Boycotting limits their power!

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This morning I got back from an interview, I was brought to tears as I placed the headphones over my ears to learn of how the BBC were reporting what is happening in Gaza. While a massacre takes place, or another ethnic cleansing attack on Muslims is present, a video appeared on social media with Michael Gove declaring he is a zionist.

I cried because on the one hand I didn’t want to aid an organisation in reporting whilst they display what seems to be a very biased approach. However I don’t believe everyone who works at BBC agrees, and whist I acknowledge this is wrong also I acknowledge that I must continue to stand up for what I believe in at any given opportunity to declare the truth about Islamaphobia and look for those that present me with that platform.

Innocent people who take no part in this spiritual warfare because they see no value in it, float along in a collective consciousness shaped by those with the power to inject beliefs fuelled by pure evil.

Everyone is on a journey and while some figure out what is governing their every move some are non the wiser till the awareness is presented to them by different means. Are you been controlled or in control, that is the question.

Boycotting limits a power yes, but while we invest our energy in that we loose sight of what we should really want to achieve when we acknowledge we wish to have no part in those that promote the discrimination of people just because of their beliefs, (Trojan Horse).

Democracy should be about a social consensus achieved through a collective consciousness that protects the rights of humans with no discrimination of creed, race, sex, religion and so on. Limitations should only be imposed where someone beliefs pose to be a harm to the self or those around them.

Sexual Abuse- Where do I start Part 1

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Sexual Abuse- Where do I start Part 1

The brother abused his sister, the uncle abused his niece, the father abused his daughter, the cousins abused him, the imam abused the student. The amount of calls I receive on this topic are endless. I’ve remained silent on this issue for quite a while now trying to figure out how I approach it, but enough is enough.

Firstly if you’ve been abused I hope it is clear to you by now that you have nothing to be ashamed of, rather it is those that took part in making you feel as though this abuse was nothing more than a slap on the wrist and you should get over it that should really be ashamed.

Secondly to the family that finds out about the abuse- It is important to know that how a family responds can either aid the victim to make a quicker recovery, but if not managed correctly, the way a family respond can set the victim back further more.

My delay in addressing this topic has been due to me wanting to do a radio show that not only raises the topic but has the right people on offering support from different aspects.

Although sexual abuse is more common with girls, boys are also at risk of been abused, and in some cases I’ve heard that more that one person has taken part in this vicious crime.

It seems many want me to raise this issue on my show and in blogs so I’ll try my best to address it the way it should. If you would like support or to inform me of any organisations that help others please email iamshalina@live.co.uk and you will be contacted God Willing

Behind the Veil

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You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t then I hope the following helps you out a bit.

See I tried to fit into all the little boxes people usually put you in based on the way you talk, walk, dress and behave. But it didn’t work out, cos it left people happy but me miserable. It took me years to break down the walls that I’d allowed to be built up around me creating a fortress that protect ‘them’ from me.

Eventually I found my way out, and fed up of giving those around me what they wanted I set out to go for what I needed. Along the way I turned to my Lord for guidance and protection from those that would force me to silence the very essence of who I really am.

Believing in yourself when no one else does is like walking in the dark. A part of you wants to stay where things are familiar, even with the things that make you miserable.

My decision to finally free myself from the oppressions of others meant I would revisit the way I walk, talk, act and dress caring little for the consequences previously instilled in me.

The Documentary done about me is a little window into me doing this. People who don’t get me need to understand I’m someone who has been raised in England exposed to many cultures that have all resonated with me in different ways. A mixture of British, Pakistani, Jamaican, Religious and musical attitudes and beliefs have all affected who I am today.

Do not judge its not your place, rather comprehend that nothing stay or no one stays the same.

http://programma.ntr.nl/10607/seks-en-de-zonde/detail/aflevering/6000013092/Seks-en-de-Zonde (series 5)

Videos of me singing can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On2EmHj_RRY

The path of abandonment

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They could no longer hide the truth, ‘they don’t care, harsh but true’, from the words of those that did. I cried in despair feeling helpless and exhausted from shifting through the endless ways I could find excuses for the way they treated me.

“Why do you punish yourself”? Many began to ask me the same thing, and I had to start changing my answers. I never perceived it as me punishing myself but rather another opportunity for them to love me. All of the movies I watched had happy endings, so why couldn’t mine be one I thought. University taught me what was right, so why couldn’t they fulfil that role.

When your life contradicts your reality it can turn you crazy as mine almost did. Young Pakistani Asian girl raised in an Off Licence. That was my first hurdle, and yet I never quite got it then either. People were shocked, but rather than ask this young girl more questions I was given the silent treatment. People back then were 10 times more cultural then what we have today which is nothing more than a diluted cordial drink. I was in the core of Pakistani culture, Salvar Kameezes, trousers under my skirts and two pig tails.

My teacher always said, “One day, I’m going to turn on my TV and see you on it”. She wasn’t wrong, I’ve been on TV alright, but for reasons not even I would have anticipated.

Draped in material with my head in my hands I lift my head up and took a deep breath. “I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. If anyone should be ashamed, its them, for not protecting me or defending my innocence when I was a child”.

My hands crept to the keyboard of my laptop, I took a deep breath, “Lets Begin”

A snippet from my book… watch this space

Public Transport Reflections on the buses

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Clearly years of driving has done nothing but turned me into an alien or so it seemed as due to my car breaking down I had to resort to catching the public transport. Already developing symptoms that one could only associate with OCD I cringed as my daughter innocently touched and kissed things before I could remind her how dirty they were.

