If I were to produce a reality show, it would be about my life. Like my book, it would be about an American woman who was born and raised according to American values and Western culture and then adopted Islam as her way of life. It would focus on my own personal struggles to “fit in” Muslim society in America–not the radical side of Islam, because quite frankly I have yet to meet a “radical” Muslim in any masjid I’ve attended. They certainly are not in the main masjid that I regularly attend. In fact, nearly every week during before Friday prayers (Juma’), the sheikh has some not so nice things to say about those people who call themselves Muslims and yet do not follow the word of GOD as given in the Holy Qur’an.There are other “Western” women at the masjid but most women are immigrants from some part of the world–Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Malaysia, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, etc. (Most of the people at the Shi’a masjid are from Iraq.
I am wearing different clothes; my day is organized around my prayers. My diet has changed somewhat (no port products or wine). I attend Islamic classes and we study Arabic, Muslim culture, and the Holy Qur’an. The women in my class come from many different nations, as well as a few Americans, most of whom are married to Muslim men. I am there because I made the decision to adopt Islam. No Muslim forced me or tried to dissuade me from converting (or reverting, as Muslims usually call it). I try to read part of the holy Qur’an everyday. I try to follow the road of kindness that is laid out by GOD in the Holy Qur’an. Fitting in is a bit hard, but people have been nice. I also try to attend the Inter-Faith Dialogue and Tri-Faith Dialogues here in San Antonio. We are dedicated to peace amongst all religions.
My story would tell how I became involved with Sufism. I subscribe to a blog by a dervish who has taught me much about the Sufi (mystical) world, which is a world I chose enter. We have a Dhikr Circle at Haven for Hope the first Thursday of each month and we are looking for a permanent space for the third Thursday of the month So far nothing has come along, but Allah knows best. We will find a good home.
My reality show would have to include my daughter and her family, who have been tremendously opposed to my adopting Islam and wearing hijab. My conversion makes my daughter suspicious of my motives and she claims it confuses my 15-year-old twin granddaughters. Since I converted, Sabrina rarely calls and I am never invited to her home. My reality show would also be like Clean Sweep, showing the de-cluttering of my house, and also showing my efforts to go back to graduate school to study Forensic Psychology. It would also include mt son-in-law who has a tremendous bias against Muslims because he lived in Saudi Arabia. He was and is worried that Saudis take advantage of people. The ironic thing is that I know and associate with very few Saudis. They have their own cult type of Islam.
Our (Sabrina and mine) therapy sessions with John, my therapist, would be part of the show. I go to see John almost every week and it is an important part of my life. My therapist, too has a bias against Muslims from his contacts with Saudis, but keeps an open mind about my conversion. He has even said that my depression and anxiety seems better since my conversion. I seem more at peace until Sabrina and I have a blow-up. Then I feel suicidal and wonder whether this is all worth it. But It is, and it’s not the religion that is making Sabrina hostile. She has been hostile ever since she met Clint and worse since she got married 2 years ago. So I would have to include my not-so good relationship with my son-in-law, and my good relationship with my granddaughters.
There would be a lot to put into a reality show, and I’m putting it down in writing in my book. Perhaps some day it will be published and someone will want to make a reality show from it. Who can say?