asalamu alaikum wahrmatullahi wabarakatuh (may the peace and blessings of God be upon you)
I am a thirty something canadian woman who submitted to God through Islam more than twelve years ago, after years questioning and contemplating. I prefer to approach Islam with a gentle heart, but also through the eyes of subculture. After years of struggling to find my place within the local muslim community, i began interacting with muslims who are proud of being muslim, but who dont feel as though they have to attach themselves to a specific cultural group or ‘brand’ of Islam. They are who they are, and understanding this really helped me to remember who i am, or at least who i was before i was convinced i had to be someone else in order to be a believing muslim.
what makes me alternative? living in a very religiously conservative city it is unusual that i embrace the study and practice of tasawwuf, that i am outspoken on community issues, particularly those that affect women and converts and that i am outspoken, often very loudly, about religious conservatism and extremism, especially the modern day scourge, ‘salafism’. And as a proud and loud muslim, i am alternative in a sea of non muslims. i currently embrace a variety of alternative culture, because this is who i am and how i have lived the vast majority of my life; it is who Allah guided me to be and it is how i have found and lived the many blessings He has bestowed upon me.
i aim to write and discuss a variety of issues that confront being a muslim in the west in the 21st century… comments, suggestions and criticsm always welcome.
you can also find me as a staff writer for the Western Muslim Initiative online mag… http://www.thewesternmuslim.com/