Online Abuse

Online Abuse

20180110_092826.pngI joined twitter in 2013, I don’t actually recall why I signed up. I think it was curiosity more then anything.

I ended up speaking to some lovely people (who I still speak to today! You guys know who you are!) These amazing genuine people who take time out of their own day to debate/advise/help people on their views towards Muslims. These individuals who are not even Muslims themselves yet probably know more about Islam then I do.

The comments I came across online were and still are shocking, I was scrolling through my phone last week and came across some screenshots of when I had this troll attacking me consistently for weeks. He would be saying atrocious things like “I will boil your head in pig fat” “watch how people rape you” and so on. This was a case which was taken to court, it turned out to be some young man in Devon! I don’t think he was very happy once confronted but hey, don’t be mean to people and not expect some kind of repercussion right?!

This made me more determined to challenge people with these extremist views, how can someone think they are superior to someone else based on the colour of their skin or religion?

I understand people can sometimes get angry and wish to express their anger but to start abusing someone purely based on their religion is disgraceful.

I think many people will understand my next topic in regards to terrorist attacks, I still do not think people such as the far right understand the concept that ISIS have attacked more Muslims, they do not care who they harm. They do not represent me or my religion a single iota, in fact I do not even know what they believe in as everything they do goes against everything I have learned.

Whenever there is news about an attack I know I suddenly get a terrible sickening feeling at the pit of my stomach, my first thought is anger that these assholes have hurt innocents again! And then praying that my family members who do wear the hijab or more traditional wear do not get any abuse. I guess we always think we can handle anything which is why our main concerns is for our loved ones.

During these times are when the real abuse will come out, you will have people saying all Muslims must pay, leave the country and are no longer welcomed. I am a British citizen and no way in any shape or form do those scum represent me or my beliefs.

This is when tensions are high which I understand, but I also believe its time like this we need to come together more. We do not want to give these scum any satisfaction, in fact together we need to overcome their hate. I know this may sound so textbook but I genuinely believe we have more love then hate in this world. This is what will be our strength.

 

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Would I be Muslim if I wasn’t brought up in a Muslim family?🤔

Would I be Muslim if I wasn’t brought up in a Muslim family?🤔

This is a question which I admit I did not really think of before, it was actually someone on Twitter suggested I write about. The more I thought about this the more I talked about this to my friends to see what their views are on this subject.

As I have mentioned earlier on in one of the other posts, I was not brought up in a strict family. This does not mean my parents never prayed or were not devout Muslims, they were/are. They just never forced us to do anything we did not wish to, e.g pray, fast, give to charity (these are the core values of Islam). What they did do was explain and give us the chance to research, go to Islamic classes and talk to scholars about any questions we had and then watched us do these things because we wanted too.

This reminds me of when me and my older sister who is 18 months older then me, decided at the ages of 14 and 16 we were going to start going to local Islamic classes. Now people may have this perception that an Islamic class involves a bunch of girls sitting quietly in a corner being preached too and brain washed. The reality is the total opposite, we actually had such a great time going to these classes, we made friends there, we asked questions openly and we always pestered for exact answers. This was not a class where someone would say “You do not do this because you go to hell”, it was in fact a time of great patience and understanding.

I will not say there has not been times where my faith has been shaken or I have felt lost, because that would be a lie. I can honestly say at these times my family did nothing but be patient, they encouraged me to deal with things the best way I could and eventually I got back there again. This is not me preaching that religion has saved me, but I do believe the beauty of having a religion is you have your own journey and connection to God. At times this will be tested and it is up to you how you deal with it, for me I felt myself get back together once I had overcome the testing times I had gone through.

Although it is a bit difficult for me to answer the question of would I have been a Muslim if I had not been born as one, I do believe for me Islam makes sense. I do not identify myself as a Muslim as a label but because I believe in Islam.

This does not mean Islam is for everyone, because as I mentioned before everyone has their own journey in life. The below verse is mentioned in the Quran about people and religion.

Al Baqarah 256 which states “there is no compulsion in religion.”

