Sunday, December 2, 2007

Note to self

Proofread and spell check before posting...otherwise quite often I make no sense and present a terrible picture of my language and spelling skills. Dear readers, whom ever you may be, have patience with mind can get confused much faster then my fingers can sort out the chaos.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Listen to your mother little girls!!

God made pairs in all of creation. As humans we are meant to be paired with another soul in order to find peace and solace...comfort and joy...guidance and acceptance by at least one other person on the planet. A lonely life awaits for those that cant find their other half...

Im 39 years old now and in all of this 39 years I have had men in my life....but no Man. My biological father was a drunk that....while not mean or abusive...just wasnt there. It seemed his whole purpose in life was to donate sperm on the odd occasion my mother allowed him into her bed. She did this more times then she would like to admit to...but I guess she had a soft spot for him. She decided after 4 kids with an absent father that she needed to change herself since waiting for him to change wasnt doing her much good. She divorced my dad...packed her kids and her belongings in a car and off she went....barely old enough to fend for herself much less take care of 4 kids alone.....but sometimes we reach our limit and to accept the situation as it is just cannot be tolerated one more minute. Little did she know she was stepping out of the frying pan into the fire.

Quite soon after she met a tall good looking strong bodied man who took charge and swept her off her feet. Didnt take more than a few weeks to realize that he was a controlling, possessive, jealous, angry man....but it was too late....controlling, possessive, jealous angry men dont let go of the one they subject these emotions to do they. So instead of having an alcoholic for a father...her children now had an emotionally and physically abusive one for a father.

They say that we marry our fathers if we are girls(does that hold true for boys as well) and I would have to agree with that adage as Im living proof. I realized I had married my step-father not long into my marriage...but as was the case with my then it was too late to unmake the mistake. 20 years later and the mistake has finally been corrected...but at what price?

I have 2 daughters that have only ever known an abusive father...has it all ready been decided for them that they will "marry" their father...or is the choice still up to them? Is there still a chance to correct the emotional damage that has been done and teach them that they deserve better than that...and shouldnt accept anything less?

Im living now without a man in my life...Ive lived my whole life without a Man in my life. I wonder what it would feel like to have a man....a real man....a man that showed compassion and mercy, a man that felt sympathy and remorse...a man that could talk out problems and not beat them into submission...a man that was a honest on the inside as the image he protrayed to the outside world. Does such a man exist out there and am I allowed to have one...or has it been predetermined that I can only ever have what my mother had...and what her mother had(an abusive alcoholic as well)...and are my daughters doomed to living without a real man too because its in our genes or something?

How do we get out of the cycle of violence and do we change what seems to be written in stone for do I unteach my daughters what their father taught them...that a man hits when he's angry...that a man shouts when he's angry...that a man belittles and demeans when he's angry...that a man accuses and punishes when he's angry....and that a woman should do all she can possibly do...even if it means to disrespect herself at all costs in order to keep him from being angry. Anger is the monster that must be that the kind of marriage that awaits them?

Im sad for my girls...I weep for them. I pray that my mistakes will not be their mistakes. I pray that my failures will not be their failures. I pray that when they are about to make a mistake that will have dire and long reaching affects in their life...that they will listen to me when I point out to them what they are doing...not listening to your mother is what gets most girls into these abusive marriages in the first place. Not listening is what keeps the cycle of violence going round.

I have 3 boys as well....I worry for them about what they have learned about being a man...being a husband...being a father. Are they doomed to lead a life in which being a real Man has little meaning to them...only action? Violence being the means of keeping control...I wonder if they will remember me...remember their sisters when the time comes for them to marry...and the choice is presented to get angry and react...or to calm down and listen. Not listening to your mothers is what turns most boys into angry monsters.

I pray for my children that the angry monster that has dominated their forefathers(or should I say foremothers) will not be a curse on them that they cannot escape....I pray that the monster is dead....death to the monster....may you never rest in peace.

Fear of the Writen Word?

I am a book fiend....a book devourer...I eat, breathe, and find great satisfaction and a general sense of internal well being when laying on my bed with my latest topic of interestest. Im eclectic when it comes to my reading material....I generally will browse and snap up anything that perks my interest...anything ranging from medical and history and biography...and even occasionally stray into which case, Stephen King and Dean Koontz are my favorite late night reads. I will basically read anything...there is always some sort of information to be gleaned, to pearl of wisdom, from every collection of words written.

My love of books and the written word has sadly not passed down to even one of my children. They have grown up watching me devour complete books in a day or two...spend my few last dinars of the month on a book when I really should be buying something deemed more important(like dinner). They have witnesed all of this and yet the written word holds little interest to them other than to get through some homework or read the latest cheat codes for the PS2 or what the hot pop star of the moment has doen recently to disgrace herself(or himself).

I consider this state of affairs a trajedy and a failure on my part to do my job as a mother and encourage education every step of their lives....but I must confess I was up against a rival thats had a few more years to get it right then please forgive me children for my failure and therefore your loss.

Who might this rival be, this killer of love for the written word....this suffocating monster of all thats beautiful when letters are placed next to each other to form words....and words are strung along to form sentences...and sentences are brought together to form stories, facts, images, fantasies, information in all its glory? I call it like I see it seems pretty much all govts of nearly all arab states arent that keen in getting the "oppressed masses" to open a book and read whats in it...books are bad...books are full of ideas and we all know what ideas can do...stir up the oppressed into realizing all is not fair and just in their society despite what the govt would have you believe....and that possible something must be done about it.

At any rate, there generally is no desire for reading among Arabs...not all of course, but a great many I have known are marginal readers at best. Most of them dont even own any books other than Quran and maybe a collection of hadith....which is usually high up on a shelf and if I bothered to check would most likely be rather dusty. Magazines are usually scattered around but they are of the fluff genre...not a National Geographic or Times anywhere to be found.

