As Muslims, our religion and self-image have been dragged through the gutters since 9-11.
We are terrorists. We are evil. We are Arab men with gutteral accents and big beards with even bigger guns. We are inhumane. We kill innocent women and children. In fact we hate women. We are basically the Armageddon and the Devil and the Axis of Evil, all rolled into one.
That is what is being shoved down our throats on a daily basis.
Basically everywhere you turn, we are being stoned, boo-d, and heckled for being Muslim.
Now, Muslims have responded to this atrocious assault at our faith in different ways.
Some have become more devoted. Learnt all the passages in the Quran and Hadith relevant to making astute counter arguments when having to defend Islam against any nay-sayers.
Some have learnt to live with it. Just developed thick skin and learnt to turn the other cheek.
Others have chosen to bury their heads under the sand. Denial City. If I cannot see all the hate and the insults and affronts to my religious beliefs, maybe they will….go away?
And finally, some have decided to go down the ‘Moderate Path’
Idiot: (To generic brown man) ‘Hey you! Osama! ‘ *Cackles*
Brown man: ‘Who? Me? Nah mein! My name is A-dawg!’ (It’s actually Ahmed)
Idiot: ‘You are..are..a terrorist! (Best insult he can think of) Go back to where you came from!’
Brown man: ‘ No, no. I’m one of the ‘good’ Muslims. I don’t do any of that crazy shit. I’m cool. Look! *Downs a beer* See? Look, look! *Grabs a girl’s ass* Don’t you see??? I am totally for gays. And for lesbians too. Even though I don’t swing that way. I also love women’s rights! I don’t mind if a woman is a stripper, or wants to wear underwear as outerwear! I am one of you!’
Okay, so I am exaggerating a little.
But lately, I have noticed that we go to great lengths to make non-Muslims more comfortable in our presence.
And if that means saying: ‘I’m okay with gays!’
Or: ‘I don’t mind if you drink beer while I just sit here and watch and get bored’
We are basically trying so hard to say: ‘I am not a terrorist. I am not like them. I am a moderate, normal Muslim.’
Moderation is recommended in Islam. In fact it is lauded. By Hadith and Sunnah.
The problem is when people take moderation too far.
In trying so hard to blend in , and be LESS OBTRUSIVELY MUSLIM, we forget who are.
We become pseudo Muslim.
Be wary the path you choose to walk down.
You may make your co-workers less uncomfortable.
You may feel better about yourself because that brain-washing from T.V has started to make you question if you are actually as evil as they claim.
You may even make more friends and have more fun this way. (After all, GayBestFriends look like soooo much fun on T.V)
But do it with self-awareness.
Accept that you are now a fraud.
A shell of what you once were.
An ‘Extremely Moderate Muslim’