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Monday, September 29, 2014

Muslims and Me

I never write about anything contentious because… well basically I’m a gutless wonder.

But today, sick and tired of inflammatory misinformation spread by global sensationalist media, I want to write about the only Muslims I’ve ever come across.

I’ve only ever met a few in my life. There aren’t that many in North Queensland really.

Let’s see…there’s my doctor, my dentist… my gynaecologist and my tax agent. That’s probably it.

Oh yes... there was one other Muslim I met once. She was a mother at the Catholic primary school I sent all five of my kids to.

She had about six kids but one of her daughters was in my nine year old son, Hagar’s class.

I can’t remember the little girl’s name because it was eleven years ago. Hagar’s teacher had asked me to direct a play for the class entry in the local Eisteddfod. I decided to cast the little Muslim girl in the lead role of our dramatic portrayal of the antics of thirteenth century Sherwood Forest. 

She was entrancing… a natural, an exuberant charismatic talent; far more comfortable on stage than any other student in the class, including my son Hagar.

“Just make sure she wears long pants,” whispered Mr Cook the teacher. “It’s to do with her religion.” 

That was cool. She was playing Robin Hood. Robin Hood could wear long pants.

I sat beside the Muslim girl’s mother a few months later at a school basketball day. Hagar, although pretty crap as an actor, was a brilliant basketball player. He’d been allocated a key supervising role for the day and I watched him scooting around the court, passing the ball to hopeless, gangly newbies. He encouraged them, never criticising or condemning the terrible lack of skill and physical dexterity going on around him.

“I love Hagar,” commented the Muslim mum beside me dressed in her strange Hajib; strange to me as an ignorant North Queenslander anyway.

I turned in surprise.

“He has such cute eyes,” she continued. “I tell him he has cute eyes all the time when I see him after school and he blushes,” she laughed.

We sat there for the rest of the game gushing to each other how gorgeous we thought each other’s kids were.

That’s my experience with Muslims.

Just one mum talking to another about our children.