How many of us are guilty of this?
We are afraid of being labelled radicals. Especially Post 9/11 and 7/7
Afraid of bringing our religion into our workplace, into our friendships, into a shop…
As Muslims, we try to be as unobstrusive as possible in our dealings with the world.
Keep our Islam watered down.
Just like weak tea.
If its barely there, I won’t offend anyone. Won’t upset anyone.
Tread lightly, and they will leave me alone.
Shame on us!
Example 1: The non-Assalaam Alaikum
Muslim brothers and sisters out there do not LIKE to say Asalaam Alaikum. Instead, they prefer Hi! Hello! Wassup!
If you dare say Asalaam Alaikum to sister at work, she will breezily respond with…’Hi!’
The first time that happened to me I was perplexed. But shrugged it off. Maybe she misheard me. Maybe it was just force of habit.
The second time, I received a fervently whispered ‘Waalaikum Salaam’ I had to squint and move closer to hear what she was saying. She even glanced about guiltily, hoping no one had overheard her.
Are you afraid people will think you are a terrorist for responding with a ‘Waaliakum Salaam’??
Scenario 2: The ‘I-will-not-cause-drama’ rule
This one I have been guilty of.
Someone senior to me at work made a derogatory comment about Islam. It was not overtly insulting. More implied. But it was there. Hanging in the air. Just…waiting.
Now, it was the first time I had worked with that person. And I was not willing to start causing drama. We were also in front of a few junior staff. I decided some battles, are worth fighting another day.
But I still feel like I should not have let it slide.
I still feel like I should have said something.
I don’t know….
However, there are other times where I HAVE been known to stand up and make some noise when someone has been intentionally insulting towards Islam.
Last week, a colleague said Arabic was a ‘disgusting’ language. It sounded ‘angry’ and ‘guttural’. Now I know that’s not a direct insult towards Islam. But the language of the Quran is Arabic. So I politely pointed out that it depends on where she had heard that ‘guttural’ Arabic spoken, and by whom (different dialects, different localities, different accents) And plus, she should try listening to Quranic recitations.
The girl looked at me like I had recommended she fly to the moon.
Nonetheless, I had made my point.
Example 3: The Undercover Muslim
This is the one I reeeeeeeeeeeally don’t get.
A guy has a name as Muslim as : Abdallah Mohammed Al-Ansari (for example)
Yet he really, truly believes, people don’t know he is Muslim. And he wants to keep it that way.
He drinks. He parties. He chills with the boys.
He is just a regular guy.
So when you walk up to him and ask him where the nearest prayer room is, you are blowing his cover dammit!
The guy goes white as a sheet, looks around for his ‘homies’, thanks God they are not around, and proceeds to brush you off with a gruff : ‘How should I know?!’
Would you like some sugar with that weak tea?
Example 4: The Ramadhan Phenomenon
This one I am sure everyone has experienced. Once Ramadhan comes around, even the closet muslims, come out of their proverbial closet, and renounce food and drink from sunset to sundown. However the resilient few, try to sneak a few snacks here and there.
You can smell their guilt from a mile away.
They know this too.
Which is why they avoid other Muslims like the plague.
I don’t CARE that you are not fasting. Stop hiding from me and ducking around corners! Lol. Or maybe that was just people avoiding me due to BO (Body Odour)?? *Sniffs armpits*….Nah….
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m a perfect Muslim. Far from it.
And I am not advocating people start screaming ‘I AM A MUSLIM!!!!’ at the top of their lungs.
I am just saying: BE PROUD. STOP BEING ASHAMED. STOP BEING SCARED.
Don’t be obtrusively Muslim. Or Agressively Muslim. Or even fanatically Muslim.
Just be …simply Muslim. Honestly Muslim. Unashamedly Muslim.
Stop being a Weak Tea Muslim.