Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, News & Relevant Topics, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics, The World Wars

LiveJournal: Today | June 14th 2017

This is an old post from my LiveJournal account that I’ve recently cleaned up but didn’t want to completely get rid of everything and I’m glad that I’ve preserved my about half dozen entries or so because this is a very important one. Anti-Semitism (and racism and discrimination in general) is rampant and never seems to go away. Did you look at CNN or any other American news outlet recently? The entire country is going crazy. Up here in Canada it’s not nearly as bad, but we certainly aren’t free from the monster. In the near future I want to continue posting about this topic because I can’t just sit here and do nothing anymore, despite that I’ve never felt so powerless in my life before.


Date originally posted: June 14th 2017 (7:23 p.m.)

Mood: anxious

Not much to add today, just my roommates driving me crazy for the millionth time. The more this goes on the more I want to live alone. Of course many things need to happen in order for that to happen before I’m able to do that, but I might just get that process started. I think it would do me some good to get away from all of this. Of course there are many advantages to having a roommate or two, the biggest one being that things like rent are far less expensive. When they were all gone a few weeks ago I stayed home alone with my cat just watching TV and it got really lonely after the first week, but it was nice to just unwind after so much tension everywhere. I usually don’t go far or do much, but the two of them bring a lot of drama home and unfortunately I can’t exactly escape. We all share the same apartment.

Otherwise tomorrow it’s my birthday. At last! I was really getting hungry for my cake and other junk food today. I wasn’t sure I wanted one this year because my mind is elsewhere but I ended up deciding to invite some people over and just take the day to relax and regroup. I’m no fan of conventional birthday parties, I much prefer a relaxing day spent in good company and thinking about things than matter than going crazy. I might wanna go to the park and read the Quran or something, that is if the weather holds up for an outdoor adventure. I haven’t checked the weather forecast yet today but most of the time it’s not accurate in this region. Things change way too fast and the best way to determine the weather is to look outside the window.

I finally got back to going on WordPress and Tumblr regularly after not really being there for a while and only posting a few minor things. I changed most of my names (not username, just public name) on my social media to 42375 which is the number I picked for my tattoo, which was my grandpa’s service number during WWII. Honestly it makes me sad to see all the rampant anti-Semitism all over the place, from right here down the street to governments and institutions spreading it around across a good chunk of the Middle East. It’s truly unfortunate that many Muslims are systematically taught to hate Jews despite that the two communities have lived in peace for over a thousand years until just very recently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Personally, I believe in a two-state solution. Each person and each nation has the right to be itself and to live in peace. Peace, isn’t that what we all want?

After all of these years there’s no way to have peace if you give the whole land to only one side. The other will rise up and cause another conflict because there has been way too much meddling from all sides including the outside for this to ever end peacefully because each person believes that the place is rightfully theirs (I won’t get into that right now) and unless there’s a compromise with each side getting something equal, tensions are only going to rise more and more. You cannot blame the entire Jewish population for what an oppressive regime is doing and you can’t blame the entire Muslim population for what a few radical Palestinians are doing either. Everything about this situation seems to have been tainted by everybody meddling in it without ever bringing about a resolution.

I hate it how Islam is often portrayed as being some anti-Semitic cult because of that ongoing conflict. We are supposed to maintain good relations with Jews (and all others for that matter), not hate them or want them gone from the face of the Earth. Plenty of Muslims perished during the Holocaust too, as well as Polish and Slavic people, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies, communists and endless others despite that the number of Jews was much greater than any of the other “unwanted minorities.” We also forget the stories of the Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust, the most famous stories being the ones of the Albanian Muslims. Muslim-majority Albania was the only European country that had more Jews after the war ended than before it started.

Have we forgotten about all the imams (not to mention countless other individual Muslims) who visited Auschwitz on more than one occasion? The photo below is from a trip in 2013 and there was another one in 2010. Undoubtedly in moments of anger we’ve all wanted to figuratively send someone to Auschwitz, but emotional reactions during a conflict are completely different than the horrors that actually happend there and all the other camps like it. If I can take any lesson from this it’s that we must stop making issues and conflicts all about ourselves and instead focus on humanity, because the world needs a whole lot more of that right now.

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Muslim leaders from across the globe paid tribute Holocaust victims this week during a visit to Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, where they prayed at the Wall of Death for those who were killed by genocide and suffered under violent anti-Semitism.

