Golden Muslimas

Golden Muslimas

SOME OF THEM are doting grannies, beaming benignly at the children around them, soothing and entertaining expertly because they’ve done it a thousand times. …

Freedom and the Hidden Life

Freedom and the “Hidden Life”

If the opponents of Islamic clothing bothered to ask Muslim women their opinion, they would learn something that might surprise them: the vast majority of Muslim women who dress modestly do it willingly and for one reason: to please their Creator.

“Yes, but what if their husband or father or government is forcing them to cover?” someone is bound to argue. To that question I would reply, “A Muslim woman’s duty to cover is mandated by her Creator. Regardless of what others in her life might do or say, dressing modestly is an act of obedience to Allah. Some women might indeed be exploited or mistreated by individuals or governments, but any oppression of women is un-Islamic.”

Besides, do people seriously think that non-Muslim women are free from oppression, coercion, and control? What about uniforms that require women to show their legs, arms, and chests to look appealing for customers? What about egotistical husbands who want their wives to look like “arm candy” at all times? What about mothers who constantly pressure their daughters to lose weight, wear makeup, and squeeze into the latest styles so that they can find a husband, thrive socially, or be a “credit” to their parents? Aren’t these females victims, too?”

A Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump

“I don’t think you know American Muslims at all, Mr. Trump. I invite you to get to know us. Visit our masajid (mosques) and talk with our leaders, our scholars, and our passionate activists. Listen to our concerns and hear our suggestions. Stop demonizing us and instilling fear of us and our faith. We are not the enemy. We are a diverse, talented, vibrant community who are a fundamental and positive part of the fabric of this nation. Many of us were born here; this is our only home. We are raising our families here, contributing to our communities, immersing ourselves enthusiastically in so many aspects of American life.

Like every other citizen, we are entitled to full rights granted under the Constitution as we seek “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And just as I am the Girl Next Door with my pale skin and Midwestern twang, so is my best friend, who is a second-generation American Muslim whose parents immigrated from Pakistan. So are my dark-skinned sisters who were born in this country and face a double stigma of being black and Muslim. So are my Latina sisters who chose to convert to Islam. All of us, in our marvelous diversity and the scarves on our heads, are the Girl Next Door.”

Bait and Switch, Part 4: “Expect the Unexpected”

When he walked into the condo again at 5:45 that evening, Sam found Emma sobbing on the couch.

“What’s wrong?!” he asked in alarm, running to her. “What happened?!”

“Sam! What if this isn’t a stomach flu? What if I’m pregnant?” she moaned the question, looking at him with pleading eyes.

He stared at her, his mind too muddled to take it all in. “You can’t be!” he finally said. “You’re taking care of that, right? So it won’t happen?”

“Well, yes,” she agreed, with tears still streaming down her face. “I’m on birth control, but it’s not 100% effective. And . . . “she looked at him sheepishly, “You know how you have to take a pill every single day at roughly the same time and never miss one?”

“No . . .” said Sam, who had no idea how the birth control pill worked.

“Well you do,” answered Emma, annoyed that he didn’t know this basic information. “And I’m not used to taking a pill every single day, and I think I might have forgotten one . . . or two . . . while we were in the Bahamas.”

“Well, surely missing a couple pills couldn’t make that much of a difference,” reasoned Sam.

“It could,” said Emma miserably. She opened her laptop to show him her recent Google search on birth control pills and the likelihood of pregnancy if any pills were missed. Sam skimmed the document and his face fell.

“Come on!” he said bracingly, to comfort himself as much as Emma. “Let’s not jump to conclusions! You probably just have a stomach flu. No one gets pregnant this quickly! We’ve only been married. . what. . two and a half months?”

“They can, and do,” she answered bleakly. “I just have a feeling I’m pregnant. I just know it, somehow. And, Sam . . . it’s NOT what I want!” She dissolved into tears again.

Sam patted her back distractedly as his mind raced. Could this be true? It would certainly throw all their plans off. As Emma had said, they were still quite young and had so much they wanted to accomplish and enjoy. One thing was for sure: a child would mean the end to the honeymoon phase.