Do Our Heads Look Big Like This?

Submitted by Hannah W. on Wed, 10/28/2009 - 15:47

**Before I start I want to ask that you please, please don't make your comments into a debate. Just keep it friendly and respectful. Etc.**

In regular school, this feeling I'm having right now was very familiar. Sweating palms, pounding heartbeat, a kind of rush in the ears that after a few minutes I realize is the sound of my own heavy breathing. This happens whenever I am a combination of scared and impassioned, when I find that I must raise my hand and say, No, this is wrong! And then, class would end and I would turn to writing as my outlet.

One such instance that stands out the clearest to me is sixth grade, talking about internment camps. Someone said that we should have internment camps again as we did when we were fighting Japan. Back then, we took all Japanese-Americans and stuck them in awful camps becuase we thought that they were spies and traitors. So this kid said that we should do that agin, but this time with all Muslims. I thought my head was going to explode! I thought my heart would beat out of my chest! I was jumping out of my seat and dreaming of socking those who kept insisting that Muslims were evil in the face. At the very least I wanted to tear my desk to shreds. Even the memory! My blood is boiling!

I went home and wrote a story that I read in class the next day, and I won the debate.

But now a new debate is arising, again with Muslims in the middle. I feel like people I love consider them inherently evil-- and I don't. 

I'm to-the-death to-the-bone Catholic, so that is why I'm very confused. My religion book has a snide tone when it talks about Islam. I try to ignore it. Some of my friends have commented as well, but they have not been snide. I can't blame them, as they haven't had the same experiences as me. I've met plenty of Muslims who have been perfectly civil, kind, normal, friendly, sweet. I know actual, live people who live in my area, who have families and lives. To me, Muslims are not some distant cluster of black-cloaked women or angry men. To me, they're neighbors, students, friends and associates. 

Don't take me the wrong way. I'm not saying that I agree with all their views, that I agree with their religion or anything like that! And don't think that I want to be all, "Peace and love, dude"  and hold hands around the world either, okay? Sorry to be a downer but I don't see that happening anytime soon. And I'm really not the "Let's all just be friends! Sunshine and daisies! Cookies for everyone!" type either. 

But I am also NOT a hater. Even a disliker. I also strive to not judge before I know, to not dislike someone or something just becuase I don't understand it. So that's why I want you to understand! I want you to be able to open up your mind a little and say, "Okay, there is some point to learning more, to meeting people, to re-evaluating my opinions of people."

And I know that even though I try not to judge or hate, people may judge and hate me. Surely there are Muslims who look at Christians or other religions and scorn us, talk about us with a snide tone, or remark on what they don't understand or on their misconceptions. People do that to Christians all the time. Homeschoolers, too. Anything you are, there will be stereotypes and misconceptions about you. There will be people being cruel, even unintentionally hurtful. Beucause they don't know. They don't understand. 

They see the extremists. They see the homeschoolers who deicde to be lazy, or whose parents don't care, or who are locked away all day. They don't see us, with such life and fire and freedom! Or they don't see any homeschoolers at all. They instead see reality TV. They see youtube videos poking fun. They have only known regular school, their schooled friends. But they judge. 

They see the hypocrites. They see those Catholics or Christians who don't follow their own laws, who are cruel and unfaithful and holier-than-thou. They don't see us, with such fire and life and hope and hard work and trying so hard to follow in Jesus' footsteps and come closer to God! Or they haven't seen anyone at all, and they only have the internet and here-say to give them any information. But they judge. 

Do you want to be like that? Do you want to judge like those who judge you? Becuase you are judging, whether you mean to or not. You may have only seen the news, with the suicide bombs and the chaos and destruction. You may look at photographs and see only foreign eyes looking back. You haven't met Barrea, or Amal, or anyone. You don't see that despite the differences there is a person standing there in flesh and blood. There's a face under the hijab. Can you look at that living person and still want to hurt them? Can you see that smile and still want to wipe it away? 

I don't think you do. I think you are good people. 

So my concluding remarks are these:
-In Islam, there are extreme people. Bad, hateful people. But there are also these sweet, funny, intelligent, friendly, kind, wonderful people. I've seen them. 
-To judge them or be unkind is to be hypocritical. We're supposed to turn the other cheek when we're slapped; if someone hates us, we are supposed to show them only love. And when someone doesn't hate us? How can we hate them?
-One needs more information before saying anything. If you don't know about it, don't open your mouth. Open your mind.
-You don't have to agree with someone to care about them. I disagree with my father all the time, my brother just as much. I disagree with my friends sometimes, too. But that's life.   


I hope no one is taking this all the wrong way........

Author's age when written


I get mad at the same things. Perhaps even madder, as I have grown up around Muslims, and have yet to meet one who is not cheerful, hospitable, and friendly.

I have found that Muslims generalize about us in the same way, though. A friend of ours heard that some Americans were coming to visit and said that she thought we'd come in wearing miniskirts - quite the contrary, we were wearing longsleeves and long skirts! To be honest, we're less worldly than a lot of our Muslim friends! 

