While people are bashing a religion that they most likely have no decent knowledge about, they could be doing something productive, like helping the poor, donating their time to a local food bank or even just cleaning up the street that they live on. All of those things and more can help the community and it’s people as a whole. It can help the people that live there inspire others to do and be better than what they were the day before. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem that that is what some people are choosing to do with their time. Of course not everyone is going to like what you like or do what you do, but is it really necessary to put one particular group of people on a whipping post just because you don’t like it?
If you haven’t caught on already, I’m a Mainer. I was born in Maine, I grew up in Maine and I basically never left Maine except for a few vacations with family when I was a kid. I grew up inside of a Christian household. My great uncles were/are pastors of their own church that I attended frequently as a child. Now, unless you’ve gone to a black Pentecostal church, then you will know that when they went to church, they went to CHURCH, honey! Like all day. But that was when I was a kid.
Fast forward to the age of 20, when I decided to convert to Islam. That was my own decision that I made by myself. No one made me do it, I wasn’t being held captive, it was something that I wanted to do on my own. Willingly. In the first years of my conversion, my family had an issue with it and I guess that I can understand where they are coming considering that I basically grew up in the families church. They probably felt that I was throwing away everything that I was taught but I didn’t. But if we are born with free will, why can’t I use my own free will to do what I feel is right for me?
I remember several of my close family members were upset when I converted and said “I had my own religion”. But my thought was how could they try to school me on something that they don’t even do? The ones that had the fit were the ones that were still drinking, smoking and partying well past the age of 40. I was 20 years old and was over that already. I even had one family member say to me that they were going to have a family meeting and “bring me back to Christianity”. That was really surprising to hear from that person.
I honestly think that the issue with my conversion was the hijab. If I had become a nun and started to wear a habit, I’m sure that they would be completely fine with it. But that would be because I would still be from the same faith as them. What’s funny about this is the ones that didn’t drink, smoke or party were the ones that didn’t say anything. They were the ones that were actually going to church every Sunday and were staying away from those things that altered your mind. They were the ones that I expected to hear from the most.
But as life went on, every now and then someone would say something to me that was meant to be disrespectful or hurtful. There has been a few times people have told me to “go home” or “go back to your own country“. And usually when something like that happens, it’s from a man. What they don’t know is this is my country and my home is just around the corner. Always has been. Now, don’t get me wrong, not everyday that I venture outside I get these crazies telling me off. It honestly happens only once in a while and in passing. No one has ever came up to me saying these things. Most people are nice and sometimes are rather curious.
Living in Maine as a black Muslim woman so far has had it’s shares of up’s and down’s. Some people think that I’m Somalian so sometimes I get stares or rude comments but even Somalis think I’m Somali so I guess it’s okay, haha. I truly believe that we as Muslims need to do is start educating people that want to be educated. Let’s try to put an end to polluted “knowledge” about Islam. Unfortunately, most people flock to their t.v.’s and news apps and see these terrorists making a bad name for the ones that practice Islam and naturally that’s how the viewer is going to see the Muslim population as a whole.
Let’s try to do better to be nicer, more tolerant, more giving, more patient but most of all let’s try to follow Islam. We as humans tend to learn better through the actions of others.
*If there are any negative comments they will be deleted and you will be blocked. Of course you are entitled to your freedom of speech but I’m also entitled to my freedom of block and delete! 😉