THE BLOG

The 2016 Muslim Woman's Survival Guide

09/12/2016 12:07 GMT | Updated 09/12/2016 12:07 GMT

1. Carry a 'mastered English' certificate ready to dish out, whenever required. If that requires rummaging through boxes in parents' lofts to find primary school spelling tests, just do it. You need to prove that you can pass an ESOL test, even if you snuck in an English A-Level or degree.

2. If you know a 'ghettoised' aunt/neighbour/your own mother who hasn't learnt to converse yet in cockney slang, don't ask why. Just disregard everything else they might have accomplished for society and enrol them into a non-existent ESOL class (as the real ones, due to no funding, are no longer running). And as a back-up, do make a list of what positives they might have achieved.

From the number of belts, clothes and other items laboured over in British factories from the 70s, through the 80s; to the amount of corner shops, clothes shops, laundrettes that were assisted in. Maybe this all doesn't make a sufficient mark, but keep this list - in the memory of people who invested long-term in a society, but got measured only by their capacity to be bilingual (something I'm sure most Brits are professionals at).

3. If you live in a 'segregated community', make sure that - even if you work so many hours you barely have time to notice who walks in and out of surrounding flats, find out where all your non-Muslim neighbours live and make a record of how often you visit. Even if they scream Islamophobic abuse and slam the door shut, remember it's your problem.

4. Do loads of pretend job interviews, film them and upload them online with the hashtag #MuslimWomenAreWorking. Because even if you are staying up night after night, filling in job applications to desperately acquire the one break - you are still seen as stubbornly economically inactive.  

And lo and behold, if you have decided to wipe bottoms, feed pesky kids something that doesn't resemble a turkey twizzler and try to create whole, rounded human beings, just hide. Hide until your rugrats turn maybe 21. If they become a doctor and do a triple bypass of some Home Office official who forsook England by eating too much Scottish shortbread - only then reveal your past endeavours. It is probably then worth it, as you would have saved a Home Office minister's life.

5. Just remember that Muslims are seen as super-human-mutated X-men with have a different bar, when it comes to social problems. Every community faces challenging, complex social issues that are not easy to stamp out in an instant - but clearly Muslims should just be able to. Be careful of leaking the truth, that we are human just like everyone else, with our fair share of social challenges, lest the microscope fixed solely on our heads should move away.

6. Have some hijabs printed or embroidered with the following:

 a) My brain isn't being wrapped up in this polycotton.

 b) I don't even know if my father/husband/brother/uncle halfway across the world knows what I leave the house in most mornings, as they're still snoring.

Then create an aptitude test to illustrate that you can think, speak and aren't automatically conditioned to spewing hatred of random people; by choosing to live as an observant Muslim woman. It can be signed off by the 'We are Human Despite Some Extra Fabric Association'.  

7. If you are married, it is easier to pretend you don't have a husband. As once you let it out the bag, you are then hiding a chain under your socks that you drag around, ending at the kitchen sink. Both of you, husband and wife, might lead a normal married life with the karate and school run balanced with the cooking, laundry and paying bills; but just leave all that normalcy for behind closed doors.

Doesn't matter what you say or do, you are disposed of by your husband as he pleases. If he is discovered, he will need to fit the controlling mould. Frequent frowns and scrunching the eyebrows, will probably do the job.

 

8. Finally, having said all of the above, you are still in need of perpetual saving. This will be dredged up again in the next new study, or report.

Till then.