is not the brutality of the bad but the silence of the good people that
destroys a society.”
the day of Eid ul Fitr, my dear friend, her daughter and I went to call on
a couple of my Muslim friends. When we arrived at the first home, several
other guests were already there and we all sat around a long table,
chatting about this and that.
next to me was our hostess and at a right angle to her, a mother in full
Muslim garb with her son—about two years old—on the chair next to her.
little boy appeared somewhat bemused at the strange faces around him and
put his hand out to reach up to his mother, who promptly slapped it away.
He reached out again, a second and third time and each time was slapped
away, the slaps increasing in harshness as she commented, “He feel he
could rule me.”
I asked where our host was, our hostess used it as an excuse to quickly
slip away while I—never one to suffer fools and bullies kindly—debated
what to do?
the young boy was slapped for the fourth time, my friend, her daughter and
I removed ourselves.
had intended to call on my cousin (who lives about five minutes away)
later on but now elected to visit her first.
the way, I silently berated myself for having said nothing but felt that
if I had chastised this woman, I would have embarrassed not only my host
and hostess but also my friend and her daughter who were celebrating Eid
ul Fitr for the first time.
could only mutter to my friend as we drove off, “That kind of behaviour
is totally un-Islamic.”
Father’s Day, I listened to the host of a morning talk show recount how
greatly he had been touched as he left his home that morning and was
greeted by the man who collected his garbage.
wrung the hearts of many listeners when he told us of this “poor man”
who had been up since “fo’day morning,” working steadily without a
morsel or drink having touched his lips while he, fortunate man, had
coffee made by his wife, etc, etc.. before he left for work.
waited with bated breath to hear him say that he had gone back into his
house and brought this man a cup of tea or coffee—whatever—but, to my
amazement and dismay, that was the end of the story.
forward to the past week when once again this nation has been presented
with the horrendous death of one of our children, an 11-year old boy of
we have a village of bleeding hearts telling the world how badly he was
treated, abused, ignored, despised; how he suffered at the hands of those
who were supposed to love, protect and guide him. Yet, it is only now that
he has died such a gruesome death that we hear the chorus of apportioning
blame and lamenting of abuse.
question one must ask is why was nothing said before?
was nothing done? Why did no one try to help or if they could not, why was
not a report of the abuse this child suffered made to the relevant
then, that would have meant getting involved and that is something that we
no longer do. Like the good people, we pass on the other side and leave it
to some Good Samaritan to come along and dirty his or her hands. Oh, we
are quick to trot out the banalities—“It takes a village to raise a
child”; “I am my brother’s keeper”.
country is enough to make the angels weep.
addition to living in fear for our own lives and those we love, we have
now descended into an abyss of greed, envy and hatefulness—where “a
joy ride and a free lunch” are what most of us appear to strive for.
is stuff to try the soul’s strength on …
Mathur will return next week.