Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Are we afraid of our own selves?

Posted by Haris Gulzar on November 16, 2009

I have always believed that media plays a vital role in changing our beliefs and making us accept things that we wouldn’t have accepted on our own. We start making our minds and believing at what is portrayed to us, and we don’t try to find out what the reality actually is. I say this because recently I observed a very strong influence of media on a person from general public (That’s obviously my personal opinion).

I have been travelling a lot on public transport and this incident also has to do with one of my trips on a public bus. It was around 10 in the morning, and the bus was only half full. A child, maybe a maximum of 10 years of age came to me and asked me if he could make a call (He probably saw my mobile in my shirt pocket). I didn’t have credit so I told him it wont be possible to make a call. He asked the person sitting next to me, and he also refused.

The child turned back and started going towards his seat when the person sitting next to me asked him where he was heading to, to which he replied that he was going to his Madrasah. The child was wearing Qurta Shalwar, and was wearing a white cap with no hair on his head. I’m not sure what triggered the next couple of questions from this person sitting next to me, but maybe it was the Madrasah and the appearance of this child that made him a bit cautious. He asked the child what was there in his bag. I hadn’t even noticed the child’s bag before this person asked this question. It was a big bag, larger than a school bag, but it was shaped like a school bag. It was more of a back pack. The way the bag was placed on the seat made it look very heavy (I don’t know if it really was heavy or not). The boy replied he had stuff related to Madrasah in his bag.

This person then turned to me and asked why would a Madrasah require a child of this age to bring in such a heavy bag? I didn’t answer him, but the child probably heard this man, opened his bag and drew out a few of his clothes from the bag and put them back in, and without saying anything, sat on his seat. This person was definitely trying to make sure this child wasn’t carrying anything that he should not be carrying. The interrogative style of this person made me a bit uncomfortable. I don’t know if his behavior was justified or not, but have we become afraid of our own children? Is this really being careful when you ask a child who is maximum 10 years old, questions such as what do you have in your bag? Is this “war on terror” making us afraid of our own selves? That child is from amongst us, but then why is he targeted at and asked questions that I am not asked? Is it because he was going to a Madrasah? Is it because of his appearance?

I discussed this with a friend and his point of view was that the person was very right in critically asking questions from that child, because what we are going through requires us to be careful. But I ask, are we really going through what we are made to believe we are going through? I really don’t know and I leave it to you to decide if the way that person reacted was correct or not?


13 Responses to “Are we afraid of our own selves?”

  1. Logically we see the person was right. We need to be cautious. But the thing is that this cautious behaviour is creating problems for religious activities which were part and parcel earlier. On the other hand the problems still lie their our cautious attitude cannot save us i believe if some one has come to blast himself, the remidy for this lies there that to find the people who are part of this all and give them a chance to come back to normal life and properly educate them. This is a very critical problem faced by us all . We all feel afraid of ourselves. God bless PAKISTAN! Amin.

  2. I’d like to think the question was as much about protecting the young boy. There have been child suicide bombers already, and it’s only a matter of time before terrorists try to use these kinds of tactics widespread. Getting rid of people who would do this kind of thing to a child, and this kind of mentality, will also ensure that young boys like this aren’t brainwashed or set up for these kinds of activities and killed.

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  4. Asad Ali said

    We ourselves are responsible for all this, we had made up our minds…in this direction.. whenever we see a person with beard or a cap,whether in a public transport or in any market etc the first thing that came in our minds is ..he is a _______________…
    However, yes I agree with Hassan ..that we have to be aware of whats happening around us…& Yes probably the brainwashing & “Haalaat” are more pointable then the individuals…
    May Allah protect us.

  5. Thought provoking..
    very true media has influenced our minds and basiclly its dominating us…
    tell you the truth now we don’t even trust ourselves cause we are afraid of everything and death is the thing that shivers everyone and we are people with low IMAN, and the rest is fulfilled by media and its categorization of people as terrorists…where madrassa related people are all fall in terrorist categories and we without using our own mind blindly follow the norms developed by society and push down even noble people and their self request.

  6. when you have no one to blame, blame the media 🙂

  7. nadia said

    I agree with The Gori Wife, the question was as much about protecting the young boy.

  8. masood said

    This is how the image of Islam has been made in todays world and the culprits are none other than our own people. Now most of the people believe that Madrasa’s are a training point for the Terrorist but this isn’t completely True. The only thing changed now a days is the way the people made to think by the biased Media which shows the truth partly with full spice of lust to promote their channels with half truth. May Allah show us the right path and make us hold tightly the True Islam..Aameen.

  9. @Hassan Raza: The point is not if our cautious behavior can save us or not (thats a separate debate), the point is if our attitude and behavior has changed because of this “war on terror”, and made us afraid of our own children and people from amongst us. That person wouldn’t probably have asked that child those questions in such an inquisitive manner, had the “war on terror” been out of the picture… Ameen to your prayers.

    TGF: Thats a great point. And I’d totally say that if protecting the kid was the purpose behind those questions, that person was totally justified…

    @Asad: I disagree when you say that we make a negative impression of a person having beard and wearing a cap. And if by any chance it is the case, I’d totally attribute it to the media… But I agree that we have to be careful, as TheGoriWife above said, to protect our younger generation from getting brainwashed… Ameen to your prayers

    @CU: IF we are getting influenced by the media, this definitely means we have low state of Iman. We start believing each and everything told to us without even making sure if what is being shown is true or not…

    @AD: Maybe thats exactly what we do. We always try to find someone to blame, and somehow or the other, find convincing reasons as well to conclude who exactly should be blamed. But don’t you think media has played a major role in changing the perceptions of people on this specific topic i.e. “war on terror”? Don’t you think we really have started to see people with beard and wearing a cap, as Asad said above, with doubtful eyes? What exactly do you think is the reason behind this?

    @Nadia: True. That was one aspect I missed, and I don’t know why, but I really want to attribute that to the media as well :-(…

    @Masood: Your first line, “This is how the image of Islam has been made in todays world and the culprits are none other than our own people”. How do you think our own people have done this? Through media right? And I totally agree that media shows partial truth, and the part it doesn’t show is what can make the difference (probably). But then, we also believe in what we’re being shown, as CU said above… So the fault lies at both ends. Or maybe its no one’s fault and the change we see in ourselves is what should have been there… Or maybe we haven’t even changed, don’t know really 😦

  10. nahl said

    Thank God SOMEONE has started noticing that things like these have crept up in our society.Even though, they seem right logically, it just doesn’t feel right morally to interrogate anyone and everyone.

  11. @Nahl: I agree with you. These things might be right logically, they might seem the need of the hour, but what impression is our child getting? Won’t he have this feeling in his mind that he was asked such questions BECAUSE he was going to the madrasah, or BECAUSE he was wearing a cap and Qamees Shalwar… I don’t know where we’re heading to…

  12. jia arshad said

    i totally disagree wid masood sir ….if a person or a child goes to madrassah then he becomes suspisious n on the other hand wen our government do such things in the name of werfare n protection of our country is right?
    n besides how can u believe nething which u havent ever seen wid ur own eyes!!!im sorry if ne 1 minds:(

  13. @Jia: You probably misunderstood Masood’s point here (I think). What Masood meant was that it is only our perception that a child becomes suspicious if he goes to a Madrasah, whereas this is not true at all. And as he said, it is our own very selves to blame for this perception…

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