Thursday, February 22, 2007

Take A Look At Us

I was reading two articles from the tabloid The Toronto Sun today.

In the first one, Thane Burnett laments the fact that his daughter's 16th birthday does not invite him, and her party had over 50 guests, many of whom are boys much older than her, and "now influence my daughter more than I do". He rants against the smoking and the cursing at the party, and fondly recalls much younger milestones.

In the second article, Michael Coren, a neo-conservative whose previous diatribes were mostly about how the Christian way of life was being swamped by Islam and why the West should care, and why God's law is law and how multiculturalism is a dirty word, gays are the spawn of Satan (or something to that effect) and so on, now rants about how the Western society is slowly sliding into an abyss.

He compares teenage suicide rate, school challenges faced by principals, women's liberation (an oxymoron amongst religious fundamentalists), divorce rates, single parenthood, rise of STD and other such pessimistic figures and concludes that the 1950s were the golden age of Western civilization.

I could not but help think back to my own 16th birthday. I had just finished cramming for the hardest exams on the planet (the O Levels). It was just my friends - close friends - and all guys. My parents were never banished anywhere.

Maybe a more equivalent comparison would be my sister's birthday parties, right here in Canada. Even if there were guys, these were either her good friends or sons of family friends. Never were the parents out of the scene. Smoking? No way. Even my uncle who smokes at the age of 50 would puff out if his father, my grandpa, walked into the room. There is a culture of respect towards our elders, that is undeniable. Family ties are strong, even though it's hard to believe at times.

What about Coren's worries? In spite of his vast irrational fears of the Muslims taking over Canada, I would bet bottom dollar that all those figures that he mentioned, they are much lower amongst the Muslim (and not just Muslim, amongst immigrant communities of South Asians, Arabs, Chinese, Africans even if they may not be Muslims) population than amongst the general populace.

It is time we are proud of our qualifications. Most of us finish university, we do no drop out of high school and become vagabonds. We may listen to hip-hop but we do not become gangsters. We may date but we avoid single parenthood and on most cases, pre-marital sex. Yes, we are not ignorant to believe there are no abortions, there are no drop outs, there are no drug abusers, there are no fatherless families, but the numbers are much, much lower. Our way ... works.

If you want your ideal picture of a 1950s life, or what's the good out of that value system, Mr Coren, take a look at us. If you want to be invited to a 16th birthday, Mr Burnett, come to one of ours.


Anonymous said...

I remember whenever we had parties, it would be friends and family. We had lots of fun. Alhamdullilah, we come from societies where drinking and smoking is a big no(I know some pple do). I was once watching this Gill deacon show(?)on cbc(yes, I caught it by accident)anyway,there was this author(don't remember the name)who was talking about how there is this christian group in the US wanting to *take over* and have the US become a christian state. He was saying how this group is *fanatic*,now,my question is,why are they not being talked about on public tv/evening news????This group wants to *take back* america. sf

Suroor said...

Excellent! Very well done, Mezba!
May I link to you? I'm writing something for NISAA and if you allow me I'd like to link to this post.

I have no doubt in my mind that you have been brought up very well. I really respect your parents for instilling good morals in you. You are "modrun" yet a good Muslim - what a rare combination!

Em said...

I don't know the numbers to back up what you've claimed re the Coren case, but I want to believe you're right.
Awww.... group hug!!

ps. O' Levels the hardest exams on the planet? *shakes head* you NEED to take 1st year PhD comps, Mez ;).

mezba said...

Sf: I can so relate to that. We had parties and we had fun (or good times) as well. Sounds incredulous that you can have fun without booze you really can.

That's alarming about the the fundamentalist party though. I will always fight for separation of state from religion, always.

Dame Chick aka Suroor: do you need my permission to link to me? Please, sister, I am honoured. The knight thanks you for the compliments.

Em, I will try to get hold of the numbers but in Canada they don't keep stats of religion when arresting criminals so it is kind of hard. For example it's easy to note the percentage of black people arrested or brown people arrested for whatever, but no data is kept on how many Muslims, Sikhs, etc.

However, it wouldn't be hard to extrapolate though. Someone in stats help me out here.

'liya said...

I don't think I had a sixteenth birthday party.. I think that was the year my closest friends brought a cake to school for me and I took a large peice home to my parents where my mom promptly declared that that would be the year I'd get fat lol :S

Nowal said...

dude O levels were crazy fun.

good post. but hey, they could counteract with an argument like, check out paki land or indonesia. obviously faults within muslims too, so they could say that by allowing more Muslims into the country, we could be switching one evil with another.

M&M said...

"Our" This statement sums it best.

it IS about time Muslim Canadians of whatever bankground and ancestory started accepting their accomplishments.

Shoaib Muhammad said...

Well said! Our way of respecting parents and treating elders with respect goes to show what our base(ie. Islam) teaches us and how we abide by it.

Lol, Mr Coren & Mr Burnett definitely ought to come to our parties and see for themselves the love and respect we have for elders. They would be swept off their feet and would love to join not only our culture, but our religion as well!

mezba said...

Liya: You didn't get fat right? Coz I remember once your friend said she won't be friends with you if you got fat.. lol she was kidding right?

Nowal: O levels crazy fun? OK you are crazy. j/k (somewhat)

Yes, muslims in desiland do have problems, but different problems. According to the standards set by the western society, muslims IN THE WEST (espcially canada/uS) are more 'good' than them.

M&M: Absolutely.

Shoaib: Thank u