Monday, August 20, 2012

Eid Mubarak & The Religion of Peace

This post you are about to read also appeared on as a contribution. Yes, I wrote it.

"This Ramadan I woke up expecting nothing more than an update of death toll in Syria:"

My 2012 Eid Mubarak celebration was like any other day. I was born into a Muslim family, living in Nigeria, and had observed fasting in the month of Ramadan since I could remember. This year was different because I did not fast. The excitement that usually preceded the period was missing this year and I had no motivation to fast. I felt I was losing my religion, maybe because it made me unhappy.

My Imam once told me Islam is the religion of peace. A retrospect of the last 24 months proved otherwise. The political unrests in Muslim states totally contradict that. Hollywood movies contradict that. News contradicts that. I watched on Bloomberg TV a Hindu talk about his community. He made a statement about how they [Hindu] were tolerant and lived in peace with Muslims in their community. If this was the religion of peace, should Muslims keep putting in effort to prove that point? Why can't everyone that claimed to fight for the cause of Islam put down his or her guns? Why was it breaking news Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president, attended prayers at a Damascus mosque to mark the start of Muslim holiday of Eid?

Ramadan 2012 was a period I woke up expecting nothing, probably an update of the death toll in Syria. That was why I woke up on the day of Eid Mubarak and what I looked forward to was the English Premier League. What put a smile on my face was Chelsea FC win because that was the only place I witnessed peace amidst differences. Not among my Muslim brothers, but on the football pitch.