If The Name Is Khan, February 2010

If the name is Khan then it is no point in saying that you are not a terrorist. In order to be able to say that you are not a terrorist to your victim you have to sacrifice yourself. Martyrdom in Islam is all over the place, the innocents among the Muslims must pay to expiate the sin of all other Muslims who kill innocent kafirs. No Muslim can say that she or he will not die when the blood of an innocent non-believer has been shed. In the name of Allah, this is jihad, to be killed when your own brother has killed.
My Name is Khan is SRK’s version of the Koran, its teachings, its tenets. The interpretations are not the soft peddling of the religion by the liberal Muslims, nor are these attempts to just make the liberal Muslim disappear into a crowd of secularists and “non-believers.” His is an interpretation by which a jihad can be raised again, a bloody sacrifice be demanded once more and no Muslim, worth the faith can remain outside it. Khan is not a liberal Muslim, he is a fundamentalist. He does not believe in claiming to be liberal and stay away from the war that the fellow Muslims are waging against the non-believers. He is prepared to die in this war; Islam says that if Muslims slay the innocent, then the innocent brothers must pay for it through shedding their own blood. Khan is prepared for the jihad in which he will be martyred to expiate for the sins of Muslims. Enmeshed and intertwined within a story of stereotyping of Muslims in the USA, Khan accepts the stereotype and moves towards fulfilling it. Muslims will have to die whether liberal or fundamentalist, because Muslims are the chosen people.

Khan’s wanderings are articulated as a journey, possibly by the copywriter at Reebok. But in the best of my understanding, it is not a journey; it is a wandering. Khan is no pilgrim who proceeds unidirectionally towards a goal. He wants to find the President and talk to him to say that he is not a terrorist. In these wanderings he finds various people but it is the Muslims, sometimes as his co-passengers or at other times as just people who cross his ways who help him and even recognize him. A Muslim alone can recognize a darvesh; only chosen people of a faith can have such mutual recognition. This is why Khan never gets to meet the President Bush and only meets Obama, because the latter is also Barack Hussain Obama, again a Muslim who has recognized a fellow Muslim.

Muslims cannot truly communicate with other communities. An attempt at a Hindu marriage also made Khan sad when his wife turned her hatred towards him. But only those, one white American and one black, both who lost their sons to wars against Muslims, namely in Afghanistan and Iraq helped his family. Through bloodshed and violence these two families, one white and one black have drawn closer to Muslims; being killed by Muslims has made them become empathizers of the community, a concept of bonding through sacrifice, the id-ud-zoha.

There is another kind of a bonding; those who have been attacked on mistaken identities as Muslims, namely the Sikh. In such cases, there is again a bonding with the Muslims, a camaderie through a shared fate, id-ul-fitr.

The Muslim has no choice if born a Muslim and this is because he/she has been chosen by the will of God to be a Muslim. This passive fatalism leads Khan to align himself to the will of God and when he visits as the darvesh the people in distress, Allah’s blessings dawn upon him as he is able to create a community support for a flood devastated village.

Khan’s jihad is no less a martyrdom than that of the jihadis. But through the genius of his memory, Khan quotes the Koran to remind us that the terrorist is driven by the Satan while jihadis like he who are prepared to lay down their lives as a punishment of crimes committed by terrorists are the chosen folk of God.

Khan says that fear not death; for that will wash the sins of your brothers and help people who live on to see the light of your faith. Therefore, Muslims, accept that you are Muslims, the chosen one, and die for the people who your brothers have killed for no fault of theirs..

About secondsaturn

Independent Scholar. Polymath.
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