Years of experience and 5 kids in the public school system(sorry I cant afford the private schools that so many expatriates have access too) has taught me(and them....sigh) that information is meant to be memorized for a set period of time....then forgotten once its use has been served. Tests answers are memorized...test taken...then subject is forgotten....never to be brought up again. There is no encouragement to read in Bahrain govt schools...there are no book reports handed trips to the library once a week...checking out a book mandatory(like when I was growing up in the US) home work is all about copying answers from the book...nothing more than that. No inspired teacher galvanizing her students to seek answers for lifes teacher encouraging his students to learn about a world outside Bahrains borders....I know you will all say...thats not true of everyone...I agree...generalizations generally dont include the entire population....but 5 kids....times how many teachers over a period of 14 years tells me that its the norm rather than the exception to get a teacher that is barely more than a babysitter in their respective classes.

So Im up against a monumental adversary when it comes to encouraging my children to seek inspiration and excitement in the closed confines of hardback book when cool graphics and sound effects from the latest gaming system....or the latest Reality TV contestent is about to be knocked off(and usually not the one that deserves it). There is no contest...and Arabs are the losers. It pains me that my children are growing up in a society that considers libraries a place to store books....not a place that has books whose sole purpose is to be unread book is like a undriven sports unanswered love letter....a boat that has never left the dock....a great idea that never left the lips of the one who thought it...what a terrible waste. More on that later.

A Sexual Abuse Crime Wave?

It seems there is a hot topic for discussion or argument everywhere you turn now in bahrain...everywhere except the newspapers that is. Sexual abuse seems to be on the rise...or maybe its just getting reported more, i dont know, but you cant open the local paper anymore without seeing that some monster has creeped among our children, among our daughters, wives, sister..sometimes even our sons...this monster is having his way and the sharia courts in Bahrain dont seem all that interested in stopping them.

Punisment here is laughable...hardly a few years in jail if even that. What the hell is the matter with the judges in this contry...why arent they sending these animals down a dark hole where they belong for a very long time....for forever seems even better? Why such lenient punishments for such a heinous crime? I just dont get it.

Along with that of course there is the always present stigma of sexual abuse. i mentioned that before. For those brave souls willing to come forward...they are playthings in the hands of society that sees them as co conspirators or deserving in some way of what they got. it sickens me that they must suffer the worst of abuse the hands of a monster and then again by their own community that should offer support and sympathy and a shoulder to cry on rather than turn their backs but keep their tongues wagging.

I happened to notice there was an article in Bahrains GDN on Friday that encouraged some exposure of this issue. A conference on Womens Rights and how to make a distinction between culture and Islam. i wish i had been at that sounds like just what I have been saying all along....those are two different things and yet "laws" here are based on culture more than islam..and thats a damn shame. Women are abused here and treated much the same way as sexual abuse voice to complain...and a slap in the mouth if they dare too. The outrage should be huge...and yet it barely stirs up a ripple in the community. Protests for everything from boycotting Israel to demanding apologies for cartoons drawn of the prophet....and yet not one protest against the lenient punishments given to pedophiles and rapists on almost a daily basis here. WTF!

Silence means we accept monsters roaming the dark alleys and deserted areas of our we accept them living in our homes under our roofs....we call them father, husband, brother.....but in real life we should call them monsters...predators. Are we so much afraid of what our neighbor will say about us...about our daughter...our child, the victim of that abuse..that we prefer to remain silent when it means allowing the monster to go free?

I told myself I would change my ways this year...would change the way i think...act etc....that means I must put my fear aside and do what I need to do ....what i should have done from the very start.

Life isnt easy...most of the time it really sucks...but its the only life we have...we dont get a redo. If I dont make a difference in this life...this one life I get....then what the hell is my purpose...why was i chosen to be the mother of my children...if not to protect them against every danger....every evil in the world....and when, despite my vigilant eye, evil slithers in right under my it not my duty to seek seek at the very least, vengeance?

Sometimes I think my kids hate the things I do...or maybe just sigh and hope none of their friends realize Im their mother(I have a mother too so I know what that feels like) I try to keep my embarrasing moments to a minimum...I try not to call attention to them unless absolutely necessary....but I feel by doing the right thing now...I will turn their world upside down...more than the usual....more than all ready turned.....but I cant change what has all ready happened...I can only affect what will happen in the future.

For once, my future is in my hand...relitively speaking. More on that later.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Turning Point for Me

Yesterday was my 39 birthday(gasp) did I reach this point in my life? Where did all the years between 18 and 39 go? It seems while I was living it that it went excruiatingly slow...I was suffering an abusive in a foreign country...had nobody to share my misery with or send the loneliess you better believe time went slow as molasses. And yet, here I am, 39 and when I look back it all seems like a blur. I find myself asking me what have I done in my life to make sense of me being here? What did God created me for and have I fullfilled that purpose...if I havent(and I hope to God I havent)...then what can I do to achieve it. If I have....damn, I got to wonder if that was the best God expected from me cause I certainly expected a whole lot more.....from me.

At any rate, Ive decided to change it up a bit. People say you cant change can only change yourself and I cant say that Ive particularly liked who Ive been all this 39 years. I could definitely do with some improvement...inside and out. I realize that its not New Years so its a bit early for resolutions but I'll consider Nov 18th my New Year...and its a countdown to Nov 18th, 2008...Ive got one year to change who I am and be something more....whatever that more is Im not real sure of right now....maybe it will come to me as I go along. On the eve of my 4oth birthday I want to look back on this day...right now....and tell myself...damn girl, what happened to you? I hardly recognize you....lost all that weight, got some more exducation swirling around in your head....maybe got a better job(or just liking the one I got a little more)....and speaking with more authority on the one thing that interests me more than anything else at the moment....Islam. I hope I can look back and came a long way baby...I hope I can do that. I dont want to be 40 and in the same condition, situation, mental quagmire that Im in right now. We are supposed to change and evolve and learn new things and put them to use and in general make our lives better, different, more exciting, more ambitious, more determined...more....just more really. I want more is what Im saying I guess. I feel like Ive been cheated out of my life in some way...nothing I dreamed of doing when I was young happened...even came close to happening. I feel cheated from that....I know what your saying, life it what it is ....was what it was....we might expect certain things to happen but just cause they didnt doesnt mean we had a right to them...right? I know thats true for those that tried and failed or never even tried....but I might point out to those that care that I was never even given the chance to life was not my own....another story.

