I – Sociopolitical
I do not have details, but the city where I live, one guy, a convert from Islam to Christianity originally Lebanese, he fought during the Lebanese civil war, quite ironically against the Christian side. A war graduate, this guy made a one hour speech in a church, about the threat of Islam, Islam according to him is a religion of war and seizer of those unlucky infidels to be in “hell”, his speech attracted many, the non Christians, the Muslims who wanted to challenge this man’s need for some attentions, also, it attracted many Christians whom they found the whole scenario as unrepresentative of their views and thought of it as propagating hate, many wanted to challenge this man, however, there were the ones who wanted to know more about the origins of the drawbacks of Islam, one of those people, I talked to , not in any Church or in any zealot gathering, but a taxi driver, I was on my way to starbucks to meet some friend for some coffee, totally unaware of the extent of this ongoing event in my very quiet city. This taxi driver asked me if I am university student, and what am I studying and all these type of questions, pretty unusual, and he asked me what I think of what happened. Weird. My opinion seemed to be of value to him, but with all due honesty, I told him that I was reading only news headlines, and I have not had the mood nor the time to take an interest in these stuff, but we talked about it nevertheless, we brought the Danish cartoon and the Muslim reaction, what I found really hard, is to defend it from a Muslim point of view, I have always found it hard to be confounded within any religious realm, rising my opinion among my Muslim fellows, is not as much as different as a westerner raising his/her opinion, well to some extent, but what I told the Taxi driver - after broadcasting the news that I come from a Muslim family , that “Muslims are mostly moderate, and most of them want peaceful lives, and the speech was uncalled for”, but I meant every word I said, why would this guy want to disrupt our way of life in this very peaceful city, I have always took pride, that Muslims in my city did not react the same reactionary way as other Muslims from other parts of the globe, I have always took pride that Muslims in my city, protest in a very civil manner unlike what happened violently in France, Canada is just different, but then again, 2006 they busted a terrorist cell in Toronto, however, how far would this escalate, I believe it is dependent on the Canadian foreign policy, if we lead a pro US stance, then I am sorry, simply because it means we are going to enter a war, we must respect and cherish our economic ties with the US by not forgetting our identity as Canadians, we are peacemakers, and if that is laughable, so be it!
As I was approaching starbucks, the taxi driver, seemed to be enigmatic and ardent to ask me this question, that why is it hard to critique Islam without expecting an effusive reaction?
This has always been my question, and when a person asks a question that I usually ask, or lets just say, when a person asks MY question, would he be expecting an answer! I felt hesitant, I tried to play down my insecurities, conceal it with some naïve, self-belittling sarcasm, I told him that “ I haven’t used my brain for a time, ever since I graduated”, and He laughed at me, I guess I a m good for amusement purposes, I added, that “I don’t have a job yet and I just want to see my friend for coffee, and both of us are infidels from Muslim and Christian point of view, and I have not thought about this issue for a long time”, he continued with his laughter, as he was stopping to drop me, he asked “so you gona get wasted for the day”, I told him no “its just coffee”. But sure, I did have some Heinekens, weird, I guess Christians are good in predicting my future drinking habits, but honestly, bars are much nicer on Mondays, you can actually hear people speaking, No, you can actually have some good stimulating talk, I thank the “infidels” for that.
oh , and yesterday my cousin volunteered to safe guard the mosque.
A lot of people discriminate when choosing a handsome lover, rich husband, big breasted wife, and it is based on a lot of checklists, however, there are people that can transcend such differences or their religious and cultural checklists of whom they have to marry, that’s when discrimination is deleted and tossed in the garbage bin.
A close friend of mine is in love with a Christian man, and she is Muslim, in a society as mixed as ours such problems will also, put the real intimate relationships of Muslims and Christians under a microscope.
The real similarity is that both religions dissect, and shred human relationships until it fissiles and dies, especially when it is put in an eastern, collective context.
In a collective society, both groom and bride also marry the families to be soon to be their relative families, and this is a harbinger of soon to be diluted personalities of both groom and bride.
With Muslim/Christian love stories, if one party (family) does not accept the other, heartbreak is inevitable, and these are the cases of many.
I have witnessed many accounts of such inevitable breakup of religious differences, my Chaldean Iraq friend and his ex Iranian Muslim girlfriend, my Iraqi Muslim friend with her Lebanese Christian boyfriend, there was a lot of love involved, they were ready for marriage, but all belonged to on common dominator that they had to sacrifice o the well being of their families --- it does not matter if one’s family is accepting, it only works if both parties (families) are accepting. What is even funny, when I type Muslim, Christian, I do not type their real faith, I type what they have to be, my Chaldean friend and his ex, both belonged to non of the Abrahimic religions, they were free in the brain, the Lebanese guy was a devout atheist.
This friend of mine, made me think, that there can only be superficial relationships between the followers of these two religions.
