Tag Archive | learning about islam

Startling Realisation – I’m Muslim!

Salam!

I was sitting around today, waiting and thinking.

Waiting for my husband to finish ona job site and not really thinking about anything in particular. After a while, I realised I’d been thinking about the Quran, Allah and what I’ve learned and discovered so far.

Suddenly, it dawned on me. I’m Muslim. 

I believe in Allah and Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). I realised I even THINK ‘peace be upon him’ at times when I think about him.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a TERRIBLE Muslim. I didn’t grow up a Muslim, so there is a TRUCK LOAD of things to learn how to do and incorporate, or remove, from my life. There is no way I can become a saintly Muslim overnight. I’m going to continue to sin for weeks, if not years, to come. There is so much ingrained haram things in my life.

And that’s ok.

The Quran sets out how people should be taught and led to Islam. Literally baby steps. Allah does not expect that I will suddenly be a halal eating, hijab wearing, 5 prayers a day person. Allah knows and accepts that I need to learn and grow. Allah knows this growth could take a lfetime.

On top of that, I don’t just blindly follow what people say. ‘Oh Sister’ a fellow Muslim might say ‘you wear jeans and that’s haram’ or ‘you should be wearing your hijab in x style’. I appreciate the input, but I would like to learn and know in my soul that what I’m doing is ACTUALLY what Allah wrote into the Quran. I’m not interested in haddith at this time. Everything I need to know to become a good Muslim should be in the Quran. After all, it is LITERALLY gods words. Plus, I can only learn so much about Islam, I don’t have hours a week to devote to becoming a better Muslim.

Also, I’m Australian Muslim. I have a culture and existence that doesn’t disappear because I am Muslim. 

I also wish to be mindful of my friends, family and colleagues. A sudden change in behaviour, dress and manner would easily be viewed as extremism. Allah is against extremism, and I think going from Aussie beach swimwear to full hijabi swimwear in the space of a day is quite extreme.

So! I’m Muslim.. wow. Ok. Now I need a game plan on how to start letting friends and family know about this in a gentle way.

I think I’ll start with my brother and sister. The two people who I know will be ok and not freak out. 

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Learning About Islam ~ Seeking Answers 5

Welcome to my 5th and final post in my series Learning About Islam.

As I mention in a previous post ‘Learning About Islam ~ My Questions’, my initial exploration into what Islam is all about left me with quite a few questions. Obviously I didn’t get these answered all at once! In fact, I didn’t even think of all these questions at the same time. Rather, they developed over several months, just spinning around in the back of my mind.

Seeking answers to these questions also didn’t occur all at once. Instead, I’d see something and want to know more. Below is a summation of some of the information I found that lead to ‘answers’ for my questions.

(NOTE: these answers may not be true or accurate. They are simply what I found and observed on my own during my time of information seeking)


5 ~ What’s up with the hate against Muslims? How do Muslim people feel about that?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (perhaps Uluru?) you will have noticed there is a lot of hate towards Muslims. Trumps banning them entry, a random Australian is yanking someone’s Hijab off, Muslims viciously attacked as they exit their Mosque, etc.

I’d like to think the majority of Australians are no ‘anti-islam’. I think most Australians recognise the difference between extremism and Muslim Australians… but then you listen to what some people say, they propaganda they throw around… and it just makes me question more and more of what people say.

1) Why are communities against ‘Sharia’.

I get the distinct impression that the call for ‘no Sharia here’ has 2 parts.

1 – people don’t know/understand what sharia is
2 – people don’t realize that the way Sharia law works overseas is different to how it could work in Australia

My understanding of what Sharia is, is that it is the Muslim laws of behavior, what’s permissible and what is not. For example, multiple wives is permissible but eating pork is not.
Now, if I so choose, I can choose to live my life according to Sharia law. Australia won’t recognise it as law, which is irrelevant as Sharia is about abiding by the Muslim view of Gods laws laid out in the Quran.
So long as Sharia is followed within the laws of Australia, there is no issue. And I have not been able to find something that you could do in Islam where you couldn’t find a way of doing it in a legal manner here.