As if that wasn’t hard enough to deal with I then had to remember to tone down my ever so friendly personality. My daughter clearly didn’t mind as she smiled and shouted hello to everyone. Upsetting however was the atmosphere on the bus which was very serious and gloomy, I dared not speak to anyone.

The moments that were nice though were the values that a society continue to uphold across all cultures and that is the act of giving up ones seat to children, elderly or pregnant. On one bus I seen a collection different cultures all sharing the same space with no pecking order.

The most awkward moment was presented to me when a man began talking to me. Me not wanting to be rude listened as he shared his life story with me. In the space of 15 mins I learnt about the loss of his parents, his memory loss, his accident, his fight with the NHS to establish healthcare practices that are quite often forgotten. And much more. I really didn’t know how to end the conversation as he seemed to pour his heart out whilst demonstrating his heroic fight to get others what he couldn’t.

Finally my day ended with me squashed amongst individuals, people brushing past me. I was traumatised but very grateful at the end of the day to get home.

Would I do it again? Of course but with a survival guide!
Distractions (Newspaper, Listen to a book)
sanitiser (when no ones looking)
Heavily perfume myself
wear gloves

I miss my car :)

Depressed Muslims

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Depressed Muslims

“Been a Muslim is Depressing”, there I said it, and the repercussions of doing so are very typical. Immediately comments come through asking me if I want to talk, recommending I should change my friends, change my wording… change my attitude.

My motivation behind such a status was provoked by a hadith which I’ll relate at the end (God Willing) and my struggle to see changes that really matter. Over the last year my invitation to events has increased which I’m grateful for, but overall it has given me a birds eye view of what’s really happening on a local scale in our Muslim communities.

I’ll get straight to the points-
Multiple charities seem to be coming out of the wood works that raise Thousands upon Thousands of pounds been invested into charities that help people abroad. Now of course my issues is not helping those abroad but it is why people feel the need to replicate charities that meet the needs of others while they ignore the needs of those around them closer to home.

I’m not saying those abroad shouldn’t recieve aid, of course I will continue to champion for anyone raising money for my brothers and sisters abroad. But when I get calls or see people, majority been women wanting to commit suicide or with mental health issues because they don’t know how to find contentment with their hardships, I also see a need for charities to look closer to hope before helping those furthest from home. BE BALANCED??

These needs that I talk about are divided into various groups and most certainly need some attention.

Youth- I see so many parents struggle to establish healthy relationships with their children as a result of them not been able to connect. In addition to this youth have no where to go, especially those from single parent families. Rather than invest money into making masjids look prettier, its time to invest the money into employing youth workers that can deliver sessions compatible to the needs of youth.

Elderly- I’ve seen a new culture emerging where parents of ‘so called Muslims’ are now been put in care homes. I know majority of peoples circumstances are different if reference to why they would choose to do this but ‘having a break’ just ain’t good enough.
Prophet Muhammed SAW has already related to us that masjids would go in this direction, and further more the recent video of Bradford been ambushed by a bunch of angry men highlighted that they are just empty buildings when Salah is not been performed.

Our parents didn’t drop us off to social services so they could do what ‘they like’! Further more, majids need to get more involved in providing elderly coffee mornings or activities for them to meet. Nothing is healthy about been in doors most of the time on your own.

Hygiene- “cleanliness is half your deen”, apparently, so why I attend Muslim areas and see so much mess is beyond me! I’ve heard the argument that council focus on the posher areas, well if this is the case there is a process waiting to be exercised when people are ready to take action. (Inform Your local Council)

Mental health- Some blame it on Jinn, some say their attention seeking whilst others don’t even tell anyone else till its too late. One aspect of neglecting this area is the treatment of women unfortunately isn’t something high on the agenda of big Muslims establishments. While for the west it is! If Masjids and other organisations do not recognise they need to change their approaches differently then it will not be long before we see the result of this, just look at our younger generation.

Medical health- Everywhere I go I see an abundance of fat Muslims. Our religion is meant to have all the answers including been overweight, tackling diabetes and other illnesses that result from the gut.

Finally I’m not depressed alhamdulilah, May Allah Protect me from such a thing Ameen!
Indeed I’ve gone through a collection of experiences that forced me to be depressed, and it was through that Allah presented me with Tawakkul (Dependence Upon Allah SWT). But in doing so I’ve seen many things that need to change as a result of my own experiences. I feel like my pain has a purpose. Islam has definitely been medicine for my soul providing me the naseeha that continues to strengthen me Mashallah!

Solutions- Please write to or contact your local masjid. Let us make the masjid the hub of every community once again.
Khutbahs need to address the many stigma’s attached to Islam, FGM, Domestic Violence, Sexual Exploitation, Honour Killings, Forced Marriages, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, raising children in the 21st Century and meeting the needs of those with special needs.

Hadeeth narrated by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh which he attributes to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

“Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.”

I’ve done enough talking, now I’m getting in their with my hands, helping, writing and speaking.

I commend the many organisations like Muslim Women’s Network, Women’ Networking Hub and Amirah Foundation who continue to stand up for these changes. How different our communities would be if Masjids aided these organisations to aid the thousands of families collectively helped by these organisations Mashallah.

If you want to know what a community is like then look at the women, a well known quote from Islam. Well the reality of this statement can clearly be seen in the statistics coming out of our criminal justice systems and mental health care to name but a few of what is really happening. May Allah Forgive me for that which I did not know of, and aid our Ummah to help each other as they would themselves Ameen!