Sunday, December 11, 2011

All-American Muslim Ep. 5 - Muslims Moving On

Ah, I'll have you know that I'm interrupting my reading of The Iron Hand of Mars to do this. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice! :)

Flashbacks to the last ep: I just want to hug Suehaila all over again! They aren't man enough for you!


Yeah, having a pet with severe allergies is hard. My sister is actually allergic to our cats so we have to keep them out of her room. Compromises can be worked out.

Naseem! *makes cooing noises* I spent most of the day with Eve, my friend who is 6 months pregnant with, of course, Evesdottir. So I'm feeling the whole baby thing right now.

Nawal: 'It's very rude!' for babies to cry in public. Ah...they can't help it. They're babies.

Nawal is very cranky. Is that like post-partum or is it just adjusting to new sleep patterns and everything else that's changed?

Meh, even Nina's sister is against her having a club. *side-eyes them all* I do get the issue with the reputation, but it's really unfortunate that this is a concern for them all. Also, I'm fairly certain they already talk about Nina.

The name of the shop is 'Hija Bee'. *dead from cute*

*glares at Shadia* It's Jeff's dog. Rather than trying to get rid of Wrigley you need to think of another way to deal with it. He's had her for 10 years. Okay, I'll be honest. I would never marry someone who didn't understand that I was going to have my pets. I'm torn, really. I know that she has allergies but she's being a bitch about this. Throwing in that it's 'forbidden' by Islam. It's *not*!

Right. Officially, Shadia is at the bottom of my list. And Jeff for giving in to her. You're going to give up a 15 year old dog? If she goes to a shelter she'll be put down. People don't adopt older dogs! Very unhappy.

The first morning of school scene in the Jaafar household is made of cute.

Nawal is not amused by the discussion of having four or five kids. You should take that hint and stop talking, Nader.

To be fair, I think all families give unwanted advice.

I have to say I do find it funny that Fouad is all...we're very against boys and girls mixing, dancing, he'd have a problem if his daughters decided not to wear hijab, but he's so very, very foul mouthed on the field.

'People seem to confuse culture with religion.' - True. But to be fair people within religion also confuse their culture with their religion.

And your kids are terrified of everything because they've never been around them. I guarantee that.

If your problem isn't that it's a religious issue, which it *isn't*, then why do you keep bringing it up? You're not religious but you're more than willing to use religion as an excuse for things that you want to happen. I don't respect Shadia and I don't like her. I'm just going to repeat that, in case you missed it before.

I know, I know. Judgy Amber is judgy. Hush.

Dear Nina: Re: previous conversation wherein you claimed that all the Qur'an asks is that you be modest. I'd agree. And I'd just like to point out that, even judging by modern American cultural standards, you aren't dressing modestly. I'd you'd had a tramp stamp I could have seen it, what with your pants and your shirt being about an inch apart.

Honest to god, I have no idea why Jeff married Shadia. 'It'll be good for Wrigley.' Bullshit. You're breaking that dogs heart. She's not going to understand why the man who loved her and took care of her for ten years is suddenly gone.

Right, back to Suehaila. It'd be great if this conference opened up a chance for her to move out of Dearborn and live the life she thinks she should be living. don't care.

And crap. I just realized I was supposed to remind my sister to take her antibiotics at 11. Well, her lights are out and her tv's off now. Hopefully she remembered on her own. Ooops.

You know, why are we focussing so much on Wrigley? Oh, I know, because it's a weird Muslim thing and so un-American that they can't have dogs. But you know what it tells me? Poor storyline choice since we could be focussing more on Suehaila and her conference or Nawal and the new baby. It also has made me loathe Shadia. I mean I'm happy that this dog sanctuary called but I still think it's a shitty thing for her to decide that 'compromise' means 'force Jeff to give up his dog'. Argh. Must remember that we don't see everything!

Ah...see...I think it would have been much better to focus more on Nawal, Nader and Naseem. Seeing a new family and how they adjust would be much better. And I'd be less pissed off.

