Lou Lou had an interesting experience:
…but why do some new Muslims feel the need to denigrate their former
religion & culture & sometimes their own family &
upbringing? Why do they change their names to Arabic names? Don't they
realize that the majority of Muslims in the world are not Arab and do
not carry Arabic names? Who says names have to have religious
significance, anyway? A name is something you have no hand in,
something you're born with – like the color of your eyes. But it IS a
legacy of your parents & their love for you. And of your heritage.
I mean, my name has no religious connotations and I wouldn't give it up
for anything because to change it would be to hurt & betray the
people who brought me into the world.
Who has been telling these
people that being Muslim is synonymous with being a wannabe Arab &
spewing forth all sorts of anti-Western, anti-Hindu, anti-Jewish,
anti-whatever they used to be diatribes that any thinking person knows
are nothing more than prejudiced, xenophobic well, tripe?
just new Muslims? Or is it all new converts or born-again types? Maybe
it's just the excitement of discovering a new religion/culture that
causes you to think what you found is the greatest & so everything
else looks bad in comparison? Do converts eventually 'settle down'
& become more tolerant of their own past? Or is it an attempt to
prove their 'authenticity' to their new community that prompts them to
be 'more royalist than the King' sometimes?
I don't know. But
this phenomenon disturbs me. You see, Arabs are prejudiced enough
without new converts from other cultures feeding our cultural ego.
There was a time when I saw a role for new Muslims in opening up our
community & mentality. Perhaps, I thought, having brothers &
sisters join the Umma from other cultures would lead to more dialogue
& harmony & less of the siege mentality. I wanted new Muslims
to help give the Muslims masses a voice of reason they can easily
So it really bugs me when a new Western Muslim
essentially sits around telling Arab Muslims Western society really is
as decadent & amoral & devoid of all good as our own media
likes to tell us it is and talking about the 'hypocracy' of Western
democracy. For the purpose of this discussion, I don't care about the
flaws of Western democracy. Of course it's not perfect. But it IS light
years ahead of us in terms of democracy & civil rights &
Western democracies are thus the best available role models around. To
tell us otherwise is to insult our intelligence and frankly, to
patronize us. It's like saying "Oh you know Whitehall isn't all it's
cracked up to be. You guys just stick with the likes of Saddam &
Mubarak & Gadafi."
This is not surprising, especially if you consider the people who do the converting themselves and the kind of stuff they tell them. I disagree with LouLou though, those who do join up and are anti-western were already anti-western to begin with. They just now have a good excuse for their feelings of alienation and hatred. Religion, in the cases of new converts, is neutral. You make of it what you wish, and Islam is no different. You want to go the route of Jihad, well, there is stuff for that. You want to go the route of Sufism, well, there is stuff supporting that as well. You choose if you hate or not, if you look down on western culture or not, and if you like Saudi or not. Plus, are we forgetting the idea that some people are just freakin weird? Maybe the idea of cutting off someone's hand for stealing appeals to them. Maybe Democracy is too much of a hassle. Maybe they don't like the baggage that comes from freedom of choice or manifest destiny. Some people love to be slaves in their sex lives, you don't think there are those who long to slaves for any ideology that will take them in real life? There are women who truly believe in Hijab people. Who view themselves as an evil lust-generating thing that must be covered, and they might've been born and raised in Amsterdam. Imagine the peace those women would find in Saudi.
Nahh, counting on new Muslims to change the outlook of Muslims is like expecting the new kids who just joined your clique in Highschool to change the social structure of the school and maybe hang out with the dweebs. Chances of it happening and succeeding ranges between 0 and 1%. So, yeah, no dice there. They will come in, and adopt the view of what they perceive to be the majority of Muslims (Thank you Media), which is jew-hating, western-despising misogynistic hateful diatribes and conspiracy theories. Until that changes, count the new Muslims in the "Problem" column, instead of the "solution".