Friday, December 21, 2007

The Scam Called Islam

The last few weeks (months?) have been pretty stressful for me. I had a lot to do, and unfortunately my schoolwork fell way behind. It's gonna cost me. But now I'm into the break I have a few weeks of no school! This is the first really nice long break I've had since last winter! About three weeks long. Anyway, the combined stress of the last few weeks, in addition to low faith and a bumpy spiritual path led me to write this post: I need some motivation.

I got some wonderful, very helpful replies. But today someone Anonymously left me a not-so-motivational comment. I'm reposting it here, in case any of you would like to respond to it as well.

Oh, no. The worst is yet to come. When you get yourself with three to five kids trapped in KSA where women aren't considered bright enough to drive or vote, here they are punished for being gang raped and you are far away from your family and even finding comfort food is a challenge and then you realize that you've been driven there by the ridiculous scam called Islam, THAT is when you will see the worst. I wouln't put myself in that position if I were you.

The interesting part is the little rhyme "scam called Islam." I think it was a woman who wrote this--note the emphasis on issues especially pertaining to women. Driving, voting, gang rape (undoubtedly the Qatif girl issue), distance from family, and comfort food. It could be a guy trying to make me reconsider by perceptively selecting issues to which I'd be naturally more sensitive, but I think it was a woman.

So let's see, I am fully aware that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi. I'm also aware of some small campaigns to change that, but it's not something that bothers me so much now, not being able to drive. I also have realized, after watching in participating in the political process for several years now, that there is very little I can do just by voting for changing policy. I vote but people are still being tortured and candidates won't even call it that; I vote but still I end up paying some ridiculous amount of taxes despite the fact that my income places me in a poverty bracket. So... barking up the wrong tree with that. A more serious issue: gang rape. With all the information out on the internet, in the blogosphere, about that case, I would imagine that nobody would be dumb enough still to believe that the woman was being punished for being raped. In fact, if you do believe that, I'm not really sure I can do much to change your mind. But I do encourage you to spend a little more time researching.

I think whoever wrote this probably hasn't been following my blog if he thinks that my family is close to me. In fact, living only a few miles away but their refusal to even see me is pretty rough. Since I can't visit them, talk to them, meet them anyway, I don't see how being on the other side of the planet will change much in that department. It's hardly worth saying anything about 'comfort food.' I'm not the sort to eat a tub of chocolate ice cream (ugh, just the thought makes me sick) or other kinds of junk food to make me feel better. Junk food has a nice habit of making people feel worse anyway, and it's not like I won't be able to eat anything but rice, so... just because moving to KSA would be a nightmare for someone else, doesn't mean it would be for me.

And to the person who left it: you aren't me, and you don't have to put yourself in any position that makes you uncomfortable, like moving to the desert. But what you decided to do was insult my faith ('scam called Islam') because some people choose a way of life different than yours. No wonder you didn't leave your name.


alajnabiya said...

Assalaamu 'alaikum Amy,

Did you notice that none of the bad scenarios mentioned by your mystery commenter were because of Islam? Nothing about Islam is going to force you to move to another country or accept a poor choice for marriage. But sometimes some revert/convert women look at all the unhappy choices they have made, and instead of admitting that they made some poor choices, they blame Islam. They used to call that "throwing out the baby with the bath water."

You are going to make some good choices in life, and you are going to make some bad ones. You will have some successes and some disappointments. That is the nature of our existence. But when your goal is to please Allah, even if you occasionally trip and fall, you know you are still heading the right direction. And Islam gives you the means to correct your self, comfort your heart, and guide you back to the straight path.

You will be fine, inshaAllah, and to the annonymouse commentor:

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

"To you be your Way, and to me mine."

alajnabiya said...

"annonymouse" ???? Oh dear! Did I type that? Really, I usually can spell, at least when I don't have an 11 year old bugging me to get off the computer!

Modern Muslimah said...

alajnabiya basically hit the nail on the head. I don't know who wrote that comment but I wouldn't even be surprised if it were a Muslim who is really upset about past choices made. Whoever wrote it, it was just silly. I know some converts do have this rose eyed view of KSA and then get really disappointed when they find the reality isn't what they expected but I don't think you're one of them. You've obviously done your research and decided that this is best for you. I really wonder why some people feel the need to knock whatever they don't like.

brnaeem said...

AA- Amy,

Not directly related to your frustrations rooted in the anonymous comment, but I would suggest that you keep your expectations low when coming to Saudi. That way you can't but come out on top! :-)

BTW, I laughed at the comfort food bit...while there are many western amenities available here, there's always that one thing that you really crave that isn't here (or if it is here, its mad expensive)...but nothing to make a life decision over...

Amy said...

As-salaamu Alaikum all--

Yes, I did notice that none of the scenarios were because of Islam. However, they are the typical sort of complaints that people make who are afraid of Muslim, afraid of Islam, dead certain that Muslims are just forcing Muslim women into doing things that are just against all humanity. More paranoid silliness, that's all. And you're right--we all make choices, some good, and some bad, and we will always have to deal with hard times. Jazakillah khair for your comment. :-)

I agree with you--it's paranoid and silly. It may be a Muslim, but I think it's some right-winger trying to halt at all costs the spread of Islam and disturbed at its appeal.

Thanks to you too. I will try to keep my expectations realistic, or what I think is realistic, and not necessarily low--because it is a huge decision and I would like to think it was not based on fanciful impressions. Although I try to imagine that things won't go as easily as I expect, that there are possibilities I haven't though of, and that I might not be as well off as I'm told to plan for. :) And between you and me, I could definitely do without comfort food--craving, or no craving. :)