Not every Muslim is a terrorist – A letter of humanity from Afghanistan

Disclaimer: This article is only intended to paint a picture of my experience traveling in Afghanistan. I take no responsibility for the interpretation made out of this; I would like to clear the fact that I hold no religious view while narrating my story. This does not concern or meant to uphold any values other than humanity.

July 2015, I decided I will visit Kabul, Afghanistan. It was my first visit to an Islamic country. I had my own fears living under a stereotype like every other Indian. It was an obvious choice that I will keep my visit under wraps for the evident security reasons. It was not my fault as I had my own concerns  about my own security. Well, that will change soon and I will tell you exactly how.

My Afghan friend had come down to Airport to pick me up. Almost 6 tier security to be cleared before coming out of airport, The Airport entrance is atleast 500m away from the airport gate. Afghanistan had security system in place and it was for all right concerns.

Afghanistan Travel Blog – A home away from home

I was staying with my friend’s family, a family full of care and affection. I entered home to be welcomed by Dada(Friend’s Uncle) into their family with a warm hug. I was then introduced to all the younger members of family. I never for a second felt I was a stranger there. I did not speak their language and it was my first visit to an Islamic nation.

My history, my purpose, my nationality or my religion was never a concern to them. Not even one in the room asked me anything related to it. First question that popped out was “Are you tired after a long journey?”. I didn’t speak their language but even that didn’t stop them from making an effort to smile with joy. My friend translated the language but not the emotions. I could understand it all by myself.

Afghanistan Travel Blog - Me at Kabul dry fruits market

Me at Kabul dry fruits market

Did I tell you it was the holy Ramadaan month when I visited Kabul? I got to experience each and every aspect of fasting and praying. Islam never taught anyone how to take lives, instead it shows how you go about spreading love and care in your society. It was evident by seeing the way this small family lived. They were not the richest in the town but they made me feel like a King of their own small world.

Though they never broke their fast, they always made sure I was getting 3 meals a day. We used to sit together at 7:00pm daily for the Iftaar and I ate food specially cooked to fit my taste. The younger lot had lots of questions and in no time I was one amongst them. I could see the hunger in their eyes but smile never faded away. Money is hard to come by here due to sensitive political situation, that never stopped them from spend time with family and friends with lots of joy all around. They prayed 5 times a day and believed in god as a very positive aspect that drives life.

Afghanistan Travel Blog - Iftaar dinner with afghani family

Iftaar dinner with my Afghani family

Afghanistan Travel Blog – Taliban is still a major threat here

Yes, Taliban is still a threat here; in this fragile situation peace is hard to prosper. With uncertainty prevailing all around, people tend to live under the dark clouds of a negative political scenario. Even Muslims here live under the fear of Taliban. Super powers who have exploited the economic importance of this region have given rise to Taliban and other terrorist group.

World today has stereotyped Muslims to be terrorists, the people who create such impressions are the people with political ambitions and those who believe in it are those who are easily influenced. I am not trying to say terrorists are not Muslims, all I am trying to say is few Muslims who are influenced by misinterpretation of Quran owing to poverty and difficulty of livelihood go out of religion without even realizing the loss of lives caused by them. They will not be aware of the larger political scenario they may be facilitating with their extreme activities.

In this self-realization I had reached my last night of stay in Afghanistan, my friend’s family had planned a huge send off by offering me one of the best dinners of my life. The most important ingredient of this feast was their love, that is something which cannot be matched.  A stay of 8 days away from home in India I was with a second family in Kabul. This travel changed me a lot as a person, Islam as a religion gained respect and I gained that maturity to not call every Muslim a terrorist.

Afghan Travel Blog : Loads of Improvement needed

Not many are matured enough to understand a very complicated situation mankind has created in this aspect, to the world Muslims come out as terrorists as most of the activities are taken up by them. It is not people’s mistake either. Media plays a huge role in this; unfortunately most of them are pumped and often portray everything in wrong light. 

Afghanistan Travel Blog - traditional Afghan dress

Traditional Afghan dress

Youngsters here came to me seeking a platform to study; most of them want to move out of country for a job. Their passion for science and technology is real yet undermined often. I was a mere traveler who felt helpless to see lots of ignited minds without facilities. Health facilities is not modernized, infrastructure needs improvement.

Afghanistan travel blog : Afghanistan shared Cab Ride

Afghanistan shared Cab Ride

If People instead of devoting time towards building terrorists groups for personal gains had devoted time towards the betterment of millions of Muslims here; purpose of Islam would have been served right. Instead everything is neglected and now worst scenario is people who follow Islam are being killed by those Muslims who work under misinterpretation of Islam. There is no reason for us to not punish those who have taken up such extreme steps to create an unbalance in society.

Afghan Travel Blog : Humanity is the only way forward!!!

We have reached a situation where we can’t accept terrorism without Islam tag attached to it nor deny it with umpteen evidences in front of us. For me it was time to bid final goodbye to the Afghan family which turned out to be my second home by now. Little Salimona held my legs tight not wanting to see me go, dada’s eyes were filled with tears. I cried and a part of me wanted to stay back sometime more. It was final good bye hug and a long travel to Airport full of emotions.

We may fail to accept terrorism without Islam or fail to gain maturity to understand the complex situation humans have created for themselves. However can we try to speak through the language of humanity? What we see on TV sets may be false but do those tears in Dada’s eyes lie? Does a little kid Salimona’s innocent love for this brother lie? No!!! If we all embrace humanity and use it as a language to communicate we can never go wrong.

Afghanistan Travel Blog - Me with Salimoa

Me with Salimoa

If we show humanity we get humanity, that’s above all of us. Be it Allah or Jesus or Ram, no god would ever punish anyone who spreads love and treat people with respect. It is high time we realize the importance of things other than money before we script our own end of existence. Hope I made some sense of what I tried to convey. Stay Blessed!!

8 Responses

  1. Renu Kumar says:

    I do not read everything I come across. Your write-up started with excitement and I was expecting the same to carry till the end. You over exceeded my expectations. How many of us get the opportunity to travel to Afghanistan? And how many of us can think it is such a great place with great people around? Really hats off to you Yashas for taking the time and effort to pen down a splendid experience….thank you so much

  2. Yashas says:

    Thank you for such kind words Renu, my effort to bring reality closer to people is fruitful only by people like you who take some time out in understanding the situations rather than getting critical about it..keep it going buddy 🙂

  3. Raghavendra Yaraganal says:

    Good one Yashas .. Loved it though I always believed that there is good and bad in every society and community , its an eye opener to many who are unaware of it. Hats off my friend.

  4. PKR says:

    Awesome Macha…

  5. Kishore says:

    Great job done yashas, first of all even to think about travelling to such a fragile country, which earned a name as mother of terrorism, it requires nerve of steel to go there and stay for 8 days, but you clearly had given all readers a different perspective about this beautiful country and people. I am really encouraged to pen down Afghanistan a futures destination of travel. Thank you for writing.

  6. Yashas says:

    Thank you Kishore. It was this very reason which pushed to me to visit this amazing country, we often tend to drive ourselves based on what has been imposed upon us by the paid media. I wanted to show or tell people what exactly is the situation there. Glad that it has gone out in the right direction. You should definitely visit once, Thank you again.

  7. Abhishek Nirgudkar says:

    Great blog yashas. Keep doing the good things and let others also know that humanity still present in the world.

  8. Satish Murthy says:

    I think more and more people should read this write up to turn their negative thoughts positive.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. This definitely is an eye opener.

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