Questions + Statements that Gen Y&Z Muslims are tired of hearing

Yes I am back again, yes I know I have been inconsistent, it’s the same story on loop, I KNOW! But, I’m here now,  so read on!

If you don’t know already, I am a 19 year old Lebanese Muslim girl who was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. I went to an Islamic school for my entire schooling period (14 to be exact), I walked out as a confident and strong individual and have never regretted being placed in that school. However, since leaving school, the bubble popped and I was introduced to a much bigger world. That meant my friendship circles grew, I made friends with varying beliefs, backgrounds and lifestyle to what I was raised with. I love it, and I love the friends I’ve made post-high school, however it also meant I was bombarded with more questions and faced with more social challenges like having to hear people’s crazy opinions about what they think Muslims are and what Islam is and sometimes having to put up with it. Other times being asked the silliest of questions about my religion and background and then having to take it in and just answer the question while thinking in the back of my head “how brainwashed are you right now”.

While the media is the one to blame, us humans do play some role in what we consume and what we don’t, that is the willingness to learn. There are some people which are genuinely curious about Islam and I love those people, because I get to sit down with them and clarify the misconceptions they have about Muslims and Arabs! But then there are other people that you just want to drop a brick on their head well because their head is made out of one…you can’t get through it!

Having said that, I had a conversation with my friends the other day about the kind of questions, comments and remarks we’ve received from our own friends, we had a laugh, shared a little disappointment, but at the end of it I think I compiled a pretty good list, and I thought I’d share it with you all so you can see what runs through our head when we get asked/told these things.

  • “So you’re a Muslim yeah? Are you going to get an arranged marriage? Are your parents going to force you to marry a Lebanese man?” 

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No…the answer is no. I cringe whenever I get asked this, because I hate the fact that others think that girls are trumped on (see what I did there 😉 ) in Islam/Muslim Community. No Muslims do not get arranged marriages, arranged marriages have nothing to do with Islam, it differs for every culture in EVERY religion.

  • Person: So I have a few Muslim friends and they beat their wives. Is it true that Muslim men can beat their wives? 

  • Me: No

  • Person: So how’s your dad with your mum? Is he good to her?

  • Me: ….

 

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Once again no, domestic violence is not associated with any religion, domestic violence is a global crisis, there are many women abused on a daily basis by their partners. This is a matter of how men are raised by their parents, and what environment they grew up in. This is in fact against our religion for a man to even lay their hand on a woman in a harmful manner.

  • Person: So you don’t drink?

  • Me: No

  • Person: At all? Nothing?

  • Me: No, nothing

  • Person: But don’t you want to try it?

  • Me: No, not really

  • Person: But how do you have fun at parties?

  • Me: like this..

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No we do not drink, no matter how many times you ask us, it’s against our religion, yes we can still have fun without it and we are the people you thank us every time after a party when we act as your “Deso” driver.

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  • “So you’re Muslim yeah, how come you don’t wear that thing on your head? Don’t you get forced to wear it?”

Yes, you’re right, I don’t wear a scarf, no I am not forced to wear it. It is a choice for every woman in Islam, no one is forced to do anything. Just like humanity, no Muslim looks the same, we all look different, speak different, act different and talk different…we’re HUMAN.

  • So does that mean you don’t like Jewish people?

The biggest assumption that someone can ever drop on you. I think people fail to understand that we are a peaceful religion, we are accepting of everyone and every religion. I understand the stereotype others have of us, and I’m sure Jewish kids get asked the same thing, but the world has a bad habit of associating an action with a religion. So yes, what Israeli people do we find wrong, just like majority of the world finds it wrong, but they are in no way associated with the different sects of Judaism. So no, I don’t hate jewish people.

  • Do your parents let you go out? I have a Muslim friend and her parents don’t let her leave the house.

 

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  • Person: You’re Muslim right? 

  • Me: Yes

  • Person: Cool, so how long have you been here for? 

  • Me: ….my entire existence…

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I don’t know why people have this misconception that every Muslim is a refugee or an immigrant. Like I am pretty sure my fluent English gives away the fact that I am born and raised here!

  • You eat halal right?

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Halal is not a food, it is simply how poultry is prepared. Just like how Jewish people eat food that is Kosher, we eat meat that is prepared according to Halal food preparations, which is why restaurants and butchers need to attain a halal certification if they want to claim that their products are Halal. Till this day, whenever I go somewhere, a conference, a meeting or seminar and they’re providing food, and I put down in the “dietary requirements” section that I don’t eat any pork-related products and the food needs to be halal, every single damn time I get vegetarian pizza, or salad sandwiches. Look at me, please tell me does it look like I have the body of a girl that doesn’t eat meat.
I don’t understand how people associate a Muslim can only eat Halal-certified food, with “this Mozlem can only eat vegetarian”.

  • Person: Your people are so violent

  • Me: Um excuse me?

  • Person: Oh no not you, you’re okay, you’re one of the good ones

  • Me: …

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Yeah thank you, thanks for validating my existence. This is a perfect example of saying something so insulting and then saying “no offence”, I’m going to let you know I took very much offence to that, and you better take two steps back because I’m about to put you in your place.

  • Person: So what are you doing this year for christmas?

  • Me: Oh nothing, I don’t celebrate christmas.

  • Person: WHAT! HOW CAN YOU NOT CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS? DON’T YOU LIKE CHRISTMAS?

And then they proceed to ask “why?” a 100 times and try to justify why I should celebrate Christmas. People are just as shocked when I tell them I don’t celebrate Christmas, just like when I tell them I don’t drink alcohol. Even though majority of the Australian population celebrates Christmas for fun and not because they genuinely believe in it, Muslims have their own version of Easter and Christmas, which is not recognised by many non-muslims unless they have a Muslim friend on Facebook and get spammed by all the photos on Muslim Celebration days (A.K.A. Eid).

I’m sure there is many more, I’m sure some of you may be reading this and listing other scenarios in your head of things you’ve been asked or told, if you can think of more, place them in the comment section below. For all my non-muslim friends I adore each and every one of you, I am in no way insulting anyone, but this is simply to show you what runs through our head when we do get asked/told these things.

I think it is also important to note that there are many things that get mixed up between religion and culture, which forms a lot of the misunderstandings and misconceptions. It’s good to ask, but please be sure to always remain open minded, and be willing to understand that person.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it and choosing the cool gifs!

If you feel like someone can get a laugh from this share it around, give it a thumbs up and leave any comments down below on what you thought of it!

Until next time, Keep Smiling 🙂

 

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