Muslims have their own views too!
Something that I have noticed over the last few months is that for some reason, too many people seem to think being Muslim dictates what your political views should be. Funnily enough this view comes as much from non-Muslims as Muslims, who seem to see us as some vulnerable little group in need of protecting and defending. As much as people would like to reject this idea, there is a problem within the Muslim community that I as a Muslim am perfectly aware of. When we have ‘scholars’ invited into this country to lecture us (scholars who call for the execution of Muslims who challenge commonly held ‘Islamic’ beliefs, scholars who tell men it is their right to beat their wives, who tell women our job is to obey our husbands) then to deny there is a problem is hideous and quite dangerous.
Furthermore, Muslims are no more easily manipulated than the rest of society. Not all Muslims will fit into anyone’s narrow little category of what a Muslim should do or should believe. I personally have changed my views over recent times because I’m absolutely sick of Muslims being able to get away seemingly unchallenged with saying things that no other section of society would be able to. Whereas in the past I’ve been yet another one of these people who has constantly tried to defend Islam and Muslims, it got to the point where I couldn’t continue to do so anymore. The views of many Muslims in this country disgust me; mainly views towards homosexuals, women and non-Muslims, and I know of people who have become Muslim but subsequently left the religion because of this. To suggest Muslims’ views could be changed because they have been ‘brainwashed’ by anyone is highly patronising.
When I walk down the street in Whitechapel and am verbally attacked by Muslims because of what I’m wearing (deemed not to be shariah-compliant) then yes I do see a problem, just as I see a problem when a scholar who discusses evolution has death threats and vicious campaigns made against him. It’s experiences that shape my beliefs, and the experiences that I have as a Muslim woman enable me to make my own decisions about what I see as a problem in this country. If you don’t want to tackle hate coming from Muslims and want to focus on other sections of society, great. But there are those within this country, Muslim as well as non-Muslim, who do want to tackle this.
Later on this month we have the Tayyibun conference. A conference where we have invited to speak scholars who have quite abhorrent views that have no place in a healthy society. It’s about time our government stopped letting these people in to spread their views, and as somebody who doesn’t find wife-beating acceptable and who doesn’t want somebody killed for writing freely or expressing their opinions, it’s something that worries me greatly. Why is it that Muslims think it’s acceptable to go and listen to these types of people? Unless Muslims start taking a big enough stand against these people, hatred towards Muslims isn’t going to stop anytime soon and in reality we are as much to blame for anti-Muslim bigotry as anyone else.
So for those who deny there is a problem, instead of mocking Muslims who don’t agree with your dismissive stance perhaps accept that as people living this, we know what we’re talking about.