At any rate, that is what I will do for the next 363 days....try. Try to be more outgoing...try to be more assertive...try to say what I really want to say and not just what I know people expect to hear...try to take chances and not let fear lead me away from obvious chances at improvement. i want to try new things and get excited about discovery, learning, improving, changing, name it I want to experience it.

If I had one dream that I could fullfill given the chance though this is what it would in college about Islam, about Women in Islam, about Islam and Culture, about Islam and Govt, Islam and Sharia, Islam and name it I want to study it. I want to fill myself up with words words and more words about this religion of mine...I want those words to imprint on my mind....on my heart....I want to speak with authority and not with trepidation, I want to prove my points with confidence and not hesitation....I want more of what I have now...sigh.

At any rate, this was just a rambling post with no real purpose except to get some thoughts in cyber year from now I will come back and see if I succeded in getting more of whatever it was I went after. I'll keep you posted. More on that later.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Its Not What You Do...Its Who Your With

Opening the newspaper over here in the Arab world is a constant struggle for self control...the crime that occurs is much the same sort of crime that occurs in every corner of the world so thats nothing too shocking...all though being "Islamic" countries seems to suggest crime should be an exception and not the norm., reading about crime in the paper is not what puts my self control to the test...its the punishments the Sharia Courts mete out to those that have committed crime. There seems to be no ryhme or reason for base from which each crime has a set punishment...but depending on circumstance it can more or less....but there should be a punishment that fits the crime...the worse the crime....the more punishment given. Something along those lines.

I will mention sex crimes here because thats the one area that seems to be completely out of whack when it comes to punishing the criminal. Several days ago a brother-in-law raped his 13 year old sister-in-law...he got 5 years. A man raped a 5 year old boy...he got 5 years reduced to 1 year. I see sodomy reported which can range from 1 to 3 years....molesting kids in the street maybe a few months to a year or two...the shock goes on with each new item reported.

However, seeing the paper recently added a whole new level of disgust to the whole "Sharia Law Charade" seems a Saudi girl went out with who I assume was her boyfriend...or at least a boy she knew. During the evening she was subsequently raped by a gang of men. So the punishment meted out by the Saudi Sharia courts was...jail terms for the rapists and lashes for the victim!! The saudi authorities cite that she was in the company of a nonmahrem and thats what she got punished for...

So, lets see....according to the judge who sat on this case...being with a nonmahrem warrants a more severe punishment then raping someone...? Is this for real? Now Ive never been lashed before, all though my father could swing a mighty mean belt from time to time...but I know for sure languishing in jail is a vacation to suffering lashes....and, get this, she gets 200 of them!! Originally she was meant to get 89 I believe but when her lawyer protested the punishment citing that she had been punished all ready...and he issued a statement to the newspaper...the judge decided she deserved more punishment for trying to use the media to her advantage. What the hell was her advantage....rape by a gange of men, impending punishment by lashing for that rape...and of course the always present slander and destruction of her reputation she will not be known as the girl that got raped....she will be known as the girl that "had sex" with 5 or 6 men.

Now whether or not this girl could be deemed to have had reason for punishment is one thing....but what about the men that raped her...they had immoral sex....adultery, fornication...whatever you want to call it they had sex with a female they werent married why no lashes for them? I have no idea if any of them were married but if so then according to "Sharia Law" they should be least thats what happens to females living in Muslim countries today all over the Middle East have to face....I cant remember the last time I heard of a Muslim man being stoned for sex outside of marriage....all those women must have been having unmarried sex by themselves....hmmm?

So, if we just glance through any Arab newspaper from any country today we would come to the conclusion, quite rightly, that the so called Sharia Law that these so called Sharia Courts are basing judgments on is full of shit...excuse my french...or maybe the law is there but the judges themselves dont seem to care or understand the truly horrible crimes that sexual abuse and rape are...why else such light sentences...why else more punishment for the victim and not that much for the criminal...why else call it Sharia Law which indicates it has some sort of Quranic or Islamic backing...when in fact its Mans Law...which is made by man, for man and for no other gender or group such as women or children. This farce that is the Sharia Court system must be stopped and changed if the human rights abuse that is occurring in every single "Islamic" country today is going to even come close to following Gods Law...right now they arent even reading from the same book....much less practicing the same religion...and thats a damn shame.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Change of Pace

I spent today cruising the highway of Bahrain blogs and was quite amazed at what I found. Lots of my fellow island dwellers are like minded when it comes to being pissed at the current state of the Islamic/Muslim world today. Some use quite colorful language while expressing their angry views too. Thats refreshing actually as Bahrainis seem quite unwillingly to say things even the least bit controversial in anything above a whisper in my experience...but maybe thats just in english?

I was happy to see sooo many critics of the govt here.....I swear everyone I meet always seem to gush with praise when the ruling family are mentioned or something about the latest govt plan. Then again maybe thats just in english.

Based on all this Ive read Ive decided to somewhat change my postings...more of my day to day dealings with life and bahrain plus the occasional burst of self righteous anger thrown in now and again to keep in interesting. And that will be just in english. More on that later.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Are you a Muslim?...yes...are you?

I had the occassion to visit the Sharia courts here in Bahrain recently on a personal legal issue. I was forbidden to enter the court when my turn came up because I was not wearing hijab. I happen to know there is no law in Bahrain ordering women to wear hijab anywhere...much less in court...and yet this judge was ordering me to do so. His security even came out with one in his hand offering it to me....he said, its just temporary...for a moment. Not even for a moment will I wear the hijab for a man who thinks he can force his beliefs or desires on me.

I mentioned the name of the Sharia court complaints dept and the head guy there and suddenly all things were possible...I was ushered into the court with less than good grace. I stood before the judge who immediately tried to hassle me as to why I wasnt wearing hijab and that Im obligated to while in the court room. I replied that there is no law about it so I chose not to...he said there is Sharia law and its in the Quran....I replied that neither was true and he could hardly contain himself from my pertinence. I told him that I wasnt there anyway to argue about hijab...just for my case. He told me that since your not Muslim I allowed you into my court....when I burst his bubble and told that I am indeed a Muslim he nearly lost it. He mentioned in arabic(thought I didnt understand that I should feel shame for not wearing hjab then etc. He then asked me out right...are you sure your a Muslim? I said yes...Im sure he didnt believe me but thats neither here nor there. I had my venue changed to a judge that wouldnt discriminate against me based solely on my attire...wrote a scathing letter to the local paper that resulted in a lot of heat...with more to come Im told...and decided that I would no longer allow men to ask me such a question without answering in return...yes I am...are you?

