crimson Mouzi said...

I heard different opinions about it. But the one that was most sound to me was that we DO celebrate the Prophet's birth. We celebrate that EVERYDAY! Everytime we pray, or say the durud, it's all a sign of being grateful to Allah for sending us the Prophet (pbuh). However, celebrating his birthday... on this particular day *is* the problem. But I guess the pointof this post is bigger than whether ornot this is bid'ah! And you are absolutely right! We got too much time in our hand. SubhanAllah! I know for one that "marching" is not really the best way of doing anything for it shows arrogance.

17:37 And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, thou canst never rend the earth asunder, nor canst thou ever grow as tall as the mountains!

On top of "music" and "birthday celebration", both of which may be in the grey area as some may argue, I just don't see the point of marching!

If I were a non-Muslim, I would think this whole thing is funy and hese people are crazy!

Anonymous said...

These people are being over-zealous, and I don't think they realize that they're in a non-Islamic, secular state where there are people who continue to hold negative views towards Islam in general.

It doesn't help the cause.

mezba said...

True, all that. They don't help at all.