If you think that you have just one life, think again. There's the life you think you have, the life others think you have and the life you really have- three lives!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

YEPP- I have now officially joined the 21st Century...

I am now the proud owner of an MP3 player! For someone who only got a mobile phone about six months ago (yes it's true- my excuse was I didn't want people bothering me all day), this is actually quite a big feat! Feel so ooooooh technologically savvy now, especially because it is such a tiny little thing that's able to do so much.
I bought it for work so that I could make voice files but I was even more excited by the fact that I could download all my daggy music and listen to it through headphones and no-one will ever know. Here are some of the songs I downloaded- sing along with me if you know the words (and you know you do)...

Nutbush City Limits
Supernatural Thing
Bat out of Hell (awesome to work out to)
Picture of You (yes, the old Boyzone song!)
Let it Flow from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack
Water Runs Dry (Boyz to Men- aaaaah)
No Diggity- a Blackstreet classic
Mr Boombastic

Now all I have to do is to learn how to not sing loudly along with the music coz people are starting to look at me funny...

Friday, September 22, 2006

On Speaking Out...

There are many calls for 'moderate' Muslims to speak out against terrorism. In fact, Letters to the Editor and Editorials in most of our popular newspapers often ask "why don't Muslims speak out and condemn terrorism and violence." Silence is often interpreted as a sign that Muslims the world over condone terrorism and is used by some to further support the stereotype of the ugly, violent Arab.

I came across this interesting piece in "They Dare to Speak Out" by Paul Findley...

"...the late I.F. "Izzy" Stone, a widely respected author, commentator, and self-styled radical, told me why many of his fellow Jews work so
aggressively to stifle free speech. He explained that, because Jews in
Israel seem constantly at war with Arabs, Jews in America feel that they are in the same war
. To them, free speech is a luxury that can be
sacrificed where debate might weaken US support for an Israel at war."

The same can be said of Muslims in the West. TheMilitant Islamists not only know this, but use this to their full advantage. Bin Laden's continual reference to the "Islamic nation" is not by accident. His carefully selected words are designed to
exploit the notion that Muslims around the globe are involved in the war
with Israel. And it's working.

When Mohammed Siddique Khan, the ringleader of the London bombings, a British born, second generation Pakistani said in his video message "I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters" he was not referring to Muslims in Pakistan or Britain. He was referring to Muslims at war with Israel and the US in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In my experience, everytime I've met a Jewish person, he or she will sooner or later bring up the Palestine/Israel issue. The first time this happened I was surprised. Why should I want to discuss this issue with anyone? Why should I have any interest in this issue at all? I'm not Palestinian. I'm not Israeli. But I am Muslim.

And therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies the crux of the matter. Because I am Muslim, it is assumed that I have something to say on the issue even if I'd much rather talk about the mating habits of the African sand fly!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Three Lives

I have a theory. Actually I have many theories- but just one will do for now.
My theory is that everyone has at least two identities-
The one you give to yourself- I am an Australian Muslim who advocates for a progressive interpretation of the Koran and Islamic teachings.
And the one everyone else gives you- I am a Muslim and therefore a terrorist sympathiser who wants to wipe out the heathens.

I walk into a coffee shop downtown to get my 'must have or I will be a bitch all day' morning coffee. I'm dressed in my usual corporate uniform- pencil skirt and blouse. It's packed as usual only because they make the best bloody coffee on this earth! The girl behind the counter and I start chatting- it's usually a guy there who always tries some lame pick up line on me, but today he's graduated to making the coffees.
She says "You look so exotic. Where are you from?"
I say "Sydney", but she's not buying it- she wants to know where I'm REALLY from.
So I tell her I'm originally from Egypt.
Lame pick-up line guy overhears this and looks up from behind the coffe machine.
He asks "Are you Muslim?'
"Yep" I answer
Suddenly he starts seething "So what do you think of terrorism?"
I'm thinking 'whoa! what happened to lame pick up line guy? are you his evil twin or something?'
Instead I say "Well are you asking me because you really want to know- because I've been coming here every morning for 6 months and you've never asked me that? But I will tell you that I absolutely do not condone the murder of innocent people for any cause"
He's still seething and the nice behind the counter girl takes my money but doesn't look at me or say a word.
As I make my way out of the crowded cafe, he yells:
"Look out everyone. She's a Muslim terrorist. She's gonna blow up the cafe."
Everyone stops and stares.

So, what do I do?
a. Cry into my coffee cup
b. Play along and make a loud BOOM sound
c. Turn to him and say "Right mate, you've just blown your chance of ever getting my number"
d. Walk out silently seething and vow to go through the painful process of wheening myself off this fabulous coffee so that I never have to step foot in there again.