Why is it that Muslim women are automatically assumed to not be Muslim or "fallen" Muslims simply because they choose not to wear hijab....dont believe its required. Why are women judged wholesale on that issue more than anything else in her life? Men have no such burden to bear...they are Muslim regardless of what they choose to wear or what sins they take delight in. Women are burdened with having to physically remind people they are Muslim or else they are deemed not "true" Muslims.

All I can say is...I hope God is watching all this and takes appropriate action when the time comes. Insha Allah....more on that later

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Theres no such thing as a Muslim country!

If you look around the world today you will see quite a few countries out there that claim to be either an Islamic one or a Muslim one depending on who your talking to...I've come to the conclusion that there is not one single country today that can claim such a distinction. I'll tell you why...

God gave us the Quran as a source of guidance...He allows certain things and forbids certain things. Humans that we are we tend to wander back and forth over the line of moral and immoral behavoir now and again...but I would venture to say that most of us usually stick to the side of good behavoir as much as possible. Crossing the line doesnt mean your not a Muslim anymore...despite what many other Muslims will claim...but it does mean you need to get a grip on yourself and drag your sorry butt back over the line before things get out of hand. Most of the time we committ sin in secrecy....but other times our "sins" are there for the world and society to see...this is the area in which a Muslim country would be distinct from a non muslim country.

God forbids us to slander each other...especially when it comes to Muslim woman. Muslims are to guard their tongues against backbiting and slandering other people and yet we do it with such relish it would seem that our tongues have a mind of their own. To trash a woman comes easily and without much thought as to what your doing to her...God requires 4 witnesses to adultery and yet if someone happens to see a lady walking near a man in the mall or talking to a guy by the waterfountain or maybe giggling a little to intimately over her mobile...then in less time than it takes to say astagfirallah...her reputation is destroyed....the whispers start and she is deemed unmarriagable material just because she dared cross the line in public. Im wondering where in our deen does it say that males and females cant speak to each other...cant hang out with completely innocent motives...just friends spending time doing what friends do. Why is everything in the Muslim world about sex and how to prevent it...or if it does happen how to hide it...if it cant be hidden then have fun with it and destroy the parties involved...this usually just means the female side as boys will be boys and secretly expected to sow some oats.

How many times have I heard Muslims say...'our women are like pearls...precious and we should keep them safe and prevent harm coming to them"....these are the same Muslims that will not hesitate to demolish a woman just because she stepped out of the box constructed for her. You know that box...the one in which she cannot smile at, talk to, walk near, call on the phone, or bring up in conversation any person belonging to the male species or she is secretly(or not so secretly) thought of as a slut, promiscuus, easy game....not considered a good Muslim woman. Heaven is at the feet of our mothers right? But how can that be if we are suspicious of our mothers motives..wondering who she's talking to when she's out and about...wondering who she brings into the home when the man of the house is gone...wondering who she said salam to in the market or smiled at at the bank....we love our mothers, sisters, daughters but apparently we dont trust them to behave themselves and this is why we put all the rules for moral behavoir on them....and destroy them if they find they burden too heavy to bear.

Men do not even come close to having to bear such a heavy burden...they can dress as they around in the streets if they want...have a mobile full of girls numbers and who cares...even cheat on their wives and its all accepted and hushed up....they are seen as weak when it comes to self control and so what can we do....God gave them the right to 4 wives for a reason right? They need a lot of sex and can they help it if females are walking all open and asking for it in the street? Woman, good Muslim women should be at home tending the brothers and fathers or husbands....they should not be outside so that other Muslims will have the opportunity to wag their tongues and pick away at their reps with glee and delight.

Show me where are the Muslim countries in which the society cares about each other....helps each other in good deeds and advises against bad but does it with good words and understanding? Wheres the compassion for each other and fear of God for what our own tongues have piled upon our fire and more fire. Is it worth it to judge each other so it worth it to unfairly point fingers when we would hate to have those fingers pointed at us?

Dont we love our mothers, sisters, and daughters enough to trust and respect them and allow them to make their own decisions about their lives and how they live it?

You say your women are precious....I really believe you feel your women are a burden...something to be kept hidden keep from getting pregnant until she's safely married...something to obssess about and worry over about every move she makes.

I love my daughters...even more than my sons I think at times cause I know how living in this so called Muslim country...their lives are sooo much harder because of the other so called Muslims living around us. God forgive us for allowing this culture to rule over us rather than the word of God. More on that later.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Go Ahead and Prove It!!

I find it difficult to debate(argue) with my fellow Muslims on occasion as many of them just dont know a damn thing about their religion....other than to spout out some pertinent hadeeth when it suits their purpose. If you bring up a subject, any subject, and point out that the Quran, and thereby God, either had something to say about it....or didnt....they will turn around and tell you to "go ahead and prove it". Prove it by showing them exactly where it is or isnt written...Im wondering if these Muslims have even read the Quran...if they did did they read it in the same manner as you would a telephone book or about read it like similar to the reading you do when completely bored and so browse topics on a real interest unless something pops up to perk your noggin. How can you believe in and practice a religion that you know very little about I want to know? Now I realize I am not perfect in my deen....far from it....there are many things I do not know and it kills me really that I dont know those what do I do...? I get my hands on a book. open the cover, and hopefully come out the other side with some new knowledge planted in my head....Im pretty sure thats how learning works. I read the Quran over and over and over and I would be willing to swear to the fact that each time I read it something new comes up that I pretty sure I never read before...happens time and again...each reading of the Quran is somewhat like my first ideas, new comprehension of old ideas.

