Note: This is a guest post by Adam Sitte
Part of me wants to apologize for the relative melodrama of this title. I concede, of course, that my own experiences pale in comparison to the racially-based oppression John Howard Griffin recorded in his famous account of segregation in the American South. That said, all we have to share is our own perspectives and individual tribulations, and I feel the banality of my own need not suppress their relevance. There is a tacit expectation that converting to a new religion necessitates an alteration of your own culture.
Arabs dress you up in thobes and want you to smoke hookah, while Desis assume you’ll love Bollywood movie nights and bhangra. Read more
”…. your site gave me my first real hint that Islam is not inherently patriarchal and conservative (“halal for me means sweatshop free”), an idea that I had previously dismissed.
Err, well, now I’m somehow compelled to lay my burdens down, hoping that you won’t feel obligated to pick them up but maybe to just visually estimate them.
Last year, KufiGirl recommended that I write to you while I was undergoing a spiritual crisis in which I went from being an atheist to being a believer (of some sort). At that time, I had been overpowered by an unexpected romance with the Qur’an that didn’t necessarily offer clarity.
I still haven’t totally converted, because I hate the idea of going back on it, and I am still full of doubt and concern at the idea of joining the Muslim world. I’m a very logical and critical person on the one hand, and a person of intense mysticist tendencies on the other. Also, I’m a rather hard core leftist/activist.
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Purvis
A few years after converting to Islam, I wondered to myself how I was ever going to find a Muslim husband. I mean, people who are not Muslim complain about how hard it is to find someone, but here I was restricting myself to a minority segment of the population! But an even bigger problem was that I didn’t have any ACCESS to this (Muslim male) population, due to the strict gender segregation enforced in my local Muslim community.
However, there are mechanisms built in to the community to deal with this problem, mechanisms that remind me of the movie “Fiddler on the Roof.” Yes, “The Aunties” knew about lots of single brothers in the community. “So and So’s son,” or brother, or whatever. And since I was a convert, and The Aunties wanted to help improve my religion, they felt that the obvious choice of husband for me would be the strictest, most traditional Muslim man they could possibly find.
Given that I was (and am) a non hijab-wearing, independent-minded, successful career woman with little to no interest in traditional gender roles, that approach wasn’t going to work for me. Since restricting myself to the local community was clearly not a viable option, I realized that I would need to expand my search nationwide—by going online.
Life, and marriage, are not one-size-fits-all.
Our relationship certainly did not follow the traditional path taken by most Muslims, but I do not apologize for it