I have noticed many right wing accounts stating if Muslims wish to leave Islam they are going to be “killed”, however I find it ironic when they manage to find some “ex-Muslims” who have left Islam yet dedicate their lives to talking about Islam . They will join these far right groups and instead of being “scared” for their lives as they say, they will bring themselves more attention by writing books and selling them for profit in the process of abusing other Muslims?🙄🤦🏽

To be honest I have met 2 ex-Muslims in real life, and one I have spoken to online who unlike the ones who join the far right groups have just simply carried on with life. I met one ex-Muslim as university, she never even said she was an ex-Muslim. It was maybe after 6 months of being friends she told me, and you know what? Nothing changed between us, why should it? Since then she has actually gone back into Islam and is engaged to a lovely white English guy!❤

The second person was someone who I met at a wedding, he wasn’t my friend but a friend of a friend. A normal guy in his late 20’s living in London (last time I heard he was dating a Muslim girl). However the time I spent with him and the questions I did curiously ask (I told you guys I am pretty fascinated at anything and everything) he was open with. I asked him what his family thought? He said his parents were of course a bit upset about it but they did not disown him (or threaten to kill him like many people would assume!). In fact they eventually accepted it, he still participated in Islamic festivities but he does his own thing, his reasons for leaving Islam? He said he was a very logical person and did not believe in the idea of religions full stop, nothing else to it. 

At the same time I have also met people who have converted into Muslims, I actually love meeting converts as I feel like because they have come into Islam themselves and not born into it, they hold so much knowledge. I have a few friends who were non Muslims growing up and turned to Islam when they started going on their own personal journey, because it just worked for them.

This goes back to the original question would anyone be Muslim or a follower of any religion if they were not brought up in it? Unless someone knows about the religion and decides it suits them then I think it could be a struggle, especially in todays day and age. I look at how the media and social media platforms portray Muslims and if I was an outsider who did not know anything about Islam would I believe all the negative things which are shared? Maybe. Would I do my own research about Islam? Yes I do believe I would, and would it change my views? Probably, because I know the type of person I am. I enjoy learning and for me Islam works for me, I enjoy having a belief.

I appreciate religion is not for everyone, which is why no one should be forced to believe in something unless they take time and research and form their own opinion.😊

 

 

 

Are people radicalised by the Far Right?

Are people radicalised by the Far Right?

Darren Osbourne.

Darren was recently convicted of murder and attempted murder after driving a van into some Muslims in Finsbury Park last June. This was a terrorist attack, his motive was to harm Muslims anyway he could, the intent was there to kill.

This brings me onto the question of why? I mean is there ever a reason or justification why someone does something to harm others? I personally cannot understand why anyone would want to harm another person, no one has the right to do that.

I followed the case through the news and online, one interesting thing which came to light was how Darren Osbourne was a follower of the likes of Tommy Robinson and Britain First, there were a couple of messages sent to Darren from them via automatic distribution lists. The message which came on 9th June from Tommy Robinson contained the below;

“The government and politicians refuse to take the necessary steps to keep us safe. It has now been left to us, the ordinary people of the United Kingdom to stand up to hate, to unite and in one voice say ‘no more'”.

Darren Osbourne’s parter Ms Andrews told the court how Darren had been obsessively reading up on Jayda Fransen, Paul Golding and Tommy Robinson and the police saying he had been radicalised all within 3-4 weeks.

Just to clarify anything I have said so far has been confirmed during court and various newspapers. I am aware there will be many people (loyal followers of the above) accusing me of making this up.

As I was following this case during the days in court I decided to have a look at Tommy Robinson’s page to see if I could see this from a third person’s perspective? Is it possible someone can get radicalised from someone’s social media account?

If you have not looked at Tommy Robinson’s account then please do, I would say to check Britain First account but that has since been suspended (Thank God!).

I do not have anything against free speech, in fact I strongly believe in saying what you feel. What I do not understand is how people can abuse the freedom of speech and use it as an excuse to promote hate. Looking at the far right’s social media accounts actually makes me feel sick. They spend every single waking moment searching for anything to do with Muslims and ethic minorities, any crime or offence committed by a Muslim this will be shared on their social media platforms.

This goes back to my original comment, can someone be radicalised by the Far Right? My own personal answer? Yes. I do believe if you are consistently brain washing your followers with any news where the perpetrators are Muslim or Immigrants this can cause someone to snap! Tommy Robinson and co are always sharing news about rapes or murders committed by Muslim’s or Immigrants, very rarely you will see news being shared by non ethnic minority perpetrators. You just have to look through their posts to see comments from their followers. The last couple of days alone I have been called a Nazi, a peado worshipper and threatened with bacon?! And who do all these people follow on twitter…?

To be honest I see this as no difference as any terrorist attacker, as the intent is the same. To hurt. To harm. To Kill.

