O is for Offensive Questions
Guess what? When it comes to questions about my religion, they don’t exist.
Judgments can be offensive.
Assumptions can be offensive.
Honest questions? NEVER offensive.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard “Okay, I have a question, but it might be offensive.”
In fact, something similar to this coincidentally happened just yesterday with two of my friends. After confirming that I was happy to answer anything, I was asked:
“Do you really wake up every morning before dawn to pray?
“Well, I try to.”
That one was a first for me, and I kind of loved it. Praying Fajr is something so normal and taken for granted that I forgot it is a completely foreign concept to people who don’t practice Islam.
To all of my non-Muslim friends: Please, never ever be afraid to ask me a question about Islam because you think I’ll be offended. I love when people ask me about Islam, and from what I’ve heard many other Muslims share this feeling as well. You’re taking an interest into something that is so special and important to me. You’re taking an interest in me. There is nothing offensive about that, and I actually see it as endearing.
“Why do you believe in killing innocent people for the sake of Jihad?”
Honestly, that isn’t even offensive to me. It’s presumptuous, but not offensive. I won’t get mad. I’ll just respond honestly and politely correct when necessary.
To my Muslim friends who get offended by questions: They’re just questions. Don’t feel attacked or get defensive. Just be genuine, and be happy to correct. The nature of an honest question is that the one asking doesn’t know the answer and is relying on you to straighten things up.
“Don’t you get hot in that?”
“Yeah. I do.”