June 5th, 2013
03:44 PM ET

A plea from an exhausted Muslim woman

Opinion by Melody Moezzi, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I wasn’t surprised by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's recent statement about a “problem within Islam.”

It's not as though I've never heard anything like it before. I hear it all the time.

Still, his words - in response to a recent attack in London that left a British soldier dead - made me wonder: How might the public have reacted in a different context, had Blair replaced the word “Islam” with “Christianity” or “Judaism”?

I’m guessing not well.

But Muslims are used to having their faith openly denigrated by public officials.

We’re used to people failing to distinguish between “Islam” and “a few Muslims.” And we’re used to being called terrorists despite the fact that the vast majority of terrorist acts on American and European soil have been carried out by non-Muslims.

But being accustomed to abuse doesn’t mean we bruise less. If anything, being beaten repeatedly in the same spot makes each successive blow all the more painful.

I’ve written many reasoned commentaries in defense of Islam, Muslims and Muslim women in particular. This isn’t one.

Today, I’m going to do something different. I’m not going to cite relevant verses from the Quran. I’m not going to quote scholars. I’m not going on the defensive.

Today, I’m tired. So tired that I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. Not because I seek pity or sympathy, but because I think people should understand. Because maybe if they really understood, they’d stop.

Today, I’m going to tell you what it feels like to live with hate and hostility directed at you on a daily basis.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to turn on the news and hear people repeatedly call your faith hateful and violent.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be vilified any time a man named Mohammed commits a crime.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to wait at a subway station next to an advertisement calling you a barbarian.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to find a death threat in your inbox.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to know that the police are infiltrating your places of worship, finding nothing and still targeting you.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be told that you can’t be a feminist and that so many of your gentlest brothers are misogynists, criminals or worse.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to see your people being slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands by state-sponsored terrorists, only to be called terrorists themselves for the crimes of a handful among them.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to have your own people call you a heretic when you’re fighting to defend their rights, while others call you a heretic for doing so.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be told to go back to your country when you’re in your country.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be asked if you walk 10 spaces behind your husband or if he beats you or if he has other wives.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to have people assume you hate them when you don’t.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be expected to know why a stranger committed a crime because he claims to share your religion.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be required to apologize for something you didn’t do.

I’m going to tell you what it feels like to be told that you don’t belong when you know there’s no place you belong more.

It hurts.

Editor's note: Melody Moezzi is a writer, activist, attorney and award-winning author. Her book, "Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life," will be published in August.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Melody Moezzi.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (666 Responses)
  1. R.M.Goodswell

    What a surprise – a muslim playing the victim card.....

    The militants are NOT pulling Islam's violent philosophy from thin air- its all there in the quran- plain as day.

    And then theres the little issue with believers and truth – if a person can lie to themselves, they sure as hell wont have a problem lying to anyone else.

    Islam here in the west is a choice – if you choose to follow the religion – then get ready for criticism, because Islam has been remarkably consistent throughout it's 1350 year history.

    June 6, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • Head over Heels

      There are no playing cards. Its a fact that the abuses are happening. For you its playing a victim and what you do to others is your birth right. But to get the message to you head, Muslims are feeling they are abused. So they are telling you not to abuse them. No one is having a problem with criticism. But act like an educated, modern, pragmatic person you claim to be. Insult is not criticism. Get that to your head first. If you think you can convince to Muslims that what they believe is wrong, then have a dialogue. Bashing won't even do a thing to what some one believes in. In fact, it pushes them away from your values. If you think you have better values, then act like you have one. There you go. Some education for you.

      June 6, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      @ Heels

      First of all, I don't believe the levels of abuse are near the levels claimed....want to deflect blame? become a 'victim'.
      Muslims are attempting to defect anger away from themselves – and they exaggerate the actual incidents that do occur, and fabricate others as they need.

      And Islam has a huge problem with criticism.... write a book critical of Islam – get a bounty placed on your head, write a magazine article critical of Islam – get your throat slashed on a public street. Draw a cartoon – get a death sentence ...
      Fvcking Name A Teddy Bear the wrong name and earn yourself a trial with losing meaning death.

      Your religion is a choice...Don't like the heat Islam brings down on itself? leave it – It is not a race type....Islam has never been peaceful ....ever.

      June 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      One other thing Heels,

      Islam does not have a dialogue with anyone.... There is Islam and that's it. that's why muslim statements over this latest incident contain a short sentence I (we) condemn this attack...followed by paragraph after paragraph JUSTIFYING the attack.

