The thoughts of an American Muslim and mother of four raising her children in small town USA with her Egyptian husband.
Monday, November 12, 2007
And today playing the part of a Muslim will be....
So, you know I have never represented myself as a scholar or even a person who has a deep understanding of the deen. I feel like I have just started to scratch the surface to tell you the truth, and I am more than well aware of that fact. So naturally when there is a call to teach a class or represent Islam in a theological way I don't even think about volunteering. You want me to talk to a women's sociology class about BEING Muslim? SURE! A panel where views of various community members will represent their PERSPECTIVE on Islam? SURE! A class on Islam for non-muslims? UHHHHHHH, isn't there someone more qualified?
Apparently not. After asking the local community (which includes a prof raised by a pretty big scholar) the University is left with who to teach a class on Islam as part of their community outreach program? A woman who ran away from Saudia with her American boyfriend. Yes folks, and she's apparently pretty bitter about the whole Muslim world. UFFFFFFFFF!!!
I am so angry about this, and I find it hard to believe that no one more qualified is willing to step up and teach this class. I am so TIRED of hearing this story repeat itself!!! From the "expert" on CNN to the person teaching Islam to University students... We are never represented by Muslims. Worse, we are usually represented by people with no respect for Islam at all. SHAME ON US!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you have knowledge, don't let an opportunity pass you to represent the deen. No, you don't have more important things to do. Yes, you are qualified (and if you know someone who knows more than you get him/her to help you or convince them to do it instead!). No, no one else will do it. Yes, it does matter what someones first impression of the religion is. How wonderful would it feel to know that you put someone on the path to understanding the religion?
I know there are instances where the Muslims don't even get asked to speak about Islam... And even in those cases I think it is incumbent upon us to be there in the audience representing. And writing letters VOLUNTEERING to offer a Muslim perspective. And good grief if they come to a masjid ASKING for someone to teach Islam be sure that someone from the community takes them up on the offer.
Meanwhile, I will be signing my hijabified self up for the class to sit in the front row as a little reminder that Allah(swt) is still watching and taking account of her actions even if she is all mad at her Saudi family and stuff. HUMPH. Oh, and don't think I won't be ready if she starts talking trash about Islam.
I am a mother to four wonderful kids and the wife to one wonderful Egyptian! We live in a small town in the Midwest and work in our small businesses. I am also a Waldorf preschool teacher and childcare provider, a backyard chicken lady, a part time homeschooler, and a generally crunchy mama (think hijabi in birks).