American Women…Foreign Men…and a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t

20 08 2007

Ever heard the Lenny Kravitz song “American Woman.” It goes something like: “American woman stay away from me…”. Well, I tend to think that the American women are the ones who need to be concerned.

Obviously, I am a Muslim. So,I’m talking mostly about Muslims henceforth. I know non Muslim men misbehave as well. Heck, even American men treat American  women like trash more often than not.  Most tv shows and movies portray us as conquests, ready to give it up to anyone and everyone. Most hip hop lyrics involve the words “b****s and h**s when speaking of women. It all comes to down to pure and simple R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  They do not respect American women and view us as some sort of plaything. They think we are all terribly promiscuous and foul mouthed. Maybe this contributes to the way the rest of the world views us. Still, Muslim men should know better! They should behave better!

 On to my point though,  I can not fathom the rudeness that foreign born muslim men  have shown to me and then dismissed it by saying “Oh, she’s an American.” They say things to me that they would never dream of saying to a woman from their own country. I know this because I have witnessed it firsthand. I see men lowering their gaze in front of women from their country but looking at me as brazenly as they please. I have witnessed men opt to not even speak to a woman from their country but then turn to me and make an attempt at flirtation. Then, if or when they are scolded they respond with: “Oh her, she’s an American.” .

Today for instance, I visited a sister who has been ill. While at her home, her brother came to visit. I excused myself and he said: “oh, don’t be absurd, please stay I would like to get to know you alot better.” Then he winked at me. I told him to fear Allah, I’m married and he just grinned and said” what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” It was an obvious come on to anyone in the room.His sister scolded him and he turned to her and said: “What? She’s an American!” It took an extreme amount of restraint to keep myself from hauling off and slapping the smile off his face. In retrospect, I wish I had just done it!

Another thing, foreign born Muslims are always  looking to marry American women. Often they could care less if she is a muslim or a non Muslim. They just want to marry an American. Why? I guess some of them want citizenship, money, or status. I don’t know. Maybe some of them actually like the sister within and don’t care what her race is.  What I do know is, there are many lovely sisters who are foreign born and have been passed up for marriage simply because the brother wants to marry an American (again muslim or non muslim). Now an American Muslim woman, well, this is where it gets downright ridiculous. These women often get marriage proposals just by walking down the street or in to a halal grocer. In other words, in high demand! Yes, it sounds like being treated as an objects and often that is the reality of what we are viewed as and treated as.

This isn’t to say that all Muslim men behave this way. In contrast, I have met several brothers who are very respectful around me and all other sisters (my husband being one of them, which is why I married him).  As with any other race, religion, or culture you are sure to find both good and bad in the bunch.

The fact is as I said before, Muslims should know better. Those brothers who do act like this should fear Allah and treat all their Muslim sisters with the respect we deserve.  It doesn’t matter what a woman’s race or religion you are to lower your gazes. In the Quran it doesn’t say “lower your gazes for women from saudi or egypt but look brazenly at the other women.” It says lower your gaze. Simple as that. Oh, and those who tempt their luck and cross me again in this way better watch out because I just may not be able to restrain myself next time (ie. you may find a red handprint across your face!). I am Southern after all and we all know about southern women and their tempers! (JOKING!…maybe).

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.  
(  سورة النور  , An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #30)

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22 responses

20 08 2007
UmAbdurrahman, "Blanca"

As Salaamu Alaikum:

Wow sis Sherri, I hope you never have this happen again. This would had made any woman hysterical, Muslim or non-Muslim, just the simple fact that a male has no manners or etiquette. Well, you handled it to the best of your judegments. As you pointed out and I have seen this a lot with some of these brothers who do marry American women and who down the road will also engage in prohibited actions such as drinking and gambling and even participating in non Islamic holidays just to please their non-Muslim wife’s family. This is my biggest gripe and especially when you see that the children do not know what Ramadan is.
It saddens me to see the loss of these children’s life to a lack of fundamental knowlegde of their father’s religion.
So, in saying that it is ashame that some of these brothers make the religion look ugly.
Sorry, I had to write so much today.
I pray that you NEVER again go through this uncalled, immature male mentality .
:)

20 08 2007
Umm Yusuf

Wa Alaikum salaam wrwb,

Mash’Allah thank you sis Blanca! I hope that I never have to deal with this again too. It’s really dissappointing to see Muslim men act this way. It’s the worst insult.

You are right about the scenerio with the Muslim father and non Muslim mother. Most of the time, kids will be influenced by their mothers. This is something Muslim men should think about when marying. However, they are allowed to marry from the People of the Book. Just something to think about though….

