As salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu, This is my life…this is my world the way “I” see it. It may not be nice and most times it is not pretty. However, it is what it is. This is what I am looking for…to live my life…..and love it……..accept it…..the good the bad……and all the ugly. You heard of love the skin you in…..Well I wanna LOVE the Life Im in…..

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why do we have to choose??????

I was reading a brothers blog and it made me think. Why do American Muslim lose their Identity when they become Muslim. I think Americans need their own identity that represent them and stop trying to be Arab. Trust me as a person that left America to live among the Arabs.......THEY AIN'T ALL THAT.
This is not to talk bad per say about Arabs but in my opinion when we forget who we are and try to act like others we are in essence saying we are inferior than they are. We are saying we as a people are not strong, people with morals and values. We are saying we need Arabs to teach us how to dress, live, act, talk, etc. When in fact after living overseas for a while I think we need to come teach them.
Yes, when we become Muslim we will need to dress differently. BUT do we have to dress like an Arab. There are Muslim from all over the world that dress in a way that is Islamically acceptable and look nothing like Arabs. The men in Africa look like they are from Africa. They have a different look. The men From Pak, India, and other Asian countries stand out here because they do NOT look or dress like an Arab. In fact when I look at photos of Muslim from all over the world I admire their beauty. I love the many colors I see; not only in their skin tones but in their clothes.
Here all I see all day is Black and white. Black abayas and white thobes. If the purpose of hijab is to show modesty, not attract attention, and cover the body. I think the Arabs I live, work and socialise with on a daily basis forgot that....but that is a post for another day.
We seem to think that the actions of an Arab is better than the actions of an American. I am sorry but this is not the case. People are people before we are Muslim. Meaning you are born a person. You CHOOSE to practice Islam. even if you are born into Islam when we become adults we choose what we will and will not do. We choose to be a thief, a liar, a fornicator,or a religious person, we choose to be humble, modest, prayerful. These skill ,we are not born with. We acquire them. Do we somehow think Arabs have a monopoly on the good traits.
If you do let me tell you they don't. I come in contact with many people that only pray during Ramadan, only cover because it is cultural not for Islamic reasons, smoke like chimneys, curse like a sailor, treat their neighbor unkind, think Islamic behaviours are ok because they are culturally acceptable. I get followed to work by men that want to pay me for sex. I have gotten followed home in a taxi from a souk by a man.It took me over 30 mins for me to shake him. I have men try to talk to me while I am driving, while shopping, or just doing any normal daily activity. These things NEVER happened to me in the states. Men would see me in my hijab and have respect. This is something I don't find here. For me to live in a society that is suppose to know to lower their gaze. Why do I find men staring me right in the eyes? This is something that happens even if I am wearing Niqab. I see women that do not raise their children. They leave it to the maids. I see children that have no manners. I see people that are not color blind. No here I see a class system here that is just as bad as anything I have seen in the States or worse. I see men that rape their maids and use the excuse that they own them so they have a right to the women. I see boys that get raped and the actions gets handled by the families because it is something that is not talked about. I see other unislamic behaviors; but these are the people we want to to emulate. Are these actions better than any actions we have in our own country? NO!!!
Can someone PLEASE tell when where is says anywhere that when a person accepts Islam they HAVE to lose who they are. They have to become a whole different culture. In the beginning of Islam when countries, tribes, Villages started to embrace Islam they did not become Arab Nations. No they kept their identity and embrace Islam with their whole heart. I do not remember ever reading, and someone please correct me if I am wrong, The prophet, SWA, never told a country to become Arab and stop being who they were. HE told them to accept Islam. Not accept Arabslam. He may have told them to stop practicing shirk, or doing things that were against Islam.
We need to love who we are and build on that. Take Islam and follow live it. Stop wanting to be or wanting to have who we are not. I do not know how many men get bitten by the Arab bug. They have a loving American wife but feel if they get an Arab wife that that wife will in some way be better than the one they have. They think because these women speak some form of Arabic, and let me remind you MOST of these people to don't speak Quranic Arabic. They have their own language separate from the Arabic written in the Quran. But because they speak this their children will in some way become better people, this wife will in some way worship Allah better, serve the husband better, love them deeper, respect them more. This is MY OPINION is the worse trait that Muslims aquire. These men say their mother, sisters, wives, daughters, aunts are not good women. We are not good enough to marry bear your children or raise them. You tell us we are inferior. We the women that were your backbone. The women that walked by you , in front of you and protected you, stood behind you and had your back thought your entire life are now not good enough. Even though we are Muslim. Even though we act Muslim, are modest, are chase, have Strong eman, worship Allah, have raised children that have manners, know how to act in a Mosque, we because of our native language are no longer acceptable to you. This hurts our people to the core.
No other people try to act Arab or embrace the Arabs like us Americans. There are Muslims all over the world but for whatever reason we are the only ones that lose our identity because of Islam. There are beautiful African, Asian, and other Muslim that take pride in who they are and still follow Islam. However we act like to be American and Muslim is a sin. We can only be one or the other.....why is that.


  • At 7:59 AM, Blogger jilbabble said…

    well said... i particularly appreciate the last portion that specifically addresses the whole 'arab-women-are-superior-for-the sake-they-are-arabic' idea... nothing against my arab sisters.. but i have had to hear my husband (who is a euro-convert) express these sentiments.. that somehow arab women are more precious than others... puke...

  • At 8:00 AM, Blogger jilbabble said…

    salaam alaikum btw (where are my manners? oops i forgot! i'm an american woman! i have no manners!!!)

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Livin_life_and loving_it said…

    I know your American and who you are!! I read your blog and enjoy it. Well I dont enjoy reading how sad you are but I do enjoy stopping by to get a piece of your life.

  • At 3:06 AM, Blogger Miss Muslimah said…

    Assalamu alaikum

    I wrote about this very topic recently-I agree 1000%

  • At 8:29 AM, Blogger lost bedouin said…

    You know I never considered this point until I read your blog. I am a pakistani muslim from canada who grew up in saudi... so I have been exposed to Islam in a few places.

    I do find it amusing after my time in saudi that "arabs" are the model muslims in America. Its like they have a moral high ground for no reason..

  • At 10:20 AM, Blogger Burgundy said…

    Who says that the arabs have a moral high ground? I think some of us think that way because we choose to think that way.

    Who is forcing you to feel like you gota assert that being american and muslim is a sin? I mean what im trying to say is that it feels like yur having a reaction to how people have treated you.

    the prophet saw loved mecca because that was his home. The people of mecca has a different sort of demeanor/personality than the people from medina. So no its not a sin to be american and muslim.

    and dont let anyone tell you that it is!

  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger Livin_life_and loving_it said…

    Thanks Burgany,
    That was the whole point of the post. It is not that "I" feel like Arabs are better. What I am saying is Many Americans do this. When they accept Islam they some how THINk they have to become Arab or in some way Arabs are better. I dont feel that way At all. that is why I wrote the post. I want people to think before they try so hard to NOT be who they are.

  • At 9:53 PM, Blogger mommamu said…



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