Saturday, July 30, 2005


I Will Remember

When I cross the road in busy morning traffic on the way to work, I will remember you. When I watch the TV news and see busy traffic in Baghdad or London being blown to bits, I will remember you.

When I see your name’s followers behaving like fools, I will remember you. When I see your name’s followers attacking you and justifying your senseless murder, I will remember you.

When I read allegedly conservative columnists and commentators on the bus to work lambasting your name’s message, I will remember you. When I read of your name being used as an adjective for terror, I will remember you.

When I listen to radio shock jocks in the car on the way to work attacking your name and its followers, I will remember you. When I see politicians repeatedly legislating your name on a list of proscribed organisations sponsoring terror, I will remember you.

When I see read of your institutions being closed down, of your people being harassed and deported and their books being burnt and banned, I will remember you. When I see their civil liberties being trampled, I will remember you.

When I see your followers frowning and crying and complaining and shouting discrimination instead of understanding why you died, I will remember you. And when I see those who hate your name clapping and cheering on the sidelines as another Holocaust potentially begins, I will remember you.

When I join the queues of those facing compulsory registration or detention or even deportation, I will remember you. When they send me back to where I came from (a prison camp in East Ryde?), I will remember you.

When I see images of Italians in Australia or Japanese in America interned, I will remember you. When I read prominent Melbourne QC’s calling for your name’s family to be interned, I will remember you.

When I hear shock jocks telling me your name’s family to assimilate, I will remember you. When I listen to respected legal academics complain about the negative presence of people resembling you, I will remember you.

When I see the best and brightest of your name’s family hesitate to come forward and save your name from being hijacked by terrorists, I will remember you. When I see those who claim to belong to your name defending your killers, I will remember you.

I promise I will remember you. I promise I will not allow you to have died in vain. But I have already broken my promise. And so have those claiming to hate your killers.

I have not spoken out against those hijacking your name in order to kill you. I have not spoken out and acted against those who use your name to justify their extremism or their loopy ideological sickness.

And those claiming to hate your killers will end up hating you and your name. They will hate your name and tell others to hate your name. For their real enemy is not your killers. Their real enemy is your name.

They will blame your name. They will attack and terrorise your name. While true followers of your name will play the pipes of peace, your name’s enemies with speak and write and lobby and deat the drums and blow the (Daniel) Pipes of war.

They won’t remember you. They are too busy attacking you and me and others from our family. But I will try to remember you.

For you are Islam. You are true Islam. You are the true martyr. You are the true victim.

You are Islam. Shahara Islam. You are a woman of peace. Your family is named after peace. May you rest in peace.

When I remember you, it will remind me of my Creator. Because my Creator promises me in the Qur’an that if I remember “Him” then “He” will remember me. And since you remembered “Him”, you are now being kept alive and sustained by “Him”.

“Say not of those who die on God’s cause that they are dead. No! Indeed they are alive and are being sustained by their Lord. But you perceive it not.”

© Irfan Yusuf 2005

A very heart-felt tribute.
However,I don't understand your reference to Shahara being a martyr.(or Islam).
A martyr is somebody who chooses to die rather than deny religious or political beliefs.
Also, your quote at the end does not seem to fit somehow - perhaps i think it could be misread - Shahara didn't die for God's cause - she was murdered.
Anyway, all the best
Actually, a martyr is one who loses his or her life without choosing to die. This separates intentional suicide which could be attributed to any number of religious, political, or social reasons (the suicide of a troubled teen, for example, does not itself make a martyr). If someone takes a risk for a cause they believe (and becomes a martyr), there is a point where that risk becomes a willingness to take your own life, which is suicide.

Suicide (choosing to die) is forbidden in Islam with no caveats, footnotes, or "buts." All other praises of martyrdom in Islam must take this into context... i.e., sacrificing your life for a cause (through risk) without actually taking your own life to do so.

Shahara was a martyr because she lived her life in a way that opposed the ideology of the Muslims who murdered her, and she did so without fear and to please Allah.
I can see what you are saying. I would be interested to know what the Qur'an says about martyrdom - but on the other hand, maybe not. It seems to me there would be too many answers/interpretations, depending on who I ask. For a while I have been trying to understand a little of Islam, to try and make some sense of it but I've decided to give up.
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