The imams, who hailed from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bosnia, Palestine, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and the United States, performed Islamic prayers while facing Mecca as part of a Holocaust awareness visit organized in part by the International Religious Freedom office of the U.S. State Department.

“What can you say? You’re speechless. What you have seen is beyond human imagination,” Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the U.S.-based Islamic Society of North America, told Agence France-Presse.

“Whether in Europe today or in the Muslim world, my call to humanity: End racism for God’s sake, end anti-Semitism for God’s sake, end Islamophobia for God’s sake, end sexism for God’s sake… Enough is enough,” said Magid, who leads the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Northern Virginia.

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Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Social Issues & Politics

My Fellow Muslims, We Must Fight Anti-Semitism

This is not a new post (in fact it’s from 2002) but it’s still relevant in the rise of hate crimes all across North America and Europe against minorities of many kinds, including Muslims and Jews. Unfortunately in Canada Jews and Black people are the most frequent victims of these hate crimes. While much is said about racism, so few people (both Muslims and not) are willing to tackle the issue of rampant antisemitism. Antisemitism is wrong and we must unite against it.

Posted in Français, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, News & Relevant Topics, Social Issues & Politics

Tuée par son père parce qu’elle fréquentait un musulman

Voilà, les islamophobes! Les musulmans ne sont pas les seuls coupables de crimes d’honneur. Ceci est un chrétien en Israël qui a assassiné sa fille parce qu’elle fréquentait un musulman. Les crimes d’honneur sont interdits en islam. C’est une pratique culturelle barbare qui doit s’arrêter indépendamment de la foi ou de la nationalité.
Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, News & Relevant Topics, Social Issues & Politics

It’s For You To Know That You Forgive

I’ve posted about forgiveness across different religions and traditions many times before but after seeing this story while researching the Holocaust for a book, I felt compelled to share it. The Scriptures have commanded us to forgive since the beginning of Judaism and science backs up the benefits of forgiveness on a person’s health and well being too. Now read this story for yourself and be inspired ❤

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

If You’re Husband Isn’t Muslim…

When I browse Islamic websites seeking various opinions from different schools about something in particular I always come across the very same issue: what happens if a woman converts to Islam but her husband doesn’t? So many people are quick to say that she must divorce him on the spot, seemingly without consideration for anything else.

Personally, if I was a man and my wife left me like that you could be certain I would want nothing to do with Islam because it cost me my family, my everything. I find such to be absolutely insane because the Quran places such a high importance on family, marriage and a strong foundation for society. Destroying it like that doesn’t make sense to me, quite frankly I think it’s un-Islamic, and I am far from the only person who shares this opinion.

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This was originally posted on the Facebook page for The Conscious Muslim and shared two years ago in July 2015 and shared on Tumblr. This isn’t about whether or not a Muslim woman is allowed to many a non-Muslim man (Jew or Christian) because that’s a separate issue, but I previously posted about a woman staying with her non-Muslim husband after her conversion also upholding Shaykh Hamza’s point of view. It may be a minority view for the moment but with valid and sound evidence to back it up.

I also wanted to share some of the comments on the Unity1 WordPress site that I feel are pertinent to this discussion, but I encourage my readers to read all of them on the original post.

Think about the fact, that if we divorce because of my (possible) conversion to Islam, there will be at least 30 people who will never even consider Islam as a true religion after that. That includes my husband and children, our parents and siblings and nephews.
The only reason for that I haven´t converted yet is the question of marriage here. I am happily married and we love each other. I see my family as potential converts.

But, maybe it´s better to stay as a christian then and still believe in one God. It can´t be right to hurt so many innocent people including my own children.

And even if I would convert, I couldn´t do it openly or visit the mosque because of other muslims would laugh me out because of my (so far) non-muslim family (and the family is a blessing for me, nothing to laugh at).

If I was young I would convert and marry a practising muslim, of course. It seems to be that I and many other women have lost “everything” by living our own lives… and God did know that it would go like this.

If I have to choose between being a muslim or a mother, I choose to be a mother. And wish that my children will later choose the right path – in time!

(Posted by Lina)

Here is also a question by Adele in the comments:

Maybe can help me?
I am married. Have 2 kids (10 and 13 years old). 3 years before i convert to Islam. Husband does not prevent me from practicing my faith, can i stay with him or must divorce?

