A few years ago, my beloved child was kidnapped by a cult, which made a monster out of innocence. I was deprived from mourning this loss, showing off cute childhood pictures and flaunting my love. I did not dare express my tears in bright sunlight, and could not wait to hide an erupting volcano of tears in the darkness of the night.
Everyone blamed me, from pediatricians to teachers for raising a monster. All around me, stares spoke paragraphs of blame: there must have been parental neglect, passing of some corrupted genes, perhaps even purchasing toys with the wrong themes. On top of imprisoning my tears so I am not ever caught mourning, I was chained by enormous guilt.
This is how I feel about ISIS and the like, they kidnapped the perception of the Muslim-American identity, its narrative, and Muslims at large have been mourning since!
Muslim-Americans have been suffering in silence without the courage to admit to others that our psyches have been bleeding, because we have been busy apologizing for crimes we have not committed. I am writing this article because, the bleeding has soaked the thickest bandages, and it became impossible to conceal our pains…
The writer appear to be a Muslim called Marwa Azab (bio here). As a parent, I am sympathetic to her. Children turn out the way they do based almost 100% on a combination of genetic inheritance and their surrounding culture (peer groups, schools, etc), with about a 50/50 split. Detailed studies of identical twins adopted at birth to different families show that — apart from gross negligence — the parenting style is almost irrelevant.*
Still, there is the cultural part. And this child may have been brought in the culture of Islam, that in my opinion, is a cult itself. (Of course, the parents might even be atheists, so I obviously cannot say for sure).
As for the whining about Islam part, all I can say is that people having plenty of reason to worry about Islam. She needs to ask herself why other religions are not treated the same way. Who cares much about Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Sikhs? Not very many — I for one am prepared to take a live and let live attitude towards these believers. Islam is a whole different story.
*If you disagree with me, read these two books and then back and argue about it. Otherwise I am not interested in your uninformed opinion so don’t bother leaving comments. The concept that parents determine how children turn out came from Sigmund Freud, and he was not basing his opinions on scientific research but just sort of making stuff up. He has now been completely discredited.
The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do (Judith Rich Harris)
The Blank Slate (Steven Pinker)