Dictator Princess is doing an interview meme.
These are her questions and my answers.
1. I too followed the Vicky Hamilton story. I was so sad for her, I really wanted her to be out there somewhere with amnesia or just wanted to think she was a punk kid and needed a few years away or something. What did you think happened to her before the truth came out this week? Do you follow other missing persons stories (I do)? I have two that bother me the most. One involves an Algerian girl kidnapped from Finland. She’s like 19 now, I wonder where she is. I hope she’s not holed up in Kabylie somewhere. Another one I have blogged about, a European girl who was thrown off a bridge in Kansas. Nobody knows who she is, and it hurts to think of her family looking for her.
I can vividly remember reading about the Vicky Hamilton case in about 1992 in a magazine. It was an interview with her mum who died, as her family describe it, of a broken heart, about a year later. From the interview and as strange as it sounds, just looking at her photograph, I knew she was dead. She just did not look like the sort of girl who would run away.
I was about twelve then, and it struck me, that her being missing, suspected murdered, was worse then her being murdered, as the family were not able to grieve. Also, the family suffered numerous malicious calls saying that she had been spotted working as a prostitute in various locations. Her sister even received one such call on her wedding day. As she put it “I never knew how sick some people could be.”
It is absolutely horrifying that she was waiting for a bus, eating some chips and then not seen until now. It angers me, that someone made her suffer and stole her life like that. Why? What a waste of a beautiful young life.
I will leave the final words to her mum: “Vicky was a very, very nice person”.
I do follow missing persons’ cases. I find unidentified cases so sad and shocking and most of all unnatural. In this age of hyperinformation, how can someone not be identifiable? I blogged about this more here.
2. Preach on about advice you recently gave in your blog about accepting your spouse as they are when you get married. Is there anything besides that jewel that you know now that you wish you could have known from day one? You have mentioned on your blog the steps you take to make it work in an interracial marriage from the inside. From the outside, how have people in your entourage/community reacted to your marriage?
Sometimes things are personal, sometimes they are cultural, so it’s important to differentiate between the two. Communication is always key. Don’t be afraid to spell things out to each other. If x behaviour is deemed as rude/acceptable in your culture, say so, don’t leave it for the other person to guess.
I’m going to make a big extra point here. Do not marry someone who does not respect of appreciate your culture, because it will lead to them not respecting or appreciating you.
Don’t buy this “I only follow Islamic culture”. 1, Islamic culture is as varied as the rainbow, as it should be, as Islam is for all people for all times. 2, We all have some cultural heritage, it is a natural thing and I believe that as long as it’s compatible with Islam, then it is not a problem.
I think converts are sometimes made to feel bad about their past, not being from a Muslim family e.t.c. Send this nonsense back to the shop! We are as Allah swt intended us to be. Again it comes down to acceptance, accept yoursefl and ensure that those in your life accept you too.
Also, if you love your non-Muslim family, do not marry someone who views non Muslims as Kaffir and a lower form of life. This will not bring you happiness and indeed you may well resent that his family could be full of non-practising, morally dubious people, yet they will be deemed as far better then your own family who are lovely in every way, but not Muslim.
If Mr Outlines had this attitude, he would not have become Mr Outlines! For me this was non-negotiable and Alhamdulilah he loves my family very much and they love him too.
As for the reactions of others. Mr Outlines and I met one weekend, got engaged the next weekend and were married two months later. It is fair to say we made our families fairly anxious. Insha Allah, if you are sure of yourself and your reasons, your family will come round. Once my family met Mr Outlines, they calmed down. Again, top convert tip, involve your family in the wedding.
This sounds obvious but people seem to think that Muslim occasions can only be organised by Muslims. Not true, and remember that their child’s wedding is a day parents dream about. Alhamdulilah, the imam who married us, was so understanding and made my parents feel so welcome, my Dad wrote him a thank you letter afterwards. Think of the dawah potential!
Mr Outlines’s family are lovely people, masha Allah. As I’ve said before, my M.I.L is the sort of person who will pray in the middle of a hairdressing appointment, masha Allah. I make their son happy, so they are happy with me.
Farouq get to share this question because I want to hear all three points of view. What do you know now that you wish you had known before you converted? I am not talking about “big bad Islam”, I mean like what do you know now that could have made the journey easier?
Phew! Where to start! The first thing that springs to mind it that you will be ready for different things at different times. Don’t expect to be super pious straight away. If you “fall off”, make tawba and get back on. Trust yourself.
I will also name drop here: Sunnipath.com (Don’t get all cliquey on me folks, I’m not into -is and -isms, I promise). Everyone needs basic fiqh and aqida and they are excellent at teaching it, may Allah swt reward them. I wish I’d discovered them a lot sooner.
4. Its the Outlines version of the Brass Crescent. What is your favorite Muslim blog that doesn’t have as large of a readership as it should?
That’s a tough one, alhamdulilah, there are so many amazing blogs out there.
I think I’ll go for Foreverloyal’s blog, On My Mind. It’s down to earth, very witty and most of all written by someone who loves being a Muslim.
5. You don’t like to talk about Mr. Outlines that much and I don’t want any hassad up in here (everyone say Macha Allah right now!) if I make you talk about him so I am going to ask a really stupid question instead. Did you ever learn his national anthem? In my experience, “Kassaman” comes in handy at border crossings and police checkpoints.
No, I haven’t. It always makes me sad when Muslim countries have anthems which don’t mention Allah. Even ours mentions God!
Jazak Allahu Khayran for your wonderful questions DP. If anyone wants me to set them questions, let me know.
Filed under: Blogging, Filling in the Outlines, Islam, Mr Outlines, Women's Issues | 3 Comments »