Wednesday, October 13, 2004

So. Tell Me Something.

I sin. I sin a lot. Every day, in fact. I am in no way a ‘good Muslim’, although I try to be a good person. As impossible as it sounds to some people.

I also know a lot of sinners. There are a lot of them, you know — far more than you'd like to think. I've spoken to them, read what they've written, broken bread with them, laughed at their jokes, listen to their confessions, and generally enjoy their company.

Or not. Sinners are a diverse lot, and our liking to one another varies — there are plenty of sinners out there I cannot stand.

But one thing I seem to hear a lot about are well-meaning comments about the state of sin these people are in. You'll know what I'm talking about: the sermons on pre-marital sex to those who engage in them, the castigation on drinking to those who indulge in the bottle (I have. I occasionally do. I will occasionally do so in the future), lectures on how a life of worship and humilty will do an ‘arrogant’ person good.

Perhaps you've had people done it to you. Perhaps you do that to people like me, sinners in life who have either made mistakes, or like making those mistakes and indulge in them.

For those who do, let me ask you something. I have known a friend, a woman, who used to talk on her blog about her sex life. I also know the guy she had sex with on a regular basis — have, for many years. I do know that after a while, a bunch of people started congregating on her blog and castigating her for premarital sex, telling her that it is a sin in the eyes of God. I believe she knows this, but for some reason, the castigation did not stop her from sinning.

Here's the clincher. The blog that these sordid deeds are in is no longer active; so there's no point in sending you folks a link. But on that blog, I believe, were links to her boyfriend. I believe it was to his blog (also inactive), and on his blog there were email addresses. His email addresses, I believe.

So tell me this: Why didn't you go ‘advise’ the other member of the party to stop sinning? Why didn't you lecture him on the perils of premarital sex, and urge him to change his ways? Why did you only heckle the girl and not the man, knowing full well that both share the same sin and both are equally guilty in the eyes of God? Why didn't you send him advice, however unsolicited, with the hopes that he would listen, and change?

I know he didn't receive any messages or missives from concerned Muslims. Was it because blogger was a woman, and only women are responsible for the sin of zina? Or were you afraid of talking to the man, and the only people you harass are the ‘weak’ and the unprotected?

So, tell me. Why not both of them? Why is it, that when a woman does something bad, and a man does the same something bad, the one who gets the crap is the woman and not the man? Why are women smokers lectured upon, and the men smokers ignored? Why are the ‘slutty’ women vilified and humiliated in the public, while the man ‘players’ ignored, or heaven knows, secretly envied and admired?

Is this because of the other person's sin, or is this about yours?

Blogger hyelbaine said...

hhmm..great point you pointed out there. i myself am not too sure. maybe it's easier to pick on women when the one doing the picking on is men? beats me to be honest. heck, i'm no example of a muslim either but that's my choice cause i know what's right and wrong. i don't need anyone else to tell me cause they would be wasting their time :P

Cheers!!! :D

10:39 PM  
Blogger serabut said...

Easier?

Pfft. Institutionalised and cultural misogyny is what it is.

Like those adultery cases in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia - the women invariably get stoned, and the men get away scot-free.

2:31 AM  
Blogger Zsarina said...

Society expects girls to be good, while men can get away with being "naughty". Across all cultures, but especially in Asian ones, a man's sexual needs are understood and accepted but women are not expected to be sexually expressive. And - gosh, Tariq - we are ALL sinners!

5:53 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

Zsarina: Oh, I don't care about the state of your sins. I have enough fun dealing with mine =D

The amusing thing is, none of the Pious have answered my question. So, why her and not the guy? What's wrong with telling the guy that his life needs bettering, before it's too late?

5:19 PM  
Blogger The Other Dude said...

Does it make a difference if those people were to pursue the man too? Do they need to prove that they are bona fide and committed preachers before they are qualified to say something or anything? Does it lessen the sin or make their comments worth any less, just because they didn't pursue all of the sinners?

Fact is, if I'm a sinner and somebody says something about it, and that something said is the truth, I feel I shouldn't complain if they don't say it to anyone else. In fact, I should be glad that of all people I am chosen to be reminded of God. It is everybody's duty to remind one another. Hey, I may not like hearing it, but truth does not seek to please.

4:15 PM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

TOD: That's where you and I differ. I think it isn't right to pile on the advice and admonishments on just one side of the party, especially if you know both parties equally well (or, actually, not at all).

All sorts of unpleasant questions come into mind when something like this happens. Why just one person, especially if they know that the deed was a shared one, not instigated by just one party?

It feels terribly unfair for both parties, and reeks of hypocrisy in part of those who do the scolding.

7:26 PM  

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