By Sanniah Hassan
“How can you know everything about Islam when a person who is actually Muslim doesn’t know everything about their religion?”
Islam is a beautiful religion, amalgamated in the teaching of the Quran and the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Often times due to the stereotypical portrayal of Muslims in the western media, people make assumptions that are ill-placed notions about not just Muslims but, also the religion Islam as well. Clare has presented another video in which she has reacted to comments on her own video she had previously posted in regards to Islam and Muslims as good people, “What I’ve Learnt Being Married to a Muslim”.
She begins by clarifying that even though people think her motive was to have people convert to Islam it was not, she explains that she herself is not a convert and although she accepts Muslims to be good people, she is not yet ready to think of converting [as a Muslim myself, I agree that no one should be forced into accepting anything especially not change ones religion if one is not absolutely ready to do so because it is a personal decision which needs to be taken by the individual him/herself]. She continues her argument by pointing out that although she has no issue with the religion, her video was not about Islam but about the Muslim people. Clare discusses how people have accused her of being “brainwashed” which is what the media wishes to promote, the idea that people who speak in favor of Muslims or Islam are essentially either forced into saying or brainwashed into believing things that are pro-Islam or pro-Muslim et cetera. Coming back to her initial point, she states that her intention in no way is to force someone into converting and accepting Islam.
Furthermore, Clare raises an interesting point that most of the people who blindly criticize the religion and its people have nothing to do with either, that the people who had an issue with her previous video and who accused her for stating misplaced facts, were in fact non-Muslims with no idea what a true Muslim is like. She continues to question such people by saying, “How can you know everything about Islam when a person who is actually Muslim doesn’t know everything about their religion?” she continues by saying that most Muslims cannot even understand Arabic although they can read it from having taken Quran classes, so how is it that non-Muslims can understand the language that well to criticize anyone?
From there she moves on to respond to someone who commented that her husband can beat her as it is stated in the Quran. She elucidates that beating up your wife is not in the Quran but, “it is something like a hadith” which “are open to interpretation”. Furthermore, she tackles the issue of the image of a Muslim man and presents the stereotype of a Muslim, an older man with a long beard. She stresses on the fact that people should look beyond their notions and try to understand what the truth is. She asks them, “to [shouldn’t they] look at me [Clare] as a white woman who is married to a Muslim man, who has not converted and has something nice to say about the people” and the religion? “Doesn’t that make you think?”
She lays stress on the fact that people who hold preconceived notions should visit a Muslim in their home to know the respect and care that Muslims provide to their guests. She compares Islam to Christianity and the ways in which the two religions are similar; the concept of fasting and giving up on something precious to you, she talks about the existence of the devil, and most importantly, she critiques the concept of a woman covering her head with a scarf. She says, “Would you go up to a nun and say you are wearing that because the pope said, or you’re wearing that because a man said.” She elaborates, then why do you question when a Muslim woman does the same? That is, covering her head with a scarf. She concludes the video by applauding the people who have presented their own arguments to some of the most misplaced comments by non-Muslims.