Feel free to comment if you can think of one, I’d like to know as much as I can.

The reason Sharia Law is different overseas, is that countries where government and legislation is based on Islam have no problem with people choosing to follow Sharia law… much like in Australia our Christian based legislation makes it very easy for us to follow it but it would be more challenging for us to try to follow Australia Law overseas.

2) Why are people against Muslims having a Mosque or a place to pray?

As far as I can tell, this comes down to ignorance and fear.

Ignorant of what Muslim people believe and how they live their faith, and fearful of what a Muslim person might do or that the ‘wrong type of people’ will move into an area.

If I could jump back to the ‘no Sharia here’ argument, those same people who don’t want Sharia, maybe they would do well to acknowledge that laws Australia currently has. Like people having the right to a place of worship and to practice their own beliefs without fear of persecution or harassment.

3) Why can’t Australia just allow Muslim people to live in peace?

Fear I think. The media has a lot of responsibility here, but I believe that the sheeple need to learn, listen, pull apart a story, look for evidence and STOP taking things at face value. Dig a little deeper. Think a little harder. Look just a little further.

Don’t accept the truth, find the truth.

 4) How can I support Muslim people? Is it awkward for them if I am not Muslim and don’t wear a head covering?

I’m not sure how I can support Muslim people. As I don’t have a lot of contact with Muslim people, I think the same way I would support any human would be sufficient.

  • smile
  • say hello
  • attend a big Ramadan celebration
  • refuse to share or pass on Islamophobic postings on facebook or other media.

5) What would happen if I wore a hijab?

Well, I wrote a little about this in my last post.

I thought if I wore a hijab I would get accosted or abused at some point. That didn’t happen.

There was one cranky lady behind the counter, but she was cranky at EVERYONE so I assume it wasn’t the hijab.

So, since nothing of great interest happened initially, I’ve started to think more ‘long term’.

What if I wore a hijab all the time? How would the islamophobic people in my life respond? How would my Christian aunts and uncles cope? What would my parents say?

I guess I can’t really answer these questions.


Well, there you have it!

That’s the end of my series on Learning About Islam! Yeah! We did it! Thanks for reading through these, assuming you have.

Until my next little series, thank you and keep checking in!

Learning About Islam ~ Seeking Answers 3

Welcome to my third post in my series Learning About Islam.

As I mention in a previous post ‘Learning About Islam ~ My Questions’, my initial exploration into what Islam is all about left me with quite a few questions. Obviously I didn’t get these answered all at once! In fact, I didn’t even think of all these questions at the same time. Rather, they developed over several months, just spinning around in the back of my mind.

Seeking answers to these questions also didn’t occur all at once. Instead, I’d see something and want to know more. Below is a summation of some of the information I found that lead to ‘answers’ for my questions.

(NOTE: these answers may not be true or accurate. They are simply what I found and observed on my own during my time of information seeking)


3 ~ Are women being denigrated and subjugated by men? Is that what Islam actually does?

It can be very difficult to separate Religion and Culture, particularly in the more strict Muslim countries were their cultural norm is based around the Laws of Islam, hence they are known as Islamic or Muslim countries.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking Australia doesn’t do this. Australia (Like America and many European countries) have laws that are based on Christian beliefs and values. You only need to look at Australia’s public holiday system to see that the majority of our holidays are Christian. To my knowledge we don’t have special public holidays where Australia openly celebrates non-Christian holidays. We have a few secular (non-religious) holidays, but the country doesn’t stop for other religious festivities.

Why is that important? Well, my exploration of ‘are women being denigrated and subjugated’ is limited to the Australian context. I have not explore this within the context of Muslim/Islamic countries. I simply couldn’t do that topic justice, given the varied social, political and culture issues that come into play. So, let’s just focus on Australia.