I seriously don't see Shadia and Jeff's marriage lasting, which is a terrible thing to say and I think that he's going to really regret giving Wrigley up for her.


  1. Just searched the net to find out if there was any other outcry about Shadia forcing Jeff to give up his geriatric dog. Found you. Yay!

    I've watched this show for the first time ever this evening and was just nonchalantly following along. These are interestng people. And stuff.

    Then when Shadia was heartless about the dog... and Jeff's heartbreaking goodbye to poor sweet old dog... Tears and more tears. I get the allergy/asthma thing. BUT she lived with the dog for a while, it appears and the dog has only so much time left. Let the two of them (Jeff and Wrigley) be together for the last of their time, for crying out loud. What a control freak she is.

    I, too, don't see their marriage lasting. He has sacrificed a ton for her (obvious in only one viewing) and she will lead him around until he'll break. Sad, really. I do hope they discuss things before they decide to have children.

    Just wanted to feel not alone on this issue. It really bothered me after I went to bed. I mourned for Jeff and for Wrigley.

  2. Throwing in that it's 'forbidden' by Islam. It's *not*!

    It's not? I'd always heard that it was. Wikipedia agrees, not that that's the standard or anything. :D A compromise I'd heard from a blogger I followed at one point was that she did keep dogs as pets but wouldn't let them into the main house. They either had to stay outside, or could come in to a porch or something. She would shed her outside-clothes before coming the rest of the way into the house, and therefore no contamination. So that's a possibility. Of course, this is Shadia. Doesn't the show make her out to be the rebel who doesn't follow most of the tradition? So it's weird and a little cheap to draw the line here and say "nope, can't do it, our religion says so!"

    Hija Bee. :D That is adorable.

    Yeah, it would be nice to see more of a focus on Suehalia in general. :) I'd probably be more motivated to remember when it's on (although I am actually watching this episode right now). Nader kind of bothers me, but I get that that might have something to do with him being uncomfortable with being a new dad and not knowing what to do. What I'm seeing as rudeness is probably something more like awkwardness and cluelessness. But even with all that, BABY! :) I'm in baby mode pretty much 24/7, more so lately since I have pregnant classmates and I got to spend some time with a couple of adorable young children on my last break from school. Basically, every time I see one at this point, Mr Sanil gets a call or text asking when I can have one. :D He says three years. :(

    I was trying to decide if I would keep watching and hit publish only after the show. But Nina's talking about hijab now and I think I want to make my own post about that, so I'll end here and go do that.

  3. I'm disgusted that she forced him to give up his dog, and you're right, that dog has a broken heart. Disgusting! What a selfish woman! Even her mom was against her forcing him to get rid of the dog. How can she be so heartless?

  4. Jeff giving his old dog away was heartless and weak. The poor dog is with strangers wondering what it did wrong and why its owner threw him or her away like a piece of trash. That dog was there for Jeff during hard times and then the minutes his wife says get rid of it he does. Weak, weak, weak.

  5. OK, cracking up at this and then I get to the part about reminding your sister to take her medicine! Woman, you are hilarious! :-)

    I love these running commentaries! Aw, poor Wrigley. :-((((

    Hija Bee IS cute!

    Sanil, your baby comment made me smile although I'm sad Mr. Sanil is making you wait three years. :-(


    My Syrian friends don't seem too keen on dogs. I seriously only saw one dog the whole 12 days we were in Syria and it was in the Christian quarter at the internet cafe we frequented. Cats, in the other hand ... well, apparently Muhammad didn't find them quite so bad so you see them often outside.

  6. sanil,

    The permissibility of dogs is one of those things where there's a lot of disagreement within the Muslim community. It's not as cut and dried as the people who say that they're forbidden want you to believe. Of course, nothing ever is!

    There is at least one madhab that doesn't hold that they are unclean at all.

