THE KHAN’s V MAKHDOOM

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No matter which culture you come from family feuds are no strangers to the typical household. Whether you are the average Pervaiz and Shagufta from The Curry Mile or Jay Z and Solange Knowles, you are not exempt. So why should the Khan’s be spared from such drama. In the past 24 hours I have come across so many experts in the ‘in-laws’ and the ‘perfect daughter-in-law’ field, I’m wondering why Universities don’t offer a degree in the subject!

In all seriousness, however as some of you will be aware Faryal Makhdoom has made public allegations of bullying against her in laws via snapchat. The allegations included abuse and bullying in the form of threatened physical violence, mental abuse during her pregnancy and online bullying.

I’ve read some pretty nasty stuff said about this entire scenario. A lot of people have mocked Faryal’s claims and attacked her for reasons completely unrelated, such as her choice of clothing and her ‘excessive’ make up. It baffles me how amidst her cry for help, people have the audacity to call her out on the choices she makes regarding her appearance. The sad part of it all, is that, most of the people attacking her appearance are ‘females.’ The very females who advocate their feminist views and post statuses about giving a voice to the abused, are the same females now calling out Faryal for having done exactly that. Also stating that she did not need to display her private matters on social media.

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Let’s put aside for a second, that these events are taking place against someone in the public eye, the wife of a world famous boxer. Consider a situation where this was your friend, your sister, your colleague at work confiding in you about how she was being abused by her husband’s family, would your initial reaction be laughter? Would you tell her how she should first and foremost change the way she dresses, and then work on tackling the abuse she is receiving?

Just think about it.

Also speaking out isn’t always easy, and people speak out in the only way they know how to. Should she have instead suffered in silence? No one should be judged or condemned for speaking out. Besides much of the abuse she speaks of was carried out online, and so she responded. Online bullying is a serious issue, and anyone can fall victim to it.  Even famous people.

This social media fued between the Khan’s and Faryal Makhdoom simply brings to light the in-law’s and daughter-in-law issues which occur on a regular basis, however are never talked about. In the Asian community, traditionally a daughter-in-law moves in with her husband and his family (although it is becoming less common over time). This atmosphere can in some circumstances be somewhat straining on both the family and the daughter-in-law, as both parties are somewhat ‘forced’ to get along, if of course it does not come naturally. Many women argue that daughter-in-laws should be treated as daughters, (as did Faryal in her snaps) and as ideal as that scenario would be, it is extremely rare, and somewhat impossible for some mother-in-laws to do. Not to mention impossible for some daughter-in-laws to act like daughters too.

Whether you think it’s possible to treat or be treated as a daughter, the fact of the matter is that the daughter-in-law should be regarded first and foremost as an individual. Not as an attachment of your son, which can be removed as you please i.e. someone you can force your son to get a divorce from (as alleged by Faryal). Nor as someone you can control as property simply because you now think she is ‘owned’ by your son by way of marriage. The Star Plus dramas should be avoided at all costs. They are not a mother-in-law’s guide to welcoming a daughter-in-law into the family home! Equally a daughter-in-law has a responsibility to reciprocate a mutual level of respect if not love for her husband’s family.

As mentioned at the outset, this is a family feud and only the family members know of the full circumstances of the situation, so to pass judgement on a few snaps would involve playing a dangerous game. However allegations of abuse should be taken seriously and when someone screams for help, the matter should be approached with sensitivity. Those of you bashing Faryal for speaking out and attacking her for reasons such as her appearance need to understand that you are part of the problem. Until these issues are taken seriously, the cycle will only continue.

@Ufshah

THE DRUNK FEMALE PAKISTANI MUSLIMS

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It came to me as a surprise when two men were hit by a car driven by a woman accompanied by two other female friends, in an alleged state of intoxication, and the focal point of the incident was the fact that these females were drunk Pakistani Muslims.

As I watched the live video footage of an eye witness trying to capture the incident, I couldn’t help but feel a rage building inside as he proudly shamed the three women. They were not being reported by this individual for the alone fact that they ran over two males and showed no remorse, instead he was shaming them for allegedly being ‘drunk’, ‘Pakistani’, ‘Muslim’, ‘women.’

I am not condoning the action of running someone over whilst being intoxicated, and showing no remorse having done so, however I am defending the right of these women to not be publicly shamed in the manner in which they have been.

“Look at them, absolute filth bags, you’d expect guys to do it, even though it’s wrong.”

The man behind the camera by his very own words evidenced how his concerns were surrounding the intoxicated state of these Pakistani Muslim women, stating that “you’d expect guys to do it, even though it’s wrong.” Could someone remind me of what is at the heart of this incident? Is it that two men have been ruthlessly run over, by an allegedly intoxicated woman, or is it that three Pakistani Muslim women were drinking? Clearly if they were male the attention would be diverted to their lack of remorse and the injuries suffered by the victims rather than focusing on their state of intoxication in light of their ethnicity and faith.

Whilst watching the video I scrolled through the comments underneath, to find an entire fan club singing his praises. “You did a good job brother.” “You are a good man and a great role model to Muslim brothers.” Wait. A great role model to Muslims? What was so great about exposing the sins of others?

