Between Us Only!
Attire (Garb) Versus Character!
I was reading this article on MSNBC about – Philadelphia Muslims in USA offering $20,000 reward to find criminals wearing Islamic garb. One of the two suspects wanted in a series of bank robberies is shown in a bank’s cameras as entering a Sovereign Bank in Philadelphia dressed as such. They said that they have zero tolerance for the tactic – and are offering a $20,000 reward to find the criminals cloaking their identities beneath Islamic women’s clothing – and saying that the crooks are feeding mistrust of their faith.
Whatever happened to the mask? – Imam Asim Abdul-Rashid of the Masjid of the Delaware Valley said, referring to ski masks often seen worn by bank robbers. Officials say perpetrators have worn Muslim garb in five Philadelphia bank robberies since December 2011. These types of bizarre incidents feed into that cottage industry of Muslim bashers – Ibrahim Hooper – spokesman for the National Council on American-Islamic Relations, told msnbc.com. They demonize Islam and the American Muslims. They also make it difficult for Muslim women to get service in banks – Hooper said.
Sometime back I was also watching this video of some European ladies demonstrating in the streets in skimpy-see-through-dresses – but wearing a hijab – as their way of demonstrating against the hijab (burkah) wearing of Muslim women in Europe.
Honestly speaking, I do hate politics – because I believe in Live and Let Live and being tolerant and patient to others – because at the bottom line of things we are all human beings from the same Adam and Eve – and I have still yet to see anyone come out with blue blood for me to start to change my views, outlooks and perceptions per se! I only hope that human beings can learn to live in peace, harmony, understanding, tolerance and love – and we need to learn from history – and the mistakes of the past and the gross errors of judgement and decisions in life!
This news that I read above brought me to my topic of today. This is the question that I want to pose for today – forgetting the above news for a moment – but on an individual level. Does attire (garb) define one’s character – or is it based more on one own personal character, behaviour, traits and attitudes? Let me explain what I mean here.
If you see a person wearing what we call in Oman as the white turban and dress attire in a man – do you think that you are now meeting a pious religious observing person by behaviour, traits and all the works? That is a person of good behaviour, character, traits and personality? Does the attire make the person – or it is far more than that – and is more related and correlated to what is really inside the person – the good coming out in winning against the bad and evil within! Or is it just like a mask to cover one’s own fears inhibitions, bias, prejudices – and worries – and come out in pretentious, acting and imaginary roles – than in reality and the truth within us?
Understandably it is unfair, unethical and completely wrong to judge and generalize by comparing one and or a few to the majority. There are bad eggs (fish) in each basket – though if you draw two bad fish consequentially than one can be excused to include that the whole basket is bad!
Frankly in life I have been let down badly to think that I am dealing with a sincere, honest, principled, ethical and genuine person – only to find that I was very much mistaken in my outlook, focus and judgement. There are so many cases that have been narrated in these columns and in my books too – not to bore you with more sordid details!
In actual fact, many of my stories are around these themes – things start off moderately well – there is a start of a few signs of disappointments and betrayals – followed by some more – still remain patient and hopeful – then a straw that broke the camel’s back – and then all hell let loose – follow-ups, revenge and vendettas – and everything is now lost and destroyed.
Some time back – a well meaning good friend was asking me – You as the Human Resources professional don’t you need to take in your own advice in dealing with certain people that you will interact and interface in life – and adjust accordingly? A few days back I met him again – and asked him – Are you still working in the same place? He retorted – No I quit! He went on – I admire you – how you could have taken all these crap from that guy?
I wanted to remind him of what he had asked me – but at the last minute decided not to! Yes – yet the person in question was thought by all of us as being religious and pious – but actually and in reality had the most bad, dirty, jealous and envious heart that you ever saw in one in life! God forgive us in passing sentence and in judgement – and in generalising – Amin!
Yet in life I have met characters in life that you would actually want to avoid to meet – in reality by just their wear, appearances and outlooks – but they can really amaze you how good they can be if put to the real test – and how they can come forward to help and assist you – at the most unexpected and inopportune time! His only sandwich? He will want to share with you – or even give it all to you!
In summary – please do not be deceived by the dress (attire, garb) – but what is really inside that person!
Majid Said Nasser Al Suleimany.