Of Gods and Demons

To say that the past few days have been difficult would be a tremendous understatement. Like millions of other people, I sat glued to the internet, trying desperately to latch onto any little information that I could get about the events unfolding in Mumbai. Little did I know that the nightmare would last for many nights. Like many people of indian origin, these past few days brought about a barrage of emotions. Horror, Despair, Pain, rage are some of them. And like everyone else, I am left feeling an enormous anger welling up inside me. This anger wants to take a grip over me and makes me want to lash out at anyone, and everyone. This anger makes me want to hate humanity. This anger makes me into something that I am not.
Being a Muslim in these times is not easy. Day in and day out, you see and read about how your religion is the cause of the world’s despair. Every day, you read about one of your brethren who caused devastation and death in the name of religion. Every day you read a myriad of articles critical about your faith. You ponder and reflect on the redundant chatter that you may have heard throughout your life from people of the religion. At the end of it, it’s difficult to not let all of this affect you.
You have to be extremely sure of yourself and extremely steadfast in your beliefs to turn a blind eye to this. Is my religion truly what these people make it out to be? Can any religion truly want you to kill innocent people? Do these people truly believe they are following the path of God? The answer is as plain as the water that trickles down my windows on this rainy night, No.
When Man discovered Religion, it gave him a sense of purpose in life. It made him believe that he was not a measly speck in this colossal universe, but in fact an entity that transcended time and space. He wanted to believe that he was not of this world but of many worlds. Religion gave him a sense of comfort, it gave him a sense of importance, and it gave him a reason to live. One of the greatest gifts of religion is introducing man to a set of principles and values, a basic set of rules that will govern his life. It is that fundamental belief that told him that children are innocent and that being good is not that difficult. It is that intuition within him that told him that showing benevolence towards another is righteous. It is that instinct that told him that feeding the hungry made him a better person.

But on the flip side, it also gave him the power to defy the Gods. He realized that if he denied the values that religion propagates, he essentially felt powerful. He felt a sudden rush of supremacy that made him defy God. It is the same sense of authority that makes a child disobey an elder. It is the same sense of command that made Satan defy God when asked to bow down to Adam. It is that power that turns a man into a demon.
The people who carried out this heinous crime in Mumbai felt that they were doing God’s Bidding. But the fact is plain and straightforward. The God who creates, won’t instruct you to destroy his own creation. The impetus for these people was not to feel godly, but it was letting the demon take control over them. It was an artificial sense of power that they got when extinguishing the fire called life. It was a false sense of supremacy they felt when they sprayed bullets of innocent civilians whose only crime was to live. It was the phony sense of command they felt when they bombed the Taj. It was Demons pretending to be God’s Workers.
Words cannot explain the fury I feel today. But what I am unable to decide is who I to direct this anger towards. Should I direct it against the lame duck Government who sit on their lavish chairs and leech money from the same people they failed to defend? Should I direct it at the country that harbors these terrorists and cannot stem their evolution? Should I direct it at religion, which has allowed terrorism to flourish? Should I direct it at God, who has allowed the demons among us to get the upper hand? Like I said, I cannot decide this.
Today, days after the incident, I still feel the same emotion that I felt on the first day, Helplessness. Today I realize that the demons among us are winning. Today I feel like a minuscule speck, the same speck that my forefathers strived not to become. Today, I feel everything but human.
Tomorrow, life will continue. People will talk about this for a few days, maybe months, but eventually they will move on. They always do. Humanity is so used to letting the demon win that unless it directly affect our lives, we really do not care. Articles will be written about the motivation for these terrorists. Pundits will talk about how this religion is the root of all evil. More fear would be created. More people will seek to exploit this fear and use it for their selfish needs. In other words Life will soon become normal.
That tomorrow will most certainly come. The only way we stop it is if we revolutionize ourselves as a species. Unless we renounce this apathy that plagues our existence, we have no future. Unless we give up malevolence, we have no hope. Our mundane existence will continue, but life will be at a stand-still. We owe that to ourselves, we owe that to our children, we owe that to this planet and we owe that to God. If God truly did create man in his own image, let us not allow that image to be anything other than perfect. Let us show him that even though he may have renounced his creations, we have not renounced his values. If people spew hate among us, let us not ignore that, let us take some action. If our government fails us, let us not stand speechless and blame the system, let us take some action. If some imprudent souls tarnish any religion, let us correct that representation. If today we do nothing, that tomorrow where hope fails will very soon be here.


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