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10 Fears Every Western Muslim Faces

Republished from Islam Wich.

10. Swine-o-phobia:

The fear that pork is in everything. Can present in the middle of the grocery store or restaurant. The Muslim will start breaking out in a sweat, and find him/herself checking and re-checking the label or menu because he/she has started imagining that pork is in everything!!

This paranoia is only made worse when the Muslim realizes pork is often hidden in soup, candy, vegetables, biscuits, lip gloss, gum…

... You start to feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump: Pork salad, pork medicine, pork natural flavoring, pork cheese ...
… You start to feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump: Pork salad, pork medicine, pork natural flavoring, pork cheese…
9. Forgot-a-fast-a-fright:

The fear of forgetting about one’s fast. It is often associated with Ramadan (the month of fasting) but can occur at other times of the year like Shawwal (the month when fasting is recommended). It is common among those who work too hard, are obsessive, and/or have ADD.

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It happens when the Muslim is fasting, distracted, and surrounded by fast food ads and/or people who are eating. The Muslim may start murmuring to him/herself, incoherently: No snack for you! (yes, a Seinfeld ref in this day and age. deal with it!)

ooops, I did it again ... forgot I was fasting.
Ooops, I did it again … forgot I was fasting.
8. Foot-sink paranoia:

This is a fear of getting caught in a public bathroom with one’s foot in the sink while making wudu (ablution for prayer requires that the Muslim wash feet, hands, face, top of the head, ears, and arms up to and including the elbows). The Muslims will often dart his/her eyes around the restroom like a deer looking out for a predator before he/she puts his/her foot in the sink.   


7. Fake Expert-o-phobia:

The fear that Bridget Gabriel or someone of her ilk will run off at the mouth, again, about how Bismillah (meaning: In the Name of God, usually said before meals) is a war cry or some such ignorant nonsense. The Fake Expert-o-phobia keeps the Muslim up at night worrying if coworkers/friends/onlookers will flip out when said Muslim declares war on his/her meal with a little prayer of Bismillah.

The Muslim will either hide from news programs that promote this kind of nonsense or obsess about it and watch it on replay to dissect and make fun of on social media or his/her blog … often with memes.

Hi, my name is Brigitte Gabriel. I only have a high school diploma but Fox News calls me an expert.
Hi, my name is Brigitte Gabriel. I only have a high school diploma but Fox News calls me an expert.
6. The Gifting Panic:

This panic presents itself most often in an office environment around the middle of December. The Muslim will do anything to avoid that awkward moment when he/she has to face the fact that he/she has not and will not get his/her coworkers anything for Xmas.

The Muslim suffering from the gifting panic will avoid everyone and everything until the holiday is over. He/she may even go to such lengths as duct taping his/her office door shut, blocking cubicle entrance with a shower curtain, or developing a new telepathy technology. But the Muslim will still fear that someone, somewhere, somehow will sneak an Xmas gift in before vacation begins.

homemade gifts are always the BEST!
Homemade gifts are always the BEST!
5. Prayer-anoia:

This fear is a lot like the foot-sink paranoia, but with greater concern for violated privacy. The phobia is an intense fear that a stranger will discover the Muslim’s secret prayer area at work/school/in the mall while he/she is using it.

The Muslim will take great pains to make sure he/she is not discovered in a compromised prayer position (bending over or prostrating). Because of this, the Muslims may hurry through the prayer and have little focus, often stealing deer-like glances out the side of the eye to make sure no one is coming, as is done with the foot-sink paranoia.  


4. The Creepy Smile Prospect:

This fear involves the Muslim who is identifiably Muslim – by beard, hijab, name, or kufi – having to smile his/her way through hostile environments. The Muslim will often start the day with an “I come in peace as the good will ambassador of Islam” smile. But he/she fears said smile will turn to a joker smile when forced to confront not so nice stares.

The Muslim’s tangential fear is that the creepy smile will become permanent if he/she keeps his/her face like that for too long, like his/her mom always warned.

ma ma ma ma ma joker face
ma ma ma ma ma joker face
3. The Hijab Spill Trepidation:

This fear is often suffered by hijabis (women who cover their hair for modesty) who do not want/need any more people staring. It often presents after meals that were thoroughly enjoyed to the point that the hijabi did not realize what food was being splashed/dropped/smeared where. She will come out the other side of a meal constantly checking the front of her hijab for remnants of said meal. The fear is exacerbated by the fact that food will always find its way to a prominent place on the hijab.

I’m saving it for later
2. Escalat-terror:

The inexplicable fear that the one’s loose clothing (skirt, thobe, abaya) will be ripped off in one fell swoop of the perpetual motion of an escalator, revealing the Muslim’s unsightly PJ’s. The Muslim will tip toe to the very middle of the steps and hold on tightly to the clothing articles that are most likely to be devoured by the hungry, escalator monster. The fear is only made worse by googling escalator + accidents.

escalator blues
Escalator blues
1. Islamophobia-phobia:

This is the fear that the Muslim will be grouped together with international crime rings like ISIS or Al Qaeda and hated by all he/she meets. The phobia is often brought out when some “Islamic” group on the other side of the universe acts like a fool, and the Muslim is assumed to be like them or asked to answer for said groups crimes … to everyone … everywhere he/she goes.

there are nuts in every group.
About Theresa Corbin
Theresa Corbin is the author of The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book and co-author of The New Muslim’s Field Guide. Corbin is a French-creole American and Muslimah who converted in 2001. She holds a BA in English Lit and is a writer, editor, and graphic artist who focuses on themes of conversion to Islam, Islamophobia, women's issues, and bridging gaps between peoples of different faiths and cultures. She is a regular contributor for and Al Jumuah magazine. Her work has also been featured on CNN and Washington Post, among other publications. Visit her blog, islamwich, where she discusses the intersection of culture and religion.