To which the author of the site responded:

As the fatwas in the above article state, you are perfectly entitled to stay with him and enjoy a full, happy married life. There is no reason or need whatsoever to even think about divorce. May God bless you all!

Whether you agree or disagree with the opinions of various scholars cited here, this is definitely not going to be a topic that disappears in the near future with more people than ever embracing Islam in the West and in other nations around the world which are not Muslim-majority countries.

 

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 3 of 3)

I also wanted to add this one but for some reason it would only say ‘error’ when I tried to add it. I hope that these little things have enlightened you, or at least reminded you of important things that many Muslims seem to have forgotten.

Posted in Everything Else, Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Some Things I Wanted To Share (Part 2 of 3)

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

We sure can! In addition to my lengthy previous rant about the apparent “ban” on cross-gender interactions of friendships that has not actual basis in the Quran or Hadith because at the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him) both genders interacted all the time, I wanted to add some science to the mix that I only looked at after posting my rants. I never implied that all interactions with the opposite sex will be easy, much like same-sex relationships, some will fail and some will flourish. But science does say that they are beneficial for both people despite some challenges!

Across the internet you’ll find plenty of posts saying that men and women can’t be “just friends” yet they provide no actual scientific proof to back up these claims. Well, I have some for you. This is from Psychology Today, click on the link below to access the web article. I find it hard to argue with science! 🙂

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157733045311/can-men-and-women-be-friends

The vast majority, 83% in fact, of people do believe that a friendship can be purely platonic. And like I’ve said before, it’s helpful to tell the person right off the bat that you want nothing more than a platonic friendship. If you or the other person cannot respect this, then it’s time to move on. Also like I’ve said before, maintain the bounds of modesty and if you fear sin then abstain. That in no way means that all interactions between the opposite sex are forbidden. You must use your judgement and wisdom and decide for yourself if you can be humane with the opposite gender or if you can only be an animal. Nobody can tell you that except you. If you don’t like cross-gender friendships stay out of them, but don’t come and break down mine.

It’s not true that everyone will automatically fall for their platonic friend at some point It’s equally not true that men are nothing but uncontrollable sex machines and that women are apparently to blame for that. The cold hard truth is that women are forced into closets not to “sinfully entice” men who on the other hand rarely ever do much to control themselves. All of this comes down to erroneous, legalistic, patriarchal and outdated rules that the two genders can’t cross paths with each other in even the most innocent and beneficial of ways when scientifically cross-gender friendships have plenty of benefits (and the key here is moderation and balance: you should have both same-sex and opposite-sex friends, not just one or the other) and in the Quran men and women are allies of each other who were never prohibited from interacting.

“And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” And when he arrived at the water of Madyan he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.” (Qur’an, 28:22-25)
What can be deduct from this cross-gender interaction?
  • It was modest
  • It wasn’t sinful
  • People lowered their gaze
  • There was no flirting
  • There is no mention of them automatically turning into animals around each other

In Islam, contrary to other religions doesn’t teach that sex or attraction is evil. In fact Muhammad was very open about sex and both men and women could come to him for knowledge and advice. Read the article below:

https://nomorehurtingpeoplepeace.tumblr.com/post/157734238676/sex-and-the-ummah-series-the-hadith-of-jabir

One thing that jumped out at me was this passage from the article:

For us as Muslims, sexual desire in and of itself is never associated with evil; it is only the misuse and abuse of such desire that is evil.

Shouldn’t confining women to closets and denying their own desires or banning them completely from everyday dealings with men be considered misuse and abuse? Right now Muslim scholars backwardly think like this:

  • If I’m attracted to the man it’s my fault
  • If a man is attracted to me it’s my fault
  • If I sin out of temptation it’s my fault
  • If a man sins out of temptation it’s my fault

Instead of fostering (whether silently or explicitly) a culture of coldness, the mentality of “the other” and a lack of accountability or control, how about we begin working together to stop the idea that one gender is an animal and the other is their toy and to put an end to gender-based violence, discrimination, inequality and stigma as allies. This isn’t a “man’s problem” or a “woman’s problem” it’s a humanity problem. I can bet that God looks down on us with sadness at what we’ve turned religion and sexuality into when God made men and women complimentary to each other, not enemies of each other.

