Sunday, July 01, 2007

A culture of Denial

We Midwesterners (at least in the rural area north of Cincinnati where all of my family is from) come from a tradition of denial in the face of conflict. Yep, if a member of the family does something that the rest of the family doesn't relate to and/or can't understand (like convert to Islam) then they all just pretend it hasn't happened. Just sweep it under the rug so you can't see the "dirt", make everything appear pleasant so you don't have to face that dirt and actually do something about it.

Normal people with actual coping skills would let the dirt sit there in the floor and they would confront it; They would either decide they dislike it and sweep it up and get rid of it, or accept the fact that it's there and live with dirt on the floor.

But no not my family. The dirt can actually get heaping as high as Rumpke mountain and they still will refuse to acknowledge it's there. And woe to the person who points out to them that "hey, there's a pile of dirt the size of Rumpke's mountain under the rug, so what do you want to do about it?" for they will suffer the wrath of "How dare you disrespect us like that. Why the nerve of you, saying that there's a mountain of dirt under our rug."...and they explode on you, which to you is totally out of left field. After all, wouldn't any normal sane person just confront the dirt and decide what they want to do about it if it's presence in their house makes them uncomfortable??????????????????????????????????

This lovely little facet of my filial culture is starting to simply wear me out. I don't know how much more of it I can take. I'm tired of sweeping the parts of me that make them uncomfortable under the rug.They're fully aware that those parts are there, it's just that they have requested that I don't reveal these facets of myself when in their presence.

I don't think I can deal with them anymore.

I found another book (full of lies) about Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefsby Ergun Mehmet Caner in my mother's bedroom yesterday. What a crock. I confronted her on it, because I am really hurt that she's reading, well, really any book about Islam, let alone something so hateful, instead of just sitting down and talking to me. What a fiasco.

I just read all of the tags people have suggested for this book on The tags are;
anti-islam, bigoted, biased, hate, islamophobia, coulter, ann coulter, brilliance

I added these tags;

lies, one-sided, hateful, inciting violence

So now I am getting "in her face" with my beliefs because I asked her why she isn't asking a real live muslim like her daughter these questions she must have instead of reading a hateful book that's full of lies (subhanallah, the guys who wrote it are ex-muslims who claim to be Christian).

Well, I don't know any command by Jesus, peace be upon him, that teaches folks to be hateful or spread blatant un-truths about another religion.

Jesus said to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you!

Turn the other cheek, not an eye for an eye!

Blessed are the peacemakers!!!!!!!!!

There is nothing Christian in this freakin' book.

I am devastated.

My parents are freakin' hateful Anne Coulter G. Gordon Libby Rush Limbaugh Neo-Cons.

They are everything that I feel is wrong with our Country, and I have to love them, because they are my parents.

That's freakin' difficult! As muslims, we are commanded several times in the Quran and in the hadith, which are the sayings of the prophet, to respect our parents and family. It's a major tenet of Islam to show respect to your family, no matter what the circumstances. Inshallah, God-willing, I can live up to that ideal. Ameen.


peppylady said...

I'm different belief and political thoughts then majority of my family.
But I'm to chicken to bring it up and general we all keep our mouth shut about certain things.

annoos said...

May Allah help you sister, and may Allah guide your family to Islam..

Why don't you just confront them. You can plan a family event or something nice, and then open up the subject and try to reach a truce..

hema said...

i pray Allah guides your family to the blessed religion that is Islam, inshAllah through your guidance and example you may live to see them accept Islam!!
you know sometimes when people are so averse to semething it's just a natural reaction of panic that there world view is being threatened. just because she claims to hate Islam, it does not mean that your mother necessarily does (even if she thinks she does)

how about trying to leave a book lying around in her room- something easy to read and beneficial? she may not read it in front of you or even acknoweldge it but she may do soin private.

otherwise, some scholars have suggested it is better to let peeople close to you see Islam rather than talk about it. eg be there for your Mum no matter what and let her see the beauty of Islam in practice and the value that is placed with the mother.


May Allah help you with your struggle and reward you for your efforts.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Thanks for your encouragement everyone. :)

Yes, Hema, I've kinda come to that exact conclusion. To not talk, just keep doing. Inshallah they will see the change in me and that will be enough. Inshallah kher.

happyhikergal said...