Muslims in general are fairly ignorant about their religion...ok I said but I wont apologize for it because I do believe its true. Sad state of affairs when nonMuslims can debate Muslims and spin them in circles using their own hadeeth or tafsir etc. Muslims seem to have a huge fear in being proven wrong about something and so you cant argue them into just argue until they get so mad they either get up and leave or declare your "western" in your thinking and therefore a borederline kafir(gasp). If I debate(argue) with a Muslim I will quote vereses from the Quran....they will counter with did it come to this point that the Quran is debated against using hadeeth I want to know? How did hadeeth gain such a prominent position that hadeeth are more generally known and quoted then ayat from the Quran? When did this shifting of power from the Quran to hadeeth happen and why were those Muslims that were standing by watching it happen...standing by and watching it happen? Where was the outcry...where was the riots and Holy War against the Muslims who came to believe that hadeeth should hold sway over the Quran...that the Quran should back up hadeeth and not the other way around? That to quote an ayat in the Quran means little unless theres a corresponding hadeeth to explain and legitimize it?

Very sad state of affairs when our Holy Book from God gets replaced with a conglomerate montage of basically the chinese whisper game....completely man made and having no protection or sanction from God....but God Himself reminds us that He "does not change the condition of a people until they first change themselves". I imagine He's been patiently waiting for us to get busy with the "changing" part...we've had enough time thats for sure. More on that later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why the Resistance?

I've actually came across some Islamic style blogs after doing some late night cruising on the highway of info...I would venture to hazard a guess and say nearly all of the ones I came across were very anti Moderate Muslim thinking....they make being a Moderate Muslim sound similar to being a kafir....God forgive them....I dont understand this thinking as Islam is considered the "Middle Way" according to our prophet and moderate by definition means not too extreme and not too lenient...exactly what our prophet preached and what we should be following if we know whats good for us....right? Wrong! Muslims are the "either your with us or against us" sort of people....either you agree with us 100% without doubt or argument or even the teeniest bit doubt....or you might as well call yourself a Christian since they are so wishy washy when it comes to practice anyway....or so Ive been told.

Whats wrong with reforming Islam? Seriously I want to know? Is it written in stone...or is it flexible? I do realize that some rules just cant be changed...dont kill anyone...thats a good one and should stay of course...we do enough killing without permission from God...I can only imagine the horrors if we suddenly decided that to "kill was better than not to kill" to stealing as well...whats mine is mine unless I give it to you willingly...but enough with the handchopping business...I cant imagine chopping off a bodypart is going to make someone suddenly become Gods little angel on would only hamper more what was probably a fairly messed up situation to start with. If we can do away with slavery, which is actually allowed in Islam, then why cant we do away with hand chopping? Just a thought. Also, whats with the black sack that many Muslim women are required to wear to be deemed and seen as pious? Why black and why a sack? I can agree that black is a slimming color when worn properly but most countries that seem to forcefully require women to wear it are countries that suffer daily temps of the 150 degree type...I dare a Muslim Man to wear a black thobe rather than his oh so cool white one while out and about some time and see if he doesnt feel like a baked potato after only 2 minutes in the blazing sun. Only then might he have a bit of mercy on the women in his family that suffer this everyday of their lives....walk in their shoes and all that. If anyone has ever read a piece about safety in clothing...especially when it comes to toddlers then they will know that extremely loose clothing can be a hazard. How many times have I seen a Muslim woman trying to hold her shopping and keep her abaya wrapped around her only to see her lose her grip on one or the other in the end....why should she have to juggle like that...throw in a 2 year old that needs his hand held and you got a 3 ring circus with a front row seat...the part that gets your sympathies moving is usually when we see her doing her juggling act all the while her hubby is cruising along unemcumbered hardly aware of her thats justice. Ive also seen women who get their abayas caught in car doors or revolving doors...with the expected result... a quick whipping off of the one thing between her and her "modesty and reputation"...or a near strangulation...please tell me how thats something God wants from place their very lives in danger just to keep the male population from ooglying...what happened to "lower your gaze" and all that? I think the entire male Muslim population should be made to wear the black sack for at least one full day during the hottest time of the year....they must shop, drive, keep kids in line, and constantly check to make sure no part of their body is being shown to the always leering hormone driven hordes of female pervs lining the streets...just one day...and I can bet those same Muslim men might not be so demanding on us poor women folk that seem to always get burdened with the harder part of every religious deal known to man...of course if we dare to complain about the heat we get the same stern warning..."how much hotter are the fires of Hell(cue the sinister music score)......more on that later.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Excuse me but I dont hate Arabs!

I guess it could seem possible viewing my posts that I hate I sound a little antiArab here and there? I suppose I do but in fact I dont hate Arabs as a people...some of the finest people I have met are Arab, my very best friend in the world is Arab, and my beautiful children are half Arab so how could I hate something that is a part of my own flesh and blood...? I do not hate them....but I do hate how they have taken control of Islam and made it into an Arab religion rather than a religion from God. As I said before....many Arabs believe deep down that if your not a pure blooded Arab then there is no way your a pure blooded Muslim(is there such a thing as that or did I just make it up...?).

I constantly have been asked over these 20 years if I am in fact a "real Muslim"...what does that mean I wonder? If I believe in God, the prophet, and the 5 pillars does that make me real or must I also prescribe to the Arab thought proccess and traditional customs to be seen as legit? Most of these people who asked me that question could very well see the hijab on my head at the time but still felt inclined to ask...whats up with that? Isnt the hijab supposed to be a Muslim womans identifying trademark as a Muslim? Would I be wearing hijab just cause I was having a bad hair day....for 17 years in a row? I could imagine if someone asked me that question today as I do not wear the hijab anymore...but shouldnt my actions speak louder than my clothing when it comes to identifying me as Muslim...? Unfortunately when it comes to the general Muslim masses that isnt always the matter that our prophet advised us not to judge someone purely based on seeing them go up and down in the mosque...but by how they spent their time and with hijab or lack there of shouldnt be my sole source of judgement...but it is...for me and for millions of other Muslim women out there. I dont hate Arabs but I also want to kick some Arab butt now and again for letting this rediculous notion that women are only pious if they are covered and not so pious if they are not be the soul source of determining her level of taqwa....Muslim men have no such on the spot judgement made about them based on clothing alone...all though having a beard down to your ankles and a shorter than average thobe does sometimes make you jump to the conclusion that he is Mr HajibeardedMan and oh so pious...I for one have discovered that is far far from the truth...but thats another story.

