huh??? What does that crazy dot have to do with Islam? I can hear you thinking, I see the question marks appearing on your heads.. Mrs. Dot is not a Muslim!!!
Indeed, I am not a Muslim, I have no religion I practice, I have never been baptized as that “in my time” was actually expected. My parents were both rigorously raised Roman Catholic. Although the history of some of my ancestors was not Christian at all. My grandmother, for example, she originally had no religion either, she was, according to many pagan at that time. Somewhere between her ancestors I discovered Jewish roots, but she had no religion, although she did work as a cook for a Jewish family. When she married my grandfather, she had to convert and get baptized or they couldn't get married.. Yet she never went to church on Sunday morning. My mom and her brother had to, every Sunday to the morning prayer of 6:00.. That was obliged to them. They were not allowed to choose their own education, my uncle had to become a steelman and my mother was trained by nuns to become “good and exemplary” housewife as expected. My daddy was also raised strictly Catholic, but still a little less strict than my mama. He and his sister were raised by his single mother because his father had chosen his “mistress”. He was taken out of school at 16 to go to work and take care of his mother and sister. So when my parents got married, they decided not to raise their children religiously. Christmas and Easter was celebrated, but not from a religious point of view. And then I met my daughter's daddy..
Moroccan (read: foreigner), with a different religion (read: Muslim) and also with a different culture (read: quite traditional). My mom had a really hard time with that, which caused a lot of friction because I got the feeling that somehow I had to choose between my family and my family.
Eventually, my marriage went wrong.. for a very different reason, but the “you see...” from my environment hurt me, because this had nothing to do with religion. My daughter was also raised without any choice of religion, and after my divorce it didn't change. I took care of her and decided to give her the freedom to find out for herself if she ever wanted to become religious.
And then, one day, she decided to become Muslim herself. A process of growth where I was often confronted with the big difference in cultural matters and religious matters that gave me a completely different view of Islam and still give. Because as a Muslim you are often dismissed as a terrorist, you treat women as inferior or as a woman you are submissive to the man (this is very culturally and religiously NOT correct) and moreover, as a Muslim with a headscarf, you are often seen as stupid. Admit that the majority of people when they see in a hospital a veiled lady and a Western-dressed lady and they have to designate the cleaning aid and the surgeon, they probably do not choose the veiled lady as a highly educated doctor.
So there is still a very long way to go to achieve a balanced non-judgmental society, but in this family, we try to live it as best as possible.. And tolerance and the right to have an opinion of your own is a very big asset here.
I wish her and all Muslims so a very fine Ramadan even though I am not a Muslim myself. (That's how I wish people a nice Easter and I'm not Catholic either...)
Follow @Mevrouw Dot... and don't miss any more of her next projects.
Some of these are: “Cooking for Ramadan” , “Look at it from the other side...” and “How do you make it?” which is going to be expanded even more.