Time to celebrate!! My internet has finally been restored to me!! Mashallah!! All the thanks in the world to Bro Zafar, who wasted 2 hours of his day off here sorting it out, most of which was spent trying to get sense of the internet help desk in India! (not fun!). Not only is it back, but their generosity, (or pity!), meant that Zafar and Fizza returned to my place late in the evening with a wonderful stand-alone-fan, so the temperatures and the medications no longer keep me awake at night! The wonders of cooling devices!
That said, no matter how affective your UK made fan might be, nothing can compare to the wonderful sealing fans we had in Karachi! Maybe they do get filthy, and hurt like hell when they fall on your head! (this did happen one day when I took it upon myself to try and get the muck off the blades!), but the air circulation they can offer is incredible!
Right! Now I’ve got that out of my system, I’ll stop talking about fans! (…, Remember that millat fan add?).
My first SIF board meeting is tomorrow!! I know nothing more than its aim is to elect office bearers! Do I think I will be one of them? (probably not!). When I analyse the make-up of the board, its certainly allot more promising than I had originally anticipated in terms of diversity; we have women! (we really do!!), we have 2 reverts now (Including myself), and 1 disabled person (yours truly!). How that works out in practise re: the grand power balance; I think it’s a dead cert. to say that it will be safely in the hands of the men! I don’t know the 2 new females who are to join tomorrow, but those I do know are pretty passive, moreover, I thought there would have been some constitutional rule banning too many family members from holding office on the same board? (we got 3 at my last count!!). Part of me says I should not be cynical, especially not so early on, neither should I close my mind to the possibilities of transparency (maybe us Muslims will actually get there 1 day!), but past experience has shown me that when it comes to such things, its in their interest to have me there; I am a white revert, shia, and blind! (3 equality strands safely in the bag!!), (oh! And divorce might also count as an equality strand within Islamic thought!). While I might be more feisty than they hoped, will I really have the authority to make an impact in the long term? Keep in mind, I applied for a place; I was not asked to join!
In her blog, Lucky Fatima often refers to a concept she terms as “white privilege”, the idea being that white reverts receive a bazaar form of elevation within the Muslim community, simply by nature of the fact they are white, that they have found the path on their own, and that white somehow validates the faith. No one will have their kids marry them, and no one wants too much of a gora influence penetrating their family! But hey; inspirational they are! When you add disability to that you got “BBW Privilege!” (don’t be running away with something dodgy now will you!! BBW=BIG BLIND WHITE privilege!). No kidding! It does exist, and seriously stunts your ability to work out whether or not your contributions are genuinely valid. When you are constantly being told how wonderful it is that you are blind and can go to the toilet on your own, can live alone, can dress yourself and manage to get a spoon full of rice to your mouth without wearing it, you tend to find that actions such as sitting on management boards and campaigning for equality rather get lost in translation. I’ve recently been presenting some shows on Hidayat TV; some on issues facing new Muslims, and the rest on disability; (you know the kind of thing; “hey! We might be blind but we can do all that you can and maybe more!”). So many have come up to me in material shops, on the street and in the masjid, congratulating me on the programmes and telling me how nice they are; and, heart warming though that may seem, if I probe further and ask them which points they felt were best made, which ones I should emphasise on and which should be left out, they will quickly change the subject or find some one else to be talking to! I.e., “we didn’t hear what you said; we were too busy getting over the fact you are blind!”.
The folks who will serve on the board with me are acquaintances; quite a few of them have known of me, at arms length for a few years, but none are my friends, and I worry that my BBW Privilege, coupled with my being shia and my overall zany approach to life in general might make me a bit of a misfit! Heyho; all’s good in love and SIF!! Watch this space for more tomorrow, (which is Friday: woohooo!!), how long has this week been!