Friday, 13 July 2012

Does Being Me Offend You?

We need to talk.

I'm fuming. I am not angry but I wanted to write to get a few things clear, out of my head and into the world.

A few things about me ::

I am Muslim, yes I am. You may have noticed that. What you may not have noticed is your own reaction to that fact. It's OK. We're all different. I don't expect a radical Hindu to love me or what I am. I know some Christians are offended by my existence, like a slap in the face (you don't believe in the crucifixion?? Oh poor Jesus, how COULD you - and you walked away from salvation to join the devil's cult.... horror!). I know that what I am draws a line in the sand and quick decisions have to made about which side of the line you stand on.

I believe in One God, and I couldn't care less what you believe in. I couldn't really. But what I do care about is how my children are raised and how my children are treated. I do not want them growing up to be christian, or hindu, or buddhist, or wiccan or secularist or atheist. I want the best for my children and in my opinion that means raising them as Muslim. That is not up for discussion or negotiation.

So what does that mean on a practical level? Well, it means that we can't eat at picnics when we're with a mixed group if there is meat, pork or alcohol present. We don't join in Christmas parties. Every so often we have to stop, wash and pray no matter where we are. In Ramadan we fast and as my children get older they try to fast a little of the day too.

There will be other considerations as my children move into adulthood about where they may socialise (nowhere with alcohol), and with whom (unless we are out with and as a family then we segregate to let our hair down). There are other little details and considerations and decisions that as practising Muslims we have to make every day as we live in a non-Muslim land. And if this seems insular, it isn't meant to be; it's just a practical repsonse to certain needs.

These are not up for negotiation either. So if that bothers you, jog on. If what you think as an 'exceptable muslim' is one who gives up their religion and beliefs to fit in with your party scene then you will not find that here. So long as we are not breaking any laws of the land we will exercise our freedom of conscience and speach and movement and live the way we think is right. Just as you do.

Do what you want if it makes you happy; you to your religion and leave me to mine, but on NO account rattle my cage unless you want to take me on. Do not accuse me of being anti-christian (unless just not being christian is enough to be accused of this); do NOT give my child the hairy eyeball, just don't; don't tar me with the brush of your own sick imagination and call it 'truth'; do not tar me with the brush of another Muslim you may have met; if that Muslim was on TV then double that; DO. NOT. TRY. TO. CONVERT. MY. CHILD. BEHIND. MY. BACK, you utter lowlife scum, unless you want me to have a go with your kids and see which religion they think makes more sense; if your religion can only sound plausible when mine is gone then what does it say about your faith? Do not expect me to give my way of life up for your convenience, as you then hide behind facile platitudes of, 'I'm not racist, I love multiculturalism' as you quickly extradite your children from the presence of Muslim filth; I will NOT be your scapegoat. If you don't like Muslims just say so, admit it and move on, but do not blame me for your shortcomings, prejudices and intolerance.

Oh and if you have an issue with me why not stay and say it to my face and wait for my reply you pathetic excuse for an adult, instead of accusing me in public then flouncing off you utter miserable fool. You really, really, really have issues.

Isn't it a shame that these things need said?

*** *** ***

EDIT :: People have been emailing to ask what this is all about. So a quick summary - on a home educating yahoo group this blog was accused of being anti-christian by two women before one of them left the group on account of me being present. I found this hurtful and shocking, but moreover I found it defamatory - had the words used been 'anti-semitic', 'racist' or 'homophobic' I could have had the police knocking at my door. As it was I felt wrongly accused. After several attempts at polite dialogue failed by stonewalling techniques, and after several requests of finding out where the offending elements in my blog were so that I could remove them were met with no answer, I, fuming, wrote this post. To you it may seem over the top. But maybe if you've ever been publicly slandered you'd understand. My name has been tarnished. I am not anti-christian and I ever never said anything offensive about any religion. That's not how I roll. I also decided to get some other things off my chest whislt I was here ;-) But the long and the short of it, is you can't go around slandering people and playing the 'race' card whenever you've got an axe to grind. That is why we have defamation laws and why the Courts take slander very seriously. All a man has is his name, and reputation is a hard thing to make and an easy thing to trash. I'm alwas reminded of Arthur Miller's Crucible when things like this happen.

