A group of Pakistani stars have joined together and put together a song in an effort to re-define Islam as against terrorism.
I invite you to read the full article at the independent.co.uk
The song triggered a world-record-breaking petition in which 62.8 million Pakistanis united behind its title-message – Urdu for "This is Not Us".
For some additional highlights, keep on reading below the fold...
The article begins:
In a country where religion is capable of suspending war – Pakistan's security forces declared a ceasefire with the Taliban for the holy month of Ramadan – it might also have the power to stop it. That's what the stars behind the song "Ye Hum Naheen" were thinking in their quest to redefine Islam as anti-terrorist.
It's really quite a good story. The principals involved decided that they needed to do something to create a change in perceptions. In Waseem Mahmood's case, talking with his children was a strong motivating factor as well.
"The reality is, a few people are distorting Islam to their own agendas, but now, finally, the masses are standing up," declares the campaign's founder, Waseem Mahmood
"We felt it was important to put our own house in order first before we could tell the world," he says. "Foreign intervention is a valid reason for why all this is happening," he concedes, "but, at the end of the day, it is a Pakistani who will strap on a vest and will go and blow himself up. We can't alleviate poverty or change foreign policy – that's the job of the politicians – our job is to stop the man in the street from getting involved."
The part of the article that I found most inspiring was summarized here:
Signatures were gathered with lightning speed – the most overwhelming response coming from Peshawar on the North West Frontier, a renowned trouble spot for terrorist activity.
One of the volunteers responsible was 40-year-old mother Jamela Barveen, who for weeks quietly gathered signatures on a corner in one of the city's mid-range shopping districts.
"I tell them I come from a society which is fighting terrorism and if you agree this shouldn't be happening please sign," she says, clutching the petition, with a pen for those are literate enough to sign and an inkpot for those whose thumbprint will suffice.
So, in the person of Jamela Barveen and others like her, we have thousands of people united by a common purpose. Even within in an area many would consider hostile to their cause, they decided to take action by talking to friends, neighbors and even strangers on the street because they realized that some serious change needed to happen.
I wonder if there are any other issues, campaigns or problems that could start to be solved using similar methods?
Update: Here's the YouTube video, complete with English subtitles. Thank you very much to Rebecca74 for posting the link in the comments.