Part of My Edumacation

Introducing my blogroll page called Edumacation. I’m still tweaking it and have subcategories and additions to make in sha Allah.

During discussions on the exclusion of women from masajid in the UK and on the Aisha Azmi case, it occurred to me that often in disagreements, the person I am disagreeing with tries to educate me. Apparently, the fact that we hold differing opinions is due to a lack of proper education, research, and learning on my part. Always on my part and not on the part of the other person.

If I oppose women’s exclusion from the masajid dominated by Hanafis from the subcontinent then clearly, “you have to understand that these people are from a culture that… and a school of thought that… and MPACUK is… and so on.”

If I say that much of the anti-Muslim bias permeating the debate in western countries is tinged with prejudice and racism then clearly I haven’t understood that this is a matter of “common sense” and “putting the community before the individual” and “integration, communication, education, and security, I mean “there could be a terrorist under that niqab”.

If I do not support celebrating the mawlid then clearly I haven’t understood “1400 years of tradition, adhering to the four madhabs…”

If I find all of the focus and attention on the Palestinian/Israeli issue obnoxious then clearly I “haven’t understood that Palestine is the sixth pillar of Islam”.

If I find it absurd that the Brass Crescent Awards pretend to be inclusive of the “global Islamsphere” by including the token Middle East/Asia Blogger award while ignoring other Muslim lands and reinforcing stereotypes about Islam then clearly I “haven’t understood that most Muslims come from these areas and consider these areas more important than the rest of the Muslim landscape”. By the way, voting is now open.

I used to get a little upset when people would make these condescending remarks in their sincere attempt to educate me because I would say to myself, “do you think I am stupid, what makes you think that just because we disagree I am unaware of these issues and realities?”

But now, I see that it’s not so much that they think that I am dumb but rather just that they think that I am ignorant because the mark of true education would be for us all to agree on the issue.

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Author: Ify Okoye

Muslim woman, RN, & rebel with a cause.

8 thoughts on “Part of My Edumacation”

  1. I don’t think you’re usually wrong, M, if that helps. Sometimes I don’t understand you, or agree with what you hold to be true, but that doesn’t translate in my mind to “you’re wrong”. We just have a difference of opinion.

    Now, on Macs vs Windows, thats a whole different question…..

  2. Thanks Bill, Samaha had a post on her blog about the condemnation game over suicide bombings and we disagreed on the issue but it wasn’t a problem that we came to different conclusions yet when I disagree with some other people it’s as if I’m the one in need of a crash course from them on issue. The reality being that I’ve probably looked into the issue (well, some issues) more throughly then they have before I voiced my opinion.

    I like my Mac but I also like my PC, can’t say I like Windows much although some things they do very well.

  3. I’m commenting here because I saw the link to my blog and not because I want to “educate” anyone.

    Like bill I don’t understand your comments sometimes. I’ve read them on Samaha’s blog and on mine and I don’t follow you occasionally. I didn’t want to say it because it may seem like a personal attack which it is not. If others understand you and I don’t then it’s my fault.

    Also, in argument or even mild disagreement people use terms like “you know …” or “maybe you’d like to note that…” These are clichéd terms in discussion/argument; they however, don’t mean that people think you are “stupid” unless they openly say that which would mean war!

    I don’t know about everyone but there are two reasons why I write – to share good pieces of writing (written by others) with readers of my blog, and to share my opinions. When I share my ideas I want to learn. I want to know how others feel about the same situation. I want to know how they’d approach that subject. If they disagree and I understand their disagreement then I learn. That to me is education. I don’t have any chip on my shoulder. I’ve mentioned on my blog that my opinions are not carved in stone; I’m open to change if I’m shown the illogicality of my thoughts. People have tried to “educate” me and if I’m wrong I don’t take offense at all. If I think they are wrong, I’ll share my opinions/facts/knowledge without trying to impose my views on them. If I severely disagree with someone and I see that they fail to see my point and we are not going to go anywhere, I don’t comment. I also don’t comment if I think I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings by what I have to say. For example, I have very strong opinions against the blog awards but I haven’t written about it at all nor commented on it because I know they are important to people I like.

    I know what you mean and I don’t want to sound patronising but I really didn’t see anyone attacking you in an awful manner on my blog. I’m not supporting anyone here; I’m stating a fact which I noticed and I may be wrong. No one is infallible. You made a blanket statement about racism in the West and a Westerner responded. I think he should be allowed defense. I said I was writing from an educator’s point of view but your comments were not related to education at all. You mentioned on my blog that you ‘knew things before me’ (which I could take as a condescending and purposefully insulting remark) and that you had done your ‘research’ which is all good but it didn’t come out in your comments and perhaps that’s what everyone was referring to in the end. Like I said, I’m open to learning and if you had shared your knowledge on the subject instead of making broad statements we all would have learnt from you. There is no shame in learning.

  4. Suroor, I appreciate your comments and have learned much from your posts, which is one reason I frequently return to your blog.

    I think twice on that post people that disagreed with me accused me not reading the whole post or not knowing this or that…which struck me as strange but I didn’t feel they were attacking me.

    My original point was more of an aside to your post, which raised an issue in my mind that the debate on niqab/hijab/immigration in western countries that claim to be liberal is tinged with prejudice and racism as your title indicated with a question mark. That last comment of mine on that post was not worded correctly because there is no edit button, that line should have read something like I knew those things before I read them here on Suroor’s post…

    This post here is more about general conversations I have had over the years much more so than on any online discussions. Colloquial phrases aside, I’m open to discussion, debate, and changing my opinion as long as it is civil but to assume that the other person is an ignoramus just because they disagree is offensive to me.

  5. I think often when people disagree with you they will try and patronize you as a way of getting a point across…it’s a not so subtle way of claiming superiority of ideas! Usually when the ideas are strong, there’s no need for patronizing. Note, this is a general comment and i’m not referring to anyone specifically!

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