But after receiving no reply, explanation, dialogue or apology I now leave it in the hands of Allah, the universe, karma, ultimate justice - whatever you want to call it. What goes around comes around. It really really does. They've just undone their own selves. Which is a pity.


  1. Ms Debbie, I just started following your blog. So sorry that someone made you angry. I hope you will never have to be bothered by these kind of people again. Salam

  2. debbie ~ i started reading your blog after seeing you post on soulemama's blog. your photograph was so striking. i love reading about your family's days as i have three of my own. i often wonder how it would be to homeschool my own, though i don't. i don't comment a lot, but i'm commenting now b/c i am so sorry to hear of the pain you are feeling.

    i actually decided to keep reading your blog b/c i am your typical white christian living in the us who doesn't know much about muslims. i consider myself to be tolerant, but completely clueless, really, about the ins and outs of other religions. i admire anyone who lives with integrity, who has convictions of faith and who strives to life their life the way their faith has come to direct them.

    it is a shame to me that people are so afraid of things they don't know or understand.

    i hope writing was cathartic for you.... often it is.

  3. Thankyou Beth. Your comment has calmed me like no one else's could. I'm glad this post didnt alienate you. Sometimes I am even afraid to mention Islam and the things I think in case it causes outrage! Oh dear, arent humans a weird lot.

    Yes. Cathartic.

  4. You being 'you' is what makes me want to read your blog! We have a few things in common, and a few things that make us different. I have no particular faith but I am interested in them all. Your reports of every day family life, of home schooling and of enjoying nature, the energy of your boys are all joyful to read about. The little bits of Islam that appear make it even more special because it's a tiny insight into a way of life of which I know very little and it's intriguing and enlightening. Having read for a long time (yours and other blogs) I recently made a decision to start commenting rather than just reading... not just to 'take' but to participate. I hope that's OK. I feel your anger, there is no excuse for prejudice in our world, none.

  5. Thankyou anj. It honestly doesn't take a lot to make this world a better place - kind words and thoughtfulness seem small but have huge impact. And unfortunately the opposite is true. Thankyou for taking the time to be a positive force :)

  6. you know what lady... i could not give a rats arse what religion you believe in... i just know that i like you...
    t x

  7. Gosh Debbie, It sounds like you've had to tolerate a pretty repulsive-sounding individual :( It's so depressing to hear about such prejudice and you're right, it's such a shame that you feel you need to explain yourself. I hope it was cathartic for you. Hugs to you. Wish you were local, would love to sit and have a cuppa and slice of cake and chat x

  8. Ditto! But then , I am on medication..... : p

  9. Ooh a slice of cake sounds better than even a rant....

  10. And we're not that far away.... ;)

  11. Debbie I have never once considered our differences (or similarities) in religion. I like who you are, I like what you stand for, I like your crafting, I love that you adore your boys. I truly just want to know you. I love your blog. I hope that you don't let "those" people make you angry - they are not worth your time or energy. HUGS!!!!

  12. Wow, so sorry to hear,
    that there are weird "creatures",
    who made you sooo angry.

    I don't believe in religion (for myself), but I believe in "god/dess" and pray/talk many times to "it"(sounds this stupid?).
    What is/feels for me right could be for someone else not be the right way. I think all religions 're having a piece of trueness...
    And I guess we all try to give the best we could do, just in different ways...
    I live vegan and I am not in alcohol or other drugs, and the way you write about parties. invitations or events I can really picture it so much, because also for me it is sometimes a really challenge. I'm tired of explaining why I live this kind of way (even by myself I can't explain it, for me it just feels "right" and this is also relative, hehehe).
    If I would tell people, I can't have fun on a party, while there are dead animals on the grill to make me "well-fed" or goofy people who talk non-sense during drinking alcohol. They call you crazy, fanatic, hippie or whatever...
    It's our own decision how we shape/form life and people finally should accept your free will, I think.