      Islam talks...all others are supposed to listen and submit.

      June 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  2. What we know

    We know the apostles told the truth.

    That is what you're missing, that is why you hurt, because you didn't get the truth, from the apostles.

    Mat 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    June 6, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • LinCA

      @What we know

      You said, "We know the apostles told the truth."
      Get a fucking clue. Without a single, solitary shred of evidence to support its existence, your god is no more likely to exist than the Tooth fairy. It may be past time to grow up.

      June 6, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • Colin

      You know the author of MAtthew was not an apostle, right? This author wrote in Greek, not Aramaic, the language of Jesus and his Apostles, and about 50 years after Jesus was executed. The Apostle Matthew would have been long dead. He also refers to Jesus meeting MAtthew entirely in the third person, never once refers to himself as an Apostle and accounts things that happened before Jesus met Matthew the Apostle.

      It never ceases to amaze me how little Christians know of their own book.

      June 6, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Colin- "You know the author of MAtthew was not an apostle, right? This author wrote in Greek, not Aramaic"

      You know that Greek was one of the most widely spoken languages in that part of the world right?
      You know that the Galilee region was under Greek control for centuries right?
      You do realize that the very Greek Decapolis was within walking distance of Nazareth ad was actually in some part of the Galilee region right?
      So shockingly if a person from that region was going to write a book to the broader Greek speaking region, they would likely write it in Greek!

      It never ceases to amaze me how little atheists know of history.

      June 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      uncouth, I don't think Colin was saying that writing in Greek was a surprise.

      June 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • sew watt


      June 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • sew watt


      June 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  3. HeavenSent

    I get exhausted just chasing all my cats. But when I catch one, it's MEALTIME.


    June 6, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      And so much for its nine lives, ha ha ha.

      September 8, 2013 at 7:35 am |
  4. GK

    as soon as i see a million muslim march, or something similar, against jihad then im with you. until then you're all nuts

    June 6, 2013 at 12:44 am |

      As long as

      June 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  5. tehranweekly

    This right wing hack Melody Moezzi often calls those who disagree with her as islamophobes even though muslims are shot and killed 24/7 by other muslims.. Melody , "Phobia" is irrational fear. People's fear against Islam are perfectly justified. It is not irrational at all.

    June 6, 2013 at 12:32 am |
  6. tehranweekly

    Melody is right wing nut job and a sympathizer for the islamic regime of iran and a regime apologist*

    June 6, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  7. Hypatia

    Lady, you need a news flash and a shrink!

    June 5, 2013 at 11:55 pm |

    There is no worst hinduism terrorism than hinduism, racism, by faith, based on hindu atheism, criminal self center ism, not just others are victims of their hinduism, terrorism, but many of their own, shackled in hind criminality of hinduism racism by faith. human are not human, but subject to other hindus racist of upper class.


    June 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  9. STFU

    I like to tell my "I’m going to tell you what it feels like to ....."

    when you demand Sharia laws to be followed for criminals in this country, especially in honor killing cases
    when someone makes movies in my country, half of the world is set on fire by muslims
    when a cold blooded fort hood killer demands his rights to grow beard
    when muslims demand to put mosque near ground zero

    so, STFU Melody.

    June 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • R.M.Goodswell

      @ You Really....

      So don't blame the dogma at all right? pay no attention to the ideology driving these militants forward right? well there has never been a shortage of 'militants' willing to do the imams' bidding in 13 centuries....and strangely, the only time there has been any sort of muslim voice against the violence of islam has been when Islam's expansion into the west is threatened by its own barbaric actions.

      And its also interesting to note that the muslims speaking out against muslim violence never miss a chance to tell us why we deserve this- that we made them do this to us....

      It is Islam pure and simple...This is the way islam has operated since its inception...sorry but "nothing to see here" wont fly here. Islam has been drenched in blood for 13 centuries...its a broken philosophy like every other religion out there.

      June 6, 2013 at 3:34 am |
    • STFU

      I guess "You really need to STFU",

      1. google fort hood shooting and see yourself before and after pictures of Nidal Hasan, while in service, he never demanded his right to grow beard, but moment he landed in jail, realized he was some kind of muslim celebraty, he started demanding people should meet his religious rights, at the same time collecting tax pyers moeny 280k in jail. Judge people based on before and after incident.


      or visit link (replace dot with .)
      http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad do com/atlas_shrugs/2010/07/sharia-in-canada-honor-killing-mom-gets-off-daughter-strangled-by-mom-no-time-in-prison.html

      June 6, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  10. Bostontola

    Extremists are responsible for the vast majority of terror violence. Religions seem to have a problem. Extreme afterlife consequences create extreme behavior in this life.

