Who is responsible?

Who is responsible?

Sir, I am a Muslim from Syria, my family is displaced. I had left Syria eight years back in search of a better life in Western World, leaving my family behind. Today the turmoil in Syria has left many homeless. While I do watch western media, some crying over the refugee crisis, some labeling it as a Trojan Horse strategy by ISIS, while videos of Muslims creating riots and law and order situation in western countries and running over Greece are widely circulated. I want to ask a simple question. The United Nations, The Rule of Law Convention held in New Delhi (Delhi Declaration) post World War II, perhaps was a step to address the world and prevent future genocide and holocaust. Like any other individual of western world, I too have faith in democracy, not that I had ever witnessed it first hand in my own country, but civil liberties and compassion for fellow human beings irrespective of their religion, is what makes the western world superior and a better place. Some may argue discrimination they face as non-whites or as muslims in minor affairs of life. Some may argue that muslims are being appeased in some European countries. Some may argue many western politicians especially in Great Britain and United States are being controlled by Saudis royals. Some may argue that increasing muslim population is a great threat to western civilization. Some may argue that ISIS is creation of west some may blame fanatic Islam for their growth. While European Union is unable to resolve the refugee crisis, and each member state is putting a limitation on the number of refugees they are willing give asylum, I want to ask a simple question to the world community and especially United Nations, where will the rest go. Or should the world remain silent while we meet our fate.   I am not sure if tomorrow these refugees will be responsible for anti-west activities, but if the civilized societies fail to address the issue, I am sure you are sowing the seeds of mass destruction. I cannot explain the pain of loss of my family, I am not even aware if they are alive...

What is Secularism? – Aloke B Lal

What is Secularism? – Aloke B Lal

WHAT IS SECULARISM? My answer: Secularism is not mere tokenism. It is a philosophy of life. Any human being is programmed to have likes and dislikes. The educated minority becomes more aware. They understand what history has taught us. Their understanding of communities and sectors of population gets placed on a broader platform. They do not look at communities as \”we\” and \”they\” merely on the basis of faith which they follow. These educated/emancipated and knowledgeable people do not get air-dropped. They are all there amongst us. Unfortunately the rightist fringe then looks at all faultlines there are; they are bound to be there; and strike at the most vulnerable sections. Who are these most vulnerable members of the society? They are, to my mind, the less educated, the brain-washed and the ones who are not willing to accept that there is something outside their tunnel vision. This section of the population is easily swayed by attractive rabble-rousing rhetoric. They are then programmed to willingly turn a blind eye to the stark evidence around them. Such narrow-minded people are the ones who water down their understanding of secularism to just the question of religious communities. The \”we\” and \”they\” syndrome takes over. Political parties run extensive programmes to enhance such divisive tendencies, and then we witness The Meeruts, Muzaffarnagars, Godhras….the list is long. It is a shame that even after 66 years of independence of the country we still have to spend so much of our time discussing this. I find it ridiculous that when I speak for secularism, I am immediately labelled a supporter of a particular political party. Secularism as a concept is well above party politics. It is not a tool for electoral vote-banking. It has to be a basic human trait, to my mind the only trait which makes me a human being. My differences with others can be on ideologies, not on the basis of my religion. Anyone who begins politics with sectarian attitudes is actually a great handicap for the society and the nation at large. That is why I strongly oppose all the political parties and outfits which have a communal agenda for the petty electoral gains;...

From Syria, with love – Hiba Trefi

From Syria, with love – Hiba Trefi

Sir, They were sitting next to each other drinking coffee at one of the Cafes they found by chance. They were total strangers. They shared nothing but coffee and a dream. Each one of them was building a new dream with each sip of coffee, Dreams that would sweeten the bitter taste of coffee, the bitterness of their lives. The first one was thinking, ” when this war is over I want to get a job, to sing every morning a song, have children to whom all my love I would give The second was thinking, “When this war is over, I want to travel, maybe find a wife and have a daughter for whom I will buy all the beautiful things that I find “. With each sip of coffee, dreams were becoming more and more real. Their faces, challenging the bitter taste, the black color started to turn red, glowing with hope, Coffee was turning into wine. Without knowing why, they smiled at each other and hugged, The clock of war suddenly struck. The first man was summoned to fight the enemy he had been sitting next to, all this time. The second one was summoned to react… They frowned at each other and the last sound each one of them heard was a bullet, and both were lying on the ground…dead! Dreams vanished. Hatred Prevailed And coffee was bitter again…   With Love Hiba Trefi...

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