Are Muslim women forced to wear Hijab? Forced by who? The government? Obviously not, Australia has a fairly lax dress code. Meter Maids anyone? The key is wear what you want. During my exploration of this topic, I read someone say ‘but Muslim Australian women and migrant women don’t know any different’… wow, ok, way to deny someone’s intelligence. Muslim women are not inherently stupid and unable to think and consider options because they are Muslim (or choose to be Muslim). But if I were to entertain that argument, I could say that Australian women don’t know the difference, as they haven’t worn one and may not know the reasons why women might choose to wear one.

Look, to the best of my knowledge, no one is in a Muslim woman’s home, holding them down and force wrapping a Hijab around their head. I realise that is a little extreme. I am aware people mean culturally forced to wear one. Or that if they don’t wear one, they will be shamed and isolated from their family or friends.

Well, I have a news flash here for you. Being shamed or isolated from family and friends isn’t a Muslim thing, and it’s not just occurring around Hijab wearing. Here are some Australian cultural examples:

  • go to the beach in a bikini, but you’re not stick thin
  • the debate over public education, private education or homeschooling
  • catholic vs uniting church vs Anglican, etc
  • boys playing with dolls, girls playing with trucks
  • being gay!

And not too long ago, interracial marriages!

So, no one is forced to wear Hijab in Australia. There may be religious and cultural pressures to wear one, but you cannot force someone to wear it.

What rules of men are women being forced to live by?

This one had me really confused for a while. My conclusion is that we find it difficult to accept the patriarchal nature of the Muslim culture. And on many levels, I agree that it is definitely patriarchal. So is Australia. The fight is there to even the scales, but it is deeply rooted in culture and religion.

But let’s not forget, patriarchal society doesn’t always benefit the man. To be a ‘man’ in a patriarchal society comes with a lot of pressure. It all rests on him. HE must provide for the family. HE must be strong. HE must be capable of providing spiritual guidance. HE must protect his wife and family. HE holds the ultimate responsibility for all the deeds, good and bad, that happens to his family or that his family do.

I’m reminded that each and every law and rule we follow in this country has it’s origins as man made or decided. I argue that we are all, Muslim or non-Muslim, living by laws that were decided on by men.

Other than that, I don’t know a lot more about this particular topic. My research hasn’t made it clear what ‘rules’ people refer to. It appears to be a generalised statement about women doing what their husband say, or what the male religious leaders say.

But again, in the Australian context, the only law you can be ‘forced’ to live by is the Australian law. Everything else is social and religious pressure.

Is there a difference between Australian Muslim women and Muslim women overseas?

From the blogs I’ve read, there doesn’t seem to be too much.

I did not that a lot more women overseas are speaking up about issue that would be termed ‘feminist’ or women’s rights however the lack of content from Australian women may simply be because many Australian Muslim women already enjoy the freedoms that Muslim women overseas are pushing for.

Muslim Australian or Muslim from overseas, they are religiously more or less the same. Guided by the same book. There may be cultural differences, but again I stress that people should not confuse cultural behaviour and religious behaviour as the same thing.

If women are being harmed, what’s the underlying cause? Is it religion? Is it cultural? Is it prevalent in Australia?

This is so hard to find. News, blogs and some gov websites, have noted that migrant populations often experience more conflicts with our laws than people born in Australia.

This could be for any number of reasons, for example, lower socio-economic status has been shown to be a significant indicator of whether someone will engage in criminal activities to have their needs met (like stealing).Many people who come to this country are often disadvantaged with lower education or standards different to ours, challenges with language, finding work is difficult, etc.

As I’ve mentioned in another post, a hot topic of ‘women being harmed’ is domestic violence. I couldn’t find any information to support the idea that more Muslim women are the victims of violence than any other cohort in this country.

What is it like to wear a Hijab? If I wore one, would I experience negative responses from the community I live in?

This seems like the kind of question you can only answer by actually wearing a Hijab!

