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(25): RE: We are Individuals; they are also Individuals (II)

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from a friend on this article. He ‘requested’ me to remove it from my blog as it makes the subject I discussed mad. It was actually more than a request, for I could sense a sort of threat in his husky voice that I either comply or face the music. I can’t give in to that. Here is Veena’s reaction and subsequently my reply. This I believe balances the equation.



Hi Muhammad,

I hope you know Jesus Christ wasn't a drunkard.

Just like having a pint of beer doesn't make one an alcoholic.

Your facts are unchecked and unconfirmed, leaves your entire buzzworthy online debate on a teen smoker a farce. Also, that's wrong journalism as:

i) On receipt of a report or article of public interest and benefit containing imputations or comments against a citizen, the editor should check with due care and attention its factual accuracy apart from other authentic sources- with the person or the organisation concerned to elicit his/her or its version, comments or reaction and publish the same alongside with due correction in the report where necessary.

ii) One should not publish anything which is manifestly defamatory or libellous against any individual/organisation unless after due care and verification, there is sufficient reason/evidence to believe that it is true and its publication will be for public good.'

Leaving that aside.

I skipped mentioning in our talks that although I wouldn't go as far as saying I am against polygamy, I'm not a supporter of it. Sexual promiscuity might lead to STDs, world population is already on an increase, and the set up which it comes out of is patriarchal in nature. And let's not even start to talk about its emotional ramifications on women. 

Reasons I refrained? Like I am entitled to my opinion on the subject, so is the other person. I respect individual opinions and choices, I respect what I may not understand or practice myself. Which translates into, I have opinions, I dont shove them in people's faces. I dont shove them in people's faces getting lead on by the idea that mine are superior to others' and/because they are 'right'.

You've been taught to correct wrongdoing by any of the three ways you mentioned. I have learned not to categorize subjective matters into realms of wrong and right, not to step into another's persons space and vehemently propagate my ideas.

What did you get of it? Could you help your friend, make her 'stop' smoking and save her health?

No.

Was that the primary objective of the article? No. 

Did you once ask me, 'Veena, do you smoke?'

You ended your blog article saying you think you overvalued this friendship since the beginning. I would want you to reconsider.

MY REPLY:

Hello, Veena

You have finally responded; better late than never. I admire your courage, no; your audacity. Although I don’t agree with most, if not all, of what your rebuttal contains, let me say thanks, for I had had expected a harsher or worse reply. Yet you sound calm and composed. So, ride on, Miss ***. Below are my observations:

1)      A careful perusal of your response convinced me that you are not denying the fact that you do smoke, only that you don’t do it anyhow; second, it is your life. Yes to both. But have you ever reflected that a ladder is climbed from its first step to the top? I wouldn’t want you to reach atop. Your life, yes; no doubt your life is yours as I said in the article. But I care about your life. Crazy me. You nonetheless reserve the right to tell me: go to hell!

2)      I have got substantiated proof that you smoke. How? Following hearing more than much about the ‘rumour’ raging around like a bush fires that “your friend Veena is a smoker”, I carefully and diplomatically tried to talk to you into it, but you cleverly evaded it. Later, your smoking mates conceded to me that you indeed do. I also smelt it more than once on you. Need I say more?

3)      For your information, more than 70% of male’s population in the world is overtly or covertly polygamous. I suppose you know the meaning of “mistress” and “adultery”? The words have been in dictionary for a thousand and one year, then why do they exist? Only the Muslims are denounced, for they (we) associate it to our faith, which is, especially nowadays, subjected to mockery, abuse and worse due to sheer ignorance and the exaggerating effect of media. But this is a topic for another discussion, for I consider anything religious personal and somehow sensitive.

Above notwithstanding, Veena, think with your head and heart. Don’t just follow the trend. It will lead you to trench and torture. Inasmuch as I always avoid praising myself, for it’s aptly said: let others see your deeds and judge, I think I will say something here. I wish I had somebody who had the guts to tell me what I have been telling you without expecting any reward; in fact I risk being cursed. Yet I tell you.

By the way, we are observing Ramadan. You forget to wish me a blessed Ramadan.

Best wishes,

Muhammad 

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