Sunday, May 27, 2007

too bad

Some random youtube video I came across: SNIP. You either saw it, or you didn't and it sucks to be you.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Let's drink ourselves into stupour!! Hey Muz, you in?

Perspection is now officially a word.

In other news, what's with people inviting me to clubs and/or drink-fests? I seriously don't understand how my non-Muslim classmates can look at me and say "hey, you want to meet up and go clubbing?" Okay so basically you are asking me to...

(I had to put the X over it, to emphasize that this is not my ideal state--understatement of the year, no doubt.) Look, I can understand the situation if I was a male since I may be less identifiably Muslim. But I'm a fully-clad hijabi woman (I make this sound as though I live in a barrel, which I assure you, I do not).

Anyways, I'm sure it's just out of ignorance and misinformation. But then again, don't all people know that Muslims don't eat pork or drink alcohol? Ironically, people tend to know these two facts about Islam and little else. And anyways, I look way happier here:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What's with me and google anyways?

Again, googled my name under images, and found this (I assure you this isn't me):

I have no idea why I find this humourous, but I do.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Trouble with Muslims

Yes, how often we've heard about the so-called troubles with Islam, and the need to reform and modernize ourselves to suit the New World. We've seen the various struggles between traditional Muslims (classified as extremists by some), and the modernists who want to shun everything that doesn't appeal to them in Islam, which is almost everything.

But what is the problem with Muslims? I mean, you have to admit that there is some problem, right? Why else would we all be (violently) bickering amongst ourselves and be portrayed by outsiders as thobe-wearing, beard-growing, burqa'd fanatics weilding guns? I mean, what is lacking in Muslims that we've allowed ourselves to be distorted and completely bent out of shape in the eyes of so many people?

I have a theory (I tend to have many unsubstantiated theories, but this one makes a little more sense). This theory can adequately be summarized by this article about religious enforcement, so to speak, in Tehran. My favourite part of the article is:
Police are cracking down on barbers giving Western-style haircuts and shop owners wearing T-shirts with English slogans. They are looking for women wearing headscarves that are too small or colourful.

Authorities also recently announced they would filter mobile-phone messages that they deem to be "immoral."
Look at us. Look at what Muslims are doing. Don't tell me that the biggest problem that Muslims in Tehran have is women who wear colourful hijabs or men who have western haircuts (and by the way, what does a "western haircut" even mean?). I'm not picking on Iran here, I just happened to come across this article today. These things happens in various "Muslim" countries all over the world.

So getting back to my theory that is illustrated by the above example: Muslims have lost a sense of what the essence of Islam is. And if we don't even know the essence of Islam, why do we expect non-Muslims to respect what we believe? We don't know what we believe or why.

Last time I checked, Islam wasn't about forcing women to wear black or men to wear their hair in a certain way. Rather, it's about devotion to God. And through that devotion, being a good person, I mean really good, not just having the appearance of being good. It's about being kind to your family and neighbours, serving the needy in your community, and wishing the best for your fellow man. Where along our path have we forgotten this?

Muslims are so caught up in images. Like, making sure that women dress just so. But this is only because we are so afraid that if we didn't uphold the image, everything would fall apart because of its superficiality. Think about it, if a woman in a pink hijab upsets the balance of an "Islamic state," what kind of confidence and basis does that state have? Insecurity causes people to do strange and unnatural things.

The Qur'an repeatedly issues statements such as, "those who believe and do good deeds, We will admit them to gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow, lasting in them forever" (Qur'an, 4:57). It always says those who believe and do good deeds. Islam was never about just doing good deeds, it was always about the sincerity of belief that is the cause of the good deed. And yet we've lost the core, the sincerity, but held on with our teeth to superficial goodness.

What's the point?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

my teeny bopper days, unveiled

I googled my name a few months ago and I came upon something that was quite disturbing: a poem that I posted on a public forum when I was 15 years old. I don't even remember what it was about, most likely an emo response to some crush or another. ICK. When I read it, I wanted to cry and laugh all at once.

Although this is quite embarrassing, I figured I'd just embrace it and accept the humiliating consequences. Enjoy!

You left me broken and bruised,
Without a single word.
Yeah, I felt completely used
And trapped in a cage like a bird.

I searched for you everywhere
But couldn’t find where you were hiding.
This pain I could never bear
Because you, I would never be finding.

You ran away without looking back,
Without one single tear to shed.
Now my love is empty and black
And upon nothing is it fed.

This tear streaming down my cheek,
What exactly does it mean?
From my eyes, tears often leak
Always showing where I’ve been.

I made the mistake of letting you go-
You left without hesitation.
And now when my tears do flow
All I gotta do is have patience.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's a Long Way to the Top

I remember when I first went to school. I was 3 years old and my dad drove me to school, at which point I panicked and wept, and vomitted, and wept some more. But my dad had to go to work, so I was left there with people I didn't know. I remember sitting in my cubbyhole, not joining the other kids when they were playing. I would regularly sneak out of my classroom when the teacher wasn't looking and go to my sister's class (she was in grade 2 then) and stand at the door until she made me go back.

18 years of school later, how have I changed? (You know, I would still prefer to sit in a cubbyhole than with people I don't know.) And what a strange journey it has been--the most amazing memories, and the most degrading and painful ones, all wrapped up in a little thing we like to call education. And how impatient I have been to be done with "education" and start making a difference in the world instead.

It's interesting what we learn in these years, and how we grow. I understand now that education isn't just about getting A's and building yourself a future. And even if it was, I'm seemingly at the end of this building project, with little more than a mud hut. But no, this is not what education is about.

Learning is a spiritual journey as much as it is one of the mind. So often do we try and try, and fail. But then we learn to deal with failures, and to brush ourselves off, start afresh. Such is the soul--a consistent failure until we brush it off and start again, and again, and again. The soul is about sleepless nights, about regret that you didn't push yourself a little harder for a little while longer. It's about writing yourself in the history books of others, and learning to read those histories for what they really are. It's about learning that you have to do your best and then put your trust in God.

I suppose in the end, education is really meant to teach you the futility of itself! Because what is education, really, without any kind of higher purpose or enlightenment? What is an education that doesn't make you a better person to be around? The way I see it, formal education just highlights the other experiences you have growing up.

With all this in mind, it is so scary to actually be moving on to something new and different. All I've known is school, a place where you are under the control of another person. Now I have to take control of the wheel of my life. And to be honest, I don't know how well of a driver I will make.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

While I'm contemplating my next post about the end of being a student, and subsequent feelings of inadequacy, you may visit this blog. It's made up of a group of Muslim women, including myself, trying to find meaning in creative writing. Enjoy.