If you’re going to reblog it, well, I just found out that the model is not Muslim and she wore it for fetishistic purposes only so remember that.
And I apologize for my own part in reblogging that. I saw that image and I was so stupid as to think it was a Muslim woman taking part in an alternative culture. I feel so disgusted to have encouraged, no matter how indirectly, such a gross fetishization of a stigmatized religion.
To the Muslim women everywhere, I am so sorry to have taken part in such a fuck-up. I am so sorry to have done such a thing as to reblog that. I am so sorry to have disrespected all of you and of your religion.
lourning lady basically summed up what I wanted to say.
So yeah, I’m REALLY sorry about reblogging that picture, my original intent be damned. You don’t deserve that. Nobody deserves that. And it’s definitely a cause for anger.
haven’t seen the post in question but incase it’s on anyone else’s dash
It exists. And you may think I have an anecdote for everything race-related, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re proud of a heritage that the country you live in tells you is worth no more than the shit on the sidewalk, right? That’s what happens when you make the “mistake” of being Black in a society built on keeping you in a position of worthlessness and subservience. Anyway, the story I want to share with you today is one from my earliest experiences with anti-Blackness from people who were not white.
I used to attend classes at my local masjid (mosque) to learn Arabic so I could read the Qu’ran without English translations. I was still in the process of learning the alphabet and numbers at the time, and one of our lessons was to discuss the hadiths—or life lessons according to Islam—of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (saw).
In any case, my instructor was a Desi woman. I used to adore her. She was so kind and she was very pretty and she was very patient with me regarding Arabic as she grew up speaking Hindi and Bengali (from Bangladesh). Anyway, one day we were discussing a hadith and she totally flipped the script on me. I was one of the two Black children in the class, as the rest were Pakistani, Indian, Bengali, and a few Arabs. One of my closest friends at the time, Tamana, was from Bangladesh and she would help me when I’d have trouble. The Desi teacher asked me how I practice Islam at home, and I told her the same as any other Muslim, however, my father was part of the Islamic sect of Ahmadiyah. All of a sudden her entire demeanor changed.
“You’re not a real Muslim,” she said. The entire class went quiet. There were only 15 of us in a small room in the women’s section of the masjid. I blinked, because I thought maybe she’d misunderstood what I was saying.
“How can I not be a real Muslim? I make salat five times a day, I practice halal, I worship Allah the same as any other Muslim.” But she was singularly determined to prove I wasn’t a real Muslim because of the sect my father was part of.
“Well, for one,” she said, and she got real uppity about this, “you’re Black, and your father is Ahmadiyah. We all know the Ahmadiyah don’t believe in God.”
When I tell you all I saw was fucking RED…I didn’t curse at her, and I didn’t raise my voice, because this was the masjid after all, but I did argue with her that Islam is one of the few faiths in which even though there are different sects, the worship is the same. The Five Pillars of Islam don’t change, and we don’t read the Qu’ran or make Salat any differently than any other Muslim.
I burst into tears, because it was the first time anyone had denied my faith based on my skin color and my chosen sect. But could I leave the classroom? No. I didn’t have a choice at the time. I was 12, and classes weren’t over for another two hours. I had to sit there in my pain and you know what? No one defended me. Not a single one of those kids who yucked it up and laughed at my jokes during the lunch break. Not even the other Black kids, although they did look uncomfortable.
My point is, the anti-Blackness racism that goes on comes from more than just white people. Sure, white people started it, but they did so in such a way that it’s self-perpetuating. I know way too many Desi people who adopt the “white is right” attitude, and the time I spent in India proved that whiteness has left an indelible mark on the psyche of those people. Why else would skin-bleaching be so prominent there? Skin bleaching and colored contacts. You think Ashwariya Rai was always that light? Please yo. You think Bipasha Basu was always that lightskinned?
And it’s not just in India, either. China too. Sudanese-Arabs hold themselves in higher regard than their “darker” kin (I saw this first hand for myself), lots of West African are adopting skin bleaching and dying their hair in an attempt to look more lghtskinned because lighter skin (or as close to white as possible) is considered more desirable.
Why the fuck do you think that is? In Africa, where a majority of the people are as dark or darker than I am and have been for thousands of years? Why is having lighter skin suddenly so important to the rest of the world. Why the colored contacts, the lightening of the hair?
Why the prejudice between people of color based on which shade of the melanin-scale you fall under?
Why do you fucking think that Desi teacher cited my being Black as a reason I couldn’t be a Muslim?
You’re not going to sit here and tell me it has nothing to do with the fact that you’ve been born and bred to believe that Blacks fall at the bottom of the social ladder. Matter fact, some of you brown folks must in the back of your mind not even put Blacks on the social ladder?
No, the only time a Black woman’s body is acceptable is when she super thin, and therefore cannot be sexualized because she lacks the curves of Nicki Minaj. It’s okay to like Black woman who have Eurocentric features, but don’t let her acknowledge her Blackness! Then it’s time to deep six her and abandon ship.
I’d love nothing more than to have some solidarity between people of color because I think that’s one of the top ways we all can combat racism in a white-washed society that really views us all as inferior. You can bleach and avoid the sun all you want, wear all the colored contacts you like, but you will never be white, and your racist oppressors know it. Sit there and deny it all you fucking like, but if there’s one thing being kicked around at the bottom of the social ladder has taught Black folks, it’s the fucking truth.
What if Tim Tebow were Muslim? Something to think about. I really like the comparison with Muhammad Ali, but more importantly the concluding thought:
“But as Tebowmania makes its way into politics, sports, religion and the everyday life of the mainstream United States, it is important to think about how we approach religion in this country. How we approach religious freedom in this country. Do we accept freedom of religion, any religion? Or do we accept freedom of Christianity?”