“The world is on the verge of a nuclear-meltdown. Japan is inside-out. Civilians are being killed in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. The Palestinians are still being starved while shot at. Pakistan and Australia are trying to recover from devastation. But lets all turn our attention to some 13 year-old wanna be pop star with no talent for music, shall we?”
A disastrous earthquake and Tsunami hits Japan, leaving hundreds dead, injured, and displaced as their buildings and homes lie in shambles. Leaking radiation from damaged Japanese nuclear power plants are threatening not only the lives of the people around them, but possibly those living outside the country as well. Massacres are being committed by the thousands as revolutionary protests sweep over Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and other Middle Eastern countries. And when things couldn’t get any worse, American and British forces decide to militarily intervene in Libya to stop Muammar Ghaddafi and his pro-government forces from murdering every single one of his people. It seems as if the whole world has been turned upside down in a span of only two months. But in spite of all the chaos and destruction that was caused, we have done nothing to help turn the world right-side up again.
Where were we when we heard about our brothers and sisters in Bahrain and Libya being murdered in cold blood by government forces that wanted to deprive them of their freedom? What did we do when news broke out that a devastating 8.9 earthquake struck the lands of Japan, killing almost everyone and everything in its path? Did we actually try to aid them as best as we could? Or did we just click our tongues in dismay as we sat down and idly scrolled through the news on our laptops and smartphones? This doesn’t only apply to what’s happening in the Middle East or the earthquake, but what happens on a daily basis, like the struggles that Palestinians have to suffer through in their own homeland, for example. Or perhaps just as frightening – the struggles that Muslims are continually facing in the West, amidst the Peter King hearings and the increased rise of Islamophobia.
Yet a majority of us still choose to remain silent. Instead of doing anything, we decide to turn our attention to much more insignificant matters, such as the hype with Rebecca Black’s notorious “Friday” video. “What could we possibly do to make a difference?” we convince ourselves. “Someone else who is in a much stronger position than we are will solve everything for us. It’ll all be over soon.” But what if this presumed “hero” never comes? What then will become of our problems if none of us are willing to stand up and do something about them?
We can make a change. We can make a difference. If ordinary people were able to get together in Tunisia and Egypt and topple two of the world’s most long-standing, brutal dictators, then we could definitely topple the problems that we face now, and even more. But that doesn’t mean we have to go out and start fighting for our lives in order to make things happen. With the advancement of computer technology and the widespread use of social-networking websites like Twitter and Facebook, we now have the power to create our own content and share our messages with the world. With these networking tools at our fingertips, we have the potential to form ideas and projects that were once thought impossible. Instead of using Facebook to fill up your free time, why not use it to organize a fundraiser to help raise money for those who are suffering in Japan and Libya? Or how about create a Facebook page that could raise awareness to the discrimination Muslims are facing in the West and what we could do to stop it? For those who are not social-network savvy, organized protests and community service events could be created to help out those in need as well. With the help of Allah (SWT) , our courage, and the right kind of tools in our hands, there’s no telling to what we could do!
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Whoever from amongst you sees an evil he should change it with his hand and if he is not able to, then with his tongue and if he is not able to, then he should hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.”
It is our duty as Muslims to enjoin the good and forbid the evil even if it may be in the smallest way possible. If we stop saying “we can’t” and start saying “we will”, then insha Allah our world, this world, will become a much better place.