Defiance against oppression

When we hear or watch news, there is a piece of our lives that feels disconnected and helpless. Maybe it is the harsh reality of human against human or the dog-eat-dog variety of the world leaders. Something that separates us from all this cruelty also tends to kill a part of our humanness. But we seek ways to come back to our human existence and connect with the reality of this world till something starts to fill the void within. There is a sense of satisfaction and peace that happens when you can search for ways to be connected.

When you take that journey, there is no better place to realize the mutual connection with humanity than your history. As you walk through your emotions you can understand that this world has been evoking the vigour of the past. Our lives rest on a stagnant pool of ancient ways that tell us where we have come from and where we seem to be going. Human behaviour through history has shown major tyrannous acts against the oppressed but it has also proved that humans can always find ways to stand against the tyrant as well.

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Unfortunately, due to the fear of being shunned by the powerful authorities, most media influencers and networks do not take the risk of naming the oppressors and the tyrants, rather they use passive tones to address the crimes. Even if someone calls out these heinous crimes of massacre and apartheid, the bullies find ways to even them out by shifting the blame through the anti-Semitic label.

The atrocities committed by the colonial era and the shift of the blame is not for the East to bear. Just like slavery and racism were not generated by the East or the Muslim countries, similarly the Muslims cannot be blamed for the horrors of the Holocaust. In fact, history is a proof that Jews have been well tolerated during the Muslim rule, after centuries of institutionalized Western anti-Semitism. The Muslims do not carry the blame of historical cruelty and racist labels that the West tries to shift upon them from time to time.

Having an open discussion about global affairs gives us the true sense of where we stand. As we start to learn about our history and become more open to discussing our present, we realize that our connection as humans is very powerful. We are not even aware of it though it is right there and has always been. These borders that have been defined for communities as countries exist because of years and years of struggle and sacrifice by our ancestors. People who have been working for generations have made it possible for our identities. You cannot be humbled by that kind of sacrifice nor be forged into living under a rule that bereaves you of that very identity.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s recent appearance at an interview on CNN resulted in the sloppy rendition of his comments that invited the anti-Semitic label. The main problem is that the conversation deviated from the real issue of discussing the Palestinian persecution to be scapegoated with the anti-Semitism card propelled with tired tropes. While the West must refrain from using such tiresome labels to lighten their own guilt of past mistakes, the Muslims need to understand their role in being more careful while addressing sensitive issues. The fault lies with both sides, when instead of calling out the tyrant, people are busy playing East versus West. Equating the standing of the whole religious community with the atrocities of the Israeli government merely destroys the reality of the Middle East conflict by shifting the tone to a Jews versus Muslims propaganda. Such off-the-cuff remarks by prominent world leaders provide the licence to countries like Israel to get away with their atrocious tyrannies.

Whether it is the Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, Myanmar or Xinjiang, the solution to discussing their situation lies in acknowledging their identities, not pitching one religious community against the other. People who struggle for their freedom in these countries are not only oppressed but have been ripped apart from their loved ones and made to live under a rule that they have no say in.

After living under coercion for so long, people seek solutions and openness to their suffocating frustrations. Through media and social networks, we are also soaking in part of that suffocation and there is a sadness that comes along with it. At the same time there is a sense of pleasure as you realize the beauty of human survival, the richness of human hope and the fruit of human endeavour through time. Learning about the truth and speaking it out loud is so empowering that you start to see a sense of purposefulness in life. It boosts the confidence of not only those who endure but also awakens the minds of silent observers. We seek knowledge about the past to move forward with better solutions with our words and thoughts.

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When we decide to discuss with open minds and hearts, in that moment our memories, our beliefs and our purpose all come together to provide better solutions. Once there is no pointing of fingers or shifting of blames, then there is no doubt to the truth. We will soon be on our way to find better solutions with a focus on reality through our knowledge of history and our courage to stand up against the tyrant. Standing up against the cruel leaders is a clear way of showing how we are going to make it to a better future. When those in power open about an atrocity, they share the light of an idea with many who do not have the guts or the chance to speak up. An impossible change may happen, only because some brave leader had the power to address an issue openly.

