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Thread: A question about Islam in Australia...

  1. #1

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    Default A question about Islam in Australia...

    Hi Ladies,

    I am currently doing an assignment for university on the psychological issues of (in particular) Muslim refugees suffered after arriving in Australia.

    Although you may not fit this exact description, do you or any of your family have experiences, either social, cultural or regarding your beliefs that caused you stress, pain or angst since being here?

    It may be a sense of disconnection, feeling like you have lost your community or in fact that you don't feel accepted by others.

    I know this sounds quite negative, but I am trying to build a profile and discuss as a Natural Health Practitioner I could be someone my fictional character in my assessment could turn to for her stress related illness.

  2. #2

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    Hi kimmi,

    Im Muslim, im a revert though so im not quiet sure if i fit in here, but i am willing to help you out as much as you can if you need,
    Bit of background,
    I reverted back in 2004 and i am scarfed, im australian maltese, my hubby is lebanese.
    I live by islamic law, and have suffered the ups and downs of what its like to be on the recieving end of all different reactions, good and bad.
    So if you have any questions just ask happy to answer
    Also i posted a thread a while back about an event that happened which involved a person regarding my appearance...

  3. #3

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    Oh wow, wonderful. Thanks so much for getting back to me.

    Can I ask, if you are happy to share, from a Muslim woman's perspective, what do you think it is about either your way of life, or set of beliefs that other non-muslims either persecute you for, or can't accept and choose to cause you, (or other women you know of) stress or hurt.

    I hate how this is sounding by the way. I'm not trying to highlight negatives, but In my assessment, I have to make assumptions about a woman. Hypothetically she comes to me suffering a great deal of stress, and I have to try to ascertain what in her life could be causing that... KWIM?

  4. #4

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    I'm a Muslim. I get stress on both sides. Lots of Australians think I should go home. Lots of Muslims think that because I'm an Australian who converted to Islam that I'm not a real Muslim or not as good at being a Muslim as them. Then I get the Muslims who think that because I chose Islam I should be super-Hijabi when really I'm not very religious at all.

    Sometimes people yell at me from cars. Mainly that causes angst because all I hear is "ab loobhjy worrry m,loob, loob" and I wonder what that means in English. I also get angsty when people speak reallly sloowly because clearly my scarf and foreign appearance means that I suffer from a mental impairment and talking slowly will help me understand them. I get stressed when well meaning people assume I'm down trodden and need them to liberate me.

  5. #5

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    Thanks Onyx, that was particularly a point I was trying to come across. ALthough in my assignment, the woman is suffering from depression of sorts, I also wanted to explain that because a woman is Muslim, doesn't mean she is down trodden.

    I love that. Do you mind if I quote that line?

  6. #6

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    No problem

    Ok , btw before i start, you dont sound anything but asking an honest question
    Well, living as a muslim, is quiet humbling tbh, there is not alot of influence in womens choices in islam, we are pretty much left to our own devices to choose what we think we should do is right, we are guided by the quran and often attend lectures etc to maintain our understanding, (as you know in every religion, its quiet easy to misunderstand the real meaning behind religious messages),I , myself , reverted as a 22 yr old and i didnt take it lightly, i was christened catholic as a infant, so i studied alot of books and attended seminars etc.. Muslim women are no more oppressed then the average woman walking down the street.
    We choose when to wear the hijab, and the way we dress and the way we live day to day, alot of people think we are forced to dress certain ways, and live certain ways. In saying that, there are many people who have complimented me on the way i dress, and the colours etc.
    I think the stress is the high anxiety of stepping out the door everyday into the unknown, media plays a huge rols in the way we are seen and treated in this country and in many countries, we are percieved as terrorsits, rapists, and the invaders trying to take over countries to over ride their governments and nations with our islamic hig wash as some put it lol... sorry for the wording..
    I, personally will go to areas i know there are majority muslims, due to the fact i feel safer, and especially hwile my children are with me... i often cop the disgrace stare and get poeple in cars mocking me,and my dress attire.. i try and shelter my children from this as this is not what i want my children to grow up understanding, that hate and uneducated people can make him second guess himself... and his beliefs. Another stress is being labelled "oppressed", we arent oppressed at all, its actually hardom to force a woman to wear the hijab and to marry, these are extreme sins on a man if he forces his wife or daughter into any of these things. We have to be ready, physically and mentally to take that step to cover up and be modest in our dressing and in our marriage. this is our choice, our right and no one can make it for us.. especially in todays society, in saying that i have no doubt that in some countries, this does happen but in my knowledge, they will not be doing the right thing.
    ALso being labelled a terrorist, after 9/11 we were sent into a downward spiral, we are not allowed to kill or murder anyone, its so wrong, in our religion its completely against the meaning of islam.... so all the suicide bombers etc, will not be martyrd at all, the ones where they go into other countries an dbomb, buildings, railways etc, are just doing that out of an extremist faction, but we everyday muslims pay the price for it.

