Salt on wounds

UNITED KINGDOM — Having read the above article, it reminded me of the interview conducted by Behzad Bolour with two girls of allegedly Iranian nationality, currently making a living from working as Prostitutes in Dubai. The interviews sound clip is still available on the website.

During the the interview, Behzad asked one of the two girls, “Why did you want to come to Dubai and become a prostitute”? In her reply she explained, “I was closed before I arrived in Dubai”, she said. She then continued by saying that after spending a night with a wealthy Arab who paid good money for her chastity — this had been arranged through a third party in advance — she then  put it in her own word saying, she became open and turned into working as a full time prostitute. 

She was then asked if her parents in Tehran knew what she was doing in Dubai. She replied, “My parents do not know anything about me being a prostitute, they think I am employed in some respectable profession”. The other girl who also took part in the interview gave similar answers to these mentioned questions.

We may wonder why in this so called “AGE OF LIBERTY” neither of these girls had the honesty or the courage to tell their parents the truth about their sorryful, illegal, degrading professional status in Dubai? After all, the “liberty of action” to do with their lives, whatever they desire was the reason for them to break away from all that restrictions and limitation their religion had put on them when living in Iran?

The answer is very simple – the girls, although chosen the life style they both liked, could not tell their parents the truth, because the truth would hurt the parents so much with possible damaging consequences in both parents. The girls also know that in every society they chose to live, people condemn or disapprove of prostitution? Because human have what is known as “MORAL VALUES” — In essence, this is what differentiates us from animals. We can tell the difference between wrong and right! And all religions are based on set of moral values devised and promoted in all societies to reinforce laws which are meant to protect individuals from harming themselves and others.

For those practicing Muslims, their beliefs are naturally very important to them, because they believe the rules of Islam guide them to complete the life's journey on a more secure path to a dignified existence for themselves and for their families. Religions promote responsibility, accountability to one another and faith is very important to what it is to be a good human being.

To some people being accountable, naturally, feels threatening – they would associate it with criticism or disapproval and loss of one’s liberty.In the last century, economic considerations, social ethnic problems and multiculturalism in Western countries paved the way to giving into the idea of secularism in the Western societies. Successive Western governments made sure that the influence of the religious institutions on their citizens gradually diminished to the extent we now see in the European countries, particularly, in UK, the church attendances on Sundays have been dwindling so fast that has caused the alarms ringing for the bishops’ ears rather than the church attendees!

Unfortunately, the demise of religions followed by sharp deregulation in moral values brought with it so much ills and problems into societies, like sexual diseases, crimes of different sort and kind, overwhelming increases in prostitution, murder, child sexual abuse offenses, mental disorders, teenage pregnancy, family break ups weakening the institution of marriage.

Fortunately, in the affluent West, the governments do have the resources to pick up the tab and skilled people to deal with problems arising from the behavioral problems of their citizens, but in most Muslim countries, lack of resources and non availability of cost free health care, unemployed, and other benefits, adequate penal system to deal with the offenders help the Western governments to address these problems. But in the Muslim countries lack of resources and different attitudes towards criminal behavior makes the job much more difficult to deal with. So the emphasize are put on people relying on crime prevention, through, the disciplines of practicing religion.

In the current situation where Muslims are waging a strong protest against the publication of the set of caricatures originally published in a Danish Newspaper, depicting the profit Mohamed in what is considered by various leaders as provocative and distasteful is rather unfortunate.  

But to face the facts: faults do not lie with religion or Muslims, rather the guilty are those whose actions are believed to be pre meditated to hurt the feelings of the Muslims with the full knowledge of the cartoons’ potentials to provoke feelings of anger among the Muslims – so called Secularists who are finding it so difficult to live side by side with the so called “believers”. We can say that the intolerance comes from the people with secular views using this method to object to living a life of co-existence with their fellow citizens who happened to be Muslims.

It is rather easy for some to talk of secularism deserving equal importance to religions. We all know that secularism does not have established institutions to support it like as in other religions.  Furthermore, many of Muslim countries do not have the experience of reliance on alternative system of beliefs to embrace but their own religion. 

We know from various findings that the majority of immigrants living in different Western countries, rather than choosing integration into the culture of the host country, they prefer to stick to identity of the country of their origin and protect their own heritage. They prefer their own food and dietary practices, languages, religious beliefs and practices to those of the host country. This applies to Jews, Muslims, Hindus and other less famous religions as well. It is rather easy for people to blame everything they disagree with on religion. They are quite wrong.

The religious principles have contributed so much to promote ethical living, good deeds towards those vulnerable in our society, responsibility, and accountability. We know people adhere to the principles of their religions – because they find practicing and observing the rules of their religion are important to their lives for spiritual reason and other benefits associated with belonging to a faith.

Secularism should have a place in and presence on our societyies for those who are attracted to it but secularism ideology should not try to discredit the role the religion plays in the lives of the Muslim believers in the Muslim world, Mutual understanding and respect among all people from different religious backgrounds are the very qualities needed to help us to respect diversity and try to live in harmony with each other. It is better not to play into the hands of those whose main objectives are to divide to rule. The writer of the article does not need to go to war, what she needs is to make peace with herself!

Jesus summarized the whole Jewish law in two distinctive and very important commandments: Love God and “love your neighbor as you love yourself”.

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