So I scrounged around in my cupboard to find a scarf that I would normally wear around my neck in winter, watched a few YouTube videos, practiced putting one on, then I ventured out into the big bad, scary world of the sunshine coast.

img_3345I did this on 2 different occasions (For those of you reading this who are Muslim, please pardon my hair. I was learning!).

This first time I went out, my ever supportive Husband
came along. We went out and had breakfast at a café in
Maroochydore then went for a stroll along the water.

I admit, I was disappointed. No one stared for hours on
end, no one insulted me or shamed Islam. It was all
incredibly normal. Within a minute I’d forgotten I was
even wearing it.

img_3445The second time I went out and about, my husband dropped me off at Sunshine Plaza. I wandered around by myself, looking in clothing stores, grabbing some lunch, bought an instant scratchy, etc.

I smiled at random people, I helped a lovely elderly couple to locate a particular store (they were trying to use the shopping centres computerized screen to lookup stores), I stopped to assist a lost child who’d walked out of a shop away from his mum, etc.

After a few hours, I was exhausted from shopping, but still I remained unaccosted by the general public. In fact, I’d had nothing but positive experiences… again as I was disappointed as I hadn’t been able to recreate what the news and media were leading me to believe… Namely that Australians hate the very sight of a Hijab or Muslim person.

What was it like to wear it? Actually incredibly normal. Ever pulled the hoody up on your jacket? Or held an umbrella over your head? Or worn a hat? It’s pretty much like that.
Depending on interpretation, you do need to be careful about your hair showing (oh but my color is soooo pretty!!!) and readjust occasionally, but to my surprise they don’t move around that much.

(And to make some of you feel a little better, here is a photo to show my Hijab skills, knowledge and wardrobe did improve over the following months)

img_3920

Stay tuned for the next post in this series.

‘I’m waiting for her to ask a question’

Image result for free image questionThis post might seem a little out of place in the timeline of my Learning Islam posts, but I want to put it in here regardless.

I recently attended my 2nd Friday prayer time after which those who were able (didn’t have to rush of to work or other commitments), gathered at the nearby shopping centre for some lunch and a time to be together. It was great and the people were lovely, but I’ll skip ahead for now as that’s not the focus of this post.

As the numbers dwindled, myself, the Imam and 1 other couple remained. It was fascinating to listen to them speak with him as they had questions about organ donation (permissible or not), and then the topics rolled to prayers, and then fasting for Ramadan and everyone’s experiences of this so far.

I cannot remember what they were discussing, but Mrs Muslim (because obviously I don’t want to use her name, I’ve not sought permission and she may not want to be identified), suggested that Imam explain for me something that he’d just said. He responded with, ‘I’m waiting for her to ask a question’.

Now, some people might find that harsh, or dismissive but I don’t think that was the case at all. I suspect he was being respectful. From our brief email correspondence, he knew I was interested in learning about Islam. Likely he’d noticed  I was eagerly listening to their conversation and surmised that I would ask a question if I wanted clarification. I felt the conversations they were having were providing me with a much broader understanding and context than direct question answer ever could. I said I was picking up a lot from just listening. And hopefully I sounded more confident than I felt.

But that was Friday. It is now Sunday. And I’ve been pondering that concept ‘waiting for her to ask a question’. Why haven’t I asked any questions? When I’m at home I have plenty of questions. And as they arise, I google them and look through as many varied sources as I can find, especially ones who reference the Quran in some way.
So why haven’t I asked any questions?

It isn’t that I don’t have questions. I currently have 2 questions, in fact one of them is quite an important question! The lesser question is ‘How can there be Devine Destiny and still humans have free will?’. This seems contradictory to me. I re-watched Episode 20 of Islam Unveiled (highly recommend watching), on Devine Destiny and I’m still not clear on how both can exist. The second question, the one which is ever more important, is if I converted to Islam in the future, what would Allah expect me to do with my marriage? This I have googled, and found mildly conflicting information, but my instincts tell me I know where the truth lies, and I probably don’t want to hear it.
Don’t misunderstand, I do want to know what the Quran says regarding the matter, but part of me feels that once I know, it will be much harder to continue learning. I don’t want to experience the ‘what’s the point then’ feeling and stop learning.

