Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Great Equalizer

I've been asked to respond to this posting in which the comments talk about the loss of white privilege once the hejab is on.

For me, I already have felt the loss of privilege long ago when I was one of the only white girls on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. I remember telling the principal that I was tired of standing out in the crowd. I didn't want to be black, but I just didn't want to be so obviously white. I had been threatened and almost beaten up. I had been rejected by the cutest guy in the school...sigh! Maxentius! I had been made fun of for my hair, my skin color, my clothes, the way I spoke, and the way I danced. I guess it all prepared me for the blogosphere!

And actually, there is a part of me who likes being the outsider. One of my favorite film directors is
Peter Weir, who made The Year of Living Dangeriously (starring Linda Hunt, a personal hero of mine), Witness, and Dead Poets Society among others. His movies are always about a fish out of water. I love being this person. Why? Because only when I am out of my element do I realize who I really am.

When I was fired for wearing hejab, it was actually the culmination of months of harrasssment from seemingly normal business people. They let me know that I was no longer part of, "us," or, "we." And when I looked at how horribly they treated me, I honestly didn't want to be part of them.

And this is where the post stopped for days. Why? I learned of the death of my friend's little girl.

Yet, truly I was living out the other half of this posting. For the great equalizer is in knowing that we are all servants of Allah. Some will tell you that death is the one thing that we all share. I suppose that's true for all of us, but those who are believers also understand how there is life after death. That is our common bond.

With that in mind, we are united immediately and at a most deep level.

We were picked up at the airport by a Pakistani-American couple.

I was then brought to the grieving household and hugged by Tunisians, Palestinians, and European-Americans.

I was given a ride by a Palestian-Puerto Rican to the home of a Guyanese sister-friend.

I stayed the next day with Mr. Boo's Indian babysitter, God bless her.

We left for the masjid and learned there would be another janazah; a Bosnian lady had passed and her friends and co-workers were there. We would be celebrating two very different lives.

Our lives. All these lives I've named by their ethnicity. Truly, I am only doing it for the purpose of illustrating my point. Yes, I realize their colors and their background but more than that I realize the sisterhood of Islam.

Ya, my white prviledge card got revoked. It's OK with me.

I have something far more important: I have the love of Allah which I share with my sisters.


Digital Nomad said...

This is one of the most beautiful posts, so perfectly describes the seamless colors of our Ummah. I know it's not always a bed of roses, but at least in moments of difficult, the thorns are less sharp.

May Allah grant the grieving family strength during this difficult time, ameen.

Long time lurker :)

egyptchick7 said...

awesome post :)

Brooke said...

Masha Allah sis, that was really sweet that you took the time to put this up. Inshallah I'm going to do a white privilege carnival--can I link to this when I do?
Love and Peace