Tuesday, May 18, 2010

These are Dangerous Days

I've been reading whatever articles about Muslims show up on MSN.com and Slate.com such as pieces about the Burqa ban in France and a couple of spreads about individuals such as the American hikers and a Newsweek reporter who broke Iranian law. After reading the articles, I make the mistake of reading the "comments" section. Ugh. There's a lot of Muslim bashing going on those comment sections! I sometimes can not stop myself from reading the comments because I have a desire to know what other people think, especially about Islam. A couple of my impressions is that all Muslims are lumped together, and I don't just mean the 'crazies' who practice terrorism or wife beating, but all sects and interpretations of Islam as well. I'm all for the unity of Muslims, however, it is important to acknowledge the differences in Muslims so that a wider view and understanding can be established when evaluating the world. Of course there's no point in dwelling in the differences either---even among practicing Muslims there is a notion that 'so and so' is NOT a Muslim because he or she drinks alcohol or dresses against the dress code or doesn't have a beard! I saw that on The View and on Yahoo.com there were some discussion about the new Miss USA. She's an Arab Christian (from what I gather) with mixed heritage including--wait for it--Muslim relatives--which has lead to some "talk" about how she must be a supporter of Hezbollah and/or how she and the beauty pageant circuits must now clarify: She is NOT Muslim people, so relax and enjoy! Sort of like when President Barack Obama and his peeps had to go around and keep saying, Don't worry people, I AM NOT A MUSLIM, okay?!! And don't even get me started on the comments section of YouTube videos about Islam. Yikes, that's scary and saddening stuff.

Anyhow, I still got a good feeling about people in the real world when it comes to relating to me as a Muslim. Most people are cool. Still, I do not wear my scarf all the time these days because, well, I'm still not comfortable with it. Sometimes I wish I was like some other 'hijabi' females that I know of who feel very connected to the scarf and wear it with passion.

Still, back to the top. After reading and responding (yes, I often submit my comments in reply to the others) on those articles about Islam, I come away with some thoughts and feelings. Perhaps I feel paranoid and too sensitive afterwards, but I start worrying about the future, if somehow the environment will get too hostile to anything resembling Muslim or Arab and that me and my family will just have to move away to I don't even know where! Since I'm a Shia Muslim, I've thought about moving to Iran---a statement that I type with hesitation--not only because I don't want to leave America--but just because the mention of Iran strikes "terror" into the minds of most. But I've studied a bit about Iran and it is not the evil empire that is presented in the media. Still, I almost did not want to type this idea up for fear that someone in the FBI or what not would blacklist me or my blog or start tapping my phones. That wouldn't happen right? Seriously, I'm not one of those hyper-conspiracy people. But apparently the FBI has started a so-called "community outreach" program in which agents go around and question Muslims. My husband was questioned. Can you believe it? This was last year and I couldn't believe it! They asked him about his involvement in our Muslim community center and about his knowledge of the then resident Alim/Imam/Minister person. Gladly, my husband passed with flying colors so they have not 'contacted' him since, but the whole thing did scare me a little. This reminds me of a song by Sinead O'connor, "Black Boys on Mopeds." It's a beautiful song. It just makes me want to cry right now. She sings, "These are dangerous days, to say what you feel is to make your own grave...Remember what I told you, If they hated me, they will hate you." I love Sinead, and oh how sad I would be to find out if she holds a negative view of the giant umbrella that is known as Islam. But I still hold out hope that she doesn't...

hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n14lwdpYkAA"

Margareth Thatcher on TV
Shocked by the deaths that took place in Beijing
It seems strange that she should be offended
The same orders are given by her

I've said this before now
You said I was childish and you'll say it now
"Remember what I told you
If they hated me they will hate you"

England's not the mythical land of Madame George and roses
It's the home of police who kill black boys on mopeds
And I love my boy and that's why I'm leaving
I don't want him to be aware that there's
Any such thing as grieving

Young mother down at Smithfield
5 am, looking for food for her kids
In her arms she holds three cold babies
And the first word that they learned was "please"

These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave
"Remember what I told you
If you were of the world they would love you"

England's not the mythical land of Madame George and roses
It's the home of police who kill blacks boys on mopeds
And I love my boy and that's why I'm leaving
I don't want him to be aware that there's
Any such thing as grieving.


Edana said...

I also have read youtube comments about Islam. It saddens me simply because people can be full of such hate. Worse, they are fine with the situation! They aren't working to understand or to work through their hatred.

When Islam comes up in conversation, I say "Islam is so beautiful." I think that's a lot coming from a non-Muslim. But, Islam is beautiful!

Scarf Ace said...

Thank you for your comment, Edana.

I think all religions at their core and as revealed are beautiful. Because God is beautiful. It's people who mess everything up.

Edana said...

Agreed! :)