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Another Rant About Gender Segregation (Part 3 of 3)

Of course this topic also begs the question, well what if the opposite gender is really a temptation for me? For some people, that is true. In that case use your judgement and don’t get involved in activities that will lead to sin and corruption. But stop pretending that men are animals when it comes to sex and that women are only objects of gratification for them. It’s offensive to both men and women. Both genders deserve more respect than this.

For me this is a topic that also comes back to gay/lesbian Muslims too. I know that the Quran condemns homosexuality but that does not stop people from having feelings for the same gender. If you’re not familiar with this you ought to do some research because I know (and truly respect) many LGBT Muslims and my question in their case is this: if I were a lesbian would I be required to only have male friends because being around other females would sexually excite me too much? I’ve always had both male and female friends both before accepting Islam and after and they’ll all tell you that I never tried sleeping with them and I can tell you that they’ve all respected my “friendship only” policy.

I was 14 years old (I converted to Islam the day before my 20th birthday) the first time I was approached by a lesbian. Did gender segregation help me with that? In all of my dealings with people I establish clear boundaries, much like the terms of use of this blog. Can’t respect them? Leave. Similarly I’m clear with people I make friends with that our interactions will me as friends only so there’s no room for lewdness or other sinful behavior. If I entice you it’s your job to get away from me but don’t prevent me from hanging out with people who respect me and my boundaries. Tell me, how are my “terms of use” a violation of the Quran?

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (9:71)

Allies of one another. How is not being able to speak and interact with that person part of being an ally to them?! Andrew, Levi and Duane are my allies just as much as Anne, April and Jenni. We respect each other. We support each other. We love each other. We don’t burn the world together. We don’t spread corruption together. We don’t sleep together either! 😛 The six of them are people of equally good character and morality. They don’t lure me into sin with their conduct and vice versa. Now tell me how this is a sin! Tell me how I’m such an awful person. Tell me how I’m an adulteress (despite that I’m still a virgin) and how I’m going to hell. How about this? Gender segregation is bad for society, Muslims or not.

Now, I want to make it clear (not to sound too extreme) that I’m not calling on for a complete ban on segregation in all areas of life because obviously men and women will use different bathrooms and changing rooms, this post is solely in the context of non-sinful everyday social interactions. I also agree that if you prefer voluntary self-imposed segregation then you have the right just as much as to me to hang out with who you want. If you’re more comfortable with other women (or with other men if you’re a man) then it’s your right to be surrounded by them. Each person is different with what they are comfortable with but here is something we should all be uncomfortable with: being forced to do something.

Personally, I feel far more comfortable in a mixed environment than a divided one because a segregated one (be it that this word has probably been overused and has much negative connotation now) I feel that there is this unignorable coldness and mentality of “the other” and that makes me highly uncomfortable. Based solely on personal experiences, I’ve had a much better experience in mixed crowds than with other women only crowds but that’s just me. At school when I was 15 or 16 I was the only girl in physics class (which also had a male teacher) at school and never once did they guys make me feel out of place. Not one of them ever made a move of any kind on me. All respected me.

Why? My personal opinion is that it’s because they were largely accustomed to having females around. They weren’t frustrated in some way and somehow erroneously saw me as the object or cause of their frustration. Physics class is probably the class I have the most fond memories of and honestly my memories of school in general aren’t fond at all, and it never had anything to do with men. So don’t blame me if you can’t control your own sexual desires!

According to some if there are three people together somewhere (either two men and one woman or one man and two women) this is not considered “free mixing” because the third person is considered a “chaperone” of sorts, however others say that there ought to not be any free mixing of any kind unless there is absolute necessity. An opinion held during the earlier generations was that a man could be in the company of a woman if he was a reliable person. An example of this is Sayyiduna Umar, who once visited a woman’s house in the night, and this was permitted, because he was praised for his reliability. However, this seems to be discredited in modern times.

Really I just want there to be an end to this crap and the mentality of “the other” and the coldness that comes with it and for people to realize that your physical presence won’t automatically make somebody else commit a major sin! I’ve been around men my whole darn life and I have yet to hear a story about how I “forced” him to do something evil with my mere presence! Of course this would imply that I was properly and modestly dressed in appropriate Islamic attire, which I always am, and to me that in itself should be barrier enough. Some people may call me a heretic and a whore for my stance on this issue but their misogynistic and patriarchal views (not to mention close-mindedness) will not stop me from interacting with men or having male friends. I have lesbian friends too for that matter, who also respect my boundaries.

