Sunday 18 November 2018

The Problem With Muslims

You may have noticed that I have taken a considerable break from blogging recently. It started when I decided to concentrate on my YouTube channel again. This has been taking up a lot of my time but has been thoroughly enjoyable! I just love creating content on video and the children have been enjoying watching back over the things we have done.

I wondered whether I would return to blogging at all. I suppose I may have had writers block (bloggers block (is that a thing?)) and I didn't have any motivation to write. However, there are things I have been pondering lately and I thought writing them down may help me get it all out and work through my feelings on the subject; the problem with Muslims.

What problem?! I hear you ask. Are Muslims a problem? How dare I say such a thing?! Well, of course Muslims are not a problem in general, but there are some things, as a revert or convert to Islam, I have experienced from other Muslims that have been problematic to me; and I know I am not alone in feeling this way.

It all started over on Instagram a few months ago, when I used that little 'question' sticker in my instastories asking my followers to ask me questions. One lovely follower asked me why I decided to convert to Islam. Since then, I have made a YouTube video of my conversion story which you can watch here.

Quickly lose interest

I started to think that some of the things that led me to convert, had changed. The welcoming Muslim community, had, in fact, abandoned me and I felt quite alone. It is a funny contradiction that Muslims sense a vulnerable pre-revert, draw you in and then spit you out again. They sense that shahada trophy and that is all they want. That little trophy sitting above their right shoulder to prove they've helped someone become Muslim, a good deed. They do not care about you or the fact that you are suddenly completely alone in the world. They get their trophy and then they are off in search of their next potential "victim".

Don't they realise that reverts are very vulnerable? Don't they realise they often lose family and friends when they convert to Islam and they need a lot of support from the Muslim community? This is something they rarely get and it is why some reverts leave Islam.

If you are lucky, you will find a good practising spouse to support you on your spiritual journey. However, if you don't, what then? You are left to try to work your way along a lonely road where confusion as to what is permissible and impermissible makes your brain hurt. 

Segregation - I don't belong

The haram/halal debate is endless. There is so much difference of opinion that it is hard for a revert to know where to start. These debates are often fuelled by cultural differences, which brings me to another problem; the fact that reverts do not have a typical Muslim culture. By typical I mean Asian, Turkish, Arab, Somali etc. In my experience, each of these groups tends to stick together. The Turks hang out with the Turks and the Somalis hang out with the Somalis. Study circles are created within these groups and as a revert I wonder where I fit in. I do not belong in any of these groups. I am a group of my own. But try creating a revert group, as I have done many times, and there is an outcry! How dare I create an exclusive group for those who share my experiences and difficulties! It is fine when they want to set up their own exclusive groups but I, for some reason, am not allowed to set up mine.

Loneliness during Ramadan 

Perhaps the loneliest time of the year is Ramadan. Born Muslims often have family or friends to break their fast with but reverts often have no one. I have to say that Ramadan is a pretty depressing time for me. My non-Muslim family do not understand why someone would want to fast the whole day and Muslims tend to turn into hermits within their own four walls and do not venturing out much. Islamic study circles stop and everything is put on hold. This is all very well if you have family around you or thrive on solitude, but what if you don't? What if you just want someone else around who is going through the same thing as you? What if you need to know you are not alone?

If you know a revert, don't just forget about them once they've reverted. Be a friend. Invite them to your study circles and gatherings. Ask them if they have anyone with whom to eat iftar or celebrate Eid. Moreover, do not chastise them for forming support groups in order to connect with others who are going through similar struggles. They need them and they need you.

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