Nothing highlights being a Muslim woman living in a western country more; than when you read comments filled with hate about yourself.
A friend asked me how do I tolerate all the harshness, prejudice and hatred? I don’t tolerate it, I chose to rise above it, it inspires me to write articles and blog so that I can raise awareness of the multitude of voices all striving to contribute and benefit humanity.
Violence in any form, directed at any group of people affects the human race .... period, doesn't matter where it happens.....
I get labelled by some who feel I am betraying my Muslim identity when I highlight issues; in the quest to be more accepted by westerners. I live in the west, so I am as western as anything. I am perceived as an “apologist” Muslim woman. I get called a moderate Muslim, what the hell is a moderate Muslim? What many people don’t understand is that being Muslim, by definition, means you should be a moderate and balanced person. That’s what our religion teaches us.
Then there’s the chasm between being a peaceful Muslim and a radical/extremist Muslim. To add to this mix, the lopsided views that ALL MUSLIMS are violent, silent on atrocities and oppressors of women. No Mother deserves to watch their child die, no wife her husband, there is no justification for killing.
So, label me as you wish. There will always be perceptions of Muslim women living in western countries here will always be those who say, if I was living in the Middle East, I would not have this much freedom of speech. Seems like living in the West is not that safe either.
I am an ambassador for my faith. I am showing you the other percentage of Muslims. The Islam which we follow is our moral compass. The Islam which emphasises mercy, equality, charity, tolerance, love and peace. It’s a difficult, self-conscious journey to stand up for your faith and have to deal with all this baggage. Rather I stand for something, than fall for anything! Media only shows you the Muslims; who are extremist, the terrorists; the ones who oppress and violate women, the ominous veiled women in black sweeping cloaks; or the rich oil sheikhs holidaying or spending wads of money on luxuries.
I am always asked what am I doing to stop the radical and extremist people of my faith?
I ask you as a fellow South African:
What are you doing to stop the violence in South Africa?
What are you doing to assist the victims of violence?
The next thing you will say is that in South Africa, violence against women and children do not stem from religion. It’s still violence! Globally we are lacking moral fibre, people are consumed with hate, and forgotten about the value of human life. It means nothing to shed blood, maim or kill.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people
Religion doesn’t kill people, people misinterpreting it; kills people
Should we take all the peaceful Muslim South Africans and spread them across the world to fight extremism? It seems the UN is not heeding the hundreds and thousands of petitions we send, nor are their governments heeding our condemnation.
From China; Burma; Syria, and other parts of the world, from the shootings in the US to the violence locally, to the abuse of women and children globally, we need to bring awareness to the human races plight. The Middle East is plagued by the injustice, occupation, desperation, and decades of strife, power plays and oppression. The humanitarian crisis is accelerating globally whilst we play point the finger!
The Syrian Crisis is not a religious one, its one man’s quest to hold onto power; similar to Mubarak, Gaddafi and several other leaders. Eventually the people of the country get tired of dictatorship hence the Arab Uprisings!
Most of these crises have nothing to do with religion; it’s got to do with POLITIC’s and AGENDA’s.
Any violent act gets tagged with Islam! Those who tag forget that all religions have a long history of violence. Islam has been tagged negatively since 9/11. The evil doers perpetuate evil under the guise of Islam. They twist and abuse verses of the Qur’an to suit their evil doings. However, there are verses in other Holy Books which have similar verses and some sound even harsher.
I am doing my part for my faith, because it’s being degraded by ignorance, suspicion and fear. I have never disputed that Islam is under siege; distorted by violent extremists from within and demonised from without, so why do most people assume that I support this. Many equate Islam with acts of violence, because of a percentage of perpetrators. Those who constantly attack anyone trying to do good, will continue holding the hate banner.
Whether a person is a religious person or not, he or she has their own choices to make. Violence and hatred are products of bad choices and decisions. We have been given the capacity to know what the right and wrong choices are. This is what many refer to as the conscience. That conscience if we choose to listen to it, will not lead us astray.
Isn’t it a collective responsibility to take a vocal stand against stereotyping and prejudice?
Muslim’s as people are not and never were your enemy. Islam is not your enemy. Tyranny, Oppression, Hatred, Prejudice and Violence is your enemy.
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