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  • Where do you fit in?

    :salams

    I guess this is a question for the 2nd/3rd generation brothers and sisters here.

    I was talking to some people about 20-30 years older than me and they were on about how when they were younger they didnt really fit in anywhere, neither where they were brought up or their 'home country', but now that theyre older they don't really care about any of that.

    So i was wondering have any of you ever had a problem with this? As in not fitting in here, even though you were maybe born and raised here, and not fitting in at 'home' (if you can even call it 'home'!). Here your seen as a 'foreigner' and at home your also seen as a foreigner.

    Do you think its where you were born and raised which affects you, rather than your background? Do you think this is why many people dont want to marry from 'back home' or go and live 'back home' again?

    Ultimately our identity is as a muslim of course, but im curious as to your thoughts.
    Patience...

  • #2
    Re: Where do you fit in?

    :wswrwb:


    Do you think its where you were born and raised which affects you, rather than your background? Do you think this is why many people dont want to marry from 'back home' or go and live 'back home' again?
    to an extent yes it does affect your thinking, etc. but for some the affect may be greater than the upbringing
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: Where do you fit in?

      WS,

      I'm 2nd generation and when I was growing up, I was taught about a very blinkered and rose tinted view of what 'back home' was like. I had to contend with racist bullying at primary school so I never felt accepted as 'British' here, like you say I'm a foreigner here and I'm a foreigner 'back home' too. When I was in my teens, I used to think that I should marry someone in a good Muslim country and settle down there cos' I didn't feel a sense of belonging here at all. A lot has changed since then. When I visited Pakistan as a child, I looked at it through sort of idealistic eyes the way my mum did, but when I visited as an adult, I became more aware of the corruption and how a lot of the visible symbols of Islam in such countries was largely superficial so it wouldn't necessarily be easier to live an Islamic lifestyle or give a child and Islamic upbringing there in comparison to here.

      Realising those things led me to figure out that i wouldn't fit in 'back home' either and so I decided i may as well stick to what I know and stay put, at least for now. If I were offered a rishta from someone who intended to settle in a Muslim country for Islamic reasons, I think I would've still considered it, but I no longer carry the rose tinted glasses or the illusions in my mind as to what it would be like. At least that's how I viewed the situation when I still had my health. Now that I don't have my health I couldn't envisage moving to another country away from my parents and away from the medical facilities I'd need access to. Besides, I'm too unwell to travel so there's definitely no plan to go abroad even for a visit in the foreseeable future.

      Originally posted by Rouz View Post
      :salams
      Do you think its where you were born and raised which affects you, rather than your background? Do you think this is why many people dont want to marry from 'back home' or go and live 'back home' again?

      .
      I think where I was born and raised has had a huge impact on me, my personality and the way I turned out. Having said that, my background is also connected to my parents heritage so that also played a very significant role in how I was raised by them. Both aspects are equally important to me but in different ways. I do think this is connected to the reason as to why so many people want to marry 'back home' or at least marry here into someone of their own race. The racial identity reminds people of 'home', not necessarily 'back home' (for the parents it might be a 'back home' yearning), but the home their parents raised them in and the sense of familiarity that gives. From what I've seen, I think only quite a small proportion of British raised Muslims return 'back home' permanently. Some live abroad for a few years, but most either settle here, or return here after a few years.

      For the more religious and less cultural Muslims though, the 'identity' connection is more to Islam than that whole cultural thing so they're more likely to find compatibility amongst other practising Muslims regardless of their background. Praying together and waking up for sehri together in ramadan offers more of that 'home' familiarity than speaking Punjabi or wearing shalwar kameez, although some people would like the best of both worlds when it comes to familiarity which is yet another reason they want to marry someone of the same background. It's a fair request, as long as people are fully aware that familiarity does not equal compatibility- I think a lot of people (especially a lot of parents) lose sight of that or equate unfamiliarity (in terms of cultural heritage) to incompatibility.
      Last edited by neelu; 28-07-10, 12:34 AM.
      The Lyme Disease pandemic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5u73ME4sVU

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      • #4
        Re: Where do you fit in?

        bismillah, salam alaikum,

        i am revert muslim, hubby was born and raised in muslim country and i am happy about this. :) islamic family, islamic education etc.
        its not so easy to say, but i would say, i feel like a stranger in this european society. here i my area, i don't have really problems with my hijaab on 'cause here are a lot of muslims, but i feel a lot of them are very westernized. i mean, in every society there are advantages and disadvantages. here one have health care for free etc., help from the government if one is out of work, disabled .. etc. that is good. but that is not all. over there in muslim country you have your family, which is very important, important to raise your children. children can go to masjid, learn arabic etc. beeing raised in islam if the family is good practising alhamdulillah. and family ties are still fast. okay, here one has friends, brothers and sisters in islam but it is not the same as having a good family who really cares about you. if you die, and death would come to all of us, i would prefer, yeah, i pray i would die in a muslim country. insahallah. amin. there one must not be afraid of coming into a fridge and one gets an islamic funeral for 100% and not so much paperwork to do over there.

        so i would say i more it in muslim county...
        wa salam
        "what can my enemies do to me: my garden and my paradise are in my brest, whereever i go they are with me. if my enemies kill me, i become a martyr and if they banish me from my country, i go abroad as a tourist, and by imprisoning me, try me, they allow me to have solitude" - Imam Ibn Taymiyah :salams

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        • #5
          Re: Where do you fit in?