    Apart from that, the only evidence that comes for a dog being 'problematic' is from the ahadith. And I have a love/hate relationship with the hadith. Though it's one of those, 'not my problem' things, I tend to view them all with a great deal of suspicion. If they make sense with the Qur'an, then I'll consider them. If they don't, then I won't. The ones about dogs don't make sense to me. But that could just be my canine preference rearing it's head. I don't see how any animal can be unclean or evil. And I say that having a great loathing for spiders! ;)

    That being said, even if you did believe that the dog was ritually unclean, there are other compromises that can be made in order to keep the pet. Like you said, the dog could live outside. Or the dog could be kept in a specific part of the house where the fur would be contained. I recall someone (Shadia, since I think she said it and then made a comment about how that wasn't her problem with it, the implication being that she doesn't pray) saying that the dog was unclean so it couldn't be in the house because then you'd have to wash a lot because you have to pray a lot. Well, in the first place, I believe you're supposed to perform wudhu before each prayer anyway, since you're unlikely to have remained in that state of cleanliness between each prayer.

    So the whole 'you'd have to wash so many times!' thing makes no sense. You have to do that anyway.

    The dog could be kept in a specific part of the house *or* the dog could be kept out of the room in the house used for prayer. *If* that was the problem. That's not Shadia's problem. Shadia's problem is that she's allergic to dogs (though she managed to live with Jeff and Wrigley for some unspecified period of time) and that she's 'not a dog person'. So she forced Jeff to get rid of the dog that loved him.

    As I said in the post, my sister is allergic to our cats. We've accommodated this since we're all cat (and really animal) lovers. The cats aren't allowed in her room and we clean the house often. We keep up on the a/c filters and we have a special air filter that runs out in the 'dog room' (where they stay when no one is home) to keep the fur/dandruff down. Accommodations and compromise.

    Shadia, from what we saw on the show, was not willing to try any of that. And maybe that's because of the editing on the show. But the feeling I've gotten about Shadia is not good. I feel sorry for Jeff, really.

    But I'm also angry at him for giving into her and giving up his dog.

    Actually, with Nader he seems to be doing really well with Naseem. Before Naseem was born Nader was kind of freaking out about not knowing what to do with a baby. Now he's playing with him, changing diapers, etc. with what seems to be a sense of confidence. It's Nawal who is having a hard time. And after all, she is the one who *had* the baby and she is the one at home, breastfeeding and doing all of that. I do wonder why they haven't expressed and stored some of her breastmilk so Nader could maybe take a night feeding or two.

    Mmm...babies! Well, I can understand Mr. Sanil wanting to wait, but I'd just like to point out that shit happens. Aisling, one of the women I work with, and her husband weren't planning on having kids for another year or two. They were finishing college and all that. Their son is a year and a half old now and they were (according to her) on the pill. Shit happens.

  7. Susanne,

    Yeah, it was about 11:30 when I said that. I looked at the clock and went, Crap!

    I'm just not going to mention it and see if she forgot I was supposed to remind her. So far so good. *looks shifty*

    The dog thing just pisses me off. I really can't talk about it without getting mad. I want to go up there and slap Jeff for being such a baby and not having the spine to stand up and make Shadia see that it isn't all about her. There were things that could have been done to allow Wrigley to live in the house with them and not kill her allergies. But she (seems to me) to be incredibly selfish.

    I view the problem that Muslims have with dogs as something that was added into Islam by people after the fact, but it's become so ingrained in some factions that it's taken as 'gospel'.

    Whatever. Love my dogs or leave.

  8. Sue866, Hellion and k kate,

    I agree with all of you. I want to think that there's more going on that we don't see, that Shadia is not such a heartless, cruel and selfish person as she's coming across on the show and that it's poor editing choices.

    But I have a really hard time actually believing that. And with her forcing him to give up his dog I'm done with her. I know that's silly since my opinion makes no difference or impact but it's how I feel. I'm also angry with Jeff for being so weak as to not fight for Wrigley and attempt a compromise for Shadia's allergies. It takes some effort, yes, but it can be done.

