As a regular, non-violent, level-headed Muslim, it’s tiresome having to apologise all the time.
So, here follows my blanket apology. There will be none thereafter, ever again.
I apologise for terrorism, for violence against women and children, for halaal restaurants that don’t serve alcohol, for child-marriages, for women wearing black cloaks, for women covering their hair and faces, for women not being allowed to drive, for death by adultery, for not eating Christmas gammon, for closing our stores during Friday prayer, for carrying water bottles into public toilet stalls so we can wash ourselves after we’ve done our business, for halaal stamps on toothpick boxes, for bad breath during Ramadaan, for being boring at office parties, for praying so goddamn often, for crazy preachers obsessed with vegetables and vaginas.
If I’ve left anything out, I apologise for that too.
After hitting Send, I felt incredibly selfish. As one respondent wrote, it was, indeed, a rant.
This woman was speaking from a place of pain, anger and betrayal. She’d been brutalised by men who used Islam to grind her into nothing.
I was speaking from a place of anger and annoyance. My faith had been maligned and I was tired of feeling like I had to defend it whenever a Muslim commits an atrocity.
But a Muslim had committed an atrocity.
And I’m reminded of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his teachings to command good and forbid evil.
Growing up Muslim in a pluralistic country, it’s easier for us to see where culture and faith mesh or collide.
Had I been born in India, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, would the lines be clear?
Therefore there is one more apology in order.
I apologise to those women who’ve had their lives bludgeoned by men who use their religion as a club to subdue and dispirit them, who’ve been subjected to brutality and horror and who are in dire need of our compassion and voices.