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Topic initiated on Thursday, September 8, 2005  -  2:59 PM Reply with quote
What happens when we are strick and harsh in Islam

This is what happens when fundamentalists and mullahs take over and forcefully impose their brand of wrong and harsh Islam on others. People start hating Islam and walk away from this blessing. Ask yourself, do we really want to do that to the new generation? I feel so bad because people start leaving Islam because of ignorant, hard headed mullahs.


I was born into a strict Pakistani Muslim background but, when I was 19, I decided to break away from my family.

My parents chose a husband for me - I was engaged at 14 and forced into marriage at 17
I have three brothers and three sisters, and am the youngest in the family. I'm the only one born in England, in 1972, a few years after my parents had emigrated from Pakistan.

My upbringing was very strict, even by Asian community standards. My family were Sunnis [the majority branch of Islam] and our faith and religion were largely influenced by - and intertwined with - our culture.

But it was backward, strict and suffocating. I was not allowed to go out on my own or even travel on buses.

I went to an all-girls school, although my father believed girls should not really be educated. Instead, all attention was focused on my brothers, who were expected to become doctors or lawyers.

My father preached one thing but did something else in practice. He said we needed to be pure and pious but was himself quite volatile. In contrast, my mother would never say boo to a goose.

The double standards really struck me. I always felt suppressed and suffocated by my father and brothers, who ran the household.

I was never able to accept or understand why my brothers were treated better than me. They were allowed to go out, mix with women, drive, go to college, have an opinion. I was allowed to do none of these things.

Turning point

My parents chose a husband for me. I was engaged to him at 14 and forced into marriage at 17. when I was 19, I had had enough and I decided to run away from home. On 8 August 1991, I packed my bags and went.

I have since put myself through college and university and now consider myself as an independent career woman.

At the time, I left with hardly anything. And having lived in a sheltered, reclusive environment, I suddenly had to face up to real life for the first time.

I now want to help other British Muslims who face a similar situation to me
I moved away from Leeds and lived in a hostel for a while. I worked at the same time as going to college where I studied for my GCSEs and then A levels. I later went on to read engineering at university.

When I was staying in the hostel, I met many other young Asian girls like me. It was tragic because they wanted to break away from their families but they kept on going home and getting into a total mess.

There must be lots of other men and women who want to break away from their culture. I now want to help other British Muslims who face a similar situation to me.

I went through the most enormous life-changing experience. I must have been numb and in shock for about two years.

I became a totally different person, and found I was also quite spiritual and could relate to many religions at different levels.

There is a cultural clash between my parents' generation and mine. The Eastern and Western cultures are so extremely different that it is difficult to find middle ground.

I believe my parents were so strict because they did not want to lose their identity, their Pakistani roots. But by doing this they did not allow me my own identity.

The danger of organised religion is that they all teach exclusivity and preach that theirs is the one true faith. To have one true faith means that all other faiths are wrong, hence the fighting we see around the world.

I believe the only way we will achieve peace and mutual respect on this planet is if we are all willing to change our beliefs.

I am not saying we should completely throw away our belief systems but what we need to do is let go of the beliefs that no longer work and keep the ones that do.

Edited by: oosman on Thursday, September 08, 2005 3:03 PM

Posted - Thursday, September 8, 2005  -  3:07 PM Reply with quote
Why do so many Muslims treat their women like crap, so they start hating Islam? If you are a father or husband, then ask yourself how you treat the women you are responsible for.

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