Now, returning to why I don’t ask questions. Growing up, asking questions was strongly discouraged. Not by adults or not intentionally. No one ever sat me down and said ‘ok you shouldn’t ask questions. It’s not ok to ask questions so don’t.’ In fact, it was quite the opposite. I felt encouraged by adults, the education system, TV etc, to ask questions. The discouragement came in the form of responses.

I try not to think back on this, because the feelings are as raw and stabbing as they were when they happened, but I can recall numerous occasions were I would ask a question and be laughed at, ridiculed, told to shut up, called names and generally dismissed from ‘peers’. That stuff hurts and it has long lasting impacts on people.

People’s nature is to avoid hurt. To create various coping mechanism to avoid being hurt. In my case, I stopped asking questions to other people unless I was certain I either knew the answer or knew the type of response I would receive (that it would be positive), or knew that I could hold my own in the following conversation (particularly if our opinions differed).

I have questions, but I’m not used to the traditional means of acquiring answers (asking someone) being a safe option. I know that the Imam will provide a safe and positively worded answer, so time and conversation permitting, I will seek an answer on Friday next.

Learning About Islam ~ Seeking Answers 2

As I mention in my previous post ‘Learning about Islam ~ Seeking Answers 1’, my initial exploration into what Islam is all about left me with quite a few questions. Obviously I didn’t get these answered all at once! In fact, I didn’t even think of all these questions at the same time. Rather, they developed over several months, just spinning around in the back of my mind.

Seeking answers to these questions also didn’t occur all at once. Instead, I’d see something and want to know more. Below is a summation of some of the information I found that lead to ‘answers’ for my questions.

(NOTE: these answers may not be true or accurate. They are simply what I found and observed on my own during my time of information seeking)

2 ~ Are there Muslim people where I live and how can I engage or get to know them?

I live on the Sunshine Coast. Recently moved (within the past 12 months), so I don’t know the area all that well. But I came to learn that there is a Muslim community here and they had recently purchased a property to convert into a space they could use as their mosque. Aaand apparently the local community was not all that thrilled. Well, perhaps a vocal few were not happy about it. I’m not sure at this point roughly how many Muslim people are living on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a pretty large area to cover, so I imagine Muslims are travelling for 30 to 60 minutes to attend any gatherings. I think that’s a big hike, but that might be just me.

I gave quite a bit of thought to how could I get to know Muslim people. The first and obvious option, was to google Sunshine Coast Muslims. Hardly surprising, I found the website. 🙂 http://www.mosc.org.au/

Oh and look there, on the MAIN PAGE there is even a press release condemning extremist acts of terror.

Anyway, I can tell you that I didn’t learn much from their website. But it wasn’t a waste because a few months later I emailed someone and began the journey to learning how to do Islam, but that is a whole other series!

I also started reading bits and pieces of blogs that I came across. I find blogs are more personal than YouTube videos or Sheiks talking about Islam. People are a lot more honest about their personal values and beliefs in a blog, and I found the same held true for Muslim bloggers as well. I definitely appreciated the bloggers who spoke about not being perfect Muslims, or the little things they sometimes struggled with.


 

That’s all for this post. Short and sweet. There really isn’t much to say about how to get involved and meet people of another faith group or culture. You just have to go meet people.

Keep an eye out for the 3rd section!

Learning About Islam ~ Seeking Answers ~ 1

As I mention in my previous post ‘Learning About Islam ~ My Questions’, my initial exploration into what Islam is all about left me with quite a few questions. Obviously I didn’t get these answered all at once! In fact, I didn’t even think of all these questions at the same time. Rather, they developed over several months, just spinning around in the back of my mind.

