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)