Losing My Religion

Losing My Religion, by Shazia Hobbs.

I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, the daughter of a Pakistani Muslim immigrant father and a Scottish Catholic mother. My childhood home, for me, was not a happy one.

My father’s religion, Islam, allowed him to have more than one wife, and he chose to have two. Both his wives lived under the same roof with their combined children.

Two women from completely different backgrounds sharing a man is not going to make a happy home, no matter how hard they both try.

I always felt different, and was made to feel different. I was tainted; I had the “gori” gene in me. I was “less” than, I was the “other.”

My mother was the “gori” and I was the “gori’s daughter.” Gori means white woman, but is often used in a derogatory manner, and implies easy, loose and no morals. I grew up amongst blatant racism towards white people, racism no one even today wants to talk about.

I talk about it. I write about it. I tweet about it. I also talk and write and tweet about other harmful practices that occur within the Pakistani community and for that people attempt to intimidate me in the hopes that I will keep quiet. …

I was forced into a marriage at the age of 18, married to a much older man with whom I had nothing in common. Married off because I was becoming too Westernised and bringing “shame” onto my family. And so to save the family “honour,” I was forced to marry a man I met for the first time on my wedding night. I stayed in the marriage for three years until I found the courage to walk out. Walking out meant losing my family, extended family and the Pakistani community I had been part of my entire life. …

It is because of the Pakistani connection in my life I live with a panic button. I write articles about Islam, child rape in the Pakistani community, the Muslim rape gangs. … Living in fear of being attacked by devout Pakistani men or women who would rather I keep quiet is something I have gotten used to.

hat-tip Stephen Neil