I'm fuming. I am not angry but I wanted to write to get a few things clear, out of my head and into the world.
A few things about me ::
I am Muslim, yes I am. You may have noticed that. What you may not have noticed is your own reaction to that fact. It's OK. We're all different. I don't expect a radical Hindu to love me or what I am. I know some Christians are offended by my existence, like a slap in the face (you don't believe in the crucifixion?? Oh poor Jesus, how COULD you - and you walked away from salvation to join the devil's cult.... horror!). I know that what I am draws a line in the sand and quick decisions have to made about which side of the line you stand on.
I believe in One God, and I couldn't care less what you believe in. I couldn't really. But what I do care about is how my children are raised and how my children are treated. I do not want them growing up to be christian, or hindu, or buddhist, or wiccan or secularist or atheist. I want the best for my children and in my opinion that means raising them as Muslim. That is not up for discussion or negotiation.
So what does that mean on a practical level? Well, it means that we can't eat at picnics when we're with a mixed group if there is meat, pork or alcohol present. We don't join in Christmas parties. Every so often we have to stop, wash and pray no matter where we are. In Ramadan we fast and as my children get older they try to fast a little of the day too.
There will be other considerations as my children move into adulthood about where they may socialise (nowhere with alcohol), and with whom (unless we are out with and as a family then we segregate to let our hair down). There are other little details and considerations and decisions that as practising Muslims we have to make every day as we live in a non-Muslim land. And if this seems insular, it isn't meant to be; it's just a practical repsonse to certain needs.
These are not up for negotiation either. So if that bothers you, jog on. If what you think as an 'exceptable muslim' is one who gives up their religion and beliefs to fit in with your party scene then you will not find that here. So long as we are not breaking any laws of the land we will exercise our freedom of conscience and speach and movement and live the way we think is right. Just as you do.
Do what you want if it makes you happy; you to your religion and leave me to mine, but on NO account rattle my cage unless you want to take me on. Do not accuse me of being anti-christian (unless just not being christian is enough to be accused of this); do NOT give my child the hairy eyeball, just don't; don't tar me with the brush of your own sick imagination and call it 'truth'; do not tar me with the brush of another Muslim you may have met; if that Muslim was on TV then double that; DO. NOT. TRY. TO. CONVERT. MY. CHILD. BEHIND. MY. BACK, you utter lowlife scum, unless you want me to have a go with your kids and see which religion they think makes more sense; if your religion can only sound plausible when mine is gone then what does it say about your faith? Do not expect me to give my way of life up for your convenience, as you then hide behind facile platitudes of, 'I'm not racist, I love multiculturalism' as you quickly extradite your children from the presence of Muslim filth; I will NOT be your scapegoat. If you don't like Muslims just say so, admit it and move on, but do not blame me for your shortcomings, prejudices and intolerance.
Oh and if you have an issue with me why not stay and say it to my face and wait for my reply you pathetic excuse for an adult, instead of accusing me in public then flouncing off you utter miserable fool. You really, really, really have issues.
Isn't it a shame that these things need said?
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EDIT :: People have been emailing to ask what this is all about. So a quick summary - on a home educating yahoo group this blog was accused of being anti-christian by two women before one of them left the group on account of me being present. I found this hurtful and shocking, but moreover I found it defamatory - had the words used been 'anti-semitic', 'racist' or 'homophobic' I could have had the police knocking at my door. As it was I felt wrongly accused. After several attempts at polite dialogue failed by stonewalling techniques, and after several requests of finding out where the offending elements in my blog were so that I could remove them were met with no answer, I, fuming, wrote this post. To you it may seem over the top. But maybe if you've ever been publicly slandered you'd understand. My name has been tarnished. I am not anti-christian and I ever never said anything offensive about any religion. That's not how I roll. I also decided to get some other things off my chest whislt I was here ;-) But the long and the short of it, is you can't go around slandering people and playing the 'race' card whenever you've got an axe to grind. That is why we have defamation laws and why the Courts take slander very seriously. All a man has is his name, and reputation is a hard thing to make and an easy thing to trash. I'm alwas reminded of Arthur Miller's Crucible when things like this happen.
But after receiving no reply, explanation, dialogue or apology I now leave it in the hands of Allah, the universe, karma, ultimate justice - whatever you want to call it. What goes around comes around. It really really does. They've just undone their own selves. Which is a pity.