Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don't Abandon the Sisterhood

Asalamu Alaykom,





I've been thinking a lot today about the attacks on women in Cairo.  I talked about it a lot today. 

I started to think about a blog entry I wrote before:  Looking Good in which I said,

"I think about how that description would play out in the media were I to be the victim of a crime.  I know it's weird but it works in my head.  I think about how being a raped waitress is not as sad as being a raped kindergarten teacher---in the media not in actuality, of course.  In reality, every victim has incredible pain and suffering no matter their description on paper."

Basically, we are so ready and willing to find fault with misfortunate people.  We want to feel better by making them worse. 

"American?  Well, there you go!"

"OH!  They weren't wearing hijab?"

What?  They're blonde? Ohhhhhh.  That explains it!"

And we have neatly crossed off our list the reasons why someone's daughter got violated.

We have removed fault from the man or men.  They were not actually responsible for their actions because someone's sister should have known better and done better.

Someone's wife...

"WHAT?  Someone's girlfriend?  Ohhhhhhh."

I have been that American girlfriend not wearing hijab.  So have a lot of my revert sisters.  Now that we are married Muslimahs in hijab we MUST NOT turn our backs on our former selves---even if they are housed in different bodies.  We hate ourselves when we hate women who remind us of who we once were.

We must love those women who are different from us and support them.  We must not allow them to be talked about rudely.  We abandon the sisterhood when we discriminate based on ethnticity, religion, colors of hair and skin, clothing, martial status, and even virginity.  We are condoing rape, assault, and harrassment based on the excuses criminals use for the crimes they commit.  We are revictimizing.

I have placed myself in the WORST situations imaginable.  I have taken rides from men I didn't know.  I have been alone with men I should not have trusted.  I have worn the wrong clothes, done the wrong things, and been the wrong person.  That didn't mean that I deserved to be hurt!  Alhumdulillah, somehow Allah protected me throughout those years.  Only through The Grace of God do I stand here today.

Promise me, Dear Sisters, that you will not throw labels on our survivors of sexual abuse.  They do not deserve the mistreatment.  If you are a survivor of sexual abuse (and again, I know you're there and God bless you), then know that YOU don't deserve it.  Whatever factors were there in the equation, they don't add up to dehumanization.

May Allah forgive us.


Read more on this from Egyptian blogger Jonathan Moremi

4 comments:

Ibrahim E. said...

"I have been that American girlfriend not wearing hijab. So have a lot of my revert sisters. Now that we are married Muslimahs in hijab we MUST NOT turn our backs on our former selves---even if they are housed in different bodies."

This is a beautiful line, mA! Thank you sister for the wisdom, I hope more in our community heed it...

Yours, Ibrahim (NH)

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Ibrahim,

Thank you for reading and commenting. I kind of forget that men might be reading. It's fine that you are! It's just I always picture a female audience.

The truth is that we need men helping the issue too. We need to talk to our men (fathers, brothers, husbands, sons) and have a dialogue together. You listened to me and appreciated some of my reasoning and for that I'm grateful.

I'm not getting a lot of comments on this issue. Maybe it's too much; too upsetting. Sometimes I'll be posting things like this so I hope that readers can hang with that. I can't always be writing funny stories about kids while women are being stripped of their clothing and molested.

Again, thank you for commenting, Ibrahim.

Anyone else like to comment?

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MarieHarmony said...

This is a very beautiful and brave saying Yosra. We are so many to judge others by the way they are or dress. But as you say women deserve respect, wherever they come from and whatever their ideas are.
I too placed myself in many risky situations and I am thankful God protected me from the worst.

All women should walk hand in hand to face this and we should also raise this issue with men, as they are actors of this world too.

Thanks for saying your thoughts out loud. They echo in me.
Stay in peace.