We love you…

…as long as you’re brown.

My weekend was spent attending a Walima celebration out-of-town. The family are my Dad’s friends, they go way back to the mid seventies I think. I think we may be very distantly related too, in the way that Asians are, some random marriage somewhere, you know how it goes.

The father (my dad’s friend) used to come visit us, and he was always accompanied his white convert friend, who was the designated driver. He knew no Urdu, and Uncle T. knew no English. My Dad tells me there was a lot of hand gesturing involved…they always made it to our house though.

When the Uncle got married back home, it took ages for his wife and children to come over. Eventually then as his boys grew up, they would drive the family to come visit us.

The wife had a stroke about 8 months ago, and whilst she has recovered extremely well, she is a lot slower in her speech and gait, but Alhamdolillah she’s doing much better than she was before.

He has six sons, and it was the second eldest one’s wedding. He’s married a local girl, it’s an arranged marriage, and they seem fairly happy. Well as happy as you can be a week into marriage.

Their eldest son R. married a white girl, a convert. She is a nurse and she spent two months looking after her mother-in-law. Sleeping with her, washing her etc. R. says, that if I gave my life it wouldn’t be enough to repay this girl for what she has done for my Mum. He says he married her 1) because she wanted to turn Muslim 2) because he liked her 3) for someone to look after his Mum. 

His extended family have been harassing him for bringing ‘shame’ to the family, for marrying a white girl. He was told in rather crude Punjabi ‘ just have your fun with her, there was no need to marry her’. They wanted him to marry a girl from back home, to be able to call their own family/relatives over.

Strangely though, The white convert guy (Mr Driver) is married to Uncle’s cousin from back home, she of course is now a permanent resident here.

R. was fairly upset throughout the whole event, his wife wasn’t to be seen, she was at her Mum’s house. She’s upset that why isn’t she accepted, why didn’t she get a lavish Walima, why wasn’t she given the princess treatment?

I know this is going to sound far-fetched, but some of his family back home have threatened to break his legs, and kill him if he doesn’t stop disgracing his family. He should divorce her immediately and marry his cousin from Pakistan.

I felt so bad for R. yesterday. He calls me ‘Baji’ (big sister) I watched these boys grow up, played PS with them, and used to take them to the zoo and cinema most weekends. He said he was doing the right thing, the halal thing, he genuinely wanted to be with her and not mess around.   He said nobody else came and looked after my Mum when she had her stroke, and why are they being like this? Our family are racist. They only got Y. (Mr Driver) to marry my aunt so she could come over to this country. It’s fine when it’s for immigration, but not otherwise…he ranted for a while, and even at the function a lot of his family just ignored him. His parents are fine with it all, but the problem is relatives who have filled their ears.

 ‘My family think Islam is only for P*kis’, and yet they preach to everybody else about how a good Muslim should be. (They are quite active in the mosque committees, most of the men are Hafiz, and have beards to their bellies) The conduct of some of the women folk on the evening before the Walima was awful, backbiting and bitching, and snide remarks to my Mum about my not being married. General horridness. My Mum gave me the look, so I just kept reading my book. (ooh that rhymes)

I’m so embarrassed by their conduct, and by their way of thinking. I feel so sorry for him, the poor kid is just trying to do the right thing.

I genuinely hope for his sake they resolve this quickly, and realise how silly they are being.

I know in my colour me wifey post I mentioned that colour isn’t an issue in our family, and I repeat that. My Dad once brought home a black convert from the mosque, telling me that he is a ‘nice boy for marriage’, I vetoed him on his teeth (dealbreaker for me sorry) My Dad also suggested the Marrakesh guy, way before it become trendy to marry moroccan.

Having said all that, there has been a couple of times I’ve been rejected on my ethnic heritage. Not just our caste, (which is bs anyway, why does what my great-great-grandfather, have any significance on my worth as a person now?) but we’re not considered proper Pakistanis as my parents are from Kenya. I speak Urdu and Punjabi, my Mum still won’t teach me any Swahili swear words though.

I’m not racist (I’m specifically talking marriage here) but I will admit to being fattist, and stupidist. I don’t know if that’s even a word and I don’t care.

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~ by Honest Waffle on 09/11/2009.

6 Responses to “We love you…”

  1. I think its funny that desi’s revere people who are white and obsess over being fair and then point their noses in disgust if one of their own decide to marry a white person. It seems that desi society in the UK is still very much “back home” in mentality. Alhamdulilah the percentage of families that demand their daughters and sons marry desi is very low in the US. I think a lot is due to the fact that our imams and shuyukh discuss this issue extensively and are not afraid to say that it completely goes against shariah.

  2. Like I said to my Dad once, they’re all too busy being Pakis to ever really be Muslims.

    Islam asks too much of most people.

  3. mash – thats profound bro.

    We have similar parallels here. But on certain levels – for instance – Most Indians in South Africa do not consider themselves to be Desi’s at all. For us, Desi implies a yearning for the motherland. My only yearning is for Katrina Kaif. Then again – we are like fourth generation here anyway. Brownie be taking over!

    Secondly – because we dont have a ‘back home’ yearning we dont often import spouses.

    But Boy oh Boy Are we thrilled when Blue Eyed Blonde hair Peter takes the Shahadath.

    These are generalisations mind you, but they are evident.

    One last thing – I get the stekkies, you get the bats

  4. lol@ MJ

    “’My family think Islam is only for P*kis’, and yet they preach to everybody else about how a good Muslim should be.”

    I don’t get these so-called Muslims. The essence of Islam is Unity right? Which means no discrimination between race, colour, creed, ethnicity – in fact, its the more the merrier. But you’ll get those that want to hog the religion all for themselves. Rascism is very ANTI-Islam – I wish someone would tell them that.

    I wouldn’t mind marrying a white guy (*swoooon*) as long as he chose the deen before I met him. I wouldn’t want someone to convert/revert because of me, he should embrace it because he wants to.

  5. Azra – I’m still holding out for Andy Garcia

  6. A good friend of mine had the perfect response to this attitude. He said, “I do not want what I cannot have.” Racist attitudes, and the people who have them are just not worth bothering with. None of these people give a crap about the person’s happiness, so why should the person spend any time worrying about theirs?

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