Wajeeha Bilal
Wajeeha Bilal
The writer is a published author. Her work includes “The Conscious Ego” and “The Beautiful Present”


  1. Many converts or descendent of converts (especially in the Land of Pure), when refer to Muslims; fail to differentiate between “Pre/ Post Nabi Arabian Cultural Jahillya” and “Noor-e-illhi”. For them even Namazis following this Jahillya, against which Nabi taught throughout his life are also Muslims?

    Wajeeha Bilal is also expressing only this Jahillya in her expressions. While bracketing ‘Palestine, Kashmir, Myanmar or Xinjiang’ in one set, she fails to understand the real meaning of “Universal Brotherhood” (“Vasudaivya Kutumbakam”) or the power of Ijma and Iztehad for peaceful social living.

    Satan’s Jahillya which I am referring above started descending in Arabian land within 24 hours of Nabi’s death. The power of Ijma and Iztehad diminished and varied Caliphatic Arabic Codexes and their interpretation by Jahils started ruling the Arabian World. The Nabi fought throughout his life only against this Jahillya. Surprisingly the ‘Pact of Umar’ is now governing norm of Land of Pure Jungle. As a product of some madarassa, she thinks her genome is different from Kashmiri Pundits? Forgetting “Noor-e-illhi” and Abrahmic “Advaitwaad” she is searching peace in turmoil of Arabic lands from Battle of Karbala to present day conflicts in the name of religion? Really, the Land of Pure is the biggest source of impurity for “Noor-e-illhi”. 🤔

    • I would spend sometime understanding your random non sense but clearly it is just a petty expression of misogyny. While i should logically hasten to call out your own jahalat for failing to understand what the writer has stated, i know it would just be me being more like you. In a land replete with dense, blocked and biased misogynists, you sir are a mascot of all three. I would ask you to “get a life” but reading up on both the tone, tenor and the asinine accusations you’re making (which bear no relevance to what the writer has said—something you clearly are unable to construe…it being a cerebral effort afterall), i know that it is a bridge too far for an individual too low.

      • Ali Bhai, how my expressions are of ‘misogyny’??? Read the Article referring about Kashmir. Please explain me as to where the identity of Muslims is rejected in J&K? To me, it is rather identity of Kashmiri Pundits, which is rejected by predominantly Muslim rulers/ politicians of J&K. The genocide of Kashmiri Pundits, driving them out of valley and not permitting them re-settlement for over three decades in their homeland, is the reality.
        Further, Muslims are NOT MINORITY in India or in Kashmir! They are second largest MAJORITY of India and in absolute MAJORITY in J&K. India is having second largest population of Muslims in the world i.e. much more than any Arabian nation.
        What oppression or curb on freedom the writer is finding in Kashmir? Is she had freedom in her own clan? Has she ever analyzed it in Baluchistan or just crocking like a frog in well? The deep well rom a land which is crushed under Boots over half of the time of its existence? The Kashmiri even today are having more autonomy than residents of any other State of India. It is much more than any Pakistani having in land of pure. The excessive autonomy and appeasement is spoiling Kashmiri in valley and it needs to be set right. This is the resolve of 1.3b Indians. AND WE DID IT.
        Those who dislike it are still free to choose the Land of Pure promised in the name of “Noor-e-illhi” and NOW governed by “Pact of Umar”. Bro, the land of Indus Valley Civilization is also land of my ancestry which assimilated the best of all faiths till partition. Unfortunately, this Gulistan in last 73 years is converted into Jungle by predominantly followers of “Pre/ Post Nabi Arabian Cultural Jahillya (sans Islam)? Sir, any nonsense about India (including J&K) by ignorant writers needs reply by an Indian. PERIOD.

        • You clearly have a problem with women writing something, and to mask your misogyny you come up with irrelevant and incoherent verbatim, lacking in depth and diction. It’s just a display of nonsense. Misogyny at its best.

        • And FYI J&K is Pakistan’s, you stomping your keyboards without any bearing doesn’t change it

  2. I was waiting for an article that I could relate to amidst these wars and this article has done justice to all debate…

    • Indeed. The article has articulated the point well without bandying words detouring from the crux of it

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