One of the things that I know for sure is how loved I am by my family. Since my conversion they have spent countless hours on the internet trying to find out what Islam is all about. Of course this means I get sent numerous emails about all of the "not so desirable" traits Islam seems to always be associated with. It gets exhausting. One of the issues that constantly gets brought up in discussion is the rights of women. My family definately has it in mind that "I don't know what I am getting into."
Quite the contrary actually. I know rather well what Islam is about, and who I am as a woman in Islam. Of course my family needs to see that themselves -- something that will only come with time. This is where I need Allah to give me more patience.
One of the emails I recently received from my mom outlined some of her concerns about my future. She told me that she was meeting with a Christian pastor who had done Missions work with Muslims in Canada (I don't know the specifics but I am sure the goal was to convert Muslims to Christianity.) Glad that my mom was making the effort to ask questions and get information I couldn't say much, but was discouraged that her source of infomation was someone who obviously doesn't support the faith of Islam. I decided that the only way for me to help my mom get answers to some of the questions she had was to hook her up with the number of one of the women in the community here. A Muslima who was raised in Canada, has one parent who is Christian, married a Muslim from the Middle-East, wears hijab etc. I thought to myself "who better to clear up some of my mom's concerns than someone who is living my future life!" With eagerness I sent my mom the contact information excited that I had supplied her with a way to get some of the answers she might be looking for. Here is the chance she has been wanting/needing. An opportunity to talk FIRST HAND to a person my age who is living the Muslim life.
Last week when I talked to my mom I asked her if she had contacted the Muslima in the community here. She had said no that "the majority of her questions had been answered." I wanted to crawl through the phone line so she could see the look on my face. "By Whom??!!??" I thought.
She had spent the last week or two talking with a Christian Man about the life of a Muslim Woman....
What is wrong with this picture? I am sure that he has valuable things to say, but lets be fair! If you wanted information about throat infections you wouldn't go to a Dentist just because they work with the mouth... you would go to a Doctor and get the real information from someone who knows what they are talking about, who is experienced and can provide you with the right answers.
Why is it, that people go to the internet, or their pastors, or in this case- Christian missionaries when they want information about Islam... particularly women in Islam.
I know my family is just worried for me, and as I said I appreciate their concern and know that I am loved, but at the same time I want them to see that Islam isn't all bad. Lets face it, Christians will tell you Christianity is right, Muslims will tell you Islam is right, Buddhists will tell you Buddhism is right... we all have our beliefs and have to be aware of how that influences our perspectives on things. That being said if we are going to learn about something new, get answers etc. lets go to someone who can give us information first hand...
You wouldn't go to a dentist when you need a doctor, so why would you go to a Christian to learn about Islam?