The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Those Darn Greeks

Hi. This is a post about religion. I think.

So, anyways, it should probably come as no surprise that I have been thinking lately. This stems from the fact that I was studying History the other day combined with the fact that I studied Islamic Studies today. So, basically, here's the thing. There are a lot of things that I practice today - and I say this as carefully as I can because I, of course, don't know my audience and really, neither do they know me all that well (but I'm in a more vulnerable position, as I'm writing this and exposing more of myself to the reader, as opposed to the reader exposing parts of themselves to me, which would be magic, and we're not allowed to practice magic in Islam) - that I believe to be directly in violation of certain laws and rules of Islam. It's not that I do not believe in the things that I primarily have to believe in to be a Muslim, nor do I not practice the things that I (at my age and position) am obligated to practice, it's just that... well, it's just certain beliefs. Tertiary, really, and not... that... important...?

And I've been working as hard as I can (since last year, to be precise) to come to terms with a few things, both external and internal, that I believe I have to either overcome or curb entirely if I were to ever set foot inside heaven's doors. (And here is where I apologize for my run-on sentences because I tend to run away with words and try to mystify things up a bit so that you won't understand me.) I have been... well, unsuccessful so far, but only because I've boxed myself in my prepackaged mindset. I think I need more outside opinions in order to come to a better understanding of what it means to be who I am today, in society today, within the restraints and regulations of my religion. Um. There are a lot of things that when I read in the textbooks and references books, a lot of things that are irrevocably wrong, that we today (together, as a society, so it's not just me here) treat as a right. A lot of more minute rules that we sometimes ignore altogether. And generally, I believe the Prophet (peace be upon him) would be appalled at the lifestyle that I and many of my friends as well as basically everyone in my society live today.

So. What was the purpose in my basically admitting that we all suck? Not much of a purpose, not much of an end or a specific goal, more just trying to get it all out in the open that I do acknowledge the fact that I am not living the hundred percent Muslim lifestyle that I am meant to and I'm by no means fabricating excuses for myself and for others when I say that we have incorporated so many sins into our daily lives that it's become... not that much of a big deal. My goal for the year was to figure it out. All of this.

I mean, I haven't exactly crossed the line (yet and hope to never will) because I do understand that there is a line, ever present, ever invisible, and ever tempting. Mostly, it's for selfish reasons. Mostly it's for... mostly it's me not wanting to go to hell for someone other than myself. Last year was a confusing year and things, in certain respects, have gotten easier this year, but there's still this tangle of confusion (and sins, I'm sure) that I've yet to untangle. I'm not going to attempt to do that, because I believe it's none of my business, it does not directly involve me. So I'm focusing on me. I'm trying to figure things out. It's March. The third month. I'm no closer to figuring things out than I was at the start of it all and I'm already getting fatigued. But it's a battle, I guess you can say.

I'm not going to give examples because I can't remember (and that says a lot about what I've studied so far, don't you think?) but while I was revising for Islamic Studies just now, I remember reading a few things - I think they were to do with punishments (for instance, punishment for stealing was to cut off the stealer's hands) - and thinking to myself, "Wow, we sure don't practice that today." Because cutting someone's hands seem like a barbaric to do. And so does capital punishment, actually, and it's a whole jumble of really confusing things because I am pro-choice and pro-a lot of things that you probably don't want to know about and it's the same problem over and over and over again, how can I sit in class and talk about how bad all of these things that I am in support of are and then go home and go on the Internet and engage in discussions about how... well, basically about how I am in support of said things and it's all really confusing. So I was watching crashcourse the other day, and the etymology of the word 'barbarian' came up. "The term originates from the Greek civilization, meaning "anyone who is not Greek".

I read in my Islamic Studies reference book that they refer to Western culture as "barbaric" and I guess, if you look at all the sex and the free-thinking and the free... mingling and the, well, everything else, yes, in a sense it's barbaric, if you look at that word, if you look at barbarism, from that angle. And they'd look at Islam and its culture and from their angle, we're barbarians for practicing (allowing) polygamy and having women cover the entirety of their bodies and whatever else you've got for that point. And really, I am stumped here, I've got nothing to say, except for...

It's a matter of perspective and whose side you're on. So, um.

Well, this is my post about 8. I told you I would about it. Here it is.

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