|"I shall haunt you forever, and ever, and ever, and eve...."|
I’m being haunted by that little kitty I ran over. I see cats everywhere now: every plastic bag or torn bit of tire on the side of the street is a dead kitten, looking at me accusingly, meowing at me: 'why did you run me overrrrrr?' That poor kitty! ='(
Anyway. Someone once told me that our beloved Keizan (I’m being sarcastic) believe that they and they alone are entitled to the name ‘Muslims’. I didn’t think this makes any sense, but being in a job in which I am literally surrounded by them, and see more of them than I would like, I have found this to be true. There is one particularly annoying habit of theirs that I find quite insulting: it’s their always finding it necessary to give advice on how to practice Islam, or something like it. An example of this and one that irritates me the most is when advising me on how to improve my Arabic. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my Arabic, it’s just that my English is relatively better. Twice I have been condescenignyl advised that if I read Quran I will automatically improve my Arabic. Excuse me? IF I read Quran? And who are you to judge that I don’t and give me such a piece of advice? Today we were at this excruciatingly boring workshop with a whole bunch of important people from the ministries of health and foreign affairs, as well as several ambassadors and health attaches to embassies all over the world. There were a few activities that involved group work, and then one person from the group to report that group’s results, and I was chosen for this last task. Which of course attracted some attention, with people asking the usual question of jibti alingileezi da min wein? Etc. I’m used to that (‘cause this is Sudan, and because I’m used to being called awesome), but what I wasn’t prepared for was the following comment, on how I had learned Arabic:
‘Low kano (my parents) 3alamoki Quran konti it3alamti 3arabi 6awali.’ Meaning, if my parents had taught me Quran while trying to hammer the Arabic into my thick head, I would’ve learnt the language right away. The person who gave this piece of advice is a relatively high ranking person in the ministry (I’m not sure where he stands in the NCP), and one whom is known to always quote Quran verses and speech from the Prophet (SAWS). It was quite lucky for him that I actually didn’t hear that comment and only registered it a few minutes later. I told him that actually, I did learn Quran before learning Arabic and was lucky enough to be taught by an excellent woman who also taught Tajweed and proper pronunciation. The result of which was that I actually articulate the language much better than those who’ve been speaking it their whole lives; just not as proficiently as English. He then smiled smugly and I walked away. Later, while I was praying, it occurred to me that I should’ve given him a different answer. I would’ve liked to have told him that my parents have nothing to do with the Islamic Movement, but that my dad has the whole Book by heart and revises regularly with his friends, and they all finish it once a week, every week, for the past 20+ years. That’s 52 times a year, for around 22 years, which is 1144 times. And that’s just what he reads with his friends, not what he reads alone and on Fridays and Ramadan and other special times. I should’ve asked him how many times HE managed to read the Quran off the top of his head, and how regularly he finishes his recitals. I’m willing to bet my parents know more about this religion than he could dream of knowing, practice it better than he would figure, and that we all identify ourselves as Muslims not because we belong to some movement but because it’s simply who we are. It is insulting and condescending and downright irritating the way these people assume they are better than you because of their affiliation, and that this religion is theirs to advise people to make use of. Into gayleen rou7kom mino? If it wasn’t for that stupid scarf I was wearing today I would’ve heard him properly the first time and probably would’ve managed to put him in his place.
On the other hand you have the other extreme of stupid people who immediately assume I am a koza and insist that I am, just because of my 7ijab and that I don’t shake hands with men. Any religious activity (starting from basic prayers) is for them a tell-tale sign that confirms their beliefs. And, of course, it’s a bad thing. This is how deep people have been affected by this regime and its ruling: everything remotely related to Islam has been tied to them in some warped way, and anyone following these broad lines is comfortably shoved into the same category. And since all the thieving and lying and hypocrisy have been done in the name of Islam, than that’s what we automatically are. Again, who are you to make such an accusation? Into gayleen rou7kom mino?