It’s really hard to exist in Somali community or any ultra conservative community as a woman with her own mind and full autonomy over her own body. Challenging patriarchy, which is often supported by both culture&religion, is often seen as an affront and betrayal of your culture.
If you say religion is a problem because it infantilizes women and robs us of our autonomy and full humanity, you’re accused of being Islamophobic. This to me is a silencing tactic. I’m quite tired of it, tbh.
Religion sanctions and enables patriarchy and abuse by patriarchy. It infantilizes women and puts men in charge of us. It attaches our bodies to sin by virtue of being born women. We have already committed a crime by being born woman.
When decolonizing our minds, why can’t we talk about how religion suppresses critical thinking, advising that you should never question it even though what it demands at times goes against common sense, and even common decency?
Our morals shouldn’t be governed by the religions of our forefathers. If I say, I don’t practice Islam, Somalis who are in a constant battle across tribal lines, and committing all types of atrocities to one another, want to make me look like I’m a bad person.
What defines a bad person? Your actions? Or that you profess to believe in the God of Abraham? There’s no point mentioning any other tenets because often people just want to know your affiliation. They don’t care what you do really as long as you stay loyal to your birth right.
That’s divine, apparently, and the one and only true path.
How convenient that the religion you were born into is the correct one?