I frequently get asked if Badara is muslim. When I answer yes, that split second reaction that a human has no control over shows up time and time again in the faces of most people who ask me that question. They are thinking oh poor white girl with a black muslim partner, he must be very domineering, did he force her to convert, and omg what if he hits her.
I'm used to it now. I used to get angry and defensive and immediately go into a long speech about how black muslims are much more tolerant than Arab muslims etc etc but I saw this on Facebook a while ago
and I realised that instead of getting angry about it, it would be so much better to use my personal experience to educate people. I'm open to questions and make sure people feel confortable asking me. Ignorance is what fuels hatred and sterotypes. I have been guilty of it in the past, and probably still am in certain contexts especially when it comes to the burka. (don't get me started on that one!).
Badara is a private muslim. He believes in Allah but doesn't go to the Mosque, he doesn't pray 5 times a day, he smokes and drinks, he doesn't shove religion down everyone's throats, the only way you could possibly tell he is muslim is when he'll say he doesn't eat pork! His faith is between him and his God. His son and Tiana are not baptised. They are free to make their own decisions when their are older. I'm not religious at all, and although in the beginning of our relationship I would sometimes get very frustrated, we've grown to respect each other's beliefs, and well just don't talk about it!
Every religion has extremists and sure at the moment the muslim extremists aren't doing any favours to the millions of muslims who are just normal people, going about their lives in a peaceful way.
I think we should be helping the middle east get educated not tarring them all with the same brush. That makes us just as bad as the fundamentalists. So I do my bit and help people throw away their prejudices by informing them, and as the famous supermarket chain says "Every little helps"!