Written By: Kaya Gravitter
In today’s time, I have seen that many people change when they become famous or when they come into money. I truly understand and always believed what my dad has told me, “Money changes people.” I have seen it among family members and friends. I have also seen it growing among the peers that I used to look up to. Ones that I followed for Islamic guidance or knowledge from before I even converted to Islam. I have become extremely mindful of this and no longer attach myself to Muslim public figures.
Fame or money can make one more humble and not gloat around what they have. But for some, they change significantly, by using their power and fame to get what they want and if they do not get it, they belittle you. It is possible that they were always that person and now they are just unmasking who they have always been. I know that many men, not just Muslims, in general, use their fame and power to manipulate women into getting what they want.
I am at a crossroads with Muslim men and just Muslims in general. I wonder why when someone is so hungry for fame or money that they manipulate people into getting what they want or they manipulate other people when they get to a certain level of fame. As if they are a god themselves and we should feel blessed to be in their presence or we are the dirt on the bottom of their shoe. I feel that when some Muslim Influencers reach their desired fame, they start to conform to what they think Western society wants them to think.
There have been Muslim influencers that have said, they dress a certain way in white populated areas to make the white people feel more at ease. Why do you care what they think?
Maybe this is another contributor to the fame factor. You use your Muslim followers and put up with what they say until you gain enough fame to abandon them all or put all of them in the same category as the media is constantly doing to Muslims. How can you live with whom you become?
You keep pushing down who you are and it eats at your insides OR maybe you keep telling yourself that this is who you “always” wanted to be. You do not need a million followers to do that. Yes, the Muslim community can be brutal and judge you. I speak out against that because it is not our business to judge others. But when you are a Muslim and you think Muslims are not good enough to hang around you, then you are thinking you are not good enough. Do not forget, you are still a Muslim. Even if you leave Islam do not forget who was there for you from their very beginning.
The main reason I am writing this article is to stick up for Muslim women who are being targeted by so-called “pious” men who use their religious platform and their new found popularity and fame. Then suddenly they get caught. I believe at this time it is not haram for me to write about this, as it is public knowledge now and I am protecting other women from falling into traps by predators like them. Collectively, we cannot support these abusive figures. We need to support the women who have spoken up or others who speak up against injustices. They deserve our support. Let them know you support them. My dear sisters, if we do not look out for one another then who will?
I support you.
I don’t know why other Muslim men or women with a social platform are not talking about this and speaking out against men who use their power to manipulate women and girls to do what they want. Will Muslims turn a blind eye or speak up? Muslim women are having their own #metoo movement but most women do not come out and speak out. Muslim women are some of the strongest women I have ever met, for all that we go through.
If a man of power puts you in an uncomfortable position, please speak out. I know it is easier said than done and it can take time to come forward but believe me, you are strong enough. Then once you get out, do not be ashamed or let people see you as a victim, you are a survivor. You are a warrior. You have overcome one of the hardest obstacles.
The photo in the article is from Sojourners.