for my own good..

This is a guest post and video by Nesrin.

Let me start by saying, I am no writer, philosopher or poet, ..nor do i pretend to be..

Most of my blog posts will be short passages of memories, thoughts, and opinions of my journey out of Islam.  How  I slowly transitioned from automatic pilot, that religion has so many of us navigating our lives on, and learning to fly over the fog that clouds our perception of reality.

To do this,  I first needed to stop judging myself and every woman around me (including my own daughter) through the eyes of a muslim man.  A challenge that would prove to be one of the hardest things I ever took on.

Misogyny runs deep, especially when every pious muslim women, including myself, agreed and encouraged it.

For your own good .. those words  hide the worst of actions disguised as the  best of intentions..

“don’t speak” women’s voices are distracting

“don’t wear heels that clammer”

“be inconspicuous”

I caught myself telling my daughter once “girls don’t raise their voices like that”

How do I tell her to only play with girls, to watch how she walks, or sits in front of boys without indirectly sexualizing her, objectifying her, and in essence teaching her to do judge herself in that way..

It was a split second of “wtf did i just say?, and why am I saying it” moment.. I brushed it off, just like I did  all the years before.  I had acted without questioning what I was taught, because after all “it was for my own good, Allah knows best”

But Allah didn’t know best when it came to my daughter, she was a reader, an artist, she loved music, dancing and preferred kindness over gender.  Her best friend was the  boy next door who loved colouring as much as she did.  I was still very uncomfortable with this.  I spent my time watching  and listening to them from the window , waiting for any sign of ‘haram’ to pull her back inside. Instead,  I found myself slowly , over the course of a couple of years ,  realising that my daughter had learned a skill that was very foreign to me, she had learned to befriend a boy.

My lessons wouldn’t stop there.  My 12 year old son would prove to be more of a gentle soul than I ever could imagine.

But in return, what was I teaching them? What really was ‘for their own good?’

Would I allow them to be limited by the gender roles, sexist traditions inspired and encouraged by Islam ~ for their own good?

~ for my own good?

For them to become productive, strong, independent individuals, I first needed to become one.  I couldn’t do that all the while trying to stay ‘inconspicuous’ ‘not raising my voice’ or trying to keep my footsteps from being heard’ ~ I had to get loud, and my voice shook every time..

But if I couldn’t stand up for myself, the least I could do is start standing up for others, in hopes of finding my inner strength.. And so sparked a series of  youtube videos.  One became very well known, called “sharia law” .. and until today, it’s the reason I’m still loud and still stomping my feet..

additional videos

so.. let’s get this bloggeh started !

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