I do not understand why groups such as the far right would even do what they do, why would you tar 1.8 billion Muslims with the same brush as those who are a MINORITY which commit atrocious acts? If every single Muslim was so bad, would there not be blood on every single street corner? Maybe this is because I try to see the positive in everything, or maybe I hate the thought of upsetting someone which is why I cannot understand why people do it to us Muslims. Why would you wish to cause harm on innocent people based on the actions of a few?

Like Isis are radicalised, I see no difference to how the far right followers are radicalised, both parties are brain washed and fed news which will make them angry, both parties have the same intention. Regardless of how people may say the Far Right are only there to “protect their country”, the intention is still the same.🤦🏽

Bacon – Is this Kryptonite 🤔😱😯

Bacon – Is this Kryptonite 🤔😱😯

Bacon… Bacon…Bacon… 🥓

I find it ever so amusing when people seem to think they can be insulting and offensive to me/Muslims by throwing bacon comments at us.

I am sorry guys, I have breaking news… Nothing happens!!! Literally absolutely nothing happens to us if you “put bacon on my car”, “shove bacon on our faces (although that would make me mad and get you a slap)” or the best one “let’s all get bacon sarnies and eat them and see how ‘they’ like it!”.

Let us start from the beginning, what does the Quran say about bacon?

““He has forbidden you only dead animals, and blood, and the swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than God.” (Quran 2:173)”

And what does the bible say about eating bacon?

“And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch”

Deuteronomy 14:8

From the above two passages from two religious texts we can see both condemn the eating of pork, meaning if Islam prohibits Muslims from eating pork so does Christianity. So why do I seem to get bacon insults by people who are proud “patriots” and “devout Christians” who do not even go to church or mass yet feel the need to insult others on their beliefs?

This brings me to the next topic, what happens if someone eats a bacon sarnie in front of me? I work in an software company where every Friday morning is take out breakfast morning. When people order bacon and egg baguettes and eat them on my desk chatting to me, I do not turn to dust nor do I keel over and die. On the other hand I sit there eating my own egg and mushroom baguette  (don’t judge unless you have tried this!) enjoying my breakfast and glad the week is over 😋.

Yesterday I came across a post on twitter where someone had uploaded a picture of a ice cream place with small children (Asian of course) eating ice cream etc. The comments under this post are disgraceful, an example of one was “Well start selling bloody bacon soon all run away Its legal”. First of all, this person has a English flag on their profile picture and secondly their grammar is atrocious and they say they are a “patriot” to us British people?!

I would upload the comments but the original owner of the post has blocked me but feel free to have a nosey if you wish, username is @OkKelly22 😉.

On that note it is Friday and well, you all know what Friday mornings are about in Shy’s life 😏

 

 

How important are women in Islam?

How important are women in Islam?

“When a Muslim woman is born she becomes a reason her father will enter paradise and when she becomes a mother paradise is under her feet.”

This is one of my favourite quotes as it sums up how cherished we are to our families and religion.

The most common misconception I come across especially online is when people assume just because I am a female and Muslim, I am somehow treated badly and terribly oppressed. This is not the case at all, I have never been oppressed in my life nor treated badly (apart from the time my mum refused to let me go out one evening and I was grounded for having a massive strop).

Growing up as mentioned before I was never discouraged to not do anything, the only thing my parents ever said was to be sensible and be safe. I was never told I could not go out, socialise with friends or work. In fact as soon as I was 16 I applied at a small boutique to fund my shopping habit!

So what does the Quran say about women?

Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h) said:

“The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife” [Abu Dawud]

A women is to be treated as God has endowed her with rights, we have the right to own and dispose of our own property and earnings (you know that saying what’s yours is mine but what’s mine is mine 😀 ).  Despite what people make out we have a right to choose our husband, this is something I will address later on in regards to my marriage.

We have the right to be educated and work, the right to inherit from our father, mother and husband. What some people do not realise is what they read and see tend to be situations which have derived from countries where the abuse of power and a corrupt government is in place. This does not mean the religion oppresses women, this means those people who are imposing such restrictions in the first place are in fact oppressing them.

This brings me to the next point, of when people tend to say to me “why don’t you go and live in a Muslim country and live there and see how you are treated”. I love travelling and I have been to many Muslim countries, the main one which I go regularly is Pakistan. This is because I have relatives out there who I try and see when I can.

