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Westernization and Modernization

By: Anna Kazmi

A Poison to Our Nation?

Freedom, independence, trust, money, a young adult can only ask for so much. And, truth be told, he should be granted these honours. But then again, one can only earn them, by proving oneself to one’s parents or guardian. But, what happens actually is quite the contrary. An individual considers his/her parents old-timers, and shallow-minded, if they do not let him/her have access to all the above-mentioned perks of young adulthood. Obviously, sometimes, it is because of the mistakes (s)he might have committed in the past that his/her parents are cautious of what liberty they may give. But, other times, the parents are just one of the handful of similar-minded folks who have not yet been blinded by the love for modernization, who have not yet been taken over by the evil of the West. Nowadays, most of the conflicts that arise between parents and their teenager kids start because they are not granted permission to go to some mixed gathering, or to attend a function that goes way into night. Most of those conflicts start and end with, “You don’t trust me. Do you?” And that is one of the very big consequences of sowing the seeds of westernization in our previously humble, Pakistani society. The children eventually start drifting apart from their parents with strange things, as mentioned above, in their minds.

Westernization has completely taken over our cultures, traditions and, above all, our religion too.

Westernization

The word sounds very nice, don’t you think? It gives off a little aroma of modernity and a little sense of pride. One feels, somewhat, powerful. One feels pleased to be counted among those who are considered ‘modern for common society’. Westernization. A little touch of “rich and high class” over there. Not wishing to be included in the “middle or low class” Yes, there it is. The undying sense of independence and the feeling of being able to do whatever and whenever we want. No one is going to object because it’s a free country. Isn’t it? No one would object to the fact that we give our four-year-olds our mobile phones, and that they are free to have their own phones by the age of ten. No one will object to the fact that we let our daughters dress up so vulgarly, and hang around with boys, not caring a fig what they might be up to. No one must object to the fact that slowly every able student from our country is opting to fly to Britain or the United States or even Italy, for better education. Most of them embark on a career and start living their lives there, disowning Pakistan and leaving it for the weak and “the escapists”. Pakistan, the mother that will take them all back in its arms, and salvage them when their lives are ruined, when they lose their jobs and homes because drugs and other such “perks” of independency at a young age in a different country, get the better out of them. They leave their homeland, thinking of her as a lost cause, and feeling sorry for those “stuck” there. All because it’s a norm. “Yes, I have completed my A Levels and now I am going to England for further studies, I’m nineteen, I’m sure I can take care of myself, my parents say so. No, I have thought of staying here, but then what’s the point? I could be very well off in England, serving that country – thanks to that Pakistan is slowly perishing – even though I know my services would be fruitful here”. Sounds familiar, right?

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This is what Westernization has done. It slowly crept the virus of O’ and A’ Levels into our society, knowing that it will flourish here, because everyone will pounce on it, and thus will make them hate the education of their own country, and once this is done, they will go to other nations, in search of “better education” – greener pastures – and Pakistan is set to be doomed. It has made us forget our values, our religion, our customs and our culture.

Religion, the one thing around which all lives revolve. For us, it is Islam, since we, you know, are Muslims. Or … are we? What is Islam? Is it, God forbid, holding parties that last till 4:00 am, boys and girls together, blasting and dancing to all sorts of balderdash “music”? Or is it meeting up with friends, and drinking like it is a normal thing, or drinking just to seem cool, or drinking especially because it is haram? Is it walking around, exposing every part of your body that you can, in any way that may seem fit; wearing clothes only because it is an obligation? Or is it hearing the Imam calling the Azaan, and yet sitting in bed like a recalcitrant idiot, carrying on whatever it is you’re doing, pretending you didn’t hear it, or just saying, “I won’t miss it tomorrow, I promise,” because it makes you feel better? Is it having objectionable relations with the opposite sex, just because there is no one who would know, or is going to stop you? Is this Islam? Is this all what Islam teaches us? Is this why our ancestors gave their lives in order to keep Islam pure and alive for the future generations? Is this what our parents have taught us? Don’t we all have to die one day and aren’t we going to be answerable to God? Is Westernization really that much of a necessity to follow that we forget our religion? Does no one see what an Englishman is trying to do? It pains me to see how the love for modernism has made everyone forget their roots. It is a shame. This is not what our Prophet (PBUH) talked of when he (PBUH) prayed to God about the fate of his Ummah. Such a disappointment we are to him! Does all this not make you hate yourself? It makes me! How we have let England and the United States take over our Pakistan, the country that came into being in the name of Islam, but where the most un-Islamic things happen in reality. If this is goes on, if the West continues to take over, what will become of us? Our national dress, the shalwar kameez, is nothing more than a theme at some parties, or the uniform for girls at school. The Westernized clothes are what we are going to wear, because we don’t want to be the odd one out. The girls will not wear a dupatta because, you know, it’s not “attractive”.

We have changed. The West has changed us and will continue to do so until we are fully in its grasp. We have to wake up, stop letting the West control us. This is not who we are, not what our religion wants us to be, not a true Pakistani.

Westernization is a poison and it will spread through our one, Muslim body, if we do not stand up to this. Realize this. For our nation.

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