All That I’ve Become

Motherhood. I never quite imagined the term applying to me. Somewhere down the distant path I could vaguely see a glimpse of cherubic faces, small hands clutching mine and wide, innocent eyes. I could picture Motherhood, in the same sense that you can imagine the taste of an unknown fruit by reading a description – you can compare, you can generalize but you can never truly know.

You can never imagine the raw mass of nerves and emotion that is now your heart. How it can physically swell to accommodate a love so vast and endless the phrase I’d give my life takes on new meaning. How every gesture – at first jerky, needy, then curious, now loving – can captivate you. The world can go on unnoticed as your entire being crystallizes on this moment, and you burst with pride, joy, love and fear.

And fear. Don’t get me started on the fear. The fear of the unknown. Of the world and all the evil in it. Every newscast becomes a real live horror story. Every child’s death, every torn child’s body sends me running to my son. To grasp his warm body tight, run my fingers over him whole, alive, complete. And the worry. The constant self-blame, second guessing and guilt. Am I doing this right? Am I nurturing/loving/stimulating (insert desirable characteristic here) enough?

All this and I’ve barely scratched the surface on my experience of Motherhood.

My son. Born September 17th 2012 at 1:56 am. Ibraheem. May Allah protect you, love.

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A Modern Knight in Shining Armor

Meet Rachid Nekkaz. Some of you may know Nekkaz as a businessman. To others, he has become a savior of sorts. This Algerian French ‘tycoon’ has pledged to pay the fines levied on any woman wearing niqab in a country in which it is banned. Because as he says:

I’m in favour of a law to convict a husband who forces a women to wear the niqab and who forces her to stay at home. But I’m also for a law that lets these women move freely in the streets, because freedom of movement, just like any freedom, is the most fundamental thing in a democracy.

Alhamdulillah there are still men like this.

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It’s like the …

It’s like the more I read, the more I fear. I look at these posts, and I wonder: who is this? Male or female? Where do they live? Where do they go to school? Do they teach this hatred to their children? Do they spread it, like some wild, uncontrollable disease to their neighbours, friends and families?

And I can’t help but ask, what did I do? At 23, I can say with peace of mind that I have done nothing but contribute to this society. As a Muslim Canadian citizen, I try to achieve the perfect balance between both worlds. I wear my hijab proudly, but I work in their corporations. I pay my zaakah (Islamic tax) but I also pay my government taxes. I have a passport, a SIN, a healthcare card, and a driver’s license. I vote proudly, and I have no doubt in my mind that I am as much a citizen as anyone else. That my claim to this soil and nation is as legitimate as anyone’s ever could be. 

Yet, reading in between the lines of those claims I see a fearful defense. And that defense speaks louder than any explicit statement ever could. If I truly were, then why MUST I defend myself so vehemently?

Why am I told to go back to a country I’ve only ever visited? Why is my father called a goat-herder, my husband an oppressor, my brothers uneducated and ignorant? Why is a symbol of my faith and religion, a symbol I wear with the utmost conviction and pride, belittled, shamed, spat upon, and hated? Why is every day a struggle? A jihad against the judgmental eyes, the  unspoken words: you will never belong. 

In Canada, Jason Kenney declared the face veil a threat. Theft of identity is suddenly a predominant threat in this insignificant minority. And no other solution presented itself to Kenney’s mind other than removal of the obstruction. No measures of respect, consideration or accommodation were offered. Rather, an ultimatum was issued. Assimilate or be gone.

That political maneuver I found hurtful, but not unexpected. The public reaction of overwhelming support for Kenney and hatred towards us, towards this identifiable minority, I find hurtful, shocking and insulting. At first I responded by flooding the forums: first with heartfelt explanations, then defenses, then with a simple declaration “I belong, I am, and I will NOT bow down and change.”

Now, as the hatred continues to pour out I am shaken to my core. I don’t feel safe. I’m choking, choking on the fear and hatred that permeates the very air I breathe.

What is becoming of my nation? What is becoming of the world?

 

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December 17, 2011 · 2:39 pm

Collateral Damage

When war becomes an electrifying game of a COD, cameramen become terrorists with AK47s, and murdered children and cameramen become collateral damage in the name of democracy.

And upon realizing their mistake? Justification: “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”

Sick to my stomach right now.

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December 14, 2011 · 10:32 pm

I Should Know Better

….than to be sucked in by a political campaign. But seriously, how could I not love/rewatch/tweet/wp this??

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December 14, 2011 · 10:21 pm

Mr. and Mrs. Bigfoot

Last winter my husband browbeat me into a pair of Uggs. I harbor an intense hatred for these clunky boots and the foot-dragging that ensues when they’re worn. After enduring endless complaints about my frozen toes and how I was positive I’d receive notice of their inevitable amputation before winter was over, my husband forced these on me:

All aesthetic complaints aside, the things are bloody warm. It’s been two long winters, they still look like new and I have toasty warm toes all day long. Anywho, Mr. S&S  came to me complaining of cold, wet feet last night so off to the mall we went. Pay back, I hear, is a wonderful thing, and so he is now clunking around in these:

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Bigfoot. *clunk clunk clunk*

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Islam and Science

I attended an event hosted by the Western Muslim on campus the other day titled Islam and Science. To some, the content may have been a revelation of sorts. For me, the documentary presented basically hammered home the message my father had been made sure was deeply implanted in my and my brothers’ heads.

“Do you know what Muslims were ya baba? Scientists. Everything we know, from algebra t0 algorithms to medicine to chemistry to astronomy. Muslims, they were the founders of these science, ya baba. Allah yerda3 3alaykum (May Allah be pleased with you).”

Threaded throughout this heartfelt reminisce would be the central message: we, as Muslims growing in the West, had a duty and an obligation to take advantage of our position and once again bring fame to a Muslim name (rhyme unintended).

Now you can imagine that with that kind of perfectionist personality beat into my head, I’ve grown up more than a little of anal-retentive with a touch of OCD. But that’s besides the point, especially as my professor reassures me that all great men and women have a little OCD in them.

Following this presentation, a short talk was given by our chaplain, Sh. Fayaz Tilly. Jazak Allah khair to the brother; although he is not, as he proclaimed, in any way a scientist, he did his best under what seemed to be exceptionally short notice.

What irked me, however, was the discussion that ensued. There was one gentlemen in particular, non Muslim, evolutionarist (or as my professor is wont to call them, educated beings), who seemed to be there to raise some hackles.

Question 1: Now, I’ve never read the Quran and don’t know much about it. But let’s say, hypothetically, that science proved a statement in the Quran to be undoubtedly wrong. Let’s say, it said the Earth is flat. I don’t know any real examples, but let’s say it did and science showed that no, it’s actually round. Would you admit to being wrong?

My problem with this? How on earth do you expect to be taken seriously at any form of debate or discussion by arguing a hypothetical scenario after claiming complete ignorance? HOW? Were the reverse true, were I, as an identifiable Muslim, to attend a scientific discussion and proclaim that although I know nothing of the subject matter I wanted to throw my two cents in, I would be ridiculed. Please don’t be demeaning.

Question 2: (following Sh. Fayaz’s reference to embryology in the Quran). So did Mohamed mention the reptile gills and monkey tails then?

I will admit there were other, relevant questions that were aimed to gain answers and not entice hatred. Nevertheless, I wish some people would give-up on the let’s enrage the Mozlems and see what happens game! Frankly, it’s getting old!

*edit*

A link to the documentary: 

And I will find a link for a comprehensive explanation of embryology and the Quran inshaAllah =)

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