Not every single interaction between a man and a woman will automatically lead to evil. I am confident when I say that my interactions with men will be recorded in the book of my good deeds, will yours? Only you can answer that question. And if one day I feel tempted by a man I’ll take the appropriate measures to not fall into sin, but I most certainly won’t go around believing that every man I cross paths with is a danger to purity or chastity. Whether in the masjid or the mall, school or on the sidewalk, men and women alike are enjoined to be keenly aware of themselves and their roles in creating, encouraging, and maintaining a society that values spiritual purity and chastity, but also one that is free from coldness, discrimination and that toxic mentality of “the other.”

As a result of our gross misunderstanding of the Sunnah, we have gone to two extremes: attempting to segregate the genders to an unhealthy level, to the point where a simple, innocent conversation is considered sin; or throwing out any notion of modesty, lowering the gaze, and considering any and all behavior between the genders – even zina – to be acceptable. In both cases, diseased hearts are created and fostered, because there is no holistic understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Islam came to transform the Ummah from one of ignorance to one of beauty, honor, dignity, and respect.

To reach that state, we must go back to the understanding of the prophet. Only then can we possibly start seeing the men and women of this Ummah coming together, as they were meant to be, to cooperate upon birr and taqwa: goodness and righteousness, together as allies.

Posted in Islam & Interfaith Subjects, Personal & Opinion, Social Issues & Politics

Another Rant About Gender Segregation (Part 2 of 3)

I find it interesting that when I post about controversial topics I get an increase in blog followers. That shows that people care, so let’s continue this important discussion. I believe that I’ve already said all that I wanted to say in my articles and added a ton of links to support my point of view, you ought to carefully read all of them. Contrary to popular belief, we are far from being the only ones who think like this or dare to speak out.

The Quran itself never prohibits interactions between men and women, au contraire in fact, and while some argue that there are some passages from the Hadith that claim that opposite sex interactions are forbidden I have a two cents to add on that too. Do you believe that the Quran is complete? Do you believe that it is the infallible word of God? If so, why do you wanna prohibit something that was never prohibited in the Quran? I’m not saying that the Hadith is bad, not as long as it supports a principle already established in the Quran, but it should never be taken as an infallible or equal to the Quran and God forbid one that abrogates it!

You know, one thing I’ve always wondered was why some scholars issued fatwas prohibiting gender mixing (within the bounds of modesty) but never supplied evidence to support this. In my opposition to forced segregation I’ve got plenty and I’m just a self-taught girl who applies common sense and ijtihad when it comes to modern issues and an ancient text. And to those who claim to have evidence prohibiting this, I ask, is it credible? Not that I’ve come across so far.

This is without a doubt a hotly debated issue and those of us who choose to stand up to this often get judgmentally shot down by people who don’t even take the time to consider our point of view or our experiences. In addition to everything I’ve already posted, read this passionate post by a Muslim sister. You’ll find more that I’ve shared under the “Reblogged Posts” section of this website.

https://keepyourgoodhearttumblr.com/post/157714092351/british-imam-quran-does-not-rule-on-segregation

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This is another opinion by another sheikh who also states that segregation is not a requirement (it can be practiced voluntarily however) and that men and women used to interact freely. Like I’ve previously mentioned, if you observe modesty and do not act in a careless (indiscriminate) manner that would entice sin then what’s the problem? Why have some Muslims reduced women to nothing but a temptation? Why do so many foster a culture of looking at the opposite gender like they are nothing but an object of your sexual gratification and why do you behave like an animal? Read this post by a fellow Muslims feminist while you’re at it.

While the majority of people who talk about these issues talk about them in the context of being inside a mosque, it is something that very much spills out into all areas of life and even more so here in the West where there is as much diversity as a person can possibly imagine. And if you don’t believe that Islam and feminism can be compatible, you’ve obviously never heard of Islamic feminism. Also take a look at these Muslim feminist blogs that I really enjoy:

And there are so many more, too many to list here. Islamic feminism has been around pretty much since always, because Islam is a very feminist religion. It has given both men and women equal rights (but different responsibilities; for example a man is required to work to support his family while a woman is not) but it’s unfortunately people and not the faith that are misogynistic and cripple women in various areas of life. Personally, the aspect of feminism is one of the many things that attracted me to Islam.