Monday, March 24, 2008

surrounded by ignorance

i am the only muslim working on my nursing unit. im ok with that!! but i found myself in a different situation about a week ago. i was eating lunch with my co workers and they started a campaign against muslims. it really started out as the same old tired rhetoric about barrack obama being a "closet" muslim. i added that obama couldnt be a muslim and attend church for TWENTY YEARS!!! the reply to that? well he knew he wanted to be president one day. TWENTY YEARS AGO??? wow thats some planning in advance.

anyway, i let them talk and enjoy their silly conversation until a young fellow starting spouting off about muslims in general and how they want to take over and and and and.........we've heard that story before.

i felt my face start to burn and im so sure it was super red. i calmly told him that i am a muslim and the things that he was saying were not true at all. he said that we want to put our faith before state. and i said anyone should put their faith before anything! God first.

he said well yeah thats true but muslims want to impose shariaa and violence and blah blah, terrorism, jihad, etc etc blah blah........i said youve been working with me for some time you think i am a terrorist? do you think i sit at home at night and plan on taking all of you out? i told him that dr's saleem and ahmed were at the desk right before i left the floor. go and ask them if they are plotting terrorism against the non muslim patients that they are taking care of now and trying to keep alive.

more of the nurses said, but dr saleem is from pakistan! did i laugh in their face? i wanted to but i said pakistan IS a muslim country and dr saleem IS muslim.

where exactly does one have to be from to be a muslim i wondered.

the conversation went on and on and on. i found myself surrounded by a group of ppl who felt that it was ok to discuss islam like they were talking about something disgusting and stinking. i can remember times when someone, perhaps, wanted to discuss....lets say... 7th day adventists, well they wouldnt dare say anything bad about it if there were an adventist in their presence. but muslims? wow, we are definately the shaitans on earth according to many.

i ended my part with we worship the same and only God. and when you speak against "my" are also condemning your own God.

later in the day, a couple of nurses offered an apology of sorts. one in particular wanted to make sure that i wasnt offended. i was and i wasnt though.

this conversation, if you can call it that, has stuck in my mind over the days though. i dont really want to get stuck in the middle of a lot of yelling ppl like that again. but alhamdulillah i didnt wither and keep my mouth shut, afraid to let anyone know that im a muslim. but its hard to make yourself heard when youre the only speaking for and the other 10 are ranting against.


  1. The reason for this is so simple. Adventists are Christians who have the biggest and best celebrations!

    Who could find fault with that?

  2. This is a conversation I've heard many times. You are correct that ignorance is really prevalent on this topic and in this country. The problem is that you cannot argue with ignorant people and win. They don't mean to be, they think that they really know something, because the TV told them so.

  3. Salaams Sis:

    With all the diversity in the workplace laws, I'm surprised at the conversation. People are usually a bit more careful not to create what the law calls a "hostile workplace". They can get disciplined or fired.

  4. I've come up against this too! It makes it very uncomfortable at work. Good for you explaining things to them!