TC is a great place and all, but I never really come across pieces that relate to me. So, here I am. And for you other Muslims out there, this is how I grew up–this is in no means meant to encompass all Muslims in general. Just me.
1. I’ve told people I’ve never eaten bacon and I get gasps and heart-clutching sequences. Dude, calm down. Bacon is not everything. I’ve gone through life pretty okay without bacon. I really don’t need pork to be happy.
2. Wearing long sleeves and pants during summer. I’m a Muslim girl and showing skin isn’t something I do. I don’t like wearing short sleeves sometimes–just because it feels so weird. I wear leggings when I wear dresses, and don’t even own any sleeveless tops. Going to the beach? Huge t-shirt and leggings. Boom.
3. When Ramadan comes around, I personally abstain from listening to music, going to the movie theaters, and not cursing. Sometimes, it’s not that hard but then the new Selena Gomez album came out during Ramadan this year and I was super distraught about it.
4. You get weird looks when you ask if something has meat in it. “Are you a vegetarian?” HAHAHA, no. I LOVE MEAT. MEAT IS THE BEST. I just only eat halal meat. Ever since I was little, I just explained it as “someone has to say a prayer when they slaughter the animal for meat”. So, yeah. I’ve never eaten the chicken/steak/etc. from Chipotle and people tell me it’s fantastic. [heavy sigh]
5. Disrespectful dude: So you’re totally gonna get an arranged marriage with some old dude you’ve never met right? *dumb laughter* Uh no. I’m not. I’ll marry someone I’ve chosen. I will choose someone who won’t think it’s weird to not date for like 4 years before marriage. I will choose my husband based on the fact that I know they will be compatible for me and we will learn to love because that’s what I’ve been taught. That’s how I grew up and that’s how I’m gonna find someone. Of course, I’ll get to know them a bit more and a lot of speed dating-esque things will happen. But I know they’ll be right for me.
6. When people ask me to go to have drinks with them and I explain that I don’t drink but I’ll love to go and just have some soda or something and then they get all weird because apparently not drinking alcohol is the worst possible thing in the world? ALSO WHEN PEOPLE ASSUME THAT BECAUSE I DON’T DRINK, THEN I MUST NOT BE FUN ON SATURDAY NIGHTS. I don’t need to get drunk to have fun. Excuse you. I get drunk on happiness.
7. As a Muslim girl, my parents were always super protective of me. I don’t have sleepovers. Friends can sleep at my house but helllll no to sleeping over at theirs. I didn’t go to my first concert until my freshman year of college. I didn’t hang out at a friend’s house until eighth grade. My mother always told me she didn’t trust anyone else, but she trusted me. I think Muslim dudes get away with a lot more — my brother for instance, can disappear to his friend’s house until midnight and my mom won’t bat an eye, but if I ever did that, I would get side-eyed and shunned so bad. It’s not so bad now. I’ve mostly gotten over trying to have a social life. That said, I still try to have a social life my way but in a way that respects my mother.
8. One time, my family and I were taking a flight back from Pakistan and this security attendant just glared at my sister’s copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. What are you doing? It’s a book. WHAT KIND OF MASS DESTRUCTION ARE WE GOING TO CAUSE WITH A BOOK? Ya racist dipshits.
9. “If you’re a Muslim, does that mean you wear that head covering thing?” No, not always. I identify as a Muslim but I do not wear a hijab. It’s weird how many times I get that question.
10. When you pause your TV show that’s streaming on Netflix to go pray.
11. Respect your elders. Elders come first. Elders come first when you’re at a buffet and you’ve been waiting for food for two hours. Don’t backtalk. If I said something in a certain tone to my grandmother, uncle, aunt, mother, father, etc., I would get called out so fast. I would fear the day when my mom said to me, “Wait until your dad gets home.” Disappointment from my parents is one of the worst things in the world to me.
12. When you tell your teacher that you can’t come to school or class on Eid because it’s a religious holiday and then they’re like, oh cool when is that gonna be? And then you don’t really know because it changes all the time. It depends on the moon. Or when my mom tells me it’s Eid. I don’t think I ever went moon sighting for Ramadan and Eid.
13. When you shouldn’t walk under trees, go out after dark, or talk in the bathroom because that’s when the jinn and Satan come out.
14. When you hang out with your Muslim friends and you talk about your dreams and aspirations and they always interject with cute insha’Allah’s and Masha’Allah’s and you get all warm and fuzzy inside. It always has a soothing effect on me.
15. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT 9/11? Shut uppppppppp. Shut up.