I’m Afraid of Islam, and I’m Not Afraid to Say Why
My name is Lindsey Graves. I am a millenial, aspiring life coach, and resident of West Hollywood (the non-gay part). To echo Drew Droege’s Chloë Sevigny, it’s recently come to my attention that I am Islamopohobic.
What? How in Victoria Beckham’s name could I, a liberal white girl who has experienced oppression herself (Brandon Gravit once thought I was Native American because I wanted to start a podcast about Sacajawea’s fashion), be afraid of Muslims?
Don’t worry. I haven’t fallen for Donald Trump (though I did buy the dress Ivanka wore during her speech). The right wing media’s logic of fearing Muslims because they’re terrorists is so 2001 that it may as well be a #TBT (please follow me on Snapchat & Instagram. I post stories on both).
There are 5 pillars of Islam. Therefore, in an attempt at parallel structure, I have 5 justifications for my Islamophobia.
- Ramadan, aka, the diet. I suffered from self-diagnosed anorexia during the 8 weeks leading up to my senior prom. Doing a month-long daytime fast would be much too triggering.
- Salat, aka, the daily chats with the man (or trans woman!) upstairs. I wish I could commit to relaxing and sending up a holla to Allah (trademark pending) 5 times a day, but my fitness routine simply doesn’t allow for that. I practice Bikram Yoga 3 times a month, sign up for and cancel my subscription to ClassPass every other week, spend my weekend nights briskly walking towards less crowded areas so my Uber can find me, and stretch my chakras daily.
- Hajj, aka, the field trip. Who starts a religion that requires you to go to some desert in clothing that looks (and I’m sure feels) like rags? If TripAdvisor had been around, those early Muslim pilgrims (different from the pilgrims who befriended the Native Americans) would’ve looked elsewhere.
- Hijab, aka, the hair killer. I pay over $280 to get my hair cut at Sally Hershberger. On top of that, I pay $80/month for my Barfly membership at Drybar (that comes with 2 blowouts a month. Use my discount code locksforlindsey to get 5% off your first month). How could I ever endorse a faith that basically says such spending is frivolous?!
- Jihad, aka, the thing I don’t get. Is jihad terrorism? Is it a holy war? Is it some internal struggle to live out one’s faith? Whatever it is, I’m afraid of it, and I tend to be afraid of that which I don’t understand.
Don’t let conservative nuts trick you into fearing this seemingly peaceful religion for the wrong reasons. To paraphrase FDR, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, with the exception of certain faiths that differ from ours. We have to fear those.
Maybe I should consider being a presidential life coach…
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Lindsey Graves contributes regularly to Connor Congreve’s Medium feed. She is a thought leader at Refinery28 and a social influencer at EliteMonthly.