I received an email a few months ago from a production company asking if I was interested in appearing in a documentary. Intrigued, I googled them and upon discovering that they were the same ones that filmed The Great British Bake Off, agreed to speak with them.
It turned into an hour plus phone call where questions about faith were put to me and my answers noted down. I’m fairly opinionated (as if one did not know that already). My answers were uncensored and in person, I can be fairly funny, outrageous and my accent is to die for.
Post phone call, I was told they would probably be interested in casting me but it had to go through certain editors etc. I’m not sure if that’s still the case but I came to the conclusion that I would say no (sorry to the production lot if you are actually interested and are reading the answer here..!). Reality T.V, albeit a documentary style, just wasn’t for me. I was fairly certain that one of the reasons I caught their interest was that I know the things I should in terms of Islam but there’s a fair amount I don’t agree with. I’m sure I would have come across controversial and whilst appealing from a production point of view, it wasn’t the right reasons to go into it.
Some of the points I made to them however did get me thinking. Whilst I didn’t feel it right to blast it on television, let’s plaster it on the blog. Below, I’ve summarised some of the issues I seem to be grappling with recently from a faith perspective.
- The religion is not fair towards women. To me, it is heavily geared towards men and yes, I do feel in some ways oppressive towards women. Some examples of what I perceive to be unfair; polygamy, divorce rulings and rulings of war allowing concubines.
- Hijaab (head covering). I still wear hijaab but lately wonder if I am wearing it for the correct reasons. I see lots of things on the internet about how pearls come in shells and that’s how we treat our women etc etc. Eh no. If it’s men that have the problem and are tempted, why can there not be a rule that they need to walk around blindfolded? Give them an eye hijaab.
- Our Prophet (عليه السلام) marrying Ayeesha so young. Yes, I know. We get this one thrown at us all the time. I used to talk myself through it: “Well she was actually older than made out and it was the custom of those days”. But, I struggle with this one and my attempts at rationalising it sounds feeble nowadays.
- There’s a lot of judgment within the religion. If wee Yusuf decides he’s gay, he’s criticised and put outwith the folds of Islam. If we question something, we’re told our Imaan (faith) is weak and to start doing more to come back. We think that families should be accepting if their loved ones convert to Islam but would ours ever be accepting if we decided on something alternate?
Agree? Disagree? Am I a lost cause?