Top positive review
Five stars. Full review on Blog
6 April 2018
Mothering a Muslim paints a shocking picture of the extent of bullying that children faces within the school premises. Talking to over 145 children and their parents across 12 cities, Erum lifts the veil from a social taboo, uncovering some profoundly troubling truths. The book starts with the dilemma of the author of choosing a traditional muslim sounding name over the modern names. Soon she realised, that she is sharing this concern with many other Muslim mothers. The book gives insight into Muslim community and the dilemma of modern muslims, whether to live according to the conservative rules or to embrace the change.
The author even points out the changed scenario after the 2014 elections. She adds that media is playing a major role here in opinion formation, since right from the national anthem debate to the lynchings over beef…to now the triple talaq law debate, the Muslim community is being projected in a light like never before. And all this is going into innocent minds since the men of the house, no matter what, will always be either involved in politics or be a part-and-parcel of it. That’s how, the usual and unusual political conversations and religious mindset is flowing from our living rooms to the kindergarten classroom! Adding to this, how the sections in school are arranged on the basis of languauges (urdu and Sanskrit) thereby further unfortunately dividing the children on the basis of language (and obviously religion). This is the point where, the school authorities and teachers have to step in. The young minds are too naive to define a muslim or a pakistani, these issues are quite sensitive to be ignored. Rather more focus should be there on open and productive discussions on such topics.
There is also focus on women and their stories allows the book to take a distinctly feminist outlook on religion and identity. At a point, the author comments on what is expected from Muslim women in terms of how they dress, look and behave. She talks about how if a Muslim woman wears the hijab or not is often used to judge her morality and ‘Muslimness’.
The author’s writing style is punctuated by her desire to get a point across to her readers. This book will not be a comment on the superiority of any religion, rather it takes into consideration the effect that negative bias has on children. She writes in a very collected and concise manner. It’s a short book and can finish in less than half a day.
This book is written by a mother. It’s for all of us. To introspect as a society that what kind of present and future are we building up by instilling such thoughts in the minds of young who are not even able to differentiate the right and wrong. A must read!