Anyhow, for those that read this and assume Ive got a bone to pick with Muslim Arabs then you are right...I do, because even though they are not the worst offenders when it comes to antiMuslim behavoir around the globe...much of what we determine to be Islamic was enforced on us and made Holy by the Arabs that came before us...Arab culture and tradition equals Islamic theology and practice...and that is what I hate and thats the bone I want to pick...more on that later.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Your Either With Us or Against Us

Now calm down! this is not a GWB idiotic statement revisited...this is what I have come to learn having spent 20 years in the Middle East. There are two types of Muslims....the Arab Muslim and then all the rest of us. After 1450 years of Islam having been given to our prophet and then passed on to us I have learned that there are two kinds of Islam as well....there is Arab Islam and then theres just regular old Islam that God tried very hard to instill in us. I like to call them Hislam and Islam respectively.

Islam: means peace and complete submission to Gods will...this is followed by an entire book filled with all thats necessary to live a just and God fearing good Muslim life without too much strain or burden. God doesnt say He made it easy for us just cause he likes to hear the sound of His own voice...right?

Hislam: means all the patriarchal mysoginistic b.s. that snaked its way into Islam by way of early Arab culture and which has stuck around so long its practically been canonized and made Holy and therefore must be followed for you to be considered a Muslim....failure to comply leaves you branded either kafir(extreme) or bad muslim(weak adab).

Arguing with an Arab Muslim that something they practice and expect the rest of the Muslim world to practice is based on culture and not the Quran is frustrating to say the least....I might as well argue that the makers of Chocolate hate me and have all conspired to make me fat(they are doing a good job btw). You cannot get an Arab Muslim to believe that culture and Islam are two distinctly different things...they have meshed the two together to such an extent that nearly the entire Islamic concept as given to us by God has nearly been replaced with what Arab Muslims have thought or believed for the last 1450 years. God never had a chance when up against the hyped up ego and male dominated pride concept in that early Muslim community. You can lead an Arab to Islam but you cant make him think....beyond his "I am Arab therefore all I say or believe to be Islamic is in fact Islamic" questions asked. One moment while I pause and pull out some hair.....sigh!

It would seem that Arabs just plain do not like to discuss differences of opinions when it comes to Islam...there can be no differences...a different opinion means someone was thinking outside the box(a box predesigned by Arabs oh so long ago...with no escape route apparently)..opinions by nonarab Muslims...or nonarabs in general are hardly ever seen as having any validity in Islam whether those people are learned in Islam or not...simply because they are not Arab...very sad to be so limited in your acceptance of others. Wheres the...:I made nations to know each other" in all this? An Arab will quickly denounce all such differences as being influenced by the West and thus haram...and will refuse to partake in any sort of discussion on that particular subject...might as well bang your head on the wall...the pain is all the same.

I love Arab people in very best friend in the world is Arab...and yet I cannot discuss anything even with her when it comes to Islam...they wrapped up Islam(Arab version) packaged it in a pretty little nonporous box(nothing gets in nothing gets out) and then proceded to shove it down our throats as the only Islam acceptable by God and our prophet...not even a cup of gahwa to make the swallowing easier....if we choke on it then its our fault for not being Good Little NonArab Muslims...try as we might we will never measure up...more on that later.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Is God Just or not?

As I said before...mention hijab to muslims and you've got them foaming at the mouth more often than certainly gets the religious fanatics out in force with the least provocation. Just see France not too long would seem that a govt of a country could pretty much pass what laws it seems are necessary to keep the peace or whatnot...right...except when it comes to hijab...tell the muslim masses that women can no longer wear hijab in school and suddenly you've got riots and protesters coming out in force....crying about our rights in Islam...our rights as Muslims....our rights our rights our rights!!! What they really mean is "our rights as Muslim men to control what our Muslim women home(in our Islamic countries) and abroad(in nonIslamice countries) because isnt it funny that these Holier than Thou Muslim men that were protesting and claiming that wearing the hijab is a right for Muslim women and no one can tell them otherwise...are the same Muslim men(ok not the same but having the same fanatical thought process) that forced young girls back into a burning building cause they were not wearing hijab...some of these girls burned to death because of the backward thinking notion that God wants a womans body(and girls for that matter) to be completely hidden from men at all costs...her very life means little if proper hijab is not worn.

The Quran is a beautiful piece of work...its poetic style and rich vibrant text comes alive with meaning and images when read....just listening to it can bring one to tears...even non muslims or muslims who dont know arabic have felt the spell of its recitation.....and yet we are often brought to tears over hadith that are harsh and condescending of women...that limit what God explands...that force down what God picked up....what oppresses what God enlightens....God sees women as an equal half of humanity...equal creations with rights, obligations, and rewarded or punished in the same manner as men.....God is Most Just in all matters without a doubt. Yet muslims will come along and say that ...while yes we are all created equal...we differ in that women are just sooooo damn sexy and tempting that men are by nature toooo damn weak to resist them...hence women should cover up against the weak nature of men....hows that for unfair unjust religious thinking? God says we are all accountable for our own actions...God says that both genders are required to "lower our gazes"...that both genders are required to observe modest behavoir and thought....that both genders will judged according to what they themselves did or didnt do...not on what they did cause someone looked hot in a pair of short shorts or cause her hair was just awesome with the sun shining on it...picking out highlights and twinkling at me just daring me to reach out and touch it....sounds like men have a built in "get out of jail free card" when it comes to sin against women....if the woman is showing her hair(or if she isnt) if she's near me(as in within a few hundred meters) if she's looking at me(as in glanced my way at some point) if she's talking to me(as in asked me directions) if she more or less intruded on my male space with her physical body...her voice....her smell....her whatever....then she is obviously not a good muslim girl and subject to my advances....she cannot cry later and say "I was minding my own business" as a muslim girls business is never her own...its the entire ummahs and they shall determine what her business is and where she can take care of it.