Seeking answers to these questions also didn’t occur all at once. Instead, I’d see something and want to know more. Below is a summation of some of the information I found that lead to ‘answers’ for my questions.

(NOTE: these answers may not be true or accurate. They are simply what I found and observed on my own during my time of information seeking)

1 ~

It’s no secret that media and news is biased. They are biased towards ratings and profits. I’m not judging, that’s just the world we live in today.

It seems to me, that when the media is referring to ‘Muslims coming to this country in large numbers’ they tend to be talking about refugees, usually the ‘illegal’ or ‘boat’ people. (I personally ache for the ‘boat’ people. Seriously, you don’t risk your life doing that unless you don’t see any other way).
A useful article, filled with actual statistics and numbers, was found here http://www.businessinsider.com.au/heres-how-many-muslims-there-actually-are-in-australia-2016-9.
Of note, the 2011 Census noted that 2.2% of Australian’s were Muslim. the 2006 census had it at 1.6%. In 2011 Australia had 22.34 Million people, which means only 491,480 people identified as Muslim.

Ok, that’s how many were already here. What about migrants coming to Australia?
Well, same article provides the following. Now, I believe this shows migrants who sought permanent residency. Basically they became, or wish to become, Australians.

Out of the top 10, only 2 countries are predominantly Muslim countries. Pakistan and Malaysia.

Ok, finally lets look at the humanitarian program where refugees are settled in Australia.
In 2014-15, of the total of 13,756 humanitarian migrants:

  • 2,335 were from Iraq
  • 2,232 were from Syria
  • 1,813 were from Afghanistan and
  • 331 were from Iran.

These four majority Muslim countries made up 48.8% of the humanitarian intake. 100% of the humanitarian intake was only 6.7% of the total immigration number for that year.

Ok, next questions a bit tougher. Are Muslims coming to this country doing ‘bad things’.
I’m going to break this down into 3 categories:

1 ~ Living their life according to the Quran, which is not harming others but at odds with Australians cultural perspective of ‘normal’
2 ~ Committing acts, or engaging in activities, which the Australian laws deem criminal
3 ~ Engaging in acts of Terror based on Extremist Islamic beliefs.

So, 1… I am of the opinion that if you are living your life and you are not impacting upon my life and my lifestyle choices, I really don’t care. Whether you want to go to the beach in a G-string Bikini and tiny triangles for a swimsuit, or if you want to wear a Burkini, or anything in between. I DON’T CARE. Are you insisting I wear what you are wearing? No? Good. Then you do you and I’ll do me.
Look, I’ll admit, the full burqa or niqab makes me uncomfortable. It’s not because I think that person will do me harm, it is just so vastly different than my cultural norm. And that is on me, not the other person. They are not responsible for my feelings. I am.
Maybe I’d feel differently if someone in a burqa exploded a bomb somewhere. But that just isn’t happening and I’m not going to be afraid until there is something to fear and I am certainly not going to dehumanise an entire group of people because of it.

So, 2… Honestly? From what I have seen, no more or less than the average Australian. Is there thieving from Muslim people? Probably. But that’s common in non-Muslim people. Is domestic violence an issue? Yes, but it’s not confined to Muslim people. The following is an excerpt from DomesticViolence.com

KEY FACTS
The following basic statistics help demonstrate the prevalence and severity of violence against women:
– On average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.1
– One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.2
– One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence.2
– One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.2
– One in four Australian women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.3

Remembering that Muslims only make up 2.2% and only half are likely female. If roughly 33% of Australian women have experienced physical violence, I’d say Australia has much bigger problems.

The other ‘criminal act’ hitting the news is Polygamy, or multiple wives.
Well, newsflash, if they can’t legally get married in Australia then technically they are simply 1 man with 1 wife and multiple girlfriends or women that he is with. This may surprise you, but plenty of people have extra marital affairs, have girls on the side, or a different man every weekend. (You’ve heard of Tinder right? It’s pretty much designed for that).
By their religious values, they may consider themselves married. So? Gay and Lesbian couples have started referring to themselves as husband and husband, wife and wife. It’s not legally binding, but they do it. Problem? I don’t see it.

