You guessed it; it’s time for another thatobsessedgirl rant! It all started when my family and I were out for our usual Saturday lunch. My brother turns to my mother and says, “A couple of classmates asked me if I am Shiaa, you know because of my name.”
I will give you a moment to let that sink in.
First of all, it is common knowledge that the vast majority of Algerians are Sunni Muslims, but that’s not the point. Even if we were Shiaa, how is that anyone’s business and why would it matter? Would his answer determine if they should ostracize him or not? I wouldn’t have gone into my ranting mode if it weren’t for the fact that my brother has been receiving this question ever since he was a fourth grader, back when he was too young to even understand what Sunna and Shiaa meant!
Only in this culture, do people have the audacity to ask such personal questions without batting an eye. Are you a Muslim? Sunni or Shiaa? Which school of thought do you follow? I like to describe it as a sense of entitlement; the idea that because I am a Sunni Muslim, that because I have a certain belief, I am automatically better than anyone who isn’t and you have to answer these questions to qualify. It may seem like a harmless question, but I remember being an eighth grader, when a friend confided in me that she is Shiaa and asked me not to tell anyone because she was scared of being judged.
Our society is so preoccupied with classifying and segregating; it starts at home when a father tells his four year old son not to play with his sisters because he is “a man and should sit with the men”. It creates a sense of superiority that grows with us and slowly encompasses gender, religion, culture and nationality. It is always Us and Them. We eventually forget that Islam calls for humility, that only God can judge what is in our heart and that no one can assure his/her place in Jannah!
I am always lost for words when I see fellow Muslims preaching about their beliefs with such arrogance; when they point fingers at those who don’t think the same way, as if they have assured their place in Jannah and can now afford to spend time judging others and telling them why they’re wrong. Who are we to speak in the name of God and pass judgment on people?
This shamelessly flagrant disdain to anything or anyone who is different is the reason why our society is drowning in a sea of ignorance and intolerance. We are so preoccupied with appearances and labels, we act as moral police but it only makes hypocrites of us. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you pray five times a day, wear the Niqab, or have a long beard if you don’t act like a decent human being. It’s time we focus on building ourselves instead of worrying whether others are applying Islam “correctly” or not.