Saturday, February 18, 2006

What is Wrong With the Human Race?

Every Saturday, during the regular school year, I drop off my son at the Wheable Adult Education Centre in London, Ontario, where two foreign language programs for the area are hosted. He is presently in grade nine of the German Language program. There is also an Arabic Language Program, and its population of students, not surprisingly, is much larger than that of the corresponding German program.

Because I donate my services to the German School of London website as webmaster, I usually walk my son to his classroom and check around to see if anyone in the German program needs me for anything. As I walked towards the school today, I noticed a car parked in front, hood open, a puddle of water below, and steam dissipating into the frigid air. Beside the car was an obviously distraught Muslim woman. Meanwhile, scores of Muslim students rushed into the school and nearly as many Muslim dads drove away, after having dropped off their children. I glanced over to the car to assess the situation, figured that a Muslim man would soon come to the rescue, then entered the school with my son.

Some time later, I left the school. I noticed that the woman was now sitting in her car and that the engine was running. I walked over to the car to check on the situation. The woman watched me approach but made no effort to open a window to speak with me. I stood there for a moment beside her car, feeling foolish and wondering what to do. I finally decided that if she didn't have help coming soon, her engine would seize up and she would be in a heap of trouble. I tapped on her window, motioned to her to roll it down, and she hesitantly obliged. I don't know what was going through her head. I'm not really sure that I want to know.

I asked her if someone was coming to help. No, no-one was coming. Today is one of the coldest days of the year so far, -19 ° Centigrade or about 2° Fahrenheit. It is not a day to be stranded outside.

The woman volunteered, in broken English, that 'smoke' had been coming out of her engine, and that she didn't know what to do. I explained to her that her engine had overheated, that what was coming out of the engine was steam, and that unless she wanted her engine to seize up she should turn off the engine. I told her I would help her.

I went to the office of the Arabic Languages Program in the building, explained the problem, and the woman in attendance called a custodian to help me find a bucket and some water. After I emptied about two gallons of water into the radiator, I followed the woman to a garage where someone would be able to fix the underlying problem. After I made sure that the woman and her car were going to be safe, I drove to my office which is where I usually spend my time while my son is at German School.

End of story, sort of.

I have some questions though. Why didn't any of the Muslim men stop to help the woman. Was it because she is a woman and thereby unworthy of their attention? Was it because they simply didn't give a shit? Was it too cold for them? And why didn't any of the Muslim teenagers stop to help? Many of them are of driving age and probably know much more about cars than I do. What if it had been my wife or another infidel female stranded there, would any Muslim have stopped to help?

I don't know.

What I did was no big deal. People should help each other. It's the right thing to do. I just wish that even one Muslim male had made some tiny effort to help. A display of common human decency from any Muslim would have made my day.

Sometimes I am just so damned ashamed of the human race.


  1. Sieg, I don't know how to put this delicately, but these folks have been killing people and burning things lately - over a bunch of stupid newspaper cartoons, no less.
    NOT exactly "Good Samaritan Club" members, if you catch my drift.

  2. You're right, Ted, but that is why a small act of kindness would go a long way. The Muslims are making all this fuss about being a religion of peace, all the while murdering Christians and other 'infidels' wherever they are in the majority. They complain about how Muslims are treated in the west, all the while extending few rights to non-Muslims themselves.

    I am naive in the extreme, I know. I am always looking for everyone to do the right thing, to walk the talk, to shun hypocrisy. That is why I get so frustrated.

  3. Guys,

    I don't know the situation there in Canada, but I really don't think that her worthiness was a factor in other Muslim not helping her. I am from Kerala in India, and here women are not looked down on. rather I would help her in such a situation, considering her to be in the same position as my mother (she has a license to drive, but really would have no clue as to what's wrong with the car, if something were to happen like this :), Let me point out that women rarely learn to drive or have license here in India ). I think as Canada is less conservative than India, such bigotry would not be there in their minds, again I say, I really don't know the real situation there.

    Let me ask u, why it did not cross ur minds that men, or teenagers other than Muslims could have helped her, but did not till u came along. why this distinction? if u r are condemning the Muslim men for not helping her, u should also condemn the other men too for not helping her, as they too could have done it. the same rule should have applied to all.

    If it were here in India I don't think it would cross my mind the religion of the person who needs help and that other of that group did not help her. I would take it as a chance to get to know the person more if he or she is different from me.

    I think there is already some bias in ur ppl's thoughts abt how we as Muslims would behave. u are being partial. :).

    I grew up in Abu Dhabi, in United Arab Emirates ( U.A.E.) There are a lot of non Muslims also who had like us gone there to earn their bread, but I don't think Christians or for that matter any other group were murdered like u say. In those places where Muslims are in a majority, I don't think any such killings has happened, but I may have just not heard abt such incidents. Let us take for example Taliban in Afghanistan the most militant of all Muslim governments, I don't remember any incidents where non Muslims were killed simply cos of their religion. The killings (I am referring to sept 11 and other attacks) were done by terrorist outfits and not by Muslim ruled governments (although the Taliban did supported the Al Qaeda). If it's right to blame the Muslim citizens of Afghanistan for the actions of Osama, then it would not be wrong to blame the American Citizens for the deaths of innocent ppl in Iraq due to the actions of the American Army.

    Still Osama was wrong in bombing and attacking the US. And similarly Americans and others where wrong in attacking Iraq. Whoever gave Osama and Bush the right to attack someone else...

    In Orissa, India here there has been an incident sometime ago, when a Australian-born Christian missionary Graham Stewart Staines and his two sons were burnt alive in their car, but these were done by a militant Hindu outfit. But I know many Hindus, most of them are very nice peaceful ppl. Most of them condemn such violence.

    I think the reason, most of u ( westerners) think like this is cos u don't know any Muslims well, other than what u read in papers and see on TV. Let me point out that for each violent protest that happened, that was shown on TV and came in the newspapers, there were a hundred marches that were quite peaceful. these went unreported cos they were not violent.

    On alighter note, I like talking with ppl who have a different point of view. :)

    Sameer Bin Khalid

  4. Thank you, Sameer, for your comment. You pose a good question. Why didn't I chastise non-Muslim males for not helping out? Because I didn't see any until I had already started to help the woman myself. The Muslim population of the school is much larger than the non-Muslim population, and they seem to arrive earlier than the German students and their parents. I'm not sure why that is. I almost always arrive early myself, because of my functions as webmaster for the German School website.

    I always try to point out that I have absolutely nothing against Muslims or the Muslim religion. I just want to be left in peace, a courtesy I am quite happy to extend to Muslims and everyone else, as long as they don't try to harm or kill me or interfere in my life in any way.

    The sort of dialogue we are having here is the way things should work. We are all human beings and not one of us is inherantly better than another. What differentiates human beings from one another is their behaviour, not their race, religion or gender. Behave badly and you deserve derision and contempt. Behave well and you deserve accolades and admiration.

    Thanks for joining the dialogue here!