The article was first published by Farhan Rahman on his Facebook timeline
I’ve been asked, sometimes even rebuked, for my call to Muslims in India to turn apolitical. Becoming apolitical has been misconstrued by some as giving up your voting rights.
That’s the most vital power, and tool, that Democracy endows you with. However, you should exercise this power most judiciously and diligently.
Muslims in India, by being apolitical, I meant:
1. Refraining from commenting/posting/speaking unnecessarily against any particular political party/person. Though you don’t intend to, but your posts/comments/talks are taken in a communal way. Being politically neutral is what I mean by being apolitical.
2. Asking the Ulemas/Clerics to abstain from exhorting Muslims for voting a particular political party or candidate. The call is taken by other community members as a religious call, and hence generates unnecessary hysteria.
The Ulemas should rather concentrate on easing out sectarian differences and strengthening the community through adjustments and constructive debates.
3. Avoid wasting energy on international politics; on your concerns about plight of Muslims in Syria, USA, Palestine, Myanmar and so on. You can have empathy on their plight, but would any of your actions/protests have any positive impact on their situation?
No. Then why don’t you focus on your domestic issues, rather than diluting your energies on issues over which you have no control?
You don’t take care of your neighbour’s child when your own child is sick. Do you? Focus on your internal issues. Don’t waste your energy on international politics.
4. Inculcate patience. You get irked too easily. Demagogues would be demagogues. They would try to incite you, spurn you and instigate you. You should have the strength to overcome those spurns and instigation with patience.
Remember you are the qaum for which the following verse has been written- “Inna Allah ma as-sabireen” खुदा सब्र करने वालों के साथ है l What happened to your patience? Where in history did you lose it? Regain it back.
Reaction, violent protests and verbal outrages are signs of weakness. You don’t gain anything out of it, except contempt of the society of which you are a part.