From Halaal to Haraam

 

burka-babe-slut-walk

It’s weird, I never thought I would ever be associated with the word “stripper”. If you had come up to me, let’s say four months ago, and told me I was going to be an exotic dancer now I would probably have laughed in your face. Mind you, many of the other girls around here say the same thing. No one imagines themselves being a stripper growing up. Imagine the outrage if there were children’s toys available to show them it was a career option! Still, it’s definitely not a permanent career option for me. This is my way of having some wild times in uni before returning to the real world once I graduate. I study structural engineering so hopefully I’ll get paid to build stuff afterwards. My parents keep suggesting that I find work in Dubai (Somali parents all seem to be obsessed with Dubai. If you want to get something from them, just tell them it will help you move to Dubai), but I’m keen to help rebuild Mogadishu or Laascaanood in Somalia once I finish.

Anyway, you may be wondering how a good little Muslim girl found her way into this type of business. To be honest, my story is similar to many others. I’m sure you have all heard those stories about good Catholic girls and Mormon girls who grew up in a strictly religious environment and want to find their rebellious side? And those who were a bit nerdy in high school who are looking to prove that they have a dark side? I’m really just another cliché only no one ever seems to think that Muslim girls can be sexy too. We’re just like everyone else.

My friend Anushka was the one who talked me into it. She is Saudi, but spent her a fair chunk of her childhood in the UK as her dad spent years earning various degrees courtesy of the Saudi government. She had a hard time fitting back into life in Saudi Arabia when they eventually moved back. The lifestyle is entirely different as is the weather. I’m not surprised she decided to pursue her studies here to experience the life some more now that she’s older. And without parental supervision. I thought that by keeping close to other Muslim girls at uni, I would stay away from haraam things that typical Scottish students like to do (i.e. excessive drinking), but it seems to have lead me in the opposite direction. Well, the other girls I know are all fairly well behaved. It’s just Anushka who’s going to be the end of me. In fact I would hate to think what any of the others might say if they found out! That is partially why I thought I should start this blog. There are so few people I can tell about the things I’ve been up to recently without getting myself into trouble. It doesn’t particularly matter to me if no one reads it. The fact that I have somewhere to publicly vent helps ease my mind.

I am very keen to keep Anushka’s identity under wraps (Anushka is her stage name), so I’ll be very selective in what information about her I give. She goes back to Saudi Arabia once her studies are done and it would be unsafe for her to return if her current activities got out. Honour killings are no are occurrence there and while I doubt either of her parents would do such a thing, there is always the risk of extended family. Not to mention girls have been killed for much less than being a stripper. One woman was killed by her father for chatting to a guy on Facebook* for crying out loud! There is no doubt that being an exotic dancer has it’s own risks when you are a part of a highly religious family. However, I would like to make it clear that I do not believe that these so called “honour” killings have any part in Islam. It is a disturbing cultural issue much like FGM is in the Somali community. Girls have been murdered by their families for all sorts in all parts of the world to families of various religions.

Nevertheless, I would love to share with you as much as I possibly can. Anushka and I have our fair share of stories to tell and it has only been a few months since we first started. I hope you will enjoy reading some of them as I sure as hell won’t be able to share them with anyone else.

*Saudi Woman murdered for chatting on Facebook: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1583420/Saudi-woman-killed-for-chatting-on-Facebook.html

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10 responses to “From Halaal to Haraam

  1. Salams. I have a much better adventure to put to you:

    https://eidmudrun.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/craufurdland-muddy-trials-2016/

    More of a challenge, better for you, much more exciting, more of struggle, more work, more reward. Take it on with this friend of yours and together raise funds for a charity of your choosing, and look back on it as a real adventure.

    We all have obsessions. Some are better than others. Mine is the mud run and obstacle course race.

    Hope you will (seriously) consider it, now that you’re learned than anything is possible.

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    • Salaam. Thank you very much for showing me this. I love doing races and this would be perfect if I wasn’t going to be away in March. I will show my friend Anushka, she also loves these kind of races and I’m sure she’ll be happy to dive in. I do understand what you mean by some obssessions being better than others, although I assure you I that have “better” hobbies too and that this one will be short lived. I’m also raising money for a community building project in Palestine which much of my dirty money is currently going towards.

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    • Sadly it’s just at the start of our Easter break which I’ll be going home for. I hope there will be more races later in the year since it looks great fun. One of my non-Muslim friends is keen and wondering if she could join if she wears hijab?

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      • It’s a public event, so she could wear whatever she likes. The next one is probably in September. Check out our blog for other events the rest of the year, like Muslim Hands’ “Crawl of Duty” challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebel actions made by Catholic or Muslim girls happen when the parents are too strict and uneducated enough to teach their children openly about good and bad, and where their choices would lead. They aren’t “muslim” girls if they are doing everything Islam didn’t ordered us to do. As for being a hijabi and a stripper… Like why to be both? Choose a personality and stick on it. It would ruin the picture of modesty and muslim girls by being a stripper hijabi. My friends live outside in the west, and few of them got affected to do the haraam things. That refers back to how strong your emaan is and your relationship with Allah is. Fearing Allah is the important thing in the case, not fearing parents.

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  3. Salaam. “Not judging” I see. However, I’d like to thank you for reading my post and contributing some fair points for discussion. If I am to make myself clear, I see that this will be a long reply, so I’ll get started:

    The act of some Catholic, Muslim and Morman girls rebelling can indeed be the result of overly strict or uneducated parents, however these are not the only reasons some choose to become rebellious.

    On the contrary, if a person believes that Allah is the one true God, that Muhammed (pbuh) is his final messenger and that the Qur’an is His word, then by definition that person is a Muslim. If they don’t follow everything that Islam teaches us, that simply makes them a “bad” Muslim.

    I know it’s difficult for you to understand, but I have my reasons for being hijabi and for being a stripper. I have been hijabi since I was fifteen. It is how everyone who knows me personally, minus Anushka, associates me with and what I consider to be a part of my permanent self. When I do my night job, I take on an alter ego and feel as if I am an entirely different person when I do it. It’s much like I’m filling a role in a play. I don’t consider Henna to be a part of my permanent being, she is merely a phase which I will soon ditch.

    There is no need to worry about my being both will effect the picture of modesty and Muslim girls as I am only ever one at one time. I don’t go around telling people in my day-to-day life that I strip and I don’t go around telling everyone at the club that I’m Muslim, so no harm done in that area. If you want to hound girls for ruining modesty and the hijab, I would pick on those who wear it with a miniskirt if I were you. There is absolutely no point in covering your hair and showing off your legs at the same time. It completely defeats the purpose.

    Good for your friends. I have no doubt that they are from a similar cultural background to you and probably hang around other Arab Muslims for the most part. It may be worth noting that my cultural background is very different to yours., particularly on my mother’s side. On my part, exotic dancing is the only un-Islamic activity I partake in. I do not drink alcohol, eat pork, perform salat, partake in Ramadan and more, so quite understandably call myself Muslim. I realise that the stripping part would be considered a biggy by many, but I am not personally concerned for reasons I may explain further in a later post.

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