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Author Topic: My first taste of bigotry  (Read 2592 times)
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Blessedgrandma
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« on: Sep 07, 2008 05:00 AM »


I'm shocked and maybe I shouldn't be.
A lady who works at a local grocery store has always been so nice to me and invited me to her
'farm ladies' group. One day she mentioned her daughter needed to rehome a horse and donkey
and offered them to me free.
When her her husband and adult daughter arrived the man started talking
and made mention several times to RAG HEADS and DIAPER HEADS   Angry
After the 3rd or 4th time I couldn't hold back anymore and polietly asked him to refrain from
such comments and told him, he should be aware he may be talking to a Muslim and not even know it.
Then I informed him I WAS A MUSLIM   Shocked
He stopped and when they unloaded the animals left.
All was friendly. The next time I saw his wife, I told her I hoped I hadn't offended her husband but I
had to say something as I didn't appreciate his bigotry in my presence.
But all of a sudden the wife refers to me as MISS now when I'm in the store.
May I help you Miss?
When I inquired as to the next farm gals meeting I got told there were so many, there wasn't space for
anyone else.
I know many Muslims go through much worse and this is barely nothing.
But half of me is sad and the other half is angery.
My first taste of bigotry. Undecided :
Oh well  purplehijabisis(
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 07, 2008 05:08 AM »

At first when I was reading it, I was thinking simply that they wouldn't give you the livestock for fear that you'd slaughter it for dinner.. After reading it, I was sad to learn that it was much nastier.

I wonder if the woman really feels that way too, or if she is simply between a rock and a hard place because her husband is batty and she has to deal with him.

Either way, really sad and sorry you had to deal with that. Inshallah we can learn from these horrible situations and gain empathy for other groups that often experience bigotry.

In the U.S. we have Muslims, those of African descent, Asians, Desis, Hispanics..

I remember living in the U.K. and hearing 'corner store' jokes several times a day and vulgar references to 'Pakis'.. Also in reading many posts on one of the Turkish wives groups I'm in, there's apparently a lot of disgust aimed towards Turks in the U.K. due to many 'love rat' stories in TAB and women going on "love holidays"..  Roll Eyes

What a sad, sad world we live in!

Again, hope you feel better!

I try to remember to count my blessings each day because I have many:

To be thankful for my health, and that of my loved ones, the presence of my husband and the continuation of our marriage, that we can pay our bills and have food on the table..

So many blessings but often, so little thanks!
Sr.Kathy
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 07, 2008 05:34 AM »

Wow... I am shocked they are so blatant about it. Perhaps tho, this was good for them.  I can hear the wives now... "Gosh, Harry, she seems regular." Maybe this will eventually open the doors for communication- once they get over it.

Lol... but then when in Women Interfaith groups- they don't always believe me when I explain a facet of Islam to them- they want to know what a Real Muslim thinks.

"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 07, 2008 08:06 AM »

sux  Angry some ppl are just not worth having anything to do with. hopefully you can find a better circle of friends that are more open-minded. 
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 07, 2008 01:30 PM »

I use to work somewhere where certain racist and islamaphobic words were commonplace.

One day I had enough and blurted out that the fact they'd make the comment and say "no offence to you" was in fact a bigger offence that they didn't see me as a Muslim because I worked with them.

As soon as I had the courage to go into business I left that place and feel I'm a better person for it.

Racism and Islamaphobia are both ripe in my humble opinion in the UK.

And for racism towards the Turkish community-my husband works with a Turkish Muslim man who indeed married a white christian whilst she was on holiday in Turkey. Although he gets no racial abuse towards him I feel for him when my husband talks about him. This gentleman doesn't want kids because they'll be mixed race  Undecided . And then he says he didn't know that the meat supplied in large supermarkets (part of the walmart chain in the UK) were not suitable for us Muslims. I asked my husband if his friend had been to the local Turkish Islamic Centre and he said no as he wasn't aware of its existance. I wonder if it was me in that situation what would become of my religious values. Would they become weakened by a marriage with a none-muslim and lack of support around me?

Now if a racist  was to read that or meet this gentleman they may hurl abuse at him due to his lack of interest in facilities available to him (lack of intergration into the Turkish community around). It's the same towards Asians with a similar outlook. My friends husband who moved to the UK from an asian country faced similar things. For reasons only known to him he felt it was totally acceptable to take on a more none-islamic lifestyle. He now claims he lives this lifestyle due to lack of information given to him. Too late though as Muslims in the community stay away from him sadly in fear of what he may say or do and the none muslim community think hes a coconut-brown on the outside and white in the middle. There is no need for anyone to abuse either men-but society will never see it that way they will use the lack of knowledge of the two gentlemen and use it against them rather than saying "dude look I know its hard to get into the swing of things in a new country and you're newly married etc but come with me to the local Mosque-pubs are a phase our religion is the start, middle and end".