Hijab is just a whitewash of religious responsibility for muslim men....its the excuse given or blame placed for every single act committed against muslim women....if she was raped...its not the fault of the rapist who obviously wasnt thinking about God or Heaven or Hell while raping her....its her fault for not wearing proper hijab(if she wore hijab then for not wearing niqab....if she wore niqab then its for being out of her home...the excuses are endless)...but basically its her fault.....she will be punished either by her family or community....or both more than likely....the man hardly ever gets blamed or even punished for sex can he when its clearly understood that men are the weaker sex....they have no control over the little head that rules their lives...they eat, sleep, and dream of sex...its programmed into them to start wanting sex from an early age and to want it, seek it, and obtain it at whatever costs until they way around it girls...we are sex machines waiting to be acted upon by helpless male robots. No blame for them for being what God created them to be...right? What about women? Dont we want sex, dont we think about it...dont we seek it, dream about it? Why arent women viewed as being driven by the desire for sex the same way men are...? We are seen as the sluts while men are studs...we are promiscuous while men are....well studs...we are loose while men are...once again...studs. Any hint that we had sex, talked about sex, thought about sex, looked at pics of sex or even hinted that we know men have penises and also know how they are used....means we are immoral sex depraved nymphos that deserve whatever men see fit to give very sad. Where is Gods Mercy on half his creation in all this...where is Gods justice on half his creation in all this...where is God in any of this "gender equality' that scholars are soooo quick to give lectures on....but rarely ever mention the reality? More on that later....

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It seems nothing can burn up people and get their tempers flaring faster than the words....I don't believe in hijab. Thats akin to saying you dont believe in the prophet or Islam and boy do people take it oh so personal when you claim such a belief. All the ayats in the Quran point to a personal relationship with God. We have religious authority in pope or similar that sends down religious orders from on high that all devout followers must obey in order to be seen as good and worthy of eternal happiness. We do have scholars...thats for sure...more than we know what to do with it seems. Anyone can be a scholar these days....memorize a few hadith and presto! Scholar extrodinaire. If someone has the name Imam or Mufti or even Dr in a front of their name then apparently everything that comes out of their mouths should be viewed as holy and Godlike....anyone who professes disbelief in what some scholar has said is once again committing apparent blasphemy...of course that comes with an exception(everything in Islam seems to these days). A scholar is only a scholar if his(always a him) opinion agrees with all the million or so scholars that came before him. In other words, if your scholar holds a differing opinion than the Holy Consensus then your scholar has no doubt been influenced by the Devil West and is not worthy of passing ijtihad or even one tiny fatwa.

I find it curious that God exhorts us time and again to use our brains...think and reason for ourselves...and most especially to not follow leaders blindly without checking first if they deserve our obedience....and yet the majority of Muslims out there will solemnly declare that to not follow a scholars matter how inane or unIslamic it is, is, once again that magic word...Blasphemous! Practically shirk for Gods sake! These men are men of God....spent their whole lives bent over a hadith book until their backs were twisted...burning the midnight oil and cruising the superhighway of hadith literature to find every single instance in which the prophet supposedly declared something halal, haram, or possibly allowed but maybe not really halal...oooh better to avoid it...maybe its from the West and so bida....God save us from the Devil West and all its kafir technology and evil thoughts....I'd do the cross sign now but might get zapped by never know how God is feeling at any particular moment.

Anyhow, I digress....hijab. Now quite a few Muslims out there believe with all their hearts and minds and religious fevour that God did not order women to wear hijab....its not mentioned in the Quran and the few hadith that mention(very few) are weak....not to mention the plain fact that our prophet had no authority to deem something haram that God Himself did not make so. i find it ironic really that there really is very little mentioned in the Quran in terms of modest dress and whats required....and all the hadith that mention womens dress are weak and unsatisfactory and just not all that Islamic sounding...and yet the magic little piece of cloth that prevents unwanted looks, grasping fingers and shoulder bumps in crowds....not to mention softens the words of mens and takes over their sexual thoughts until they are tamed...preventing rape you know(or maybe you didnt know that....its true ask any muslim...hijab prevents rape...better than a can of mace)....and causes the man to treat you with respect whether he wants to or not. he has no wear hijab....he automatically has to treat you with respect...its in the Muslim code of honour...of which many many Muslim men have not taken the time to ready I might add. Please please someone do a survey on how many women who do wear hijab have actually been molested or harassed or God forbid, raped despite not showing a single hair and lowering her gaze at all times? Any hands? Well, mine is waving frantically in the air as I was repeatedly treated disrespectfully by these so called Muslim men while I had my hair securely hidden and minded my own business. Hijab has taken on the burden of being the "6th pillar of Islam". Or should i say that women have taken on the burden of being the spokespeople for Muslims the world over....see our pious Muslims sisters that dont walk around half naked for non muslims to lust after and molest....that our job thank you very much and we intend to keep it that way. The magical qualities of hijab...books could be written on the subject....oops I forgot...they have been.....more on that later....Nuff said for now.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Rant revisited

I was cruising the blog highway last nite and was amazed at how many diverse blogs people had come up with....but basically nothing of substance. All play and no sex sex every third blog and now and then something in Japanese that looked interesting but complete Swahili...or rather Japanese. Before I knew it an hour had passed and I hadnt come across a single other Muslim, at least not by obvious reference, in all those blogs. Where are you my fellow sisters and brothers? No time for the net, too busy praying and fasting and worshipping God to get on here and air your personal thoughts and feelings concerning life as a Muslim? I would actually mean that if I ...well actually meant that...but I know who you are and I know what your doing....and most likely its not praying, fasting, and worshipping the One Supreme Being....unless of course that One Supreme Being is the big screen tv that shows the latest Hollywood blockbusters or strangest addition to the Reality TV family....that we have time for.