20 08 2007
UmAbdurrahman, "Blanca"

As Salaamu ALaikum SIs:

Yes, I am aware of Muslims being able to marry from the People of the Book but it is a pity that when you see couples such as these married for some 15+ years and you have their child ask my son what are you going to get for Christmas you know that there is no religious direction in this child’s life. I was happy last year when my son, Mash’ALlah answered “I am Muslim.” The mother has already told me flat out that she is not religious and so I BLAME the brother. To this day, I have always avoided her gatherings and once I had to tell her look we don’t attend these social events. I may seem strange to these “American women” who are married to Muslim men and who have husbands that don’t practice the deen make me soooo upset. I blame the brothers for their misguidance in their families and frankly it saddens me with all my heart to see how confused their children are growing up.

May ALlah protect us from any deviations.

21 08 2007
Umm Yusuf

I agree 100% sis Blanca!

Ameen to your dua.

21 08 2007
adikbongsu

Masya-Allah, truly sister I agree with you that men whether they are muslims or not, should respect us women (whether Americans or not) and treat us better. :(

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Very enlightening.

21 08 2007
tradicionalista

great post umm yusuf
i hate how American raised women are stereotyped
ughh

23 08 2007
M. Landers

Psst … the song is by the Guess Who; Kravitz covers it. And man it makes me feel old to know that. :D

Love your blog, btw, and I’ll probably have something more productive to say, insha’allah, when and if I ever manage to come back when there’s not a baby taking up seven of my two hands. :)

24 08 2007
Umm Yusuf

Thanks for the info and for stopping by my blog and loving it! :D

29 08 2007
carimuslima

Man I loved this post!!!! I’m so sorry to hear that this happened to you, but like you said it is very sickening and being one who has experienced this myself it really makes you wonder why on earth these brothers don’t fear Allah and treat all Muslimahs with RESPECT and HONOR….and not hold it exclusively for their native Muslimahs subhanallah Islam was sent to all of humanity and these brothers have to wake up and smell the coffee before they mess with the wrong sister and end up with 5 fingers marked across their face!!!! jazak allah khairan for sharing this maybe some brothers who do indulge in this growing phenomen realize how disgraceful and repulsive this is!!! Hugs ;)

10 09 2007
Dutch269

Yes, all men are pigs and all women are saints. Lets not sterotype women anymore, lets only sterotype men…….

10 09 2007
Umm Yusuf

Oh c’mon. Give me a break. That’s not what this post implies. This post is detailing my experiences with some men. Now, I didn’t say ALL men are like this. Nor did I say all women are saints. In fact I have many posts here detailing some of the defects women have and how we need to change ourselves for the better. Look in my archives and you can read them.

I didn’t stereotype anybody.

In fact I said:

This isn’t to say that all Muslim men behave this way. In contrast, I have met several brothers who are very respectful around me and all other sisters (my husband being one of them, which is why I married him). As with any other race, religion, or culture you are sure to find both good and bad in the bunch.

15 09 2007
Saudi Stepford Wife

I felt like grade A halaal meat as a 19 year-old, light-complected American citizenship-holding, hijabi in the masjid when I was looking to get married. It didn’t take me long to make it well know I’d refuse to apply for a greencard for any perspective spouse. I also hate how so many irreligious, pseudo-muslims tried to “land” me because I’d be ok to bring home to their family: American, young, and a practicing Muslim. What a trophy wife.

21 10 2007
Suraj

Umm Yusuf well spoken may Allah bless you immensely.. and you are also my umm.
I would like to add that just because a person is from Saudi does not make him a muslim neither does the name Mohammed make a man a muslim but rather Islam is in the character of a person and the things we do… it is not inherited or transferrable from father to son… As we have no other Judge but Allah and when nobody is watching…Allah is watching and recording all events with a more powerfull camara than that in Movie houses. All stuffs are going to be played back for all to see and lots of people will be too ashamed even to look at themselves. May Allah Giude us all aright

21 10 2007
Suraj

Sorry I think UmAbdurrahman, “Blanca” may have been the person I am referring to. I mean the person who wrote the main article article above. Same goes to Umm Yusuf I am not taking it away sister just giving moree credit to your sis..

22 10 2007
Eli

First, wonderful topic and all men & women should be as respectful.
I am an American non-muslim woman and curious to know what is expected from Egyptian muslim men and women. Besides lowering their gaze what other manners are expected?
I have an Egyptian male friend of many years and consider him to be very respectable towards me. We’ve known one another for over a decade and just recently he asked me if he may call me and had given me his home phone number as well.
He has never touched me ( no physical contact at all ), never flirted, or said anything distasteful in my presence.