          :wswrwb:

          i don't get what you mean by 2nd/3rd generation. Lol am i in any of them
          (The hypocrites) will call the believers: "Were we not with you?" The believers will reply: "Yes! But you led yourselves into temptations, you looked forward for our destruction; you doubted (in Faith); and you were deceived by false desires, till the Command of Allah came to pass. And the chief deceiver (Satan) deceived you in respect of Allah."57:14

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          • #6
            Re: Where do you fit in?

            Lol, as in either your grandparents or your parents moved here, then your parents or you were born here
            Patience...

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            • #7
              Re: Where do you fit in?

              Do you think 2nd/ 3rd generation Muslims are creating their own identity which is neither here nor there? So theres an alternative society which they can choose to be
              part of?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Where do you fit in?

                Originally posted by Rouz View Post
                Lol, as in either your grandparents or your parents moved here, then your parents or you were born here
                Lol in that case then this whole identity crisis/culture clash issue i have recently over-come and i am starting to choose who/waht i identify myself as. I mean the fact that our parents brought us here was because they were running away from wars back home etc and i think it was to get money and yeah well go through education to get money to leave. But they have settled here and i think that many parents have found the lifestyle in these countries like 'heaven' and unfortunetly you can say the deen was left and the lifestyle of the society was adopted. Even their own back-home culture they have themselves thrown aside. For example things like dating has become prevelant amongst all the elders okay not elders but parents and things which aren't within their own culture but the culture or life of the society has inevitabley beocome theirs.

                With that noticed, they themselves have lost their own identities and moreover their children. So we have the parents who have become attracted to the lifestyle of the society and have been sucked into the "freedom" here and have thrown aside the deen. Ultimately they have completely lost their children who have also had to choose their own identities. Now that is where i am at. Before i'd have a clash of my backgrounds tradition/culture then the lifestyle of here and also Islam. But i have ultimately chosen to identify my self with Islam and fit myself in with the Muslims.

                So yeah, the society can play a huge part and your cutlure and Islam BUT like i always say you choose where you want to fit. If it is with your culture/backhome tradition or that of the society or your deen. But we all know which was is the most correct and that is Islam. So if you choose to follow Islam you must do so completely without taking bits and swapping or compromising with society etc and when there comes a clash between things then you follow Islam.

                So when it comes to identity and who do i fit in with, i have chosen to identify myself as a Muslim and so ultimately i'll feel/be foreign to anything else be it backhome culture or here etc.

                An it is when you find your identity that you can move on with your life an we must distinguish Islam from culture and culture from Islam because the two are different and we cannot say we are part of one yet have the other overcloud it.

                I hope my input was beneficial and made sense
                (The hypocrites) will call the believers: "Were we not with you?" The believers will reply: "Yes! But you led yourselves into temptations, you looked forward for our destruction; you doubted (in Faith); and you were deceived by false desires, till the Command of Allah came to pass. And the chief deceiver (Satan) deceived you in respect of Allah."57:14

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                • #9
                  Re: Where do you fit in?

                  yep i definitely feel like i dont belong anywhere. Even though being born and raised here, I feel as though I dont fit in because i live in an area where there are hardly any muslims and so because of hijab and the way i dress, i am more conscious of myself when i am out as i feel different. well inside i believe myself to be the same but i guess im perceived as being different or that people may be unsure of where i come from. most of the times I just like to stay at home indoors, i feel as though its better for me and the only true place i feel at home.

                  I come from an indian background and i dont feel like i belong there either as the mentality is just different. at some points i used to think maybe i would feel more at home living in a muslim country but to be honest i dont really know how that would feel if i were to start living there permanently as there are some aspects that i'd just miss about being in the UK. and because now that there are many muslims in the UK with much more Islamic awareness and islamic activities and events going on, sometimes I do feel yes maybe it is better being in the UK but perhaps to a location where the majority are muslims because that is something that i really miss. Maybe then i might start feeling like i fit in with this society.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Where do you fit in?

                    Well, I don't fit in with the americans and if I go back to pakistan I don't fit in their very well in the punjabi state because I am a pashtun, and the pashutn parts of pakistan are really bad = /. So I don't know where I fit..
                    Islam = Peace :)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Where do you fit in?

                      i don't really care :scratch: i don't feel as though i have to fit in anywhere or that i don't fit in somewhere, i'm fine wherever i belong if that makes sense.
                      The enforcement of Muslim Brotherhood is the greatest social ideal of Islam. On it was based the Prophet's (SAW) sermon on his last pilgrimage, and Islam cannot be completely realized until this ideal is achieved. '
                      (Shaikh Maulana Muhammad Yusuf)
                      In Lam Takun Ghaadiban Annee Falaa Ubaalee...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Where do you fit in?

                        I'm 2nd gen also, and feel like a foreigner here and backhome...

                        I don't know what it would feel like to fit in. Not the nicest feeling though, i.e. wherever you go, you're always an outsider.
                        Last edited by nami; 30-07-10, 11:18 AM.
                        ...

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                        • #13
                          Re: Where do you fit in?

                          Im 3rd gen and definitely feel outta place when i return to the motherland, probably can fit in to any English speaking community. I recently moved to an Asian dominated area so i could live closer to a masjid and was a lil nervous about living amongst so many Asians after living all my life with only a few Asians.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Where do you fit in?

                            What is 1st, 2nd, 3rd gen anyway?
                            ...

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                            • #15
                              Re: Where do you fit in?

                              I fit in with every age group as I get on with everyone. I chilled with the Imams when I was young and now I am older I can chill with the kids who just like fighting. I remember tarawee last year when I was helping out with security and I threw one of the Muslim kids in huge Masjid bins because he brought a knife and was threatening to kill someone because he talked to his Sister lol

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