Friday, April 6, 2012

Freedom: A New F-Word ?

Article first Published on BikyaMasr

I'll let you in on a little secret. When I was a dreamy teenaged my parents --especially my dad-- itched when they heard the word Freedom. 

And I believe that most, if not all, Egyptian and Middle Eastern parents still shudder in fear when they here their young one speaking of their demands for Freedom.

"FREEEEEE???? What do you meant you want to be FREEEE?" A parent from our culture always says. 

"Do you want to be homosexual? Do you want to have sex? To do drugs?? Istaghfaro 'llah *asking God for forgiveness*" The parent usually breaks down into tears at this point. "What have I done to deserve such a child? God help me! Why can't you be more like me at your age huh?"

One said parent might've even had a normal adolescence with mistakes that they hate to admit. And if you were ever to confront them they'd say: "well, I want to you to be better than me. I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did." 

The examples are many. But one very common and almost ubiquitous example is the hijabi and/or Niqabi mama who forces the islamic dress on her daughter. 

The mother who, in her day, wore whatever she pleased and dated the guy she eventually married asks her daughter to "cover it all" and abstain from even talking to boys. 

"My parents were not very religious so they didn't teach me right from wrong. But I'll be DAMNED if I watch you be promiscuous!" This, naturally, reads "Do whatever you want as long you're sneaky enough to fool me."

To most of the 'older' generations, Freedom is promiscuity and promiscuity is the root of all evil. 

And the pseudo-liberals we have roaming round in the land of the Nile have a curious way of fighting for Freedom. They offer up assurances that when granted our freedom, we will be good boys and gals and use it properly and respect the social norms and rules and what have you. 
Freedom, people, is the right to be FREE. To choose your way and find that spark in your soul that's worth living for.

Those who deny us our Freedom do nothing, other than frustrate. Because whether they like it or not, or want to admit or not, we ARE free. Each and every one of us is free to wake up and go rob a bank, or kill our neighbor, or chop our ex in tiny morsels. But we don't because we CHOOSE not to, because we accept moral responsibility and cherish righteousness, at least most of the time. 

And this is precisely why we, as opposed to animals, are responsible for our acts before God. God gave Adam and Eve Freedom the moment he gave them Free Will. He told them not to eat the Forbidden Fruit but left the tree right there in front of them. Their test, as is ours, is fighting temptation. 

So dear Salafi Wahabis or whatever you can call yourself today, please remember that, in the words of William Wallace (aka. Braveheart), you can take away our lives, but you can't take away our freedom!