On this Halloween, I am sorry to have to share the scary news that it seems even most progressive muslims are not ready to start a conversation about certain issues within the faith.
My letter to Ben Affleck has stirred up quite a reaction. Most importantly though, sadly, it has given reason for people within my community to send hateful messages, attack me as a 'race-betrayer' and as a self-loathing 'racist'. I have been tagged in several conversations where people expect me to listen quietly to such abuse, engage and/or apologize for writing so openly about what I consider to be issues within the religion I was raised in.
In several thousand interactions on the internet over the past week (most of them very kind, supportive and encouraging), I have heard from about 3 practising muslims, tops (and they are the people I have my hopes riding on). Who have acknowledged that my experience is real and my concerns are valid. To others, I am a liar, an exaggerator and publicity seeker.
I am sorry that the threats I receive about drawing get in the way of your denying that there are any issues. I apologize that I'm not silently enduring this stuff for the purposes of face-saving. But who are we kidding here, intolerance in Islam is not a very well hidden secret at all.
You can tell me over and over again that women and men are 100% equal in Islam, or that there is no punishment for blasphemy or apostasy, but you are not convincing me - or anyone else with a rational mind. We can go back and forth for hours, I can quote you stuff from the texts, you can come up with your usual excuses... this is never going anywhere.
I wrote what I thought was a very gentle letter, a very soft critique. But if even such a small nudge towards discussion leads to online bullying, hateful attacks by so-called 'progressives', then you my dear muslim brothers and sisters are only helping to prove my point.
You may not agree with my perspective, and that is fine. But to deny that my experience is real? To tell *me* who actually receives threats and is called an enemy of god...that this doesn't happen in Islam?
I have a term for that, #Musplained .
To those upset that I am speaking to 'white men' - I have tried speaking to you, plenty of times my dearest muslim brother and sisters. I have received nothing but hatred and threats in return. You are shutting me down by telling me my experiences aren't real and that I am a racist. How then, can I speak to you? I have tried for years. I am still open to it, lets start by you acknowledging that my experience is real?
|My apologies that you now have to hear critique. |
Some fundamental flaws can be seen from outer space,
u do not need to know the hadith and Quran in order to identify them.
And you don't need to be of a certain race to see these flaws, FYI
|I am so very sorry that my "oppressed voice" has inconvenienced you. I really am.|
I will try to be less oppressed from now on so that you don't have to hear any inconvenient truths.
Wonderful, I thought. And then I asked her something along the lines of "Would you take a public stand by tweeting with the hashtag #Muslims4Apostates" (I have since deleted that conversation because I don't want people hate-tweeting her)
Suddenly she remembered she was really busy and had to go.
So yeah. This is the level of 'outrage'.
Progressive Muslims, you have surprised and saddened me the most. I didn't expect hateful messages to come from you. But I guess we are in this deeper than I imagined. If you were open to seeing some very real flaws, we could have been on the same side of this and navigated towards a more modern Islam. But without accepting the problem, we won't be able to move forward.
Crazies and actual muslim haters, I am not on your side. So please stop hijacking my words and posting them as if we have the same stance.
Also, my letter was not meant to be taken so literally - for the record, I do leave the house without my brother/father/husband. ;)
Much love to everyone,