I will not say when I go Pakistan everything is perfect, it is not. This is largely due to the fact I see so much poverty and this really upsets me. I love seeing the culture, spending time exploring different areas of Pakistan and it is beautiful, something which tends to be overlooked.

My grandfather was a captain in the army and my grandmother was a huge advocate for the girls in my family to be educated. She would make sure each grandchild went to the best school, college and then send them to university. My grandfather would happily support this and in their spare time once my grandfather had retired they spent their time helping out in charities and feeding the poor.

I cannot commend my grandmother enough, she passed away 5 years ago. I was astonished to see the thousands of people who came to her funeral, so many beautiful stories of how she helped people in need and would go above and beyond to anyone that needed her.

I do think if people think us Muslim women are oppressed they should have a coffee with us or spend the day with us, I cannot promise you that you will not be exhausted from all the running around though 😉 .

Speaking to People on “the other side”

Speaking to People on “the other side”

The one thing I have noticed online is we all seem to have ‘labels’ for people, for example people who defend Islam or are more challenging are seemed to be labelled ‘lefties’ and those who are ‘true patriots’ and want to have their ‘free speech’ are labelled as ‘far right’.

I do not have an issue with anyone who believe in free speech, their belief or how they choose to live. I do however have a problem with people who try to abuse the ‘free speech’ line and start insulting and abusing others.

Previously I used to get very upset and very angry when I would come across people who would be insulting Muslims and the religion, in fact not just Islam but anyone who would bully and abuse someone based on what they believe and think. I would get myself worked up and it would end up in some kind of slanging match on twitter. They would say something insulting then I would get annoyed and say something back etc.

As time went on I started to view things differently, maybe it was me getting older or the fact I was getting stuck in this horrible vicious negative circle, but I did not want to continue like this. I mean how am I challenging someone on their belief that all Muslims are bad if all I am doing is reinforcing their views by being rude back?

I started to see if maybe I could change some minds on Islam, and over my time online I have met some very very amazing individuals. Individuals who have not met any Muslims before, and had created this view on Islam based on what the media showed Muslim’s as (let’s be honest, they do not tend to show us in a great light majority of the time!). I am not the most knowledgeable person in Islam but what I do know I started to share with people who were curious and wanted to know more.

Which brings me to someone special who I came across last year, we actually clashed at first on a thread about immigration and children. However this person listened to my views and we ended up messaging about Islam and any concerns they had. We talked about how I had read the bible when I was young, as for anyone who does know me will tell you I am a huge book worm! This individual is Christian and we discussed about going to church, about mosques, about the fact even at a young age my parents did nothing but encourage me to learn about other religions. I told this person how during a religious lesson at school I started to learn about Christianity and asked my parents for a Bible to read as I loved the stories!

Although this person still has his concerns and maybe some views about Islam, they have dramatically changed as the biggest problem was they had not interacted much with Muslims before, their views had been derived from what they saw online and groups such as “For Britain” etc.

This is why I continue to do what I do (being totally random and annoying), I believe if I can change just one person’s mind that is enough for me. If anything this shows together we can overcome people’s fear and worries and show them a different side to us Muslims.

 

 

 

Growing up 💁

Growing up 💁

I am the youngest sibling and I have 3 older sisters. I guess you could say I was a tiny bit spoilt but are you really the youngest if you are not a teeny bit loved more 😉

My older sisters were more introvert growing up, I was always the extrovert. We grew up in a small village and I was always finding different things to do to keep me entertained.

The one thing our dad ever wanted from us was to respect our elders, study hard, be independent and most of all show love and care to everyone around us.

I was always a mommy’s girl and towards the end I became 50/50. All of us were encouraged to go to university and gain our degrees and then find a job which we would enjoy.

When the subject of Islam came up nothing was imposed on us, such as my mum wears a hijab and she never once told us to wear it or force us. My parents always said to us when we are ready we should, as what is the point of doing something if your heart is not in it? We were also always encouraged to learn more about our faith in whichever way we found easier.

Me and my sister older than me started a Sunday Islamic class when we were in our teens. We were curious and wanted to ask questions and I remember the person who we went to always encouraged us to be open and honest.

This was when our faith started to strengthen, we asked questions which once upon a time didn’t make sense to us but did after Bhai Usman (the teacher) told us. He taught us the basics of Islam, why we pray, why we give to charity and look after one another.

Now by all means this does not make me an expert in Islam, in fact till this day I am constantly learning. However for me the answers I get and search for are enough to keep my faith strong.