It hurts me to hear your pain. I am from Alabama, and I know how deep-rooted religious beliefs are down here. It is as if one is challenging their very being to challenge or even present a different belief even within the Christian community. I am not muslima :) but I regularly visit Precious Modesty, which is where I found your link. I also visit Pearls of Wisdom regularly. From what little I have read of the Qur'aan, I can't find "fault" with any of it. There are so many similarities to Christianity, or what Christianity is supposed to be, when it comes to loving God, others, morality, etc. But, like I have said, I have only barely scratched the tiniest surface. I do not know much. It speaks to my heart. I admire your strength! Do not be disheartened, although I understand how difficult it can be to stand "against" one's family by standing ON one's belief.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Welcome to my blog, happyhikergal. Read my post entitled, "What is Islam". Here's the permalink;

Good luck on your spiritual quest and I hope you find what you're looking for:)

Bint Jameel said...

Wow your angst really came through in that post..I really feel for you.

I believe that your conclusion is the right way forward, and maybe you shouldn't get so worked up about your Mother reading that book. It's natural to want to go for the most damning verdict on something that you already damn yourself. And since she won't ask, you might as well 'show'. It is the only way to get through insha Allah.

MommaBean said...

Sorry to hear of your struggles. I think it's American culture in general to sweep rather than deal... I hope your Mom comes to understand the pain she's causing you (and herself). My uncle is simlarly neo-con and it's hard to have any rational or relevant conversation with him about the Middle East, in particular the Palestinian issue. Prayers are with you!

dory said...

Just stumbled across your blog. I can soooo relate to this post. I got tired of being talked to like a child (and cussed at) by my mother (I'm almost 40) and very nicely pointed it out, which led to her not talking to me. When I tried to discuss it with her like normal people I was told to either sweep it under the rug or she would no longer speak to me. That was two years ago - her loss.

I think the vast majority of Christians, especially bible belt Christians, are afraid of and ignorant of the religion of Islam.

Hopefully your parents will come around but if not, stay strong and true to yourself.

Jane said...

Too bad you "have" to love your parents. What is your duty toward infidels?

husna said...

Salam Sister,
Many many many du'as for your family. Maybe your mum is just a little worried about the truth - if she confronted you. THere is a lot of denial in those who feel they 'lose' their children to Islam. So to prove her point she buys 'the wrong' book.
Patience and alot of prayer will get you you through this. Don't worry Allah knows best.

Umm Salihah said...

Sorry to leave my comment so late.
I know it seems so hard now. My parents were not talking to me for about two years and despite three beautiful children and the kindest husband in the world I always felt sad. My inclination was to think forget it i just won't bother with you, but i kept visiting them, praying for them to be close to me again, taking small gifts, letting them vent. After two years they are starting to thaw and being very proud it is hard for them to relent so although they now speak to me they do so curtly. I know that it will definitely get better. I am a very short-tempered and impatient person sometimes, but the very few times I have practised patience the rewatrd has been great. Just hold out a little longer, and then a little longer.
Allah will make it easier for you inshAllah

Rockin' Hejabi said...

WOW!!!!! Thanks for all of the comments, encouragement, etc.!!!!!

Jane, it's sad to hear your comment. Clearly you need to read the Quran:) As Muslims we are obliged to show respect and love to our parents and family. "Paradise is at the feet of your mother". I never said they are "infidels". On the contrary, we are to be very very very careful about who we call "qafir".

But then again, that's in the Quran too.

To you your religion, and to me mine.

murid_aisha said...


Yes, our Christian country neo-con families take quite a while. AS do various Latino families. I've got one side of each :) Over the last 6 years various family members have eventually showed me love,indifference or eventually acceptance. I'm sure my Uncle the pastor still prays daily over dinner formy eternal soul; we have been in a respectful peace for quite a while though.
Actions and lifestyle have worked for mean various other Christian/Catholic converts' families. I was blessed to be able to care for my grandfather as he died and those 3months staying with my family were so intense, there were debates, rants and raves. Then 3 days after I moved to Cali was 9/11. Everything I had worked on showing through action seemed lost. Eventually we have retained a mutual respect. Take care, and may Allah guide you. Keep a good Muslim group of friends and their families...

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Aisha, and everyone!

It's a real struggle. In addition, I have realized I've lost a lot of my dear best friends from high school over this whole islam converting thing. (They're avoiding me, not me towards them). It's so sad that folks can be that shallow.Inshallah there will be rewards in Jenna.

Dana said...

Coming in really, really late on this but Jane: Christians are not considered infidels in Islam. They are People of the Book just like Jews and Muslims.

Infidels are technically people who do not follow any of the three Abrahamic religions, and even then Muslims are not to go seeking trouble with them if they are not oppressing Muslims. Pretty simple "live and let live" philosophy--there is no compulsion in religion, yanno.