What I'm trying to say is when we judge people by the cover as Sister Kathy was we often wrongfully judge. Only Allah knows best-fullstop.

I'm sorry you went through that experience sister, may you not go through something similar again  oldshaykh


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This life is only a test-passing will equal Jannah, Inshallah!
Oh Muslim brothers and sisters-consider sponsoring an Orphan if Allah has blessed you with the finances to do so-Ameen.
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 07, 2008 03:52 PM »

salam

I am sorry that you had to go through this.  But this is the reality of the world.

My advice is not to shop there anymore.  Send them a letter to inform them of this and state the reason you not appreciating their Islamophobic and racist attitude.  keep it short and blunt.  Money speaks loud and clear. 

Take care
wassalam


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« Reply #6 on: Sep 07, 2008 05:01 PM »

Salam sisters,

indeed money speaks louder than words-but I'd question if their attitude was even worth sisters paper and time to write a short letter  Undecided

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Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wasn't just sent to guide us Muslims, he is a unique, true example to EVERYONE.
This life is only a test-passing will equal Jannah, Inshallah!
Oh Muslim brothers and sisters-consider sponsoring an Orphan if Allah has blessed you with the finances to do so-Ameen.
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 07, 2008 08:04 PM »

I actually second that she should write a short, simple letter.

I would also add some weight to it by figuring out exactly how much money you spend per week/month on groceries, multiply it by 12 to get the rough annual figure.. Then multiply by how many years you have been going..

We spend about $150 a month on groceries, probably $200 when you factor in 'odds and ends' like shampoo, etc. Multiplied by 12, that's $2,400, and that's just for a small husband and wife household. For those with kids and large families, that can easily be $5,000 a year. For those who stay in the same place for years, it could be $50,000 loss of a customer!

Let them know exactly how much MONEY they've lost and let them know if anyone asks why you don't shop there anymore, you'll be happy to tell them.

I would also say something to the woman about how much you liked her and got along and it's unfortunate that something as simple as your religion has caused her attitude to do a 180.

Be to the point, but kind of kill them with kindness.

This is NOT professional behavior and it's actually very STUPID business practice to willingly lose a source of income and risk losing business by word of mouth due to STUPID stereotypes and a big mouth.

People like that don't deserve to be in business since businesses don't just line the pockets but SERVE THE COMMUNITY and they'd best be reminded.

This isn't the 1920's where they could put up nasty signs like "WHITES ONLY". If they can't handle diversity, they should go live in a cave somewhere!

I try to remember to count my blessings each day because I have many:

To be thankful for my health, and that of my loved ones, the presence of my husband and the continuation of our marriage, that we can pay our bills and have food on the table..

So many blessings but often, so little thanks!
Princess1983
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 07, 2008 09:34 PM »

Be to the point, but kind of kill them with kindness.

This is NOT professional behavior and it's actually very STUPID business practice to willingly lose a source of income and risk losing business by word of mouth due to STUPID stereotypes and a big mouth.

This isn't the 1920's where they could put up nasty signs like "WHITES ONLY". If they can't handle diversity, they should go live in a cave somewhere!

I like the idea of killing with kindness  Tongue

There can never be a professional way of doing racism or Islamaphobia-sadly people who should welcome diversity-e.g. retailers can have such a tunnel vision is quite scary.

Maybe a letter will work. Are they the type of people who would open up to an educational experience? I'm thinking maybe you can invite the ladies in their family around for tea or something and discuss what happend.

Just a thought-of course I only suggest this is the situation is resolved.

Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wasn't just sent to guide us Muslims, he is a unique, true example to EVERYONE.
This life is only a test-passing will equal Jannah, Inshallah!
Oh Muslim brothers and sisters-consider sponsoring an Orphan if Allah has blessed you with the finances to do so-Ameen.
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 07, 2008 11:24 PM »

Unless the professional attitude has changed (other than suddenly using Miss instead of your name) then any other actions are a waste of time and actually permits a "win" for the other side in that you were "chased" away.   If you opt to shop at another market you don't owe the current one a reason for leaving and trying the "economic impact" won't work.  As for the women's group you were attending all you need to do contact another member to find out when the next meeting is if you want to continue going.  My mom used to always say "one monkey don't stop the show" - meaning one person's actions cannot stop a thing from continuing since one person doesn't have all the control. 

Bigotry and racism have never been eradicated; rather had only gone underground or a while but in this post 9/11 society they are rearing their ugly heads.  Since Islamophia seems to be the latest offense there are people that have stereotypes in their minds of what a Muslim looks like failing to realize as we know that Muslims are very diverse and come in all shades and from all countries. Sad we Muslims ourselves can't accept that as well and get over all the infighting and internal bigotry.  Alas that probably won't happen in my lifetime.

