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Apparently, being Catholic is hot now. That’s actually not news. For those of us that grew up not Catholic, “being Catholic” looked cool and hella tight and it seemed like the “hottest” religion. Meaning people who are Catholic gave off hot vibes. Being Muslim was not that hot back in the day (early-2000s), surprisingly!
Sarah Hagi wrote a great Gawker rejoinder to this fake news—and guess what? Maybe you mfs should sit your asses down and listen. Because the frequency with which I’m seeing non-Muslim/Arab people use the word “inshallah” these days has me a little sweaty in the pants.
Look at how many likes this tweet has:
Is this meme really that funny? Outside of the cowboy praying, it’s not, and clearly the only reason it’s “funny” is because someone used the phrases “Allah’s Heavenly Kingdom” and “inshallah” in Impact font. Yet, a more important question than “Is this meme really that funny?” (and I don’t think there are many more important questions than that one…since time immemorial…) is this: do we now have, say, a preponderance of evidence for a certain type of internet guy who loves to coopt Muslim/Arab aesthetics for Twitter clout? Hm? Is this a clear-cut case of “They hate us, now they wanna be us” vibes?
You could argue that this is all circumstantial, that no, we don’t have, as you said, a preponderance of evidence. You could argue that that maybe this newsletter isn’t worth your time, and did I really just read that preceding paragraph, and why did I subscribe to this shit in the first place? I wouldn’t blame you. And you could also argue that I’m a huge little bitch. But that’s never stopped me before.
Ultimately, gatekeeping Islam seems antithetical to the whole point of the damn thing. I should be welcoming everyone into my beautiful culture with open arms. Say the shahadah—bear witness in front of a group of your peers! Memorize the 99 Names or Ayat al-Kursi! Fast for a whole month, it’s hella chill, trust! Come to Sunday School with me and my boys Taha, Ahmed, and Zach, and then fuck with the volunteer teacher so hard that the guy gets so mad he quits the two-hour voluntary thing he agreed to do on weekends just to be a nice person and give back to the ummah! We can do it all together.
So, no—I guess I am not preventing anyone from using phrases like “inshallah” or “mA” or “wallahi.” Go head, white man…type it into your little imgflip tab…But just don’t think I haven’t raised an eyebrow. Don’t think I haven’t thrown a flare out into the Muslim/Arab world. We’re hot now.