Sep 16, 2010


So the other day, a great family member and I had a bit of an online misunderstanding.  Our thoughts and opinions and feelings shared right out there for the public to see.  It wasn't really resolved until we sent private messages to one another.  I think our mutual misunderstandings surprised us both.

You see, not so much on my blog, but definitely on my fanpage, twitter and personal facebook page, I have been posting links and making comments about the issues surrounding Park51 (aka, the Ground Zero Mosque).  To me, it's not so much the issue of the building, or where it is, or even why it is.  What I want people to see is that just because a person is a Muslim, they are not a terrorist.

This family member, however, felt that I was attacking.  She felt accused and beaten up.  This was NOT my intention and I apologize to her and to any of you who may have felt the same.

I am a huge supporter of peace and love and understanding.  I don't think that you have to be like me, or believe like me or do like me.  I am proud to say that I have friends and family from different ethnicities and religions and backgrounds.  How horrible would our world be if we were all the same?

 So, I thought that I would take a moment to say why I think it's important to get my message out.  I often feel that when I go out, I am seen as an outsider.  I am viewed as an "other."  I worry that people see me as a traitor, or that I'm assumed to be a terrorist.  The fact is, I am a Muslim. I am a Canadian. I am a mother, sister, daughter and friend.  All I ever want is for other people to see that too.


Keahn said...

Using that great quote from AVATAR: "I see you."

I have found that, a majority of the time, when my words are misread or misunderstood, it is usually by a family member. Why? Because they bring emotional baggage to the reading table. Feelings from a past episode between us that I have moved beyond and they, for whatever reason, have not -- or just an issue that they are having a difficult time wrapping their minds around.

Family members are guilty of believing that they know you "better than anyone else," because they love you (deeply) and have been a part of your life, "like forever." In reality, they only know a fraction of "you," the one they have dealt with the most, and mostly in the past. Adult children are especially good at "knowing you" this way.

In-laws are also good at this kind of "knowing" -- due to the fact that they "have to love you," or risk looking evil in the eyes of the relative who married you AND they often feel as if you've been (a thorn in their side -- oops, I mean...) in their family "like forever."

Now that my own daughters are all in their 30s, they have resigned themselves to saying (in times of conflict between me & them, or me & the in-laws) that their mother is just "misunderstood."

If saying this makes them feel better about me and life, and better able to handle our differenting opinions (which it seems to do), then I'm fine with being labeled "misunderstood." There a worse labels that one can be tagged with.

Chin up, friend!

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