One of the members in is our homeschool group is a white Muslima. She adopted that faith many years ago in order to marry her husband. Covered even on the hottest days from ankles to wrists, head completely covered in several layers of fabrics, etc this cheerful and talkative woman was always an active member of our group with her children.
I honestly never much liked her. But that nothing to do with the fact that she is Muslim. It’s just a personality thing, I can be that way. And I’ve long ago given up feeling like I was required to ‘like’ everyone. Yet, we were always cordial and friendly.
Then, a few months ago, came her announcement that she is divorcing from her husband. OK, as I watched with mild interest, bet she is going to change back to her ‘real name’ and shake off the yoke of her Muslim garb. Although she briefly, for a few hours, went back to the name her parents gave her, she quickly changed it back to her Muslim name since it was, after all, her legal name. The muslim garb stayed firmly put.
Take back your freedom!
What a dumb woman. Why does she continue to walk around as a Muslim and even still go for prayers?
And I continued to think of her as a dumb, controlled, brainwashed woman. Until, I read somethings on FB written by a very clever woman called Eileen Workman.
Then I smacked myself soundly on the noggin. Would I think of her as meanly had she married a Hindu, or a Buddhist? Or if she had switched to a different Christian denomination, or become Wicca?
The honest, unvarnished answer is no.
Ouch. That smarts.
And I felt very, very, very, ashamed.
I was judging a person based on the religion she chose to adopt. And while I am part of no religion, nor will ever be, the religion of her choice should have no part in what or how I should think of any person.
I also felt ashamed because of my arrogant surprise that she didn’t ditch being a Muslim convert the moment she decided to divorce him. Or he decided to divorce her. Whatever. She has so far stayed true to a faith she has held for almost a decade.
The decidedly male chauvinistic religion of Islam bugs the crap out of me. But so does Catholicism and other male centric religions. But honestly, Islam bugs me more. How could a Western woman, who experienced freedom, adopt a male chauvinistic, restrictive religion to marry a guy? And I realized I knew NOTHING at all about her life, whether it was any more restrictive than mine or not. And yet I chose to judge her.
I never had such thoughts about my doctor’s wife, and he is Muslim. But then his wife is a very different person and only wears a light scarf at times. Why didn’t I judge her?
So, there…me a prejudiced idiot.
Coming to unpleasant conclusions like that, is painful and shameful.
But I feel happier for it.
And now I can go back to just not liking her because I don’t like her personality.