“pls make this video viral”

Just received via WhatsApp, a video clip and this text:

An Israeli police man strangles a palestinian Child to death on saturday during the protest of US embassy move to the Jerusalem. The innocent boy even read Kalima e shahadat before dying. Despite many attempts by groups to upload this video to the Youtube, its been consistently removed and deleted from google, Facebook and youtube. pls make this video viral so that it reaches all the media.

Naturally, I won’t participate in making the video viral, despite the seemingly urgent request. Why? Because it’s simply not what it says it is. Continue reading ““pls make this video viral””

High fliers

When family friends asked what I was doing these days when I disappeared after my A-Levels, my father would reply, “He’s in Cambridge,” and leave it at that. A few years later, to concerned relatives he would say, “He’s working off Berkeley Square now.” Continue reading “High fliers”

Outsiders

If crowds of far-right protesters were gathering outside primary schools for weeks on end — and instrumentalising their children in the process — to noisily oppose race and religious equality teaching, we would definitely be outraged. And if those protesters downloaded spurious material from the internet to support their case, spreading false information throughout the nation, we would rightly call out their actions. But point out such double standards, and prepare to be shouted down and silenced. It just happened to me. It’s about something bigger, apparently. So it does not matter if truth and falsehood is mixed irreparably. The problem, it seems, is me. Join the mob, or be an outsider.

Downfall

Every nation has its downfall. The people of Aad. The ancient Egyptians. Our own downfall is inevitable, when we will be wiped from the earth, leaving only traces behind us. But where some left great pyramids and others palaces carved into mountains, wouldn’t it be a tragedy if the monuments we left for the millennia ahead were the vast mountains of landfill waste and oceans of plastic? A thousand years from now, will humble folk travel through the earth, wondering at the fate of this squanderful generation, who achieved so much only to depart leaving nothing but rubbish and environmental catastrophe? Our global culture but a footnote in the annals of time, like the Inca of South America. Though it is doubtful we will heed the lessons of history in time.

From this day forth

I wish I had lived my life righteously. I wish I had resisted the calls of my soul, instead of succumbing to them. Day and night, my mistakes haunt me. If I could turn back time, I tell myself, I would do it all differently, though of course I know that is not true.

The only consolation is that I’m not dead yet. So from this day forth, I tell myself, I will try to live a better life. I will try to make amends, and try even harder to reform myself. A promise I have made so many times in the past, only to fail. So, yes, no doubt I will be weeping the same laments in another month, year and decade. But for now: from this day forth…

Pattern of life

In every generation it is the same. The young zealot looks on at his elder in disdain, condemning him for his moderation and nuance. Years pass by, and the young zealot morphs into the mellow elder, castigating his younger self for its immature reckonings on matters of life and death. Ah, but now today’s young zealot looks on at this elder in disdain, condemning him for his moderation and nuance. And years will pass by, and this young zealot too will morph into the mellow elder, to be condemned by the next generation. On and on it goes. It is the pattern of life. No young zealot will ever listen to this warning. They must wait until their time.

Will you leave all of this behind?

On this day, twenty-one years ago, after a Bank Holiday weekend spent in contemplation, I ventured out on foot from my flat opposite King’s Cross station to wander the streets of London, through Bloomsbury and Holborn, and on into the West End. As I passed through Covent Garden, winding between the last of the weekend’s revellers making their way to its clubs and bars, this question occurred to me: “Will you leave all of this behind?” Continue reading “Will you leave all of this behind?”

Beware

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” — Gospel of Luke 20:45-7

Beware

“O you who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of God . And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God — give them tidings of a painful punishment.” — Quran 9:34