Sometimes, someone who doesn’t know any Muslims thinks that they are evil creatures that oppress their women, walk around in long gowns with beards and head scarves, or incognito… Ready to strike!
The truth is, you just need to get to know Muslims! Did you know there are a lot of advantages as a non-Muslim to be friends with a Muslim? Here’s a top 10:
1. Fear is a bad advisor. It’s okay to admit that, by all the messages from the media about Muslims, it’s possible to become afraid. But this is unnecessary! Fear is mainly caused by misunderstandings. The best cure from fear is simply to face your fears. Get out of your comfort zone and get to know the ‘other’! Go to lunch with your Muslim classmates or pay a visit to your Muslim neighbours. You’ll be surprised by their ‘normality’.
2. You’ve been talking with your Muslim neighbour for an hour and he still hasn’t tied you up violently and obliged you to say the sjahada (the Islamic confession of faith)? Does this surprise you? No, Muslims don’t want to convert you. Get your facts straight! Differences are good. Whether you’re religious or not, getting to know a Muslim can broaden your horizons and it will get you many interesting conversations. On top of that, a friendship is a mutual relationship. You will probably teach the Muslim you’re talking to something more.
2. Ramadan + Sugar feast = yes you’re going to gain some pounds.
3. You can make some inside jokes about terrorism with your Muslim friend. Here’s an example: BOOM BOOM BOOM, who’s there?
4. You’ll always know what time it is. Most of the practising Muslims have a built-in clock so they can pray on time… Just kidding. But because Muslims pray five times a day, they generally have a good notion of time.
5. Did I talk about the Sugar feast yet? FOOD EVERYWHERE! And because Muslims are known for their hospitality, you’re also invited!
6. There’s a big chance that you will learn some Arabic words. Mascha’Allah, Maschallah! ( an Arabic expression to praise something good/beautiful with the will of God).
7. You can borrow our Islamic / cultural clothes for (dress up) parties. Oh lucky you!
8. You can always count on a sober, personal driver! Check!
9. You have Muslims in all sizes, colours, personalities.
10. You have the hipster hijabi, the bearded brothas, the arty Muslim, the Muslim geeks, the cool Muslims, the weirdo head Muslim, the Muslim hipsters, the clean eating Muslims, the foodie Muslims, the hippie Muslims, the sporty Muslims, the funny bunny Muslim, the vegetarian Muslim, the vegan Muslim, etc.. So there’s something for everyone! There are so many choices, that you can’t put a name on it (and you don’t have to). So there’s probably a Muslim buddy that’s right for you! Because remember: whatever you believe in or however you look, what matters is on the inside!
So, who will become your next Muslim friend? Or maybe even better, you already have one! If so? Tag him or her in a reaction below! I would love to hear how you experience your friendship!