The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about blogging and whether I have a responsibility to the people- you- who are reading what I write. She was saying that I do. I disagreed with her for the most part. I acknowledged that I have some degree of responsibility for the things I’m writing about but I also felt (feel) like I never posited myself as the resident mufti or advice columnist. I am merely sharing my thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and experiences with you. Sometimes my posts can be serious in nature, other times they are not. I argued that I didn’t start this blog so that I could create a bunch of mini-Jamericans. I’m not trying to control anyone’s mind…well maybe my husband’s but that’s another subject, lol.
From this blog’s inception I started out by saying that I knew my views would spark controvesry at times. I felt (and still feel) the Muslim community is steeped in denial when it comes to certain issues. We do not want to talk about or deal with certain things so everyone falls back on the Islamic ideal. (Which in turn causes many of us to behave as if we are perfect; like we always behave in accordance to Islamic principles). Meanwhile, little is being been done to change the condition of our community. I’ve also felt (and still feel) that certain people’s voices have not been heard in the Muslim community. By addressing certain subjects on my blog I hoped to engage in an act of resistance. Speaking out by blogging can be a good way to do that.
After our conversation ended, I reflected on some of the things my friend said. I started asking myself some questions:
If the words I write encourage someone to go against their beliefs or principles am I to blame? And if so, what about their own personal responsibility? Choice? Where is the line between challenging someone to think and encouraging them to do something wrong?
Are certain subjects taboo or off-limits? If so, what subjects should I refrain from blogging about?
Should I censor myself when blogging about an issue or subject? And if so, to what extent? Would I be bowing to the Muslim (or non-Muslim) status quo if I did? Would my voice lose its authenticity? Would I still be “talking it plain?”
At the same time, I am a human being. I have my flaws, I make mistakes and I have my shortcomings. (Some of which are apparent by now). I’ve made the wrong decision far too many times and I’m sure I will continue to make more bad decsions in the future. I’m growing and constantly evolving. By the mercy of Allah, my views may change on a particular subject. Will that affect the way you (as a reader) live your life? Should it? After all, you don’t know me and I don’t know you. But then again we are a community of sorts…
I do think about how one person’s actions (or thoughts) can affect other people. For example, my friend and I were talking about a sister we knew who was a hardcore niqabi. She was always the first person to speak about the beauty of hijab and niqab, how much she loved it and why other sisters should wear it. Unfortunately, this sister is going through some things in her life and she has taken off everything. Whether she liked or not her decision to “de-hijab” came as a blow to some of the sisters who were around her. It made them question some things about themselves and what they believed in. Should they though? If this sister is “going through some things” shouldn’t they allow her space to deal with her issues? After all, none of us are angels or prophets. We are human beings and sometimes human beings lose their way. The only consistent in life is Allah. But I digress…
Recently, one of blog readers told me that some of my posts are a bit risqué. When I asked how so I was told that my music posts were a good example. Really? Of all the things I say on here music makes the list? By now many of you know where I stand on the issue of music. Again, where I stand today may not necessarily be where I stand tomorrow. Who knows, it may stay the same. But am I encouraging those of you who believe that music is haram to listen to it? NO. Absolutely not. If you believe music is haram, please know, it is not my intention to change your mind or recruit you to the “other side.” I think you should simply ignore my music posts. (And I believe that’s what you have been doing anyway, right?) Or am I being unrealistic? Because sometimes its easier to engage in something that is haram (or you believe to be haram) when you see other people doing it. I don’t know…
So what is my responsibility? What is yours? And is there any cyber land?