Just because I identify as a Democrat doesn’t mean that I blindly vote the party line. I still think for myself and vote accordingly. Also, I am not pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice. There’s a difference. And where does it say that a Muslim can’t be a Democrat? And lastly, Muslims do not condone wanton use of abortion, but recognize that there are situations that might warrant one. Pro-lifers make no such distinction. See my blogs I, Muslimah (http://muslimah.femagination.com/) and Femagination (http://www.femagination.com/) if you really want to know why I believe as I do. Oh, and by the way, I’m also a feminist.
The whole thing got me to thinking about perceptions non-Muslims have of Muslims. So I decided to jot down a few things that are not necessarily true just because I’m a Muslim.
- I don’t think that Muslim woman have to wear burkas or niqabs.
- I don’t think it’s wrong to wear bright colors or make-up.
- I don’t have an Arabic or Muslim name.
- I am not conservative in all things.
- I don’t think that non-Muslims are immoral.
- I don’t follow the rulings (fatwas) of shayks and scholars blindly. (In other words, I think for myself.)
- I don’t believe that Muslim women are consigned to second-class citizenship.
- I don’t believe that men are better than women.
- I don’t try to dictate to others what they should and should not do.
- I don’t think it is haram to listen to or make music.
- I don’t hate America or the West.
- I don’t want to take over the world.
- I don’t agree with any form of terrorism.
- I don’t believe that all Muslims have to be exactly alike.
- I don’t believe in coercion in religion.
- I don’t think that Muslims have to shun non-Muslims.
- I don’t have the Qur’an and the words of Mohammad memorized.
- I don’t use—or even know—the Arabic terms for everything.
- I don’t think that abortion should be made illegal.
What I do believe because I’m a Muslim is that:
- Allah is God, complete in Himself.
- Islam means both submission and peace.
- The purpose of prayer is to bless us and bring us closer to Allah and to others.
- Personal responsibility is a hallmark of Islam.
- Men and women are equal.
- There is no such thing as original sin.
- We are born in a state of oneness with Allah.
- Each of is called to seek knowledge and understanding.
- The Qur’an is a sacred book, given to us for instruction and guidance and to warn us of the perils of disobedience.
- Submission to Allah means that we recognize our debt to Him.
- My purpose is life is to do Allah’s will.
- Everything that happens to us is a test which we pass by patience and perseverance.
- Allah is all-forgiving and all-merciful.
- Forgiveness comes through true repentance.
- All the prophets are Allah’s messengers.
- Mohammad is the last of Allah’s prophets.
- The greatest “holy war” is the one within myself.
The important thing to remember when we deal with each other is that no two people are alike, nor are we at the same point in our individual journeys. We need to refrain from judgment and try to see where others are coming from. When we stereotype it’s because we’re too lazy or self-absorbed to get to know people who are different than us as persons.