    Living in sydney we have a huge diversity of religions, nationalities, and in every religion, we all have the extreme followers who's ideals reach the wrong places and influence others views towards us, inwhich causes us to be belittles and always on alert for a worst case scenario.. and believe me it does happen, at least once a week..
    In islam, we are taught to love everyone of every religion, colour,nationality, we are not to judge as this is hardom, which means its wrong, unlike the fanatical sheiks you see on tv, we dont care for others dress attire, and ways of living, as long as its not imposing on the insides of my home, its not of my concern, and thats the way of majority muslims, this is the muslims you never see on tv, or in the media.
    The stress's are just trying to be us, with over 100 peoples eyes staring straight through you, looking at you like we are imposing on them for the way we dress, eat, pray, fast.. many people dont understand and due to what they hear they arent open minded to trying to know anymore then that..
    Sorry a tad rambly lol, ask as many questions as you need.. lol
    i also have pics of myself and family if you want to see how we are, look and live?

  7. #7

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    Thanks so much Z&A. Not just from the perspective of my assignment, but I am always so interested to learn about other faiths.

    In your mind, what do you think could be done to curb inter-cultural misunderstandings?

  8. #8

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    Kimmi that is an interesting question..
    I might need more Time to think about it but one thing I think is maybe having time for the people that don't understand but are curious time to interact with us, as they say one person at at time can shape the world iykwim? If the good was shown sometimes maybe people would see we are not the enemy but the same average Joe..


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  9. #9

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    Hi Kimmi.
    I'm not a Muslim (and apologise if I use incorrect terminology) but regarding to you last question. In my area a group of Muslim students (I think it's a youth group) are doing a lot to actively encourage non Muslims to have a better understanding of their faith and way of life. They organise cultural events, open days at the mosque and there was a community meal to break fast last year.
    If you like i could give you someni fo, I'm sure there are activities for both women and men.

  10. #10

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    Pandora, that would be GREAT!

  11. #11

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    I am not sure if I can help you with your assignment but I wanted to I must express how I feel as a Muslim living in Australia. I feel very comfortable in Australia. I have lived in Melbourne, Australia for 18 years, not once have I felt stressed, discriminated or anxious. I wear my head covering and dress modestly, for example, long skirts/dresses and long sleeved tops. I almost feel more comfortable in Australia than Sparklez; who was probably born here. If I do receive unwelcomed comments but an ignorant individual (which has only happened during September 11) telling me to go back to my country, I simply turn around and remind him or her that it isn't their country, Lol.

    I am saddened to hear Oxny and Sparklez feeling less accepted by other born Muslims. Those individuals need to go back and learn their deen properly.

    Kimmi,
    The word Islam means peace.

    Sparklez, my sister in Islam,
    It is a religious duty for a Muslim woman to wear the head covering. She is expect to do so when she begins menstruation. In Islam, everyone human being has a choice. You have a choice to practice any religion you want. If you choose the religion of Islam, you are also believing it to be a true religion. So therefore, you cannot choose to wear how you want to dress, eat anything and live as you please, you are required to follow the Quran, Shariah and Hadiths. These laws and rules of Islam are not forced upon people. You choose to follow Islam because you believe there is only one God and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last prophet and messenger of mankind.

  12. #12

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    Girl 23 yes I know it is our duty to wear the hijab and dress
    Moderately, but it's also a choice that shouldn't be taken lightly, i know of many woman who were forced or did it thinking they were ready and either took it off or would take it off go out come home and act like they did during the day. I never implied we can wear what ever we like I mentioned dressing moderately inwhich of course is covering your body to your wrists and ankles and of course the hijab
    I think if you came to Sydney you would be quiet surprised at the comments and actions of others, I am extremely happy you get that opportunity to live peacefully as Sydney seems to have it's own war on terrorism unfortunately.
    Yes I was born here, I am actually Maltese/ australian my dh is Lebanese Muslim and I also grew up surrounded by Lebanese Muslims so from a young age I was interacting and with the people and dealings of Islam. I found it and still do find it rewarding and humbling to be an Australian muslim..
    I love my religion and I love everything to do with it..
    Humdillah

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  13. #13

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    I apologise for the misunderstanding on my part. I thought you were implying if you are practicing Islam then you can choose to dress, eat, live the way you want. I felt the need to straight that kind of thinking, which is clearly not what you were saying. Well, it's sad hearing male family members forcing their female relatives to dress modestly when they themselves may not be following the deen. Everyone should perfect themselves first and encourage others to act in accordance with our religion.

    I love my religion and I love everything to do with it..
    Humdillah
    Mas'allah, great to hear that. I am wondering if you have been to the islamic lectures held by Al-Kauthar Institute in Sydney? It's worth going to. They have great Sheikh's. There wil be a lecture on Ramadan.

  14. #14

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    no need to address it, I understand what you were saying I just wanted you to know we were on the same page
    No I haven't I attend other lectures when I can I have small children, lol very hard to get out
    But I will look into this thank you



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