The theme of comments stemmed into three directions, name calling, passing judgement on the women’s faith and concerns regarding their upbringing.

“Slags.” “Silly skregs.” “Tarts sickening.” “The coppers should bend them over and sell em to Afghanistan the dirty ‘hoars’.” “Nasty bitches.” “Skets.” “Slappers.” “Ratchet dogs.” “Just shows, filthy rats.” “Dirty bitches.” “Should have sparked them out…the dirts deserved it.”

Spelling aside, you could imagine my utter shock at the response of these ‘fellow Muslims’ who were preaching about the wrongdoings of these women, yet undermining the very foundations of their faith. They were able to see that drinking was haram (forbidden), but failed to see their bad-mouthing was also haram. Why are we so immune to the idea of bad mouthing others, and flaunting their faults before the eyes of the world?

“Why do you call them muslim.” “Pakistani yes but not muslims.” “No shame there are not proper muslims.” “Don’t call them muslims.” “Girls like that aren’t worthy to be called muslims.”“Don’t call them muslims man!!! If they don’t read or practice Islam they aint muslims.”  “Expose them don’t worry about what people think.”

Why do we think that one sin, is worthy of judgement yet another isn’t? Why do we think that we are in a position to judge? Why do we think that we have a free pass from being judged ourselves? Why do we flaunt the sins of others whilst expecting Allah to conceal ours?

The shaming didn’t stop at these women alone, instead it continued into insults directed at their parents.

“Shame on their upbringing.” “That’s how they have been brought up by their parents.” “I hope their parents are proud.”

Ask yourself, about the times you’ve committed acts that you are not proud of. Did your parents teach you to commit those acts, or were they oblivious to your actions? Pointing fingers at others is easy, when you forget that fingers can also be pointed back at you. If that was your child would you be proud of your child’s actions? Also would you appreciate the actions of an individual who tried to capture your child’s face with the intention of ridiculing them on a public platform?

The camera man, made several attempts to zoom into the girls faces, with people commenting that they “cant see the girls.” I couldn’t comprehend the desire for these people to engage in the shaming process, and not even for the fact that they ran two men over, but for the fact that they were drinking. Some even decided to go as far as posting photos of the women they had assumed were involved in the incident, (taken from their Facebook accounts without their consent) causing further controversy due to mistaken identities.

Teachings of Islam

Being Muslim is something that I am extremely proud of, as Islam has taught me values that have led me to do great things and strive to be better. It has upheld women’s rights which have been of great misunderstanding for centuries, partly due to a lack of understanding and partly due to the behaviour of some which have wrongly represented the teachings of the faith. The problem here is not a problem of Islam, in fact it is a problem of misunderstanding and a lack of application of the teachings by Muslims themselves. This incident being a clear example.

Being Pakistani, has also taught me many things. Some which I am proud of and others not so much. It has taught me that culture is paramount. It has taught me that occasionally men receive special privileges that women could never receive. It has taught me that double standards are instilled into the spines of these men. Luckily my faith overrides these distorted views.

I may not be a Muslim scholar, but I do know that it is not up to us to decide whether someone falls within the fold of Islam or not. The section below the video was ablaze with comments saying that these women are not Muslims based on their actions. Yet these comments were coming from those who were clearly a leading example of how to act(!)

Bad mouthing or shaming others is not acceptable, nor is passing judgement as all judgements are up to Allah and Allah alone. Their actions are between them and God. It would not be considered good etiquette or manners in Islam for someone to make a judgemental decision about a person and their faith. Of course, it is part of human nature to form judgements, but to openly declare this judgement about a person and their faith would most definitely not be appropriate. You must consider what the purpose is behind what you are saying. Are you trying to help someone become aware of their wrongdoings, helping them correct their behaviour, or are you simply declaring their faults with no purpose other than ridiculing them in mind?

If you are sincere in your choice to advise and help someone, there is no harm if you advise them of what they are doing is wrong; if of course it is done with sincerity. But to simply do so in order to judge their actions up against your own, is not acceptable. No one is perfect. We weren’t created to be perfect.

Summary 

The aim behind this response was to remind people that we all sin, and we all do things that we are not proud of. If a book of everything you have done to date, was presented to the world without your consent would you be pleased with what was being read?

The point is when someone commits an action which you regard as being against the teachings of your beliefs, then guide them by advising them, and if you’re unable to do so due to conflicting interests or other reasons, then simply refrain from harming them. Refrain from hateful speech, refrain from passing judgement, and refrain from shaming them. This is not what faith is about. This is not a true representation of humanity. People say such things are only small issues and there are bigger problems for us to deal with. But I say, if we changed the small things that build our foundations we would be a lot stronger.

I am certain that upon expressing my views on this matter, not everyone will agree. In particular some challenges may be met by those of you carrying XY chromosomes. However, having the privilege of being male in a culture created to suit you, you are unable to understand the power you hold over tarnishing a woman’s reputation by words alone.

When a man sharing my faith, decides to wrongly advocate beliefs which are in fact cultural and not Islamic, I as a woman believe that I am entitled to challenge his thoughts.

@Ufshah