I hear from people that the wives are often abused or don’t have a say. I can’t really comment, I’ve not known any women who are in a plural relationship. But I’d love to. What an amazing way of life! It’s so different and I’d very much like to hear and learn more on their perspective. But back to the abuse, I refer you to the above regarding domestic violence. It is not a Muslim issue. It is an issue across the board for all people.

Along with multiple wives issue comes the public outcry of Centrelink supports or welfare payments. I heard Muslims were ‘rorting the system’. No, from what I can see they are using it correctly. If those who have multiple partners are not married, then the women are legally single. If they are single, they are entitled to single benefits.

Australia, you cannot have it both ways!? They are either single or married. Or are they?

Centrelink is genius. (sometimes, rarely.. ok this probably wasn’t a Centrelink idea)… but they have a relationship test. If you are not married, then you have to fit within a relationship test. It takes into account how involved is the child’s parent. Do you live together? Are you behaving in a ‘married like way’, do you share a bed, etc. If so, you are considered ‘partnered’. I love that word ‘partners’. You are obviously not single, but you are not married and are not entitled to the benefits and security of marriage.
But a ‘partnered’ payments is less than a single or married payment.

It is actually quite clever. Without it, legally the women are single and would actually cost the taxpayers MORE money.

And no, you can’t just not pay them because they are Muslim and you don’t like their personal values. That’s discriminatory and really petty.


Coming up soon, my discoveries on the 2nd section of my questions!!!

 

 

Learning About Islam ~ My Questions

As I noted in my last post, Learning About Islam ~ Prelude, I found that I was developing a lot of questions that I really wanted answers to. Below is a list of the types of questions I was looking to find answers to.

Note: this is not an exhaustive list, just a list.


1 ~ How biased and misleading is the news and social media?

1) Are Muslims flocking to this country in large numbers?
2) Where do Muslims come from?
3) Are Muslims coming to this country bad or doing bad things?
4) What do they do once here? How are they supporting themselves?
5) Are many Muslims born here? Are they all refugees?
6) Are they breaking our laws?
7) Are more Muslim people breaking our laws than non-Muslim people?


2 ~ Are there Muslim people where I live and how can I engage or get to know them?

1) How many Muslim people live in my community?
2) How can I learn or know more about Muslim people as individuals?


3 ~ Are women being denigrated and subjugated by men? Is that what Islam actually does?

1) How are women forced to wear Hijab?
2) What rules of men are women being forced to live by?
3) Is there a difference between Australian Muslim women and Muslim women overseas?
4) If women are being harmed, what’s the underlying cause? Is it religion? Is it cultural? Is it prevalent in Australia?
5) What is it like to wear a Hijab?
6) If I wore one, would I experience negative responses from the community I live in?


4 ~ What do I want to learn about it?

1) What is Islam?
2) Are there any basic rules?
3) Is the Muslim God the same as the Christian God?
4) Why do I only see people kneeling & bowing?
5) Where is the English version of the Quran?
6) What’s the difference between the religious coverings people wear?


5 ~ What’s up with the hate against Muslims? How do Muslim people feel about that?

1) Why are communities against ‘Sharia’.
2) Why are people against Muslims having a Mosque or a place to pray?
3) Why can’t Australia just allow Muslim people to live in peace?
4) How can I support Muslim people? Is it awkward for them if I am not Muslim and don’t wear a head covering?
5) What would happen if I wore a hijab?


The next few posts will explore some of these questions, some of the information I came across and what I thought about what I found out.

Read the next post in this series HERE.

Please Note: My findings are not going to be well rounded, theological ideas or accurate pieces of information. This was my early exploration. If you want more in-depth information, I strongly urge you to look deeper, research more and reach out to someone within the Muslim community for information.