22 10 2007
Umm Yusuf

Hi and welcome to the blog Eli,

I don’t have much experience with Egyptians to be honest. But here is a link to a blog that you might find useful. Scroll down until you see the “Egyptian Husbands” entry:

http://ummlayla.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html

Hope this helps!

23 10 2007
Jennifer

I was tricked into marrying a muslim. I was 18, him 27. He was just great at first. as soon as we got married he became the most jelous and the most controlling person I have ever seen in my life. I was so scared of him. Then one night he just went crazy, beat me, through me through doors. I thought i was going to die. So i left him. I’m trying to get a divorce, and he’s trying to fight it. I hate him so much for what he did to me. And Muslim men that came to the USA and got married. About 80% of them either cheat on their wives or beat their wives… trust me.

23 10 2007
Umm Yusuf

I’m so sorry that happend to you Jennifer. It must have been terrible. I can’t even imagine.

Though, I have to say 80% is a bit high. Unfortunatley,I’m sure there are some who beat their wives. I’m not discounting that. However, It isn’t Islam’s fault they beat their wives. It’s the men’s anger issues, control issues, etc. Or how they were raised. The Prophet (saw) said: The best of you are the one’s who are best to their wives and I am the best to my wives. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Many western men beat their wives as well. I have known several of my relatives who have been abused some physically and some mentally by their Christian spouses. Still, it’s not Christianity’s fault that their spouses abused them.

Domestic abuse is a worldwide epidemic. It not only touches Muslims but Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddists, etc. It needs to stop.

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24 10 2007
Eli

Hi Umm Yusuf and thank you.

Jennifer, I am truly sorry that you had to experience such a horrific marriage. Do you have family & friends helping & supporting you?
Honestly do not know if the percentage is higher in one race or religion than another. However, we have all witnessed or encountered domestic abuse, in all religions, races and cultures. You were very young when you married and he took advantage of your innocence. Don’t lose your faith and become bitter. Instead, take this unfortunate experience & make yourself stonger and wiser. You’ll over come this event in your life and one day will be able to share your wisdom and guide your daughters, sons and friends through their darkest moments. I wish you the best and my deepest sympathies.

1 11 2007
amatullah bint abdelghani

bismillah
salamualeikum sisters,here a poem about women which i found,it´s very good mascha Allah;-)

When U look at me…(Poem)

What do you see
when you look at me
Do you see someone limited,
or someone free?

All some people can do is just look and stare
Simply because they can’t see my hair

Others think I am controlled and uneducated
They think that I am limited and un-liberated

They are so thankful that they are not me
Because they would like to remain ‘free’

Well free isn’t exactly the word I would’ve used
Describing women who are cheated on and abused

They think that I do not have opinions or voice
They think that being hooded isn’t my choice

They think that the hood makes me look caged
That my husband or dad are totally outraged

All they can do is look at me in fear
And in my eye there is a tear

Not because I have been stared at or made fun of
But because people are ignoring the one up above

On the day of judgment they will be the fools
Because they were too ashamed to play by their own rules

Maybe the guys won’t think I am a cutie
But at least my filled with more inner beauty

See I have declined from being a guy’s toy
Because I won’t let myself controlled by a boy

Real men are able to appreciate my mind
And aren’t busy looking at my behind

Hooded girls are the ones really helping the Muslim cause
The role that we play definitely deserves applause

I will be recognized because I am smart and bright
And because some people are inspired by my sight

The smart ones are attracted by my tranquility
In the back of their mind they wish they were me

We have the strength to do what we think is right
Even if it means putting up a life long fight

You see we are not controlled by a mini skirt and tight shirt
We are giving only respect, and never treated like dirt

So you see, we are the ones that are free and liberated
We are not that ones that are sexually terrorized and violated

We are the ones that are free and pure
We’re free of STD´s that have no cure

So when people ask you how you feel about the hood
Just sum it up by saying ‘baby it’s all good’ ;-)

by…Unknowen

waaaleikumsalam

31 01 2008
Becca

What a great post. I came across your blog looking for references to respect. I am glad I took the time to read your post as well. Very true and applicable to women from all walks of life/cultures/religions.

1 02 2008
Gwen

I was surfing around looking for understanding of a muslim friend of mine. Then I came across your site. I really liked it. I enjoy the way you view things. I also like the insite you have given me on a new (to me) religion. Thank you for your insight.

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