    I'm disgusted with both of them.

  9. The dog thing made me cry and I instantly didn't like her anymore. There are sooooo many things you can do! Take allergy meds, bathe the animal daily to get rid of dander, keep it in a part of the house you dont go (I guarantee they have basements, most likely finished ones, in Deereborne like the rest of the midwest). How about talk to a doctor before making such a rash decision?

    Poor Jeff made a bad choice. I can't see anyone, Muslim born or not, staying married to that woman.

    Poor Nawal (thats the mom yes?), They need to send her to a psychologist. Even if she doesnt have post pardom depression something is very wrong. The poor thing is so stressed out. Its like she didn't read a single parenting book or talk to other moms the whole time she was pregnant. Its like "crap, what do I do with this thing?" Her eyes say it all. Shes horribly overwhelmed. And that husband of her's is no help cause culturally they aren't expected to help. HELP YOUR WIFE! lol

  10. Interesting! I hadn't realized it was a debated issue. Thanks for the lesson!

    And because it turned out there wasn't much else in the show I wanted to comment on with my own blog: Yeah, Nader is getting better. I just hadn't seen this episode yet when I made my previous comment. And he still seems sort of baffled, like "What? Why are you sad? What do I do about it?" which I guess is how most people would react in a scary situation where they don't know how to help their partner. :D

  11. He seems pretty phoney to me. They both knew she was allergic to the dog. So he either should of told her sorry, but the dog stays, or maybe found a more loving home for her. No way would I give up my dog for anyone, and nor would my husband. I mean she has been around the dog before they married.

    He changed his belief system so he could marry her. It is unlikely he believes in Islam, but it was the only way he could marry her.

    He is a weak man, or portrayed that way. I have a Muslim friend and she said there is no way that his wife is a "true" Muslim. She is only one when it suits her purpose.

    My heart broke when I saw his dog abandoned with strangers. Of course this may of all been written into the script. The dog is old and is going to die without him. All of our dogs died looking into our eyes, kids and all.

  12. LK,

    Ditto. I didn't like her much to begin with, but I really don't like her now. Of course Jeff isn't high on my list either, given that he gave in and let her run rough shod all over him and break Wrigley's heart.

    They do have basements, we've seen them since I think that's where most of them are having iftar, probably to accommodate the camera crew and all.

    Jeff seems to have made a series of bad choices, starting with dating Shadia.

    Yeah, I was wondering about that. Nawal said something about there being no one she could ask about her baby questions, but what about her mom? Or Nader's mom? Or friends/family who have had babies? I think she's feeling unnecessarily isolated and I do think she needs to see someone about that. I can't believe she didn't read any books about the baby beforehand, but there's got to be a huge difference between the theory and then the practice.

    Nader *is* helping with Naseem. I think some part of Nawal's problem is lack of sleep. Apparently they're breastfeeding so I really want to know why they can't take some of her breast milk and refrigerate it so that Nader can take some of the night feedings.

  13. sanil,

    Oh, I looked into that one. Because if dogs were forbidden in Islam I was done with it. I want nothing to do with any religion that tries to tell me what kind of pets I can have.

    *draws the line in the sand*

    Priorities. I has them. :)

    I think Nader is very confused about how to help Nawal. He was scared before hand, but now that Naseem is *there*, he's gotten a handle on the whole dad thing. But I don't think anything they did or thought of prepared him for Nawal's depression and anxiety. I hope that they do get her to a doctor because I think that's the only thing that's going to help.

  14. Josette,

    I had high hopes at the beginning of the show that Jeff had converted for belief and not for marriage. It's clear that that was not the case. He only became a Muslim in order to marry Shadia without causing a rift in her family. That's not the right reason to convert to any religion.

    My anger is that Shadia was absolutely unwilling to try a compromise to enable Jeff to keep Wrigley. She wanted the dog gone, in spite of her claims to 'love' Wrigley and that was that.