I recall years ago when Tiger Woods was first making a solid name for himself some of my co-workers were talking about him and the question came up "I wonder what his first name is?"  One replied "I'll bet it's Sambo".  The other stood in stunned silence and I casually slid from behind my computer screen and said "I take offense to that" and another co-worker (white) said "So do I actually".  I didn't have to say anymore on the subject because the rest of the staff clearly read the offender the "riot act" such that he came over to me later that day and apologized.

I personally like leaving people perplexed by my racial/ethnic lineage as it always raises questions.  I don't permit people to select a "box" for me because I'm proud of my mixed heritage yet I always point out that I'm Muslim first (which by definition is an ethnic group) and everything else second.  I find it sad that people still hold on to stereotypes such as all brown skinned people are black; only Chinese or Japanese or Korean people are Asian; that only Arabs are Muslim; that only whites are intelligent and thus superior and the only ones to be sought after; etc.  I chuckle at the ignorance that abounds but also cry about it too because it impacts many.

People have always sought to assimilate to the dominate culture so it is not surprising that the Turkish and Asian brothers have opted for this.  But of course not everyone can blend in as well no matter how hard they try.   And they further fail to realize that they won't be accepted to the degree they hope to be no matter the company they keep.

As Muslims we don't have to apologize nor offer explanation for anything.  We don't need to hide who we are nor do we need to be subjected to bigotry and take it with no other alternative. People don't have to like us but they do have to respect us just as we don't have to like them but do have to respect them.  That is one of the keys to a truly diverse and harmonious society.

Fa'izah
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 08, 2008 12:10 AM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


All praise be to Allah.

Just a short comment, if you are going to write a letter, consider sending it to the editor of the local newspaper.  For the most part, people feel bad about bigotry when it is confronted in a civil, polite manner.  Maybe this way you can turn this bad experience into a lesson for the other non-Muslims who do not know much about Islam. 

Try to teach the people there that you a nice farmer who loves others, and you believe in One God, and the afterlife, like anyone else, and this is what Islam teaches you.  Repel evil with goodness.


May Allah use you as a key to goodness and a lock to evil, and all of us.

Ameen.


And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 08, 2008 02:32 AM »

I too, THOUGHT about the newspaper or something more public, but THEN I thought that might be too much, especially if you don't first give them a chance to apologize through something more private such as a letter.

I DO actually think a well written letter WOULD have some impact as well as the financial loss that they could experience. I would also try to put in there that sometimes people can't help how they are brought up, but you hope that they can open their mind to the truth when it is presented to them. (basically, that Muslims are humans and live much as they do)

I wish you the best in resolving the situation.

I also know it may sound TOTALLY nutso, but maybe you could even bring the letter with some kind of home cooked goody.. Like a few cookies or something. It's totally hard to think bad of someone when they are kind to you. It really makes people feel guilty! How can you hate someone who brings you cookies? Then maybe she will see that even though she is a class a donkey, that you are a kind woman no matter what and that may give her a different perspective. At the very least, it will be some dawah, the choice is hers whether or not to start opening up her mind.

Just a thought!

I try to remember to count my blessings each day because I have many:

To be thankful for my health, and that of my loved ones, the presence of my husband and the continuation of our marriage, that we can pay our bills and have food on the table..

So many blessings but often, so little thanks!
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 08, 2008 01:01 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt wb,


All praise be to Allah.


I didn't mean mention the store by name in the letter.  I meant mention the incident and how it hurt you, and then talk about the teachings of Islam.  Instead of giving dawah to one person, you can give dawah to thousands.  The cure for ignorance is knowledge.


And Allah knows best.


Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 13, 2008 10:41 PM »

Wow... I am shocked they are so blatant about it. Perhaps tho, this was good for them.  I can hear the wives now... "Gosh, Harry, she seems regular." Maybe this will eventually open the doors for communication- once they get over it.

Lol... but then when in Women Interfaith groups- they don't always believe me when I explain a facet of Islam to them- they want to know what a Real Muslim thinks.

People can be so ignorant, no I take that back, ignorant is when one doesn't know better.
Stupid is more the word.
Yeah Sister Kathy  Cheesy I can hear that too, the gosh Harry, she seems regular.
I was so angry though with his raghead this and diaperhead that  Angry
after the 3rd or 4th time I couldn't stay silent.
And we have a large German baptist population wearing a head cap and long dresses.
I would of thought folks around here to be more tollerant.

Thank you all for the kind words, suggestions and for just being there and listening. purplehijabisis
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 02, 2008 03:10 PM »

I am very thankful for your taking a stand for yourself and for Islam when someone is being so ignorant.  If they have any kind of conscience at all, they are very ashamed of themselves and will someday apologize.  I hope that Allah will show you the right thing to do when the time comes and I am sure that time will come.  Perhaps if you continue to treat them kindly - you will lead by example and your graciousness will open a door for communication.
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