Mistreatment elsewhere doesn’t justify mistreatment here. We are a nation that prides itself in being the greatest in the world, and so our standards for justice, tolerance, and freedom should also be the greatest. We shouldn’t measure our treatment of minorities by how other places—places we look down upon for their lack of “civilization” and “development” –treat their minorities. Rights are universal and what is wrong is wrong, regardless of who does it, where it’s done, and who it’s done to. We wouldn’t dare say that it’s okay for a child to be beaten or assaulted in school because he or she might face that kind of treatment at home. Similarly, it is unacceptable to say that bigotry against Muslims should be ignored or tolerated because things elsewhere are unpleasant.

An excerpt from my first piece in SalaamCal, Racism Against Muslims: How Not to Respond and Why. Continued:

A good citizen is not defined by silence or obedience. What defines a good citizen is constant awareness about what is going on and the ability to take action about the things that are wrong in his or her country. A wise man once said that the highest form of patriotism is dissident. Are we even close to that? Or are we busy brushing every hit against us under a carpet of silent approval, because we’re afraid to be told to go back to where we came from?

Before I forget, I’m writing as a regular columnist for SalaamCal now (the first article will be up in a few days when the second issue comes out) under my real name (no, Zilvia is not my real name) and I won’t say who I am but you can probably figure it out based on what I’ll be writing anyway. And I’m nervous and excited and terrified and experience the rest of the whole spectrum of emotions every time I think about the fact that I’m actually writing but anyway, that’s not why I was making this post. I was saying that you (yes you, you reading this) should go take a look at the SalaamCal website and read stuff and if you like it you should tell people about it and if you don’t then you should anyway because SalaamCal is really new and it’ll get even better. Though it’s a ridiculous idea, not liking it. I’m writing for them, you can’t dislike them. There’s a whole bunch of other people you probably know from Tumblr that are writers or editors or other staff members, they’re all lovely and you can’t dislike it now, not possibly.


What I wanted to say is, we’re open to Muslim writers, photographers, artists of any sort, reporters, etc., as guest or regular contributors. Here’s a safe space for you to speak out, discuss, analyse, poetically rant, amuse, touch hearts, and bring attention to what you want, what you think the people- in particular the Muslim Ummah- should be informed about. There’s a spot for applying up on the website, but you can always come ask me questions if you like.

Now go LOOK.

Do My Shoes Match My Hijab?

45 minutes. That’s how long it takes me to get ready in the morning. By the time I pick out a complete, chic, color-coordinated outfit, find a matching hijab, and fix the disaster that is my morning face, 45 minutes have passed. One morning, while I was staring at my messy closet keen on finding my outfit of the day, it hit me: why do most girls take so much time out of their day just to look good? So much thought, planning, and sometimes frustration goes into choosing an outfit and for what? Is it for others to notice us or to show off at how much we can spend? Think about it for a minute, because I doubt I’m the only one who notices the fashion show fiasco every Eid morning at your local masjid. Sometimes I feel like it’s a competition; if I don’t have those new studded heels that look like they could paralyze someone, then I am not reading the right magazine. According to The Daily Mail, a study finds that 48% of women dress up to impress other women and 22% find a man’s opinion worthless. Sorry guys.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to look in the mirror and look pretty because it definitely has a positive effect on my confidence. But sometimes I wonder if all that time, effort, and money spent on a dress or heels is really worth it. We Muslim girls aren’t supposed to stand out in a crowd. Our hijab helps us stand out enough, but in a good way because it shows off our modesty. We don’t need to be in an outfit that consists of the entire color spectrum to get noticed. The ladies in our community are beautiful, mashaAllah; we don’t need to make it more difficult on the poor young men who are only allowed one gaze.


People make fun of ‘haraam meat police’ and ‘meat inspectors’ but if the sahaaba were here today, and they saw the state of the ‘halaal’ meat industry today, they’d be scared to be anything but vegetarian.

Kamran Haikal, “See That Sign? It Says Halaal!” | SalaamCal

With the advent of the industrial revolution, slaughterhouses in the West began using conveyor belts and machines to slaughter animals to keep up with the demand for meat. ‘Halaal’ slaughterhouses, also needing to keep up with demand, began to follow suit. To replace the need for a Muslim slaughtering each animal, ‘halaal’ slaughterhouses soon began implementing basmalah and takbeer recordings to be played while animals were pushed through conveyor belts to meet their unfortunate fate with a mechanical knife. Imagine a long line of chickens getting their heads chopped off rapidly by a saw. Now, imagine a cassette tape playing in the background which repeats ‘Bismillah, allahu akbar’ every now and then. This is the majority of ‘halaal chicken’ you’re probably eating, and some beef as well. Islamically and ethically, this is not a proper method of getting meat on our plates.

There’s increasing levels of corruption in “halaal” meat industries, like any other. And even if most of them are owned by non-Muslims the fact that we as Muslims are major consumers of said “halaal” meat means we also hold major responsibility at doing something about said corruption.

I would not necessarily agree with his idea of “voting with your money”, but it’s an issue that needs addressing, yes.


I wish I could say I love having guests over. But alas, it is probably the second thing I hate most after doing dishes. It’s not that I don’t like people; it’s what happens before and during the visit that makes me want put myself up for adoption. I don’t understand what gets into our parent’s when they find out guests are coming over; it’s as if there is a trigger that waits to go off hours before they arrive. That trigger brings out something every child fears…parentzillas.

First thing that happens is my mother tells us to tidy up the house. But nothing is ever good enough for parentzillas. All of the sudden, books that have always been on bookshelves don’t belong there and vacuuming needs to be done, even though it only makes sense to vacuum after they leave. In my family, while we are all running around the house cleaning and adjusting things, my father notices the rug is off center, so we all have to move away from the center of the room, stand like sardines against the walls, making sure we aren’t stepping on the rug, and wait for him to pull and center it. Then he goes on about how we never notice that the carpet is off center. Of course, parentzillas don’t just stop at off center rugs, it reaches the kitchen when your mother realizes that the Tang isn’t mixed and the chips and dip aren’t poured yet. And God forbid anyone forgets to refill the ice trays, because then it would legitimately be WWIII. But Alhamdulillah, we manage to get everything ready and turn our frowns upside down the second the doorbell rings, and we all line up to greet the royal family that was the root cause of everyone’s anger five minutes ago.

Parentzillas do not become tame when guests are over, no. Instead, you have to make sure your eyes are on them at all times so you don’t miss “the signal” that tells you what your next move is. If you miss the signal and one of your parents has to get up, get ready for the glare that will burn a hole in your face.

You also have to always make sure you are sitting in the most poised manner or your parents will be labeled the worst parents in history by their guests, even though the guest’s children are eating with all ten fingers. I don’t understand why I can’t sit pretzel style on a sofa or chair. Are the guests not humans? Do they not sit that way in the comfort of their own home? In fact, I think that everyone should be able to sit the way they want. Parentzillas act like guests are not normal people who slouch in their chairs, eat with their hands, and even throw away their own napkins. Dear God, why do I have to always throw away their napkins? There can only be one place where the trash bin is.

I am confident that many people who live with their parents can relate to this first world problem. I mean, parentzillas need to calm down a bit and not worry so much how they will appear in front of guests; who I might add have known them all their lives. In my opinion, if the food is good, you have the guest’s approval in the bag. No one will even notice the off-center rug, I guarantee it.