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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. Science

    Agree the bible is BS the truth.

    Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/biblical-marriage-iowa-scholars-op-ed_n_3397304.html?
    utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/has-the-oklahoma-atheist-been-saved/#comments

    June 9, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  2. Truth_Good news - a must to know

    From Quraan Today
    "Finding the truth is your own responsibility."
    Life today is about living in unity in the Holy Spirit.
    Islam does in NO way demonstrate living in harmony in fact it is quite the opposite.
    Under Western nations many have been killed in the name of war just as people have been warring since their origin. British soldiers are court martial led over abusing ( not killing) Afghan civilians. In western nations many soldiers the same has been done where they have committed unquestionable atrocities and been caught.
    This is not so with muslim nations. In Nigeria for example atrocities are being committed in the name of Islam against innocent women and children. Many children remaining maimed for the rest of their lives
    If Islam agrees we know we are created in God's image therefore have abilities to love, find peace , to do good and be kind and gentle, to have self-control. We have this nature inherent within us. We can therefore live good lives our own way if we choose. We can choose good.
    Islam however does not do this and the God of Abraham in no way has commanded people of islam to do this. In fact the god of Abraham's plan was to save all mankind and He did so through Jesus Christ nearly 2000 years ago. Each man, woman and child is responsible to God to find the truth and accept God's precious gift.
    Why ? we know all mankind live in this sin state separated from God. We know from mankind being born from Adam and Eve's line through Seth it was only Adam and Eve who were created without sin. It was about mankind's choice through Adam and Eve that sin entered the world, that man became separated from God and that a sacrifice was required for us to be restored to God.
    Find the truth. Here is more truth about the living God.
    Just wanted to share this with you about a blessing received two weeks ago.
    Just to let you know your greeting of be blessed was answered.
    How responsive is God to us! How responsive can we be to Him
    How is this experience.  This occurred to me two days ago. This is WOW!
    I will try and relay it as accurately as I can.
    The event is that I lost my car key and took 2 hours to find it.
    I usually take several copies of Good news paper which I carry in my car when I walk the dog and pray for an opportunity
    to give or to share with someone.
    So i opened my car retrieved the papers and relocked my car and went for a walk with the dog,
    around 1-1.5 km in total, including through bush and around a grassed oval.
    On returning I sat down and read the bible for 15 minutes and it was then time for me to go out. I was to go to mother-in-laws and trim bushes.  I could not find by car key this was 10am
    At 11am after searching house and retracing steps taken on walk I rang lady caretaking my mother-in-laws house and said I still have not found my key I will not be able to make it. ( No spare set).
    She said for me to keep on searching and she would pray for me.  Thinking of scripture where it says Matthew 18: 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Taking this spiritually. I took the dog and proceeded to retrace my steps
    I walked through the bush as before and proceeded out across the oval and had gone about 50 metres when my conscience spoke "John you are going to fast slow it down."  At that point I stopped with the intent of looking more slowly across  the ground, I glanced to my right and looked straight at the key.  This for me was a WOW!  This was like looking at a needle in a haystack.

    What was the learning in this
    Firstly prayer.  We cannot attempt anything for God without God
    Secondly all things should be committed to prayer as we are charged to pray continually 1 Thessalonians 5: 17
    Thirdly being responsive to that small quiet voice inside of us.
    Note if I had taken one more step and not been obedient in responding immediately I would have missed seeing the key.
    Fourthly that brings us to the great commission of Jesus Christ in the bible Matthew 28: 18-20.
    The reason being it says about teaching disciples to obey.  To be obedient to that small quiet voice of the Holy Spirit as we stay anchored with our hearts close to Jesus. God is with us and greater is he that is with us than is with them.
    Lastly "We have an anchor that keeps the soul "as per Hebrews 6: 19

    Turn now and call out to God for your salvation. He will hear you.

    June 9, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      That is not the truth, and there is nothing new about it.

      June 9, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Can you provide a link for that?

      June 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Akira

      You are taking re-tracing your steps and finding your lost key as what? A miracle? A revelation? What?

      June 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Reminds me of the time I lost my keys, and then I looked for them...and then I found them!

      yup – I thank the almighty for taking the time out from watching people suffer and die in hideous ways...to watch me look for my keys– couldn't have done it without a popcorn shoveling, beer chugging Supreme Watcher kicking back – probably in my lazy boy, watching.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:32 am |
  3. fallacy spotter

    That's like saying that all athesists should move to Sweden, all Christians should move to Uganda, all Hindu's should move to India, all pagans should move to Massachusettes and while we are at it we'll send the New Age back to the South east where they came from.

    June 9, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  4. fallacy spotter

    No true Scotsman fallacy.

    June 9, 2013 at 7:11 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Forever

    June 9, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • Colin

      Even the ungodly Muslim can find the one True God in prayer repent of the idolatrous Islam and accept Salvation through Christ.

      June 9, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • Science

      The more you know creationists...........chad too ...............might help you know Bill...........you too Cap A

      Destiny & DNA......................World Science Festival

      http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4044190/events/2110223

      Professor Richard Dawkins – "What if you're wrong?"

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beYYZRN1sEs&feature=player_embedded

      The Light...is...Science Wins God Loses | Facebook................from the little blue box.........think outside the box.

      https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses

      "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time?

      8,000,000 yesterday, today numbers are 27,200,000 results Any time Bing

      The e word wins all the time creationists ..........no god(s) made US............get over IT

      Make sure to highlight above phrase..............then click on the little blue box and search with Bing.

      Think out side the box and have fun .

      AND 3 BILLION year old what ?

      Three-Billion-Year-Old Microfossils Include Plankton

      June 6, 2013 — Spindle-shaped inclusions in three-billion-year-old rocks are microfossils of plankton that probably inhabited the oceans around the globe during that time, according to an international team of researchers.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130606155123.htm

      June 9, 2013 at 7:28 am |
  6. His panic

    She may be suffering anxiety which can lead to hysteria and Panic, which can lead to an stampede, a riot, a brawl etc. However those who trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's only Son will not Panic. All others will eventually panic.

    June 9, 2013 at 1:52 am |
    • Reality

      Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      June 9, 2013 at 6:34 am |
  7. CommonSensed

    Oh, but you do belong and there is a place for you.

    You just have to give up believing in your ridiculous religion and get on with your life.

    June 9, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  8. Austin

    John 15:26 ►

    "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father–he will testify about me.

    June 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Got any more fun quotes? Something relevant to this woman?

      Or will you just continue to cut and paste from your hotel bible?

      June 9, 2013 at 12:32 am |
  9. Grafted Olive Branch

    Dear Melody
    I am truly sorry that you are hurt by the impressions that the west is getting about your religion. But be real about it. We see thousands of Muslims marching in the streets chanting death threats so frequently we actually begin to believe most of your religious companions do hate us and wish us harm. Then, a few of your Islamic brethren actually do cause us great harm. For what reason? I have done no harm to any Muslim. But ONLY because I am an American, a Christian American, do your Muslim brethren hate me. I would be happy to live in peace with a Muslim neighbor. Yet, I would be also eager to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I could do so without fear of reprisal. Could this be done in any Muslim land? Perhaps you can be more aggressive in routing out the extreme views of your Islamic brothers and sisters.

    June 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  10. Grafted