    I like the way how you write about yourself and your life, it sounds real and if somebody doesn't like it, why is this person here and read your blog? (Or wasn't it a blogger person who was so rude?)
    What a pity that some people do not live their own lives and need yours to feel better.

    Sorry for my bad English, argh! :-)

    I wish you all the best and have a great weekend!

  13. Thankyou for your kind words. Its true that anger is a waste of energy but today I've been really offended by someone who didn't even have the common decency to let me defend myself. But there you go. You live and learn.

  14. salaam alaykum Debbie,

    I have never commented on your blog before and have thought to do so many times before. I follow daily looking forward to your daily amusement with your boys.

    As a (convert) muslim myself, there is constantly the feeling to "justify" our choice as if it wasnt a choice at all.

    To each their own and to me, mine. Alhumdolilah (All praises due to God), share your bitterness, your resentment, your crafts, your trips and your smiles. We love reading about you.

    Those who constantly are seeking justification for our choices seem to be only seeking validation for theirs.

    Big Smiles!!!

    - reader from Canada

  15. Asalaam alaikum,

    We lovz u.......from Algeria.

    Umm Tareq

  16. I am so sorry to hear about this person who sounded like they confronted your children. That is never right, ever. And I am sure you would not mind a discussion about your religion with someone who is wanting some (polite) questions answered. Also you don't ask these questions to children. If you offer foods to kids and they tell you that they can't eat that, for heavens sake just say OK. Ask them about sports or what they like to read or play. Ask them about school. And the same goes for adults. I am an older christian lady and I think you are fabulous. I must admit I know no other muslims, but from what I can tell, we have much in common, lots to chat about. You are funny and have very lovely children. I also have lovely children but mine are grown. We could sit on a bench in a park, drink tea and talk about kids, husbands, crafting, knitting, nature and laugh about life. I love your blog and find you a loving, caring and funny woman. We are all children of God.

  17. Yes I think you and I would get along famously. Thankyou for taking the time to write. This blog was accused of being anti-christian which in turn was used as leverage at a local group of home edders I was involved with... bit nasty all round, but there you go.

  18. I am LDS (Mormon) and have had my share of encounters of prejudice in this life because of it. Bigotry is toxic, and I always feel sad for those who let it into their lives. Their world is so tiny and hateful. So sad.

    My heart breaks for you, but for them as well. It is their loss that they don't truly know and appreciate my dear friend Debbie and her lovely children. tata50 has hit the nail on the head. I love and admire your dedication to your religion, how you raise your sweet boys, and your dreams of a homesteading life style. I have learned from you and you have taught me many things (your words about fasting have been very inspiring to me).

    You lift me up, expand my view of this life, and I look forward to my peeks of your daily life. You and your family are amazing.
    I just love you, Debbie! xoxoxox

  19. OK now I'm blubbing. Bigotry IS toxic, but you're right - their loss. You've got it spot on. Thankyou so much for your kind words. The best of creation bring kindness and ease to others. You're one of the best, Deb xx

  20. Some people are nice; some people are nasty; some are a mixture of both: regardless - or should that be "in spite of" - their religion. What a horrible woman(?) to try to undermine your parenting especially in such a sneaky way. You are doing a bloody good job with your lovely boys and I hope for your sanity that you can rise above it. Alternatively poke her with a knitting needle when she's not looking. Very hard. ;) Chicken hug xxx

  21. The insinuation was that this blog was anti-christian and because of that this woman then left a local HE group blaming this for her departure

  22. So why did she bloody read it? Some people look for drama. It seems like its this lady that is missing out. Let her.

  23. You say that like a sane, rational normal woman instead of part of a highly strung clucking women's mob. Yes, jog on. Miss out.


  24. I just wanted to add that this 'woman' did not physically our verbally attack you in any way she simply chose to leave the group as she did not like your blog! Maybe blown out of proportion slightly? :-/

  25. No. She slandered me. She blew it out of proportion by flouncing off and refusing civil dialogue. Slander is in fact verbal abuse (and illegal). The fact that I've never even spoken to the woman in real life makes it all the more bizarre and creepy. Had she only left reading the blog then fine. So what. But slander, my friend is another ball game.