    I'm relatively happy that they at least found what looked like a nice and caring place for Wrigley to live. Better a sanctuary that cares for dogs that have special medical needs or are elderly than abandoned in a shelter where she would be put down.

    I hope that Wrigley is happy there.

    Shadia is very obviously not a practicing Muslim. She makes a point of mentioning all the things she doesn't have to worry about because she's not practicing, but then pulls the religion card when it suits her.

    Jeff does come across as very weak and it's probably wrong, but I can't respect him because he just gives in to whatever Shadia wants.

    I cried every time the issue with Wrigley came up and the end of the episode killed me.

    I can't believe that this was just scripted conflict, but if it was, shame on Jeff for going along with it. Playing around with the affections of a dog that has done nothing but love you is cruel. He didn't deserve Wrigley.

  15. It's amusing. She blames Islam for not being able to keep the dog, yet has tattoo's, piercings and doesn't even wear the head wrap. WTFever.

    She's a bitch, he's a wussy, and Wrigley will die, alone. :o(

  16. Sanil,
    The supposed "prohibition" on dogs as pets comes from the hadith and has no basis in the Qur'an. It is a cultural bias carried over into "religious fact". What better way to convince people to get rid of an animal you don't like than to tell them that angels won't enter a house with a dog inside? Well, heck, I reckon I'll keep a dog eventually. Then I'll never die because the angel of death won't come near my house. : P (This was a comment made by another friend of mine and I thought it was pretty darn funny.)

    The fact is that this hadith wrongfully makes evil something that God created, and it basically calls God a liar when He says in the Qur'an that He and His angels are always near.

    People who try to claim religious reasons for doing/not doing things when there are, in fact, no such religious restrictions exist tick me off. Using religion as a cop-out for what somebody personally doesn't like is weak.

  17. Amber, have you seen the stuff about Lowe's pulling their advertising during this show? What do you think? I think it's stupid that Lowe's didn't have the cojones to tell a bunch of religious bigots to take a hike when they whined about how Muslims are "un-American" and Muslim beliefs are "not in line with American values". I'm sorry. If things like charity, kindness, generosity, fairness, respect, etc, aren't American values, then I don't know what are. Certainly not the hate speech I see on comments on the news article. -.-

  18. He shouldn't have given up the dog. If my cats were dogs and my spouse said "You can't keep them", I'd give you one guess as to who would be going. And it wouldn't be my beloved pets. Just sayin'.

  19. Heather,

    I reckon I'll keep a dog eventually. Then I'll never die because the angel of death won't come near my house.

    This is my new plan for immortality. Once I start getting older I'll either become a hermit so I'm never outside of the house with the angel-repellent dog or I'll carry around a pocket-dog! :)

    I figure this hadith is along the lines of the one that says angels curse a woman who refuses to have sex with her husband at any point for any reason. Meaning that it's made of crap.

    Oh, I've seen it. And I will never shop at Lowe's again. And if there are other stores that have pulled their advertising because of these bigoted nutbars I'll never patronise them again. I know the group has claimed that something like 60 different companies have promised to pull their advertising but Lowe's is the only one I know of that is confirmed. They claimed, according to an article that I read, that they pulled it because the show has become a lightning rod for opinions.

    The idea that any religion is 'un-American' is insane. There is no 'American religion'.

    Exactly. I would live in separate housing from my spouse/s.o. if they were *that* allergic to my dogs. And if it was just that they didn't like them? Forget it. Clearly that's just a sign that we're not meant to be together.

  20. I think I'm repeating other people's comments now :P but I only had time to skim. The Hadith about angels not entering houses that have dogs in them comes from a guy who was known as the great cat lover (go figure).

    Also, one of my favourite Muslim bloggers, Organica (, has the cutest dog. (If you follow her on Twitter you'll see pics often, @Organica_).

  21. Becky,

    It was Abu Huraira, right? Aren't a lot of his hadith questionable?

    I know of Organica! I don't follow her or anything, but I do read her blog and love it. And her little dog is the cutest thing ever. Ever.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...