SHAFAQNA – The following was forwarded to Shafaqna by a rights activist based in Toronto, Canada. For his voice to carry louder the writer chose to remain anonymous – and thus permit readers to concentrate on the message rather than the person behind the message.
In the name of Allah the most Merciful, peace be upon my brothers and sisters in faith and in struggles.
On October 9th 2017 a major awareness and fundraising event was held at the Mississauga, Maple banquet hall by the Burma task force brought together religious leaders, state officials, rights activists, members of the public, and a flurry of NGOs. Among such a show of solidarity no leaders of the Shia community …
Given that Shia Muslims have suffered most of all by the hands of tyrants, and in the light of the tradition that has defined our school of thought, one would think that our leadership would have felt compelled to speak up on behalf of the oppressed, regardless of their background, geography, faith, political affiliations.
It pains me to see that during the month of Muharram, which month witnessed the martyrdom of Imam Hussain we fail to honour his call to honour humanity by offering protection to the innocents … with our own lives and properties if need be!
Who are we if we do not extend a hand to those in need?
What is the point of our leadership if not spent in the service of the needy and the oppressed?
It pains me to see how very quick we are to turn away from true remembrance – that, which requires efforts on our part.
Was it not Imam Hussain who warned that guilt will be on those who keep mum in the face of injustice?
“Those who are silent when others are oppressed are guilty of oppression themselves.” Imam Hussain ibn Ali (AS)
Was it not Imam Ali who called upon us to rise an opposition to tyranny?
“Be an enemy to the oppressors and a helper to the oppressed.” Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS)
So let’s ask ourselves this question” Why are we not following through with these hadiths?
Did Imam Al Hussain (AS) Sacrifice all so we can cry and slap our chests and perform prayers and rituals? Are our tears seasonal?
How many nations today remain under the yoke of tyranny as we hide behind our silence? How many cries will we refuse to hear before we become ourselves tools of oppression?
We are the change we want to implement, and unless we master the courage to stand up and step up to the beauty of our tradition our tears will remain wasted.
Imam al Sadiq (AS) said: “Our Shia’s are three groups of people: 1- real friends of ours that are really from us, 2- those who use us and their association with us to preserve their honor, and 3-those who use us to earn a living, whomever uses us to earn a living shall become poor.”