As we in Canada mourn the murder of a young girl at the hands of her father the issues of domestic violence, culture clash and Islam have become front page headlines nationwide. I’ve read different versions of the young girs struggles – her friends say she didn’t want to wear hijab, her Muslim friends said she just wanted to be ‘free’ and ‘be loved’. Some hint at a boy in the picture, others vehemently deny this. Whatever the truth is what is clear is that she was a teenager, rebelling perhaps, chaffing at the bit as most of us did at that age. What she had to contend with though was something many of us never had to worry about – the fact that her father would end up killing her in what one can only assume was a fit of rage. Friends testify to the fact that the young girl sported bruises, and spoke of being afraid to go home. Who knows really, until the hysteria settles what the truth is or was. All we can do is look at the facts. A young life was extinguished by that very person who was supposed to protect her. It reminds us in a most stark manner that domestic violence is not only between partners, but the entire household.
“Do Not Blame Islam” screamed one headline. That became a soundbite used across the nation as one Imam tried handle the media. Another person attempted to explain that women need to be righteous because they are the teachers of young children in the family. The argument was essentially that “while we of course condemn her fatheres actions we understand why he may have lost his mind.” It’s the same argument used when a woman is raped…. “what were you doing there?” “what were you wearing?” – What kind of nonsense is this? Being a concerned parent doesn’t mean you kill your children. Being a strict parent doesn’t mean you kill your children. I couldn’t believe that there are people who cannot just say simply that it is an outrage. It is a crime. It is sickening that this happened to our community. It had nothing to do with hijab it had to do with control. It has to do with the concept that in many cultures women are the ones saddled with bearing the brunt of “honour” in a family.
Instead of rushing to defend where truthfully defense is not needed, use the attention to this crime to push forward on youth centres, the hiring of more cultural, religious minorites in the social services arena. Islam doesn’t need us to defend it and to be perfectly honest when we try we end up looking like asses. But the young, the innocent, the vulnerable, and the women who silently endure, they need our defense.
And right in the middle of this tragedy, I see that the New York Post graced us with another tasteless headline. I almost lost my supper when I read this. I can’t believe someone thought this would be funny. How many women survived another day to pick up the paper and be confronted with that awful headline? The reminder is constant that we have still far to go when it comes to violence against women whether it be in mainstream or religious communites.
Daddy left for Hajj – so happy and looking healthy. Make du’a that his health holds up and his Hajj is accepted. It’s still so incredible to think of him travelling to Mecca and Medina. I know this is a complete dream come true for him – the sort of dream you don’t even dare dream to hard for because it seems so impossible. InshaAllah Mama gets to go next year.
N had her walima which was great fun all around. She looked beautiful and I, despite my application of mascara and stilettoes, got outshone by my nephews’ cuteness. Go figure! I killed my feet for nothing – I should have worn my birks – my skirt was long wnough and no one would have been wiser 🙂
F had her baby – a sweet little boy who remained nameless while they tried a different name out each day for 4 or 5 days. They finally settled on Zakariya.
Snow – snow – snow and so cold! I broke out my snowpants. Seriously I have no shame when it gets this cold. Del says Hell is cold too, not just scalding hot. Honestly that scared me more than the descriptions of the fire. For people who haven’t experienced bone chilling icy cold you have no idea how nasty it is. I mean -30 degrees celcius, where it takes you an hour to defrost and no matter how high the heat is you are still cold. When you take a deep breath you cough because your lungs freeze. When it’s that cold I cry as I’m waiting for the bus – I can’t help it I am sooo miserable. Hell cold is not a nice thought but then I’ve never heard Del’s version so I don’t know…but it still worked on me.
I finished Mrs. Craddock – I loved it. Saf you are going to like it. When Jazz goes down to Korea I’ll send it with her. I also finished In Praise of Slow. It was like one never ending magazine article. Boring as shiznit – repeating the same thing over and over again. I liked the subject matter but that’s about it.
About a week left till we head to Toronto inshaAllah for the retreat. A chance to learn and be inspired. Saf don’t be jealous – think of the summer and your plans and how jealous I will be then.
I caught American Gangster last night – I loved this song by Anthony Hamilton. Check it out.
Okay so I’ve started a few new books. I picked up a book from Coles a few weeks ago called In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore. I’d never heard of it before but it looked interesting and I am a sucker for anything that says “international bestseller” on it… In honour of my new find I have been reading it slowly. (Ha ha). It’s actually interesting so far – a little repetitive and kind of “okay I get the picture”, but so far I like.
I’m also reading The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm. I picked this up a few months ago at Benjamin Books. I’ve just opened it so I don’t have too much to say other than I like what I’ve read so far. It reminds me of a conversation my uncle and I had over 10 years ago, and of a piece I wrote maybe 7 or 8 years ago. So interesting when you meet up with old thoughts. Like old friends reuniting.
Bedtime reading is Somerset Maugham‘s book Mrs. Craddock. Saf tried to get me to read this last year. One of my all-time favourite books is Maugham’s Of Human Bondage and I am enjoying this one as well.
And I have begun leafing through Tariq Ramadan’s In the Footsteps of the Prophet. Most likely to become bedtime reading after Mrs. Craddock.
So I was tagged a while ago by Saifuddin and I’ve finally sat down to compile a list of 7 weird things about myself. My apologies for taking so long – real life called and my virtual life suffered 🙂
1. I am scared of birds. I have been known to make a fool of myself if a bird gets too close to me as I have had bad experiences with sparrows, pigeons and those freakin seagulls – I truly believe they are out to get me.
2. I hum when I eat. It drives my sister crazy.
3. I do too many things at once – or try to. I read at least 3 books at a time. I watch 2 or 3 shows at a time. I double book myself constantly.
4. I talk to myself when I do groceries. Conversations. And yes I answer myself.
5. I absolutely hate butter on my toast. And sugar in my cereal. And salad dressing on my salad.
6. I started drinking coffee when I was a kid – black, no sugar – It reminded me of Bestamor.
7. I own at least 3 volumes of fairy tales – I still love reading them – the original versions not the PC stuff.
There it is…make of it what you will !! 🙂