THE NEED OF BEING RATIONAL!
I really think it to be unjust to assign a duty to a person who doesn’t have even the rudimentary knowledge of the task he has undertaken. Same applies to a person who is too much interested to talk about an issue that he is absolutely unaware of and whose knowledge about the issue stems from sources which are absolutely irresponsible or not trustworthy.
Tough it used to be very much frequent before but now, due to the blessings of better knowledge and understanding, I noticed gradual decline in such discussions. What were these discussions in fact? These were to talk about America and people of America.
And who were the people who talked? I really feel astonished to see the whole list. These are taxi drivers, road-side vendors, beggars, shopkeepers and some of the educated people who have hardly read few cheap but sentimental books that made them feeling fully soaked in the ocean of knowledge and enlightenment, deserving themselves to be fully justified to talk on any topic, about some of them they might have never bothered to read in deep or consulted the books which are internationally acclaimed.
And what were the sources of these so-called experts to talk about America or people of America? Here, again, a strange and rather interesting list comes to the light. The major source is the word of mouth, and with as any such word of mouth in any corner of the world, a mice becomes an elephant and a small flame turns out to be devastating fire, in its journey from the first mouth to the final mouth, depending on the number of mouths it has journeyed, and the more mouths it touches, the greater the intensity and vastness it gains. Same rule applies for the propagation of a rumor as well.
Of the other sources worth mentioning are the stories flying in the air. Who told the story? Was that witnessed by someone? Did anybody investigate it? Or any other quarry that might inflict doubt on the health of this story are not asked or even dared to be asked. So stories fly and with every passing day, they multiply, both in number and intensity.
Then let’s see what do they talk about mostly? First and most important is the picture of American society that appears to be frightening. A society where everyone is alcoholic, where a lot many people are murdered in a fraction of seconds, where families are divided and in most cases members hate each other and where girls and women are raped openly and without any fear of any kind of accountability and so on.
Then there are the stories of the cruelties of American soldiers in Afghan soil and other regions of the world, mostly multiplied in number, not depicting the actual picture.
I open-heartedly accept myself as illiterate and lacking in knowledge and thus I deserve no right to test the health of others’ thoughts or ideas, rather, I come up with a humble conclusion that great nations tend to look at both the sides of a picture, both dark and the bright, so the lessons learned thus should lead the nation towards the realities.
America is certainly not a heaven of angels where peace and blessings shower from the skies and where people have got full freedom from the worries of the world and where people act in the most perfect and acceptable ways. Like any nation and society, there are also present some shortcomings, in all its life spheres, be it politics, business or social interactions.
Crimes are also committed there, politicians do think of their own interests, families are parted by the drifts of disagreement and so on because we all know that, ‘If you strive for perfection in the world, you would get disappointed so best approach is to accept the prevailing circumstances with all the shortcomings to settle down with peace’.
If America is considered to be the champion of democracy, a great promoter and facilitator of the rights of people, an ideal and firmly established economy and many more credits are owed to this nation, not by me, not by Afghans but by every individual who takes the things into account leaving aside his prejudices and background, then surely there lies few truths that are to be accepted whole-heartedly. Moreover, these were all achievements, not gifts.
These distinctions were achieved; they were not presented to them in a plate, nor were these achievements bestowed upon them from the skies. It becomes tormenting to anyone who works hard to make some achievements, deserving and expecting appreciation in return, but who is rather criticized and his achievements are over-shadowed by this criticism.
What I have read and what I have learned from people who have actually visited and seen the America brings another picture of it to me. Only United States has the majority of the world’s top universities. There is not present a university of any Muslim country in top 20 world universities. American system of education always works as an ideal to follow for rest of the countries of the world. Books taught in majority of the world universities are written and published in America.
In my opinion, America is the only country where people from more than 70 countries of the world live together peacefully, and they all feel proud to be called an ‘American’ ignoring the differences of color, race, religion or color. No doubt, this only achievement makes America to be called a great nation.
American economy is bigger than almost 100 countries of the world and this credit goes to the zeal of Americans to travel every corner of the world and take risks. They have pioneered many of the new commodity and service industries.
Today, lives of humankind have become more comfortable due to the latest inventions and advancement in the field of science and technology and once again, most of the work has been done in this single country.
In short, there is a long list that extends from student visas and scholarships to humanitarian aids in all corners of the world and many more.
In the end, I have to extend two requests, one to my afghan brothers and other to American citizens and soldiers.
First, almost every educated Afghan is certain that if foreign troops left and foreign aid ceased, the whole of our democratic system would collapse and country would fall victim to warlords, sectarian clashes and impoverishment. In such a case, we need to be very careful before criticizing those who are here to help and rescue this democratic system.
Second, Americans extend their moral, financial and physical support in different regions of the world and thus their image is developed as of peace-loving and responsible nation but a heedless and insane act by an American soldier (like that of Kandahar) or an irrational act of an American priest (who announced and then burn Holy Quran in United States) wastes all the efforts and greatly affects the good image of America and Americans.
Let’s hope that both the sides would act rationally to make this world a better place to live in.
Mahmood Hassan Quraishi is a permanent writer of the Daily Afghanistan Express.