This is a question that has been asked from time immemorial, and there is no answer to it. Many reasons are presented and discarded some acted upon to gain love to no avail.
The same question is now being asked by 1.2 billion Muslims from the white westerners, why don’t you love us? Why are you deliberately trying to hurt us?
The answer is: I don’t even know you, how can I love you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU…
Here is one story from Algeria…***
I am a young boy old enough to understand but young enough to enjoy sitting in my grandfathers lap.
Every morning my grandfather gets up before the sun comes up and I can hear his melodious voice reciting the words of Allah. They seep into me dispelling the morning chill of the desert night. I am enveloped in a warm feeling of love and security and I never want him to stop. Sometimes his melodious voice fades into the mist of my sleep and I awaken to the sun shining in my face. I hear my mother calling me to breakfast.
I notice at breakfast that my grandfather just like every morning has gone on his horse. Oh I missed him again! I have wanted to go with him when he goes to meet the workers on the land he owns. Once he took me out of the house and showed me the land, it stretched as far as the eye could see in all four directions. “All this is your land?,” I had asked; he looked at me his green eyes softening in the morning light “No” he said, “ All of it belongs to Allah. He has just given it to me in amanah for some time”
While waiting for breakfast I see a small speck faraway with dust around it. It is my grandfather on his horse returning from his morning visits with the farmers.
This is an ordinary day in my life growing up in Algeria. There were many days like this while I was growing up. Safe, secure in the love of my family.
What has never been puzzling to me but is now since I have started to go to the local school is that I don’t have a father. I want to ask my mother: Where is my father? All the children at school have young stalwart men who are their fathers, where is mine?
Days go by and one day at lunch before Dhuhr Salah I ask my mother while looking at my grandfather: “Ma where is my father” My grandfathers face changes, it becomes pale and shriveled as if someone has placed a huge boulder on his shoulders. They sag with its weight. I look at his eyes and in them is an ocean of grief. I have never seen my powerful grandfather look like this. I look at my mother and her eyes are cast down. She is silent; tears are rolling down her cheeks.
It is long after that when I am in the United States to study science that I open a book in the library .It is about the revolution in Algeria.
I open it out of curiosity to just kind of peruse it briefly.
I am rooted in horror. I turn page after page, which describes the torture and beheadings of the Algerian men by the French colonialists.
As I turn the page, which has the title of my hometown,………I see the photo of a handsome tall stalwart man, whose picture hung in our living room. On the next page is a picture of him being beheaded and his naked head placed on his sandy grave marked by a rock…it is then that I put two and two together.
My father! My father! My father! The man I thought had abandoned us. The man I thought was responsible for us losing our farm when the men came to take everything away and left my aging grandfather, my mother and me on the dirt road. We were left with nothing but the clothes on our back, they were French. I had hated my father for I believed he had done things that caused us to leave our land, our home and our heritage.
Waves of guilt and grief wash over me as I turn page after page where there are photos of young Algerian men with their identification, there hometown and their history and lineage followed by their beheading by the French.
These were the freedom fighters that fought and lost…lost everything to the French except their emaan, for that had passed on to their progeny and their friends and their countrymen, who were left under the cruel yoke of the invading French colonialists.
My question had been answered: Why don’t they love us? They cannot! A thief does not love the members of house they pillaged and the owners that they killed or maimed. Some of our farm workers got away. Some were too weak to resist and were left to die in the desert.
The French had vilified and dehumanized the Algerians, they had invaded and looted their land and installed a despotic and cruel ruling elite who imprisoned men and their families who disagreed with him. His prisons were in underground caves with rats and no sunlight.
Cruelty has no bounds in a heart that is devoid of the fear and love of Allah.
Why had I come to the US? It was my grandfathers doing. Every Algerian who had lost everything to the colonial rule and the Despot had no recourse except to migrate to the country that was ruling Algeria directly or indirectly. They were using their last franc to go to France. It was all they had and they could not go any further. They spoke French and no English, and France needed manpower due to loss of men in its wars. It was the old adage of being under a known tyrant, being better than an unknown tyrant.
The Algerians had nothing left to sustain in their own land. Between the French looting, pillage and the despotic leaders greed, Algeria was decimated of its natural resources and its farms were laid waste. The Algerians robbed of their land crossed over to France in a refugee status. Even the most educated and respected families landed in ghettos to scrape a living by working on an assembly line of some sort.
Here in a foreign country that had violated its forbears the Algerians slaved and saved to build a better economic future with the hope of someday going back home to Algeria.
Meanwhile my grandfather insisted that I learn English and apply for a scholarship in the US, which I did and was successful.
I left Algeria behind, and my magnificent grandfather in a sad, penurious decrepit state with my mother emaciated beyond recognition. I said goodbye to them and never saw them again. They melted into the sands of penury and degradation refusing to leave Algeria, the land, which was soaked with the blood and spirit of their son and husband.
Today I open the news on the internet and see a cheap cynical French lampoonist newspaper that is losing ground in circulation pick up the name of the most revered, beloved person in the world and attempt to lampoon him. All this to gain circulation and popularity. Just by using the name of Prophet Muhammad pbuh their infamy skyrockets.
How can the French love me when they dehumanized my family, beheaded my father for loving his faith and his homeland and plundered and pillaged Algeria till there was nothing left to pillage. They left leaving behind a despot who carried on their carnage with more zeal and cruelty.
How can the French love me? How can they love what I love? How can they love and respect Prophet Muhammad pbuh whom 1.2 billion Muslims and I love and respect as well?
So what is to be done? I am at a loss.
If I treat them like they treated my father, it is terrorism and extreme cruelty. If I ignore them they will crush the weak and the poor Algerians in France into the dirt. They have already stripped the Muslim Algerian girls from going to school unless they show flesh and flaunt their hair. What do the Taliban and the French have in common against Muslim girls that they do not want them to be educated?
I am still frozen with the shock of the lampoon going public.
Meanwhile while I am appalled and paralyzed by the disgusting cartoons, suddenly a group of French born, Algerian young men, change the scene.
These young men were born and grew up in France. The country of their birth that took from the country of their parents and flourished but never gave back.
These men who have breathed the air of France minus the overt enslavement of French colonialism are not chained down by old fears of colonial France shared by their fathers.
The passion of old Algeria beats in their breast as it does in mine. They are violated to the core at the extreme insult to their beloved Nabi. The French ghettos have hardened them, they are out on a crusade to set things right.
A series of rifle shots rent the air and shatter the fake peace of the west.
One by one the lampoonist, the publishers, the guard, and the distributers of the magazine all fall.
Their blood spilling over their ignominious drawings, forever erasing their disrespectful lampoons, and paralyzing the hand that moved to violate the sanctity of the one who is the Beloved of the Divine.
And the rest is history……….
*** This is a composition of many true stories and historical events that I reviewed. All characters in the story are fictional.
*Photo courtesy of: http://www.djazair50.dz/?Prison-of-Coudiat-to-host-Algerian