This is an old post during the tsunami tragedy in South East Asia this past winter. I had originally posted it on Desi Media Bitch on Monday, December 27, 2004, but since that was a while ago, I thought I would bring the dead to life again. This piece was a bit extreme and got quite a few comments (positive as well as negative), but without taking a risk and touching taboo close up, we will never know what makes society tick...enjoy. The comments are on their way too.
Recent updates show some 10,000+ people have been confirmed to have died with the recent tragedy in South East Asia. Over 1,000,000 people have been displaced and will probably have to wait for a very long time before any salvage may be given to them. I never understood the gravity of the situation until today when I was watching the news and saw some of the damage done in different parts of Indonesia, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and the other affected countries. Forget the number of people who have been affected, just for a moment, think about the size of this catastrophy that hit from under the water, a shift in the tectonic plates which we had no warning of, destroyed billions of dollars worth in more than half a dozen countries. Where is the faith that people seek at times like this? The faith that gives them direction, focus, strength, guidance and a feeling of security that they are being watched over.
To go back a bit, I would like to provide some insight on a personal approach to religion and faith just for a moment so people have a better understanding of where I am coming from. I have lived in a Muslim social environment for all my life, except the few years I was in the states. I have always followed the Islamic way of life (with moderation of course) as best I knew how. I prayed on fridays with all my friends, fasted during Ramzan, respected the sayings of the holy text and so forth. Recently, about a few months ago, I had a vision. It was more of a day dream, but calling it a vision gives it more veracity. I realized that I claim to be a Muslim, but while indulging in alcohol, marijuana, sex and all kinds of other sinful things that are forbidden. I was the Islamic Student Association's President for about 2 years, I organized and took part in numerous events that helped bring many different diverse organizations together to celebrate the ability for us to share a meal together, to sit together, to live in a common environment, without any unreasonable restriction. I became ashamed of myself when I had my vision, I realized that I was pretending to be someone, live a certain way while maintaining another kind of life on the side. Split between the two I decided that I would follow one and then when I felt I could genuinely dedicate myself, I would revert to the one I believe I should allow to guide me.
Sorry, I got momentarily sidetracked watching CNN. 21,900 people believed to be dead from tsunami damage. I want to know, where is God now. Not for me, but for all the people who have died, who were ready to give their lives to protect their loved ones from any harm by dedicating themselves to their God's word. Whether Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Jainist, Athiest, Agnostic or what have you, everyone inclusive suffered and not by choice I am sure. This is my blasphemy of the day. I don't believe it is fair for me to be dishonest to myself by pretending to have faith in something I don't really have faith in. Truthfully, I don't feel comfortable giving my faith to a being that I don't believe truly exists. I feel more comfortable holding myself responsible for things I do, whether right or wrong. The God I left has left those who had nothing except their faith. If one was to take a ballpark guess, I would say most of the affected were already low income or suffering from poverty. When you are so poor and you leave your faith in an entity that you strive to believe in without even being able to see it/him/her, you are more devout to your faith than the mullahs who profit from other peoples faith and greviences and faith in them to deliver God's message.
I am just upset about the wasteful death that these people have endured, unwillingly, undeservingly and most of all unfortunately lost in vain. There was no greater cause here, no sacrifice to save a bigger cause, definately no honor being defended, just a change in mother nature's mood. If I have stepped on someone's toes with this anti-religious stuff, well I do beg your pardon, but this is my belief and I don't believe in being a half assed pretentious fake follower of a faith that has not yet grabbed me in the middle of the night with a face full of sweat and fear, making me tremble and driving me to ask God for strength. Until that day, I will strive to find some faith but enjoy my life simultaneously. I do hope that those who were fortunate enough to live after the carnage, that they find salvation in this lifetime and a way to move on, having lost a loved one or many...