Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reflections and Realizations

I've been feeling something heavy for some time that I can't explain. There have just been a lot of things on my mind, a lot of things that I have been turning over in my head. I just got out of a really inspirational conversation/dialogue with some awesome sisters from the MSU and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, our brother. It really meant a lot to me in a lotta ways. A couple thoughts before I resume doing other things:

I am really touched, and refreshed, and relieved, and I don't even know how to tell you what else, at the true, genuine respect Amir Abdel Malik Ali has for female activists. I have really been disilusioned these days by the male-dominated sphere of politics and power-play. I have become sick of seeing men make rules and laws and policies and definitions that influence society and the world at large. I've become sick of seeing a male figure slapped on the face of Islamic rulings. And of the Muslim male figure in the media at large being associated with narrow-mindedness in my mind.

I really just needed to see the faith our respected brother and friend displays in women, the regard he has for women as women, for them to be as valuable in the people's movement, and not measured by men, but valued in their own... this reinforced for me the belief that I must cultivate myself to be a strong Muslim woman working for the betterment of myself, my family and my community, to "be the change" I wish to see.

The second thing is that I realized tonight, something I've been grappling with, that I have come to see in my mind some large portion of the American population as a vague body that is as dense as a brick and just unwilling to understand or be open to anything real/truthful/meaningful. I knew this was problematic because, exactly that, I've been placing a monolith understanding upon such a large amount of people. But on the real, that's what I've been feeling. Now the issue is, even this if this is a reality, one that I can't even begin to quantify in the first place, how do I know who falls into that group of people? Yeah, that's an issue. Then I start judging, and then I just start to get demoralized and think that nobody is listening when we are trying to raise awareness about something.

Anywho, I realize that, as the media has villainized Islam and Muslims, I being of the stereotyped have displaced my feelings onto some random large vague portion of the American people. That is to say, I stereotyped the other people that intake this media material as people that are judgemental/dense/etc.

What I mean to say is, because of the stereotypes that come out of the media, I as someone that is being stereotyped and am so deeply aware of the stereotyping, and my reaction is, to judge all of the people that consume the media. So the media works in two ways for me: it stereotypes my faith, and it leaves me with a feeling of disilusionment, hopelessness, and faithlessness in my OWN people.

Dayum. That's got to stop!

Anyways, I realized that today. Gotta believe in my people yo.

Nida Chowdhry