    June 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
  11. Cory

    If you're tired then clean up your religion.

    June 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Dan

      No it's not Hinduism. It's also not Judaism, or Christianity, or Buddhism, or any of the other religious groups you fight with. The problem is 100% Islam, and it comes from the leaders of Islam. They're some of the biggest extremists of all. You can't say your religion isn't extreme when the leaders are the ones most visibly pushing the radical doctine.

      June 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Cory

      Dan: who are you talking to? What are you talking about? What does your response have to do with my reply? My response was meant for the woman who wrote this blog.
      – Cory

      June 8, 2013 at 11:23 am |


    June 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm |


      June 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
  13. lionlylamb


    June 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  14. lionlylamb

    Tired grow the very of weak mindedness. Sheltered manifestations for the tired weaklings whose tethered ways of given mindedness will never the lecturer be for the sheltering meadows keep safely the weakly tired minded.

    June 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Weakly weak weary-growing windily wields words without wondering whether meaning follows.

      June 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • Melody ism's

      Melodious meandering, wandering weaklings, tiresome week mindedness, seeking solace ism's in belief blog ism's

      June 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      👿 😀

      June 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Melody ism's

      Melodiously melodious melodies methodically manipulated memorandums merely memorized but only momentarily.

      June 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Wimpy witless wandering weasel wastes whole hours whimpering when who cares?

      June 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm |

    The solution is "The Universal Peaceful Islam."


    June 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  16. STFU

    she has failed to understand, they are being called terrorists, not because attacks on America/EU, but attacks by muslims in all most all the non-muslim countries.

    June 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • STFU

      Errors in your thinking,

      don't compare apples and oranges; muslims are not "punches a guy in the gut for no reason", they are blowing on face for no reason; if you call pleasing Allah to claim 72 virgins, a reason to blow up. Muslims will be labeled terrorists, as long as TSA forces people to go through body scanners at the airport.

      June 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • JW

      When a pile of snakes are slithering all amongst themselves, because I don't know which ones are poisonous and which ones aren't, I avoid them all for it's much safer that way. But when the snakes force themselves on me, hiding in my bushes, again, because I can't tell poisonous from non, I get rid of them all.

      August 19, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  17. STFU

    Author "we’re used to being called terrorists despite the fact that the vast majority of terrorist acts on American and European soil have been carried out by non-Muslims."

    Can someone call ambulance for her?

    June 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Hypatia

      Or a pilot to steer that bArge she's on going down de-nile.

      June 6, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      But the difference is that those "terrorist acts" were not committed in the name of any other religion. Islamist terrorists commit their terrorist acts "specifically" in the name of Islam. You Muslims/Islamists seem to be intellectually unable to understand the fact that in any country, there will be atrocious crimes committed by local non-religious citizens whether Islam existed or not. But every time there is a crime committed by a non-Muslim, Muslims link the criminal to a religion, when such criminal is more likely to be an ignoramus atheist.

      September 8, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      Or, can anyone call a shrink for her? She lives in a world of denial.

      September 8, 2013 at 4:27 am |
  18. Solution

    Ms. Moezzi,

    Well, I guess asking "Allah" to fix it up is out, eh?

    You'll probably get an extra-nice river view and a few more gr'apes in "heaven". Offer it up.

    June 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  19. A Conversation

    She left out..."I'm going to tell you what it feels like to turn on your television and see your brothers' and sisters' legs ripped off while watching a marathon for no F'ing reason."

    June 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  20. Chris

    If Muslims didn't keep blowing people up and yelling about killing infidels we wouldn't be so afraid of them. If someone wants to practice their religion peacefully that's fine. There are hundreds of religions that are practiced peacefully. But when one religion declares war on everyone else and kills anyone who doesn't follow that religion we have to put a stop to it.

    June 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Zandie

      How many Christian and Jewish suicide bombers have been in the news lately? Have run over people and chopped them up? Hmmmm? There would be a whole lot less tolerance for Christian/Jewish people if this was occurring with the frequency that these terroristic acts by Muslims have been happening. Get real, DeeJay.

      June 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.