August 23, 2010
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. We've all heard the phrase "moderate muslim" thrown around ALOT recently... in the news... on fb... on youtube... however you get your information. It's the only way mainsteam Americans can refer to Muslims it appears. Well I have a little to say on this point:
I am NOT a "moderate" muslim. I am NOT a "wahhabist" (which isn't actually correct terminology but debating minor points isn't the reason I am writing this post). I am NOT an "extremist". I am not a "______" anything.
I AM A MUSLIM. I follow the Qur'an and the sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws). I follow the paths of all of the prophets and messengers sent by Allah from before. I strive to do what's right for myself, my family, my deen, my community...
I am not an apologist. I do not apologize for anything that others have done in the name of Islam, under it's banner, using their religion incorrectly. Just as I do not expect every Catholic I meet to apologize to me for the nasty goings-on of some of their clergy because I am open enough to realize that BAD PEOPLE DO BAD THINGS.
I also do not condemn those of my brothers and sisters overseas who fight against the invasion of their homes, the disruption of the lives, the molding of their futures by powers they cannot control.
I do however have zero tolerance for people who twist the words of Allah to justify ruthless slayings, or to imprison (literally and figuratively) their female relatives, or any of the other million and one things IMPERFECT people try to get by with doing.
Sometimes the pressure of being a religious minority is heavy on me. I love giving dawah and I do strive to uphold Islamic principals in my day to day life. (I'm not a jumah-only muslim.) Sometimes though I have a bad day, maybe I'm grouchy or I don't feel good or my kids gave me a hard time or maybe I am tired or in a hurry and I miss an opportunity to show through my actions the beauty of Islam.
I hate to feel that, like the terrorists who committed 9/11, I will be the face of an entire religion for anyone I meet that day.
I long sometimes to pack it up and move overseas. Now before anyone starts to criticize me, please remember I've been to a couple of different Muslim-majority countries. I know it's harder to live there, I know I would miss all the comforts of home. I know all of the negatives, really I do.
But there is just that draw. I am not so delusional (anymore!) to really think every muslim I meet will love me and feel I am their sisters in Islam, give me a great big "salaam" and we become insta-friends. :-D You know, I would settle just to be able to go into a doctor's office and not have to go through a page-long explanation when I do not shake their hand, or to walk on the street and not have that little niggly feeling that something could happen because of the hijab on my head. Or, wonder of all wonder, to be allowed to worship in peace and build religious centers wherever there is land and money enough available.
To all of the thinking, feeling, understanding, and open individuals who realize Islam is not twisted, it's not to be feared, and we, like all other religious entities in the US, deserve the protection of the Constitution, I thank you. Truly.