Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stupid Questions and Acceptance/Tolerance.

Female work colleague: So how does your husband like being married to a white girl?
Me (baffled by question): Well, he likes being married to me very much.

The thing is, my husband's actually pretty light-skinned, as are most people in his country, so it's not as if we sit on the sofa next to each other, comparing skin tones and singing "Ebony and Ivory".

Other questions which are annoying are the ones where people are trying to find out his legal status. A firmly stated "Yes, he is legally allowed to be here, if that's what you're getting at", usually silences that one.

Aside from that, everyone has been very positive, Alhamdulilah. Although I had someone at work I hadn't met before, say "I see you've taken your husband's faith (In a tone of voice like I'd caught syphillis from him). It was quite satifying to show her my work ID (showing me in a hijab) and saying "I've been Muslim for two years now, actually".

The longer I am Muslim, the better it feels to be one, Alhamdulilah. One of the good things about it, is that those around you have gotten used to you being Muslim. Work colleagues know you don't go out drinking and won't go to works parties, it's accepted.

Being tolerated, is not the same as being accepted, that this who you are, what you believe, how you want to live your life.

The acceptance from your family can be harder to obtain, because deep down, they may wish you weren't Muslim. It's hard knowing that those you love want to change something that feels so essential to you.

The last time I visited my parent's house I noticed two new photographs, my wedding photographs, showing me, their daughter in hijab, with her Muslim husband. In pride of place for for all to see. It was then, that I felt accepted.


otowi said...

It took quite a while before my family was comfortable enough to show pictures of me in hijab. But now, they don't seem to bat an eye at it.

Wishing you all happiness and good of this world and Hereafter.

Alina said...

Glad to hear your relationship with your family has improved in this respect. As for nosy and ignorant people in your office, well nothing to do about that! Those smart enough will accept you as you are. Those stupid enough will never get to appreciate you. But that happens to a lot of us, and the fact that you are Muslim is just a pretext they use to justify themselves.

DA said...

'so it's not as if we sit on the sofa next to each other, comparing skin tones and singing "Ebony and Ivory".'

Yes, but how cool would it be if you did?

Anyway, when confronted with stupid and bigoted remarks, my approach is usually "You know, you don't seem to know what you're talking about, so I'd advise you to shut the fuck up. Silly motherfucker." You're probably a better Muslim than me. People probably take what you say more to heart as well.

For what it's worth, my family has been cool with the Muslim thing from day 1. So did a lot of my friends. I guess I'm just lucky.

bibi-aisha said...

Its sickenin how bigoted ppl stil 4th generatn south african of indian descent,n the community is so narrow-minded. I love seein their reactns wen i say i dnt care about race,only compatibility and faith. They r visibly shockd to think id marry a black guy.n sum of them tink they r good muslims.did they miss wot the quran says bout there bein no 'isms in islam?nice post

working said...

That's a silly question, isn't it? People are so weird sometimes. I'm glad that your family has your pictures out :)

Living Away said...

I'm so happy I find your blog again!!
I'm happy things are getting better!!!

All the best in 2007!!


SaRaH said...

Stupid Q never seem to stop .. However I am glad about your parents.

roora said...

I was touched by the last part, for being accepted. ElhamdAllah and may God reward you for your Jihad and to feel by God's support always ISA.

Safiya said...

Thank you so much for all your comments.

I don't usually like to mention my family much, but it has to be siad they were all pretty good about my conversion.

Still I definitely feel more accepted after marriage and I think that's because they were very worried about me finding a good husband and al7amdulilah this has happened.

Ali la Loca said...

Oh, Saifya. This is so, so, so wonderful. I bet it is a lovely picture.

As for the questions in your workplace, people are many times guilty of making assumptions. I used to work in an office where I was the only "white girl" and got used to my own slew of stupid questions and assumptions about my family, my culture, my background.

I think by having a blog and by being willing to talk to people about your choices and beliefs you are slowly chipping away at the block of ignorance behind these questions.

[a} said...

The photo thing's awesome!!