So I’ve tooted, tweeted, plurk, abd probably annoyed you all to death with this Pink Hijab Thing. And it’s finally here.
So I thought I’d take today, show you a couple of the places in SL that are “Muslim Curious Friendly.”
I think most people know, that as Muslims go; I’m pretty liberal. I really try very hard not to put up that facade we see so often on the net where it ends up looking to me like “I’m Muslim, and I’m the perfect Muslim, and you’re all going to burn. Bask in the Shadow of my Modesty and Awesomeness.”
Actually, I struggle with my faith a lot. With differing standards of modesty and behavior, I try to sort of sit in that bridge place where I’m not “OMG I’m Muslim Don’t Talk to me!!!!” nor am I “Muslim on the face but not in the heart.” It’s a hard act to keep up, especially with cultural pressures from both directions.
There’s places in SL that reach out to the non-Muslim community and try to hold up that bridge position as well. And that’s a part of what Pink Hijab Day is about.. standing on that bridge.
The OnIslam sims in SL have been around for years. Serving as an education and welcome center; their “Virtual Hajj” tour has been featured on both CNN and Al Jazeera. It’s a great place to go to learn about a lot of things Muslim, but especially? It de-mystifies the Hajj Pilgrimage. You’ve all seen images of the Hajj.. usually the “Head down butt up” shots or the “Throng of people walking around the big black box” shots. It’s a lot more than that. And this sim shows you; step by step, the entire pilgrimage process. It’s a time for community, equality, and contemplation. The experience itself, despite the incredible crowds, is actually very peaceful; and the symbolism touching.
Run a search and take some time to go see. The management and staff of the sim is very nice and open; usually bilingual, and always happy to help. Be respectful of their rules, though; which are pretty reasonable. They ask that you keep your clothes on, you don’t say hurtful things, you don’t gesture spam or dance around; no weapons, and no vampire or other roleplay. It’s an education center, so treat it that way. You come there to learn, they’re there to share.
One of the shining monuments of Islam as a multicultural faith is the Cordoba Mosque at Andalusia, Spain. Which.. there’s a rebuild of in SL.
It’s a lovely quiet build. Has also been around for years, and really captures the feel of the original to me.
Why is Pink Hijab Day somehow special as a Breast Cancer awareness day? I’ll tell you something, strange probably to you. But where you think YOU’RE embarrassed by the idea of taking off your clothes in front of your doctor; or talking about intimate problems. That applies doubly so for women in Muslim countries, where cultural pressure has them keeping a silence about anything about them that makes them a woman. Muslim Women have a very hard time talking to a doctor, especially a male doctor, about a problem until that problem becomes too much to ignore. So early detection in a Muslim country is a challenge to say the least.
The thing is? Doctors in Muslim countries are no different than Doctors in the west. They really don’t care about the sexual aspects of a woman’s breasts. They care about the clinical. And until a woman is forced to learn that the hard way.. either through a pregnancy or a health issue that has been allowed to sit and fester too long for it to be ignored anymore, she will keep her trap shut about that little lump she may have felt int he shower.
And we all know how incredibly dangerous that is. So Pink Hijab Day is a day to make us stand on the bridge. To reach out on both sides of the cultural divide. To be able to ask “Hey, why does your hijab cover all of your hair but someone else’s only covers half their head?” And to be able to gather up the courage to say “Doctor, I felt a lump this morning in the shower….”
Hijab, Top & Cargo Pants: –Sakinah– Khadira
Skin: Tuli – Audrey
Eyes: Poetic Colors – Tarn