Friday, February 13, 2009

"I wasn't going to shake your hand either"

Asalamu Alaikum sisters!

Time to tell you about an incident while attending Jumah prayers today. As my father, brother and I got out of the car, a guy who apparently knows my dad was parking and honked wildly to get his attention. My dad waved and we walked on.

30 seconds later the dude's jogging towards us with a big grin.
"Hey Ali!" He says to my dad and shakes his hand.

He sees my brother and says "Woah, you've grown taller!" And shakes his hand.

Now I'm on my dad's right, clutching his arm. (It's a habit since I was a kid, and although he complains about it I'll never stop!) My brother and Mr.Cheery here are on his left.

The guy looks at me and says, "Oh, I'm not going to shake your hand, you're a girl" and continues to smile. Like an idiot.

I just look back and reply, "That's okay, I wasn't going to shake your hand in the first place."

Shoot. Trying to brush me away like that.

But my dad just looks at me and smiles because we've encountered people like this before.
Flashback Minnesota, Circa 2006: It was a really big mall with a bunch of muslim stores in there. This guy of an Islamic shop shakes my dad's hand and my brothers. But refrains when he sees my hand duck out. (I didn't wear hijab since I was still a tween)He also said my older brother should be more advanced than me in the Qur'an when I said I knew more Surahs than my brother. My dad later tells me he's just an extremist and try not to get mad at idiots like those. Which I didn't; however, I couldn't understand why they would never shake hands.

I mean, my father was never strict in Islam. He never forced my mother or I to wear the hijab, but just encouraged me. He didn't pray as a youth, or young adult nor sported the beard he has today. (I still think it's fake, but that's another incident for another post, don't worry it's real)He shook hands with woman and wasn't 'lustful' as some extreme people say about shaking hands.

But back to this annoying guy, my dad and I laugh and I then find out more about "Extreme dude"
He's part of this Somali political party (tribal based) and that they claim this land that belongs to this other tribe and blah blah blah. Ogaden Liberation Front? If that rings a bell to my somali viewers go comment.
Anyway, I seethe on the inside because this guy's seriously messed up in the head. You can't be all 'holier-than-thou' and support tribalism while fighting for Ogaden liberation rather than Muslim liberation. A'outhobillah

In the end, I was glad to not shake his hand in fear his backwardness might rub off on me.
Plus, I really don't like to shake hands with older guys anymore. Especially my dad's friends. Well old friends, the ones before my dad had before he became more religious. Granted I don't see them, but whenever an occasional one stops by our house or we see them somewhere, at least they shake my hand. But no hugs, that's too far and awkward.

Then again, there was this one acquaintance of my father who just gave me the heebi-jeebies whenever I saw him long ago. Totally uncomfortable for a 12 year old to feel like some old guy is checking her out.

Ugh, I'm done, peace
-Modest Justice


Anonymous said...

I'm not going to comment on the Ogaden Liberation Front. I don't know a thing about it. Ha!

Anyway, it's like some stranger guys who come talk to your father/ someone else when your nearby so they can check you out. Creepy. If they really want to say salam, they should just say it from a distance and move on. Don't come any closer.

ModestJustice said...

Creepy men, gosh they need a life.

Haha, I'm going to assume a lot of people don't about the OLF, I just found out about it today, go figure.

And yeah if men want to say hi stand across the street and look away from my dad while saying hi to him. That way you can avoid staring at me and getting your face rearranged while looking like an idiot at the same time.

Hey, I like that idea Sumiya! I'll try it next time :D

Anonymous said...

Hey, can I get an invite to ur private blog?

sarah said...

Ogaden is the name of the Region and is not populated by Ogandens alone. Granted, they are said to form a small majority in that region but many tribes, communities and races live in there. Ethiopia as a nation is race based country. Therefore, the Somalis have no immoral demand in seeking an independent region of their own like the rest of their compatriots like Amaharas, Hararis, Oromos, Tigrays and etc! Every region is called by the dominat tribe and self ruled except Ogaden which suffers persecution and self rule. Concerning the man, I don't want to comment on his case unless of course I hear his side, but going by what you have written, he should't have told you "I'mn not gonna shake your hand." He should have smiled, salam-ed you and nodded.

Hijabis On Ranting Tour. said...

Naz should know about that somali thingy :p lol. anywayyy hahaha omg sis you cracck me up i love your posts! and yeahhhh, i get that all the time. and i'm like "DUDE, i wasn't even reaching my hand out to you!" LOL. weirdos ;)

A'qilah Saiere

ModestJustice said...

Sumiya: Sure! I'm just going to need your e-mail address ^_^

Sarah: Thank you so much for informing me. I really didn't have much knowledge on this and may have come off as ignorant, so please excuse me for that. But with the limited information I do know, I assumed that if we, Somalis banished such tribal classifications, we may be able to rule in 'harmony'. My wishful thinking right there. Or at least form a stable gov't where the leader doesn't affiliate with the tribe he was born in for fear of 'favoring' on tribe over another. I mean, we are all the same ethnicity, right? The Ethiopians have the tigrays and oromos, but we are just the Somalis. Take away the names Ogaden, Isa and Isaaq and we're all the same. Oh and the man was part of a political party called "Joha" ? I'm not sure.

A'qilah: Thanks sister ^_^ And tell Naz to drag her butt over here and respond!

Hijabis On Ranting Tour. said...

HEY naaya
about the ogaden yeah (getin all worked up ) ;P
nah am nt even ogaden
but yeah
WE (somaliz) deserve to get our land back from the stupid ethios
but anyways yeah OGADEN IS SOMALI its even represented by one of the points of our 5 pointed star
and eritreans tryin 2 tke sum of djbouti :S
bout shakin de hands thing i dnt mind tht i hte ppl tht stare at de ground wen dey r tlkin 2 me

Anonymous said...

Aha, how funny of this guy. But what trips me out is that some brothers won't even give me salams. They'll give my father and my brothers salams but when it comes to me I get nothing. Of course there's supposed to be adab, but I think men and women can respectfully give salams to one another, no? Oh, and can I get an invite to your private blog as well? If yes, my email is

ModestJustice said...

Naz: haha you crack me up :] But come on now don't call names, Ethiopians people too :)

HalalHoney/AfricanAmericanHoney: Which would you like me to call you? :D
No problem, invitation has been sent. *Warning* If whiny teenagers bother you, this is not the blog for you hahaha

LondonMuslimah said...

I get that too. Very awkward at times...VERY awkward! But like you saide yourself: "I wasn't going to shake your hand either!" So push over brother! Lol

Nice post!

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