I have a confession to make: I have 44 unpublished posts; some on controversial topics, some unfinished, a couple of reviews that just need some tweaking and some which deserve to stay unpublished.

I’m sure that this is some sort of record – 44 posts.

I can’t figure out why I don’t want them posted – they’re not personal or diary-like; they’re actually more like articles and op-ed pieces.

I guess I’m having some sort of blog-crisis… And I’m going through a phase of questions again. The last time was back then.

Recently, I had some opportunities to see rigorous ignorance/deliberate prejudice in action. They were quite astounding – maybe because there was a stretch without much of it for a (medium) while in my life. Having grown up in a pretty activist family, I’ve learned not to have any qualms about speaking up when faced with such stuff. And while in L.A., I saw a very moving, standing-ovation earning play about the awakening of an Oklahoman-Cherokee teen’s activist conscience; upon hearing of her little brother’s shame at being “Indian”, the teen went from reserved athlete to a vocal challenger of her high school’s choice of a native mascot. The play resonated with me – it was seeing the injustice of the first American venture into Iraq which made me go from quiet hijabi in the corner to requesting a meeting with my high school principal to ascertain that the war was going to be covered with sensitivity by teachers.

But now I wonder about the fervor we feel to right injustice. Often, that fervor comes from pride or anger. Witness the bluster behind the indignation at Muslim-baiting set-ups – like idiotic cartoons. You know there’s a lot of anger driving those pumping fists.

When our intentions are based purely on the Qur’anic injunction to “stand forth in justice”, it would be natural to extend that fervor to addressing all injustices; if we are told by our Shuyukh that even a small insect killed unjustly will come before God on the day of judgment to plead its case, than it makes sense to ensure that our energies go into securing justice for all.

So during these acts of ignorance I witnessed recently, I of course spoke up. Some of the things were directed at Muslims, some at the homeless, some at African-Americans; but after articulating my views, I had to examine my intentions over and over. Was I just being indignant? How far do you stand forth without sounding like a broken record?

And I also wonder about the people who get all worked up about the tarnishing of Islam but who don’t give two hoots about Islam itself. I once asked someone quite frankly, “what is this Islam you spent so much time defending?” If you’re willing to commit crimes for it, we don’t want you to defend it. If you’re willing to blatantly flout its very essences – peace and mercy – by your actions, we don’t need your pumping fists. Those fists will just end up punching us where it hurts.

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