This post is inspired by a monologue taken from The Hijabi Monologues tited, “The People You Meet”. In the monologue, the character takes you through the typical conversations that hijabi’s encounter. It is tongue-in-cheek, but also contains a lot of truth of the almost-predictable conversations that we often encounter. One of the “people” that this hijabi character meets is the feminist who wants to “save you”.
I am extending that piece a bit further by thinking of all the typical characters I have personally met who I sensed wanted to rescue me from the “dark pits” of Islam.
Let’s start with the old high school, U.S. Marine Corp male friend who has just found out the “sweet girl” he knew back in Catholic school has just joined the “cult of the enemies”. I told Jonathan I wouldn’t reveal his name, so let’s just call him Mike. Mike recently Facebook friended me after a good 3 years of no communication. Immediately, he sends a personal message asking if I converted.
Me: Yes, I did.
Mike: . Although I’ve lost many military friends to this radical religion, I totally supported your choice because I am open minded and support freedom of choice.
Me: I am sorry you lost friends in war and thank you for your blessings, Mike.
Mike: No problem, you are a good girl Cristy. Just please please do NOT change your name nor cover your face.
Me: I am glad you can see goodness past my “Muslimness” and thank you for supporting freedom of choice.
Mike: Sempre Fi!
Me: Mike, do I have your permission to wear a Darth Vader mask instead of a burka?
How about the mother who wants to remind you where you came from? Yes. My mother, after telling her that I became a practicing Muslim, said she couldn’t really approve (as a believing Catholic that she is) but she also could not disapprove. She made efforts to be “open-minded” and supportive of my decision. God bless her soul, really. That entire day, I prayed and thanked God for giving me such an understanding mother, but little did I know she had already started planning a scheme to save me. The next day (Sunday), I wake up around noon and find a little wooden cross on my desk.
Me: Mom, is this yours?
Mom: No, I got it for you in Church this morning.
Me: But mom, yesterday I told you that I am a practicing Muslim.
Mom: So what? Can’t you be both?
Me: Well…not really…
Mom: Well, what’s wrong with the cross?
Me: Nothing is wrong with it, but it is a symbol of Christianity. If someone wears the cross is means that they believe Jesus is God.
Mom: So what?
Me: Well, Muslims do not believe Jesus is God.
Mom: Oh….Bueno, para las moscas, hija. (Translations: “Well, for the flies, daughter,” meaning “just in case”).
Me: Mom…did you understand that I am a Muslim now?
Mom: You don’t want the cross? (She is trying to guilt me now).
Me: Yes, mom. I want the cross. I will keep it as a gift from you, but I can’t wear it.
Mom: Why are you putting it in the drawer?
Me: Mom…I cannot wear the cross. Thank you, mom.
Mom kisses my head.
How about the youtuber who private messages you because he/she noticed (by your screen name that contains the word “Muslim”) that you happen to be just that, a Muslim. I think to myself “no shit Sherlock” but instead answer, “yes, what can I do for you?” Before he/she responds, I decide to look up the comments he/she has made on videos only to find out that this individual writes harassing comments on virtually every Islamic-related video. I look into my mailbox a few minutes later only to find two questions from this user, “explain the following verse to me: ‘Kill the infidel,’ Surah 9:5” and “why doesn’t your voice count equally to a man in Islam?” Instead of responding, I decide I should make better use of my time rather than explain myself to this individual who already has his/her mind set on making a point…
How about the Muslim brother who makes it his duty to guide you on the right path? See Facebook Islamic Police for more rants on this. We’ll call him Bob.
Bob: Sister, I heard from a friend that you recently converted.
Me: Well, it’s been almost a year, alhamdullilah.
Bob: Yes…and what a Christian name you have…
Me: Yes, my mother gave me that name.
Bob: Sister, I also heard that you have been really active in the MSA this past year and I wanted to perhaps get together one day and chat about a project I have in mind.
Me: A project?
Bob: Yes, I wanted to start some kind of outreach program where we can get more non-Muslims involved with the MSA.
Me: Sure. That sounds cool. Let’s get a group of people interested together next week and we can brainstorm…
Bob: Well we can go and grab some coffee right now. I know it’s just the two of us, but I wanted to talk to you about a few things.
Bob: Yes. Well, I also heard you were hanging around X-sister who is said to have weak imam. From what I’ve heard, they say she is involved in haraam things….
Me: Um…Actually I don’t know. It’s not my business, really.
Bob: As a brother, I make it my duty to make sure a new sister is taken care of and you need to surround yourself around positive people especially as a convert (he says “convert” as if it’s a disease)…How about that coffee?
Me: Thanks, but I’m real busy. I’ll see you around.
I thought to myself? Is this guy serious? He just advised me to surround myself with positive Muslims, yet in 3 minutes he manages to spit out gossip about the entire town? Get real.
More coming soon 🙂