Is the glass half full or half empty?
People on either side are arguing their point about the glass. A supposed optimism vs pessimism about a current situation.
But the question being debated is wrong.
The question should be who poured the glass and got people locked in a subjective, perhaps fruitless, debate?
Allow me to explain.
Apply this concept to let's say the current "war" on ISIS. Currently the majority of the world is locked in a heated debate on how to curtail and destroy ISIS. Fervent debates about military strategy; where to bomb when and how exact revenge (at least in the current American political rhetoric it is revenge we are seeking and not justice). Some are saying we're making great progress and let's keep the current bombing campaign while others are saying the civilized world is on verge of inevitable destruction and the threat cannot be eliminated so we need to bomb some more.
People are caught up in that bombing debate. Bomb more or bomb less (or at least sustain the current bombing). While a few are the ones who are taking a step back and asking "who poured the glass"?
You're being ushered into a debate where the thinking paradigm has already been set for you. Debating within that paradigm will not get us anywhere.
The word ملأ is often mentioned in the Quran when discussing people who surround an oppressive/unjust person (think pharaoh). It's translated as "the eminent ones" or you can understand it in the sense of those who surround the owner of authority; advisors, confidants, close friends....etc.
When thinking of such a group, the word enablers come to mind. Those who encourage a person's behavior/action and embolden their deviance.
Holy Quran 7:127
وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَىٰ وَقَوْمَهُۥ لِيُفْسِدُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَءَالِهَتَكَ ۚ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْىِۦ نِسَآءَهُمْ وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَٰهِرُونَ
And the eminent among the people of Pharaoh said," Will you leave Moses and his people to cause corruption in the land and abandon you and your gods?" [Pharaoh] said, "We will kill their sons and keep their women alive; and indeed, we are subjugators over them."
The "enablers" did not say to pharaoh "go ahead and kill Moses and his people" rather they planted a seed of fear in the mind of someone who is capable of doing great harm and then let things unfold.
My point is, while in many of our discourses and discussions about an oppressor's rise to power (think Trump) or a person's abuse of power (think police officers disproportionately shooting black people) or a person's disregard for the sanctity of life of others (think of anyone who murdered someone) we often neglect the enablers who surround them. We need to look at the environment and who is in it and what role have they played that may have led to the situation at hand.
Another point is for us to stop looking at such situations as isolated from us. We're baffled by these happenings yet we don't take a close and thorough look at ourselves and end up, inadvertently and at the very least, being enablers.
You can enable by encouraging,
but you can also enable by being silent when truth needs to be spoken,
by being complacent,
by shirking your responsibility as a citizen of your community.
Change won't happen unless we change the environment that allows negative enablers to dominate and that change has to come from within.
I became a Canadian citizen in 2000, at the age of 22, and then moved to the US and have been calling the US home since then (I became an American citizen 4 years ago).
Since living in the US I have gotten a doctoral degree, worked in the healthcare field, built a business with my wife and helped establish two new pharmacy programs in two different states. I am the husband of a beautiful nurse in the making, the proud father of 3 young children with unlimited potential and the friend, colleague and neighbor of countless beautiful souls. More importantly Mr. Pence, #IAmARefugee
If you compare #ISIS and #Trump's messaging, you will notice some frightening similarities. It's as if they are both using the same playbook
- both are capitalizing on abstract nostalgia (Make Islam great again vs make America great again)
-both are emboldening a marginalized, due to their hate, group (Jihadists vs white supremacist)
- both label and dehumanize other, therefor justifying their ill treatment (Kafirs or disbelievers/infidels vs Moozlums/Mexicans/Refugees)
- both blame an ill defined, foreign enemy-(The west vs the immigrants)
- both offer simple answers to complex questions- (Build a caliphate vs build a wall)
- facts don't matter to either (every single Islamic teaching vs every single fact)
- both are false prophets (guy with a big beard vs a supposed, self made billionaire)
And the list goes on and on....
Palestinian, Muslim, American, Husband, Father, Academic, Pharmacist, Coffee Addict, Nutella phene, Pseudo writer, Soccer player, former Canadian, Community servant, Pinch hitter imam, interfaith ninja, Intellectual vigilante, and the undisputed KING of snark