Yesterday, I had interesting chats with my friend, well in Iraqi I would call her khala/auntie, she is the Iraqi Chaldean lady that I was and still helping with her case to bring her handicap son over to Canada. A month a go, when she invited me to her home for some chayi/tea, she showed me pictures of her sons, daughters, their wedding pictures, I do not remember how the conversation well, but I remember she was telling me that she chose the wife for her elder son, and she did not want him to marry the girl that he was in love with,, and I was a bit surprised and shocked, since she came across to me as a open minded Iraqi lady, and liberal, “I never thought you were like that” I asked her , she answered “I did not like the girl’s family, they came to threaten us”, but she said it in a weird tone, and she looked at me in the eye, I felt weird, I knew right away, or at least my instinct told me , that the girl that her son was in love with, was a Muslim girl, but I kept it as a doubt.
Strange as it is, the topic came up yesterday, as I told her about my friend, she sympathized and confessed to me the real story. The girl that her son was in love with, was a Muslim, even the girl’s mom came to her house to ask her permission for them to marry, I thought it was strange, as in Islam Muslim women are not allowed to marry non Christians, I do not know details, but it seemed that the girl’s mom wanted to protect her daughter’s reputation, since their clan or tribe was threatening. Khala’s reasoning, was also, in protection of her family, she told me that she did not want to be ostracized from her relatives, also, she will lose her clan/tribe and as her other sons and daughters were not married at that time; her daughters will lose suitors, and her sons won’t be accepted. She sacrificed one son’s freedom in the sake of others. She told me, in Iraq it does not work, and it is true, I remember one neighbor back in Iraq, the father was Muslim and the wife was Mandean, they never had relatives visiting, they were ostracized from both families.
But what is so weird, about khala N, is that she regrets it, and she said, it was a mistake, and she continued of how times have changed, and how she encouraged my friend to find love in whoever she feels comfortable being with, she added that is in Canada and not in Iraq. But also, in Canada families ostracize their kids, as in the case of the friends I mentioned, and most cases people choose family over the love of their lives, for that reason.
I chatted with mom about this case too, what is so interesting, the devout, head covered Muslim mother of mine, was the liberal hip chick of her time, mini skirts, and all the 1970s innuendo, what is so interesting, mom confessed to me that she was in love with a Christian Iraqi man, she even thought of going to the US with him, so she won’t have to face the consequences of such union from both sides, I wish if it happened, I would be from a liberal family right now, how cool, anyways, mom chose her family in the end, and chose my religious dad. (I am laughing now).
Mom also, told me so many other stories, she told me the story of my auntie’s best friend, she was too in love with a Christian man, and he was ready to leave his family for her, her mom also, accepted it, as she thought that they will gain thawab/virtue if he converts, but his family did not accept it. Auntie’s best friend, flew to Baghdad just to hear my mom’s advice, my mom told her you can not do this to the guy, and to leave him. According to mom, in less than one year, she found another man and married him.
Mom’s most”virtuous” story, is that hearts can change, and she kept preaching the difference between dreams and boundaries, and how even when one married, he/she can be in love with other guy/gal if they felt emotionally empty.
I asked mom, “If I was in love with a guy who is a not Muslim, would [she] accept it, even when she was in the same situation?”, “No, you can’t lose your akhirtich/afterlife”, she answered.
And then we had a fight as usual.
We talked about ethics, and it is funny how she blurred and paralleled two complete thought processes with the same end conclusion, she thought just because I think it is ok for people to intermarry, and just because I do not agree with god’s rulings, then it is also, easy for me to accept theft for example. Mom asked “what would rebuke you from doing so, if you think that way?”
Masters in electrical engineering my mom is, and this is her thought process, how pathetic, well, I do love mom, and I do think she is a very smart women, but that was distasteful. How can you correlated freedoms that are so ethical with freedoms that are not. But apparently, ethics come from god, and for me, ethics come from me. And it is so funny that mom proclaims that we all pray for the same god.
And I write this to god, if you are so merciful, if you are the most wise, why did you create so many religions, couldn’t you foresee the future, can you hear the suffering of the masses you created?
Coming to compare mom’s Islam and Khala N’s Christianity, I would prefer khala’s point of view, she confessed and learned from her mistake, as s he said “love is beautiful”, and as for mom she said to me “keep on learning piano, keep on writing, so you can put a good chunk of your feelings away, to think realistically, you have to see reality”. My mom disappointed me.
I careless now.
Oh, and Khala N’s uncalled efforts to find me a nice man, failed, as the man she sought to me, is not single apparently, is just his mom did not want him to marry his Christian girlfriend, after all, Muslim men can marry from the holy book believers legally.
Now, god, why are hell are you so sexist? Maybe you do not want Muslim women’s offspring to be non- Muslim, but why did you create this chaotic life anyway?
Oh, and mom advised, that I cannot express or show my so unreligious tendencies to the suitor who is proposing.
How can I have so much faith, if I can’t find god’s laws to be harmonious to the humanity I perceive and feel?
How am I supposed to defend Islam to the Taxi driver, if I can’t myself?
We don’t need religion. Enough division.
مكتوب # 25
6 years ago