preaching the unpreachable

Having many children, and coming from a big family with many siblings (sisters mainly) has lots of advantages, after finishing all the complaints about it. Mainly, it is the trending stories and actions that never end. The continuous reflection on ones owns exploration and others. It is a whole society within a single family. All the trends that are currently taking place in a moment and the other, all make a live interaction in my family.
Among other active forced motherly actions, are our transportation trips, of course, being the mother gives me the driver. And of those trips are important; sometimes life changing discussions take place. I have to confess that I seriously consider those conversations as modern and quality time with the kids, especially that it is a forced kind of quality time, a forced audience, a forced discussion and no place to escape, and of course, I am the sole leader. The driver.
On one of those trips my son, made a deep reflection that was timely, after having a discussion with his cousins (my nieces\nephews and my sister: the central section of the family) saying that he is considering becoming an atheist. I was jumping for the joy that I suppressed with all my capacity in order not to show. A Muslim “committed” mother like me, feeling expressing happy about such an infidel, astounding declaration. Of course, I went on with my preaching on religion and asking moderate objective questions to my son and daughters who already consider me as an infidel, atheist, and anti-religionist. It was an important moment for my preaching lessons on religion- my – way. That my children insist no matter what I say and do that I lack the profound assets of a religious person’s foundation.
That moment, however, was significant enough to catch an intersection and make a speech.
My son was expressing together with his sisters, the worrying remarks they have been discussing with their cousins about religion and God, which brought my son into questioning the whole concept of God.
Hoooooooo…. Stop it I thought in my racing mind. Not that fast I was trying to tell them victoriously, but yet, I continued to practice my very desired attempt to behave like a wise person, which I never am. And my son continued: I cannot believe that God is what these people say. I cannot understand a God that asks for the killing off some and saving others.
One could imagine our society with this new almost daily and on every occasion discussion on ISIS, their rise and fall in the minds of everyone. Those lines of people that support them and those who don’t, and to my luck, my children don’t. I was proud to see this whole process of rationalizing the concept of God and relating it to the welfare of human beings. I was pleased to see them distinguishing between what the idea of God could mean about prayers and the applied application that is presented by people in different fanatic approaches.
Just until that moment, I was worried about my son’s influenced ideas about God and religion, about the shape and form of worship through behaviors that start with prayer and certain procedures and everything accordingly is said in the Quran. And no matter how I tried to debate the ideas and challenge them, I was always stopped with the bold answer of: look who is talking, cover your hair first and let us see you praying. A mockery that is always interfered with my youngest daughter sheepishly laughing: Oh you don’t know … mom prays in her heart. Hahahaha.
It was the fist time in years that I felt my children realized that the God we worship under Islam is not through how we pray and what we preach. He is in how we behave. In all those missing or existing values that we need to beget and acquire and perform accordingly.
This rise of extremism inside our families in support or otherwise of ISIS and their terror is leaving a substantial margin in children like mine to rationalize things with an objectivity that the mind calls for, not what they are preached with all the time.
It remains dangerous to hear as well from a child that he wants to become an atheist. Something that didn’t scare me regarding where the boy could be headed towards, especially that the concepts in their heads are still far from ideologies. Everything they do is a result of an accumulated teaching that is based on repetition and imitation. A tradition of behavior that we called religion. It felt safe and rewarding for some moments to realize that the children are not framed inside that fanatic call towards religion, which has become so dangerous, that it became a phenomenon that is sitting with us on our couches in our homes.
It remains hard as well, to rise a child\children inside a society that preaches fundamentalism in the form of patriarchy that is injected into our veins through the milk we sucked and the food we ate. It remains hard to raise children directing for an alternative that sounds as extreme as atheism in societies that God shaped every single aspect of its existence.
And yet, I found it easier to convince my child (almost 18 now) about the existence of a God that is there with no extremity through an atheist eye (the one I am accused of) rather than that of an extremist that sees God in a blindfolded scene that sees nothing except darkness of all except their illusions of a God with a sword whose bloodthirsty for all those who don’t follow his desired path through his designated preachers.


  1. As an American woman who has been following your blog for some time, I want to say that I have a tremendous amount of respect for what you write on your blog, and I actually think of you and your children quite often. I hope so very fervently that there will come a time in the not too distant future when voices and thoughts such as ours will not render the vehemently viscerally negative responses they often do now, and that fundamentalism of all kinds and stripes will not be weapons of silence and intimidation anywhere.

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