Non muslims claim we are the silent majority when it comes to Islamic issues and troubles...the few fundamentalists are running around the globe blowing up this and that ....shouting Allahu Akbar and claiming God is on their side....while the nightly news gets close ups of carnage and grief these radicals leave behind...and Islam gets kicked in the ass again as being the least peaceful religion on the planet today...same ol same ol and life goes on. All the while the vast majority of Muslims will shake their heads in sympathy for the latest victims of terrorism...silently thank God they didnt live anywhere near there and then loudly proclaim.."well those are not Muslims and they are going to Hell" with a self satisfied smile and superior air of inner Muslim Holiness. Completely forgetting that our Jihad...the correct Jihad and not the screaming headlines of newspapers everywhere associating Jihad with Holy War and giving religious backing to terrorist everywhere....our Jihad my fellow sisters and to stand up, clear our throats, make sure we got a good feed on the microphone not to mention a good tv station promoting us...and LOUDLY claim that that is not Islam....those are not Muslims....we got to do it publicly and with a larger than large audience cause the terrorist got the whole globe as an audience and we got squat...nobody is interested in moderate muslims and talks about peace and coexisting with the rest of the is business and blood and carnage equals viewers equals money money money......wish I had a dollar for every time the word terrorism and muslim or Islam was used in the same sentence...ahh the rich life...oops I digress....silence means I correct? Terrorists go and blow up some building....scores of people dead....national security alert goes up to yellow, red orange...some damn color of the rainbow....and muslims the world over are all labeled either terrorists or terrorists supporters in one fail swoop. And what do the majority of us peaceful living minding our own business Muslims do about it?.....some us duck our heads in shame and loathe to claim that we are Muslim...others proclaim terrorists not really Muslims and wash their hands of the whole sorry deal while others blame american policy concerning Middle East affairs and give a hint that the terrorists do have a legitimate gripe and could possibly be right...just "a little" extreme in how they express themselves...others are just silent about it all hoping someone else will take charge and set the record straight. Dont hold your breath on that....the people "in charge" of Islam today...the Muslims in authority of Islam today do not have your best interest at not have Islams best interest at not give a squiggly fig about Gods "real message of peace" as prescribed in the Quran...once again its all money money money to the sound of oil barrels being loaded on to the nearest tanker in the Gulf...Ka ching! Lets all bow our heads and pray to the almighty dollar that has more devout worshippers and followers than any other single diety in the history of man...can you say Amen? I knew that you could!!!

Islam is peace...peace is Islam. We've heard it all before....we Muslims say it several times a day no doubt when talking about the world and the trouble its in....peace peace peace....comes out of the mouth rather nicely doesnt it? Islam means alot of things....but it doesnt mean squat without followers willing to walk the walk and talk the talk....who cares if it "means" peace when daily we are seeing bloodshed across the globe in which Islam is used as the excuse....Islam makes the bombs...Islam drives the cars loaded with bombs....Islam carries the backpacks that hide the bombs....and Islam pulls the trigger....the rest you can figure out for yourselves....Islam Islam that does indeed roll of the tongue ever so sweetly...makes me shiver just saying it....but it also makes me angry...makes my blood boil....makes me want to seek out and do a one on one with the nearest long bearded. short thobed, wild eyed, Allahu Akbar chanting, hadith hurling murderer that dares call himself a Muslim, dares considers himself a servant of God, dares considers himself a voice of the Muslim population and a defender of Islam moral principles ....I want to find one of these men and thump him upside the head with my beloved copy of the Holy Quran.....the one book he probably hasnt spent much time with other then to memorize for prayer....memorize does not equal understanding...nuff said!.....until tomorrow...salams.

Feel like venting without

Having been a muslim now for 17 years I am deeply and soul weeping upset over the state of Islam today. It makes me cry inside and out when I watch the paper...listen to other muslims apologize and make excuses for what the "not really muslims" are doing around the globe. Reality check my fellow muslims....those "not really muslims" are who we are all being judged by....the paintbrush that coats us all is plunged daily into a deep bucket of Crimson Red Terrorism or Placid Green Indifference.....while the bucket of Not in My Name Electric Blue is gathering dust at the back of the shelf.

I want to scream and stamp my feet and shout at the nearest Mrs Muslim Shopping Diva whose only quest for spiritual enlightment can be found at a good sale at Marks and Spencers or Mr. Bearded Hajiman who will fight for his right to wed many tender young morsels but becomes bored when asked about the state of Islam today....if either one bothers to answer at all you get the same tired reply...."the western world is to blame for all our troubles"....or some variation there hoo and pass the kleenex....this does not explain the fact that the "western world" that we like to blame so easily has only been around a few hundred years while Islam/Muslims/Arabs have been around a little longer than that.....ok ok...I know what your thinking....why the Islam/Muslims/Arab thingy up there...its a hidden(not very well i might add) fact that unless you walk talk eat sleep dress pray chew call yourself Mohammed or Aisha sleep please your wife(s) and use the toilet just like the arabs do then, my fellow brothers and sisters, just aint a true God fearing are Arab lite and will never be a full fledged member of the Ummah no matter how pious you matter the mark of prayer on your matter that you give to charity and help those less fortunate so much that Mother Theresa sent you a "Wish I Was You" hallmark card....if your not Arab your not shit...just a Muslim Wannabe never a Muslim!

I know what does this have to do with the price of gahwa in Saudi...well not a whole lot...unless you live there and like gahwa...but it just irks me that incidentals mean alot more to muslims these days then the deeper more complex issues that make up the heart and soul of our religion. We protest our right to wear hijab(or rather our right to have it forced on us by our male members of our ummah in order for THEM to appear to be pious and God fearing...dont get me started on that) or we protest(with destruction and sometimes death) about cartoons or books that depict us or the prophet as less than God fearing(Islam is peaceful and I'll kill you if you claim otherwise) ...and yet where are the protest against terrorism in the Muslim world...where are the riots and bloodshed over Mullahs giving the thumbs up to carnage(albeit secretly or maybe with just a quick comment or excuse from the minbar at Friday prayer).....where where where are the peaceful rallies that spread rather than hinder the idea that Islam is peace and terrorist are just that ....terrorist...with no religious backing other than those that pray at the Alter of Male Ego, Pride, and Unlimited Excuses for Jihad?

Anyhow, this is just a start to my is unlimited and will remain so until peace in the Islamic world is a reality and not just a faded bumber sticker claiming so....salams to all