We always have to be careful of stereotypes and generalizations. It is such a hard trap to stay out of! But by God's grace we can, and by God's grace we can fix other people's presuppositions of other cultures, and by God's grace we can bring Muslims to repentence.


Ky, isn't Jihad a fundamental of Islamic faith? And, do you know if the correct spelling is Qoran or Koran? Or Quoran? I see it so many different ways!! See, these are the kinds of questions I'd ask if I knew a Muslim. ;0)

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Wise as a serpent, and gentle as a dove... that's such a good analogy, I'll remember that. :)
I've wondered about the spellings, too. And how to pronounce hijab? I've heard it a lot of different ways.
I definitely agree with what was said about their dedication... I think it's pretty brave to be out there in the world wearing a sign that you belong to a faith that many people are suspicious of or hate you becuase of it. It's pretty sad that so many Christians can tend toward being (as my mom says) "wishy-washy", myself included. After reading Does My Head Look Big in This, though, I was kind of like, "Okay, I can be dedicated to my faith, too, and I can be an outward sign of Jesus' love." So now I try to be less timid....
Does My Head Look Big in This, (by Randa Abdel-Fattah) = great book. I really thought it was funny, sincere, and gave insight into the life of a Muslim girl. Some parts are kind of mature, so I'd recommend it for high school readers or older.

Heather: Jihad both is and isn't... it's kinda confusing. Because there are the Islamic Radicals (Taliban, etc.) and there are your normal every day Muslims. They say they can kill people who've converted from Islam to Christianity. It's confusing... I don't really understand it.

As for Koran/Quoran/Qoran/Quran... it's قزان


We usually spell it "Qu'ran." The first sound is a letter/sound we don't have in English, which is why it's so confusing. Same with the vowel in the second half. (which I actually didn't write right, it has a squiggly on top of the line/alef).

As for graciously speaking the truth... my mom is constantly reminding me to be gracious. Like James, I tend to have very strong opinions and voice them, often not very gently, either. I get a very straightforward this-is-right view when I'm disagreeing with people and often forget the importance of souls over arguments.

"Gentle and quiet spirit, Kyleigh, gentle and quiet spirit..." 

I agree completely that stereotypes are bad, and that we should speak the truth with boldness and gentleness.

But do also remember that Islam itself, as defined by the Qur'an, is a warlike and unforgiving religion. Muslims who truly follow the ways of Allah as laid out in the Qur'an, and the two secondary books of the Hadith and the Sunnah; Muslims who are true to the teachings of Muhammed--these are the "extremists" we hear about. Islam is an extreme religion, just as Christiantiy is, but the religion of Muhammed is a religion of anger and war, instead of Godly peace and love.

I would strongly reccomend doing a bit more research into this subject before making such generalizations. "Unveiling Islam: an insider's look at Muslim life and beliefs", by the Caner brothers, is an excellent source, as these two men came out of a Muslim background and found the truth of Christ. There's also an article here: that might be interesting.

I have to be careful and check myself frequently.  When I have an opinion, I am usually quite strong (and vocal) about it; but nonetheless I must remember that no matter how wrong someone is, that person is created in the image of God and therefore I owe him or her my respect.  Besides, if I shun people as evil because they have a hopelessly backward and damaging view of the world, how then would I ever show them the truth?  How would God then use me to set them free from spiritual darkness?

We are not called to hate those who are wrong, but rather to speak the truth with boldness.


"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

I've been thinking some of these same things, but certainly haven't been able to put them down like you did.  Good job on this. 

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

 I would like to add the word 'gentleness' to James' statement.  We are called to speak the truth with boldness and gentleness.  And I must admit that gentleness is much, much harder for me to practice than boldness.  Show me a wrong idea and I will gladly stand up and shoot it down without a second thought.  But I have to remind myself that being "wise as a serpent" isn't enough.  I have to be "harmless as a dove" as well.

And that's tough when I see people lost in backward beliefs such as Islam.  More so when extremists advertise their hatred.  It's hard to remember that they don't all believe that way.  I can't see them all in the same light.  Forgive the cliche, but one bad apple doesn't ruin the whole barrel.  

I don't agree with Islam in any way at all.  But I know that many of them are still just peaceful, compassionate people, lost without the love of Christ.

If any of you guys are interested, there is a very good documentary about the difference between Islam and radical Islamic Jihad.  It's called Obsession.  A warning: it is very intense and quite graphic.  But very educational nonetheless.

Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

I'll be frank--Islam greatly irritates me. The whole history of it, from its conception to Jihad to women's rights issues to terrorism, irritates me.

However, I also dislike stereotypes. I know only too well what it's like to have others judge me by applying a stereoype. I'd like to get to know a Muslim to hear about their religion from someone whose life revolves around it. And I must say, I admire Muslims for the dedication they usually show to their faith. Christians could certainly learn from that!!

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

This was a good essay.

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Jihad actually has 2 meanings. The first is the battle against temptation and sin... the second is against all of those who are opposing Islam.
It is technically the "right" thing for Muslims, however most do not seem to take it seriously, claiming that Islam is a peaceful religion.
It just goes to show that although they memorize the Qur'an, they do not know what it means.