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Bad Hijabi and the Future Past
why does the future for mainstream Muslims seem to be in the past?
Happy Caturday! Adventures of Bad Hijabi, a weekly serial comic1, happens every Saturday because by the time I get to this day I cannot bring myself to write intelligibly. If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you, wrote George Bernard Shaw. That’s sound advice I will take. Enjoy the eye candy, and hopefully the images convey the story I wish tell you.
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for Caturday, 21.1.2023, here is Adventures of Bad Hijabi :: Bad Hijabi & The Future Past
:: In case you don’t know what a Demogorgon is, here’s a quick recap ::
Demogorgon … referred to as the Imprisoned One … was the demon lord and lesser deity of domination and the draining of energy, an embodiment of madness and destruction that sought to drag all down into the infinite depths of the Abyss. Inspiring fear in even other demon lords, his self-proclaimed title of Prince of Demons was won by virtue of power and influence; many demons challenged it, but none could defeat Demogorgon and claim it. “Know me then by my best name, mortal. You face Demogorgon, Prince of Demons.”
A Blast from the Past
I don’t find God in religious communities. I wish I did, it can feel awfully lonely, especially in the early grieving for my parents, through whom I met God and through whom I always found Him. I don’t find God in religion anymore. I look for Him there, and I mostly don’t find Him. I continue to look for Him there from time to time, I have hope, as time passes and I grow older I don’t know why. Worship of God is a tricky thing for me — necessarily solitary, yet a yearning for connection to a community of humans never leaves me. I live at the edge of things, preferring to preserve my Self, preferring to guard my intellect. I gave the groupthink thing a chance, a few times. I tried to ignore the homophobia, the occidentalism, the identitarianism, the pasty shallowness of fanaticism, and the guarded manner of my presence, tolerated. Then I would grow bored and retreat. I hate cults. I hate groupthink. This makes me weird and a misfit, maybe.
One thing I noticed when I became a Muslim is how some other Muslims would want to connect with me on Facebook simply because I joined their tribe. I found it weird and high-school level maturity. I also noticed the expectation that Muslims care only about a particular range of socio-political issues that often have nothing to do with their individual daily lives. Suddenly I needed to have any fcuks to give for Arab nationalism and politics simply because the primary text of my religion happens to be in Arabic. I felt a bit like I had walked into Narnia and met the Ice Queen. I felt more like I’d had an encounter with a Demogorgon—an insatiable creature who wants to possess and consume me. Being in a group of Muslims dominated by Muslim groupthink inevitably ends up feeling like trying to have a chat with a Demogorgon—uncomfortable + brain draining, and disquieting. Religious community can feel like you’re surrounded by hoomans who only see you as a currency in their game of worship.
Look, I’ll be honest—if you are praying and following all the rules and giving your zakat and doing your good deeds and then you are calling for an intifada, saying no gay lives don’t matter2 in a religious homophobic rant, calling for the destruction of Israel, calling for the banning of Jews from their holiest site, or denying the holocaust in response Middle Eastern politics, then I don’t think God lives in your little cult gathering. Just like I don’t think God lives in your cult gathering if you protect child molesters and rapists whilst strutting around in your Gucci shoes living in your gilded palace. Sorry, not sorry, you assholes—God does not serve you little institutional empire. I got to this place because I decided to look for God. I have just figured out the only way to keep Him is to keep seeking Him.
Whenever we think we have found Him we have necessarily pushed Him away— choosing ego over Him. I realise now that God lives in the seeking, he lives in the empty + heavy moments of loss, He lives in those moments when my lungs feel to heavy to inflate and my heart aches at another systolic contraction. God lives in vulnerability, He lives in uncertainty and humility and simplicity and poverty of ego. When I stop seeking, I lose God.
How much of organised religion is really self-worship masquerading as piety? How much of organised religion is getting dopamine hits just like the blokes in the DTES getting their crack rocks off? Is religious groupthink like crack? YES. People on crack become nutters—religious fanatics are like crackheads. I don’t find God in religious circles anymore, I only find Demogorgons, and at times they look frighteningly familiar because when you have seen and studied extremism you get to know very well what it looks like. The Muslim collective mind seems enslaved to some kind of romantic vision of a past era and it seems overly enamoured by things that happened and people who lived a thousand years ago and overly committed to not seeing the reality facing it in the moment.
Bismillah, may we have the wisdom to recognise God and may we all have the moral courage to follow His grace.
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the graphics, unless otherwise noted, are made in collaboration with midjourney ai
Gay Lives Do Matter every life matters He made them all and who are you to decide His creation is not worthy of you?