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← On Being Not Muslim Enough

On Being Not Muslim Enough - Comments

Mango's Avatar Comment 1 by Mango

This phenomenon of "not [insert adjective here] enough" has long been around. In America, if you're "not black enough" you can get called an Uncle Tom (from Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin") or an Oreo (black on the outside, white on the inside).

It's a simultaneously interesting and despicable way of a minority group self-policing its members.

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 21:47:00 UTC | #82353

JamesDB's Avatar Comment 2 by JamesDB

Im interested in knowing why these kinds of interactions don't sway her faith more. I always have felt that the majority of faithful people usually stick with it due to the community it provides them with.
You would think that with no community to support her she would think about turning her back on her faith, not just claim that she isn't welcome and keep it.

Thu, 08 Nov 2007 22:29:00 UTC | #82361

Nick Good's Avatar Comment 3 by Nick Good

Somethings odd here. In her Journalist job in the Guardian; everything about her is about her 'Muslimness'

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/riazat_butt/index.html

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 00:04:00 UTC | #82379

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 4 by irate_atheist

WTF?

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 01:29:00 UTC | #82400

nickthelight's Avatar Comment 5 by nickthelight

What a terrible and pointless article. Are we supposed to sympathize, agree with or what? Is it a man or a woman- I'm guessing a woman? Not Muslim Enough - for who? What does that mean? Any amount of Muslim (faith) is too much.

...."I don't shroud myself in black and I work in a mixed-sex, mixed-faith environment".
Wooo - good for you, well done. You want a fucking medal?

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 01:39:00 UTC | #82404

Goldy's Avatar Comment 6 by Goldy

Nick Good, regarding your comment, I think I can sort of illustrate. I am English, I have a passport, was educated there (mostly), support English teams, eat the food, live the life, etc. But I was born in Brunei and my mother is Austrian. I am, therefore, not English enough. I only speak English and have an English accent, though not really regional. When trying to get a British passport for my daughter, I had to provide written evidence of my Englishness and proof of 3 or more years residence in the UK...because I was born in Brunei. Hell, even at school I was called a foreigner - less English than the Pakistani descent kid.
I can feel for her in a way - no matter what she does, she's neither fish nor fowl to whichever tribe she tries to identify with. Seems there's a thing where you have to be totally in-bred, as it were, to fit in.
Not that being Muslim is the same as nationality and this idea of Ummah is a load of tripe - ask any Indian subcontinental Muslim about their treatment in a Saudi airport! Or the jihadi who answers the call from watching videos of "brother Muslims" being oppressed by nasty westerners and flies out to some foreign land to kill....Mulims of a different sect.
But that's by-the-by. It is alienating when you can't be something because others deem you not worthy by accident of birth or up-bringing. I feel for her.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 01:40:00 UTC | #82407

Nick Good's Avatar Comment 7 by Nick Good

Goldy, There are alot of us neither fish nor fowl folks about. I was born in India of English parents, but educated mainly in the UK from the age of 8. My son can't even get a UK passport! I don't fit into any easy category.

I don't quite get this woman. The article above is about her feeling non Muslim. But her role in her work is ALL about being Muslim and looking at the world through a Muslim lens. What is she saying...that there is huge amounts of Islamic fundamentalism in the UK...she doesn't say that, it's hinted at only. So what's her point, she's not accepted by Islamo nutters - fine, find other friends or become an Islamo nutter to fit in....simple!

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 02:07:00 UTC | #82424

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 8 by phil rimmer

Nick

I don't quite get this woman. The article above is about her feeling non Muslim. But her role in her work is ALL about being Muslim and looking at the world through a Muslim lens. What is she saying...that there is huge amounts of Islamic fundamentalism in the UK...she doesn't say that, it's hinted at only. So what's her point, she's not accepted by Islamo nutters - fine, find other friends or become an Islamo nutter to fit in....simple!


I may be putting words in her mouth, but what she is saying is that amongst moderate Muslims (in a social but not religious or political context) there is still much "tribalism", demanding high levels of conformity.

This is bad news for us because if liberally inclined Muslims tend to be excluded from social Muslim situations, a reformation or opening-up of the faith seems a complete non-starter.

Her Guardian efforts have been (as far as I can see)about just such an opening up. The article represents a reversal in her optimism.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 02:36:00 UTC | #82430

monoape's Avatar Comment 9 by monoape

What irate_atheist said.

She's just another 'a la carte' theist / deist / 'totally confused and an Olympian of cognitive dissonance', picking the bits she likes.

On a positive note, she is making some encouraging noises ... but must try harder.

Next.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 04:35:00 UTC | #82452

phasmagigas's Avatar Comment 10 by phasmagigas

a couple of my closest friends come from a muslim background, they are not muslim and are essentially humanists. When i encounter their 'more' muslim family and friends members there is lots of politeness but i can sense a certain unease, its a case of 'ah, you are one of the western friends, ah, one of those, not one of us'. So despite our friendship for all the right reasons that is not enough for them, very sad.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 05:05:00 UTC | #82456

RickM's Avatar Comment 11 by RickM

Which begs the question. Will the species survive long enough to overcome evolutionary in-group/out-group social behavior?

How often do you hear, "I'm proud to be [Irish, Italian, American, French, black, white, American Indian, Chicago Cubs fan, Christian …]"? As if being [Irish, Italian, American, French …] is better then not being [Irish, Italian, American, French …].

One that really burns my ass is "he's a good Christian". So he's a better person then me? (I've been hearing this crap for the best part of 63 years and I'm fed up with it.)

Needless to say, I think the article is just sick.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 08:13:00 UTC | #82516

Nietzschesbulldog's Avatar Comment 12 by Nietzschesbulldog

not Muslim enough ... NME ...? is that like enemy?

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 09:25:00 UTC | #82538

GBG's Avatar Comment 13 by GBG

If it is any consolation, You are still too Muslim for me.

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 11:39:00 UTC | #82561

Shane McKee's Avatar Comment 14 by Shane McKee

Folks, go easy on her - it sounds like she's in transition; a lot of us have Been There, and it can take some time (and can be disconcerting). I can identify with a lot of this when I was moving beyond Christianity.

Of course, the solution to being Not Muslim Enough is to be Not Muslim At All. Ayaan Hirsi Ali had the courage to realise this.

One thing we should actively try to do is *ease* the transition...

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 23:48:00 UTC | #82739

Goldy's Avatar Comment 15 by Goldy

Nick, if your parents had British passports and you had one and lived in the UK for 3 years continuously, then I think your son should be able to get a passport :-) I only started living in England in 1978. Need written proof, mind - I was lucky - I had receipts for car work dating back 4 years :-)
As for acceptance and tribalism - yes, I guess there is that. However, I don't feel it with my in-laws (Chinese) though we can't talk. I never remember feeling that with my father and his in-laws (him being English, them being Austrian). I have felt it between Protestants and Catholics (slightly) and obviously between Muslims and anyone not of that faith. Think there's something more than tribalism going on here, personally...

Sat, 10 Nov 2007 02:18:00 UTC | #82771

nothing's Avatar Comment 16 by nothing

Folks, go easy on her - it sounds like she's in transition; a lot of us have Been There, and it can take some time (and can be disconcerting). I can identify with a lot of this when I was moving beyond Christianity.

Of course, the solution to being Not Muslim Enough is to be Not Muslim At All. Ayaan Hirsi Ali had the courage to realise this.

One thing we should actively try to do is *ease* the transition...


I couldn't agree more with you. A lot of us have been there. Plus this is a teeny-weeny bit more difficult that getting out of Christianity (or rather getting the Christianity out of oneself).

Sat, 10 Nov 2007 06:30:00 UTC | #82847

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 17 by Bonzai

I think some of you are missing an important point.

For many U.K Muslims Islam is not just a religion, it is a cultural identity because it represents a common ethnic and linguistic bond and family history.

My neighbour is a young Muslim woman from Moroco, she drinks, smokes pot, flirts with men, has causal sex and she proudly refers to herself as a "slut". She never prays or goes to the Mosque. But she also fasts during Ramadan, it takes her a lot of efforts to keep the rigid fasting regime so it is not something she undertakes lightly, it means something to her. If you ask her point blank if she considers herself a "real" Muslim and if she believes in Allah she would say yes without batting an eye. But if you ask her if she thinks that she will go to hell because of her lifestyle she would dismiss that as silly superstition of stupid people. Yes, she knows the Quran by heart and opines that it is a horrible book, yet she would take great offense if people make generalized statements against Muslims and Islam.

There are a lot of contradictions but somehow it all makes sense to her. The theist/atheist dichotomy is only one aspect of a very complex dynamic.

Sat, 10 Nov 2007 06:42:00 UTC | #82851

dancingthemantaray's Avatar Comment 18 by dancingthemantaray

Myself and my sister are as godless, white and middle class as they come, some of her best friends are Muslims...think this article may be nonsense..

Sat, 10 Nov 2007 13:22:00 UTC | #82989

epeeist's Avatar Comment 19 by epeeist

Sorry, wrong thread. I thought we were talking about the fact that the UK isn't Muslim enough for Muhammad Abdul Bari - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7088325.stm.

He apparently doesn't want his daughter to wear a bikini amongst other things.

Sat, 10 Nov 2007 14:00:00 UTC | #83003

Vaal's Avatar Comment 20 by Vaal

Nothing quite like religious apartheid!

Sun, 11 Nov 2007 03:35:00 UTC | #83077