By Naheem Zaffar
“...and then one day when the air is still and the night has fallen, they come for you. It’s only then you realise while you are talking about organising and committees, the extermination has already begun. Make no mistake my brothers, they will draw first blood. They will force their cure upon us. The only question is will you join my brotherhood and fight? Or wait for the inevitable genocide? Who will you stand with...?”
No, that isn’t another speech by Osama Bin Laden doing rounds over the ‘net, but a quote from Magneto in the latest ‘X Men’ Film.
X Men 3 returned last year for the third - possibly final – instalment, ‘The Last Stand’ in which a pharmaceutical company has developed a way to suppress the mutant ‘X-gene’. Permanently. They’re calling it a cure. A way for mutants to conform. Be normal. They can give up their uniqueness and gain acceptance.
Naturally the mutants are divided. Some see this as the holy grail. Something they have always wanted. A way to fit in.
Others are deeply offended, and want to lash out, take up arms, and destroy this ‘cure’. They are not a disease. They do not need a cure. They shall be the cure.
There is a middle path taken by some ‘heroic’ X-Men, who - while being offended - are working within the system against this ‘cure’. They will fight tooth and nail for their rights, but will not fight humanity to get what they want. They will embrace it, and make humanity fight for them.
Now why is an Islamic publication discussing X-Men? Is it ‘coz we are nerds? Or is there a hidden depth to X Men which is not seen at first glance? You see, this movie brings up dilemma’s that are faced in real life by many people.
No, there are no ‘mutants’ with superhuman powers. (Sorry to disappoint you, but superman does not exist! He is just as real as the tooth-fairy, or father Christmas). But there are Muslims. Me. You. Us. What if there was a cure for Muslims to be fully assimilated into society? A way to be the same as the next man. Or woman.
Well there is a ‘cure’. Rather simple too. Just forget about Islam. Remove the veil. Go on the pull. Have a pint. Or two. Just forget about Islam, God or the messages of the Prophets (saw). It’s far easier than a pharmaceutical cure as mentioned in the comic book adaptation and unfortunately some Muslims are attracted by it.
But just as mutants found their cure offensive, Muslims (should) find this ‘cure’ to be just as (if not more) offensive. Being Muslim is not a disease, but it can be a cure. More importantly it can show diseased minds who find small things like a piece of clothing offensive. Find those who are whimsical in the brainpan.
However, there are divisions among Muslims as well. Some are attracted by this ‘cure’. Others are offended. Quite rightly too.
Some want to work within the system to better it, make Muslims more accepted for who they are, what they believe, and explain our principles to others. Some don’t.
The last group is militantly against a ‘cure’. They will fight against it. Just as in the movie, this group can and will give others a bad name. Make them feared instead of celebrated.
There are people who are working to eradicate the Muslim way of life. Now it’s your choice to decide where you make your stand. Do you wait ‘til Islamic principles are criminalised? Do you allow stigma to be attached to Muslims? Do you allow your brothers and sisters to be tempted away by the ‘cure’? It’s your choice.
Make no mistake, the Islamic way of life is under attack. You only have to ask yourself... who will YOU stand with?