A Taste of Nationalism: Thinking About Whiteness

I do plan on doing the White Privilege in the Ummah-type Carnival soon inshallah. I have been swamped with school and need another week to catch up, so I hope ya’ll are getting ready!. In the meantime, I’ve got whiteness on the brain, so here are some random germinating thoughts–

Being a rootless child, raised on the opposite coast of my extended family and very unfamiliar with my lineage, I have never had a sense of sentimental attachment to “my peoples.” I hear this is pretty common in American culture and in white Americans particularly, but I have it pretty bad. I don’t know my people’s names beyond my grandparents. I don’t even know my aunts’ married names and therefore don’t know my cousins’ names. This reality doesn’t sadden me, actually it has given me an immensely liberating feeling. Unlike many of my convert siblings who have to deal with constant onslaughts of adversities from their families, I’ve got it quite easy, alhumdillah. 

Zeinab

 

Recently an interesting post elsewhere about being the offspring of post-colonized and displaced peoples of Ireland got me a thinking about my peoples a wee bit. Was there something I was missing in this void of my heritage? Ultimately, my overall feeling is one of thankfulness that being rootless may have made the path easier for me to tread upon, Allahualim.

So a few days ago I ran into an American convert sister who has taken some unusual turns on her path that, well, are pretty readily identifiable as bida to most Muslims. I know the bidazone is a sensitive spot with the Mozzies, so please just bear with me. Later I realized that it especially saddened me to see an American sister go down this path. And why, I ask myself should this be especially saddening? Why is this worse than a sister of any other nationality going astray? Of course I know American is not a nationality, but you get my meaning. The shock–I have nationalist tendencies!!!

 Twice in one week–so then last night I was doing research on this infuriating school project when I came across this charming little antiquity of the White Muslims–mostly white I guess, I admit to my complete ignorance about these early Western converts and had no idea that they were so organized, masha Allah. I was immediately drawn to the picture of Evelyn Zeinab Cobbold and was eager to read more about her. I felt a sort of affinity towards her that I then began to second guess. Conversion stories are always interesting to read, but I hadn’t felt any special kinship when reading about other white convert sisters such as say Yvonne Ridley or Ingrid Mattson. But I noticed an extended sort of feeling of kinship last night for Zeinab, who shares the name of my only daughter. I drew out the feeling a little.  Perhaps it is natural to be drawn to someone who has walked a similar road in the near past; the road of Western Apostasy. Or maybe this is something else that I hadn’t expected from myself.

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One thought on “A Taste of Nationalism: Thinking About Whiteness

  1. This post was moved here from my old blog, here are the comments:

    Ummadam:

    Racist! lol
    Just kidding, so now you know why so many African American Muslims who were once against voting ran out 9of their minds) and voted for Obama.

    Br00ke:

    Ummadam – WordPress called you spam*! Islamophobes! I had another “awakening” incident recently, I gotta remember…
    * Spam is a pork product, it is a common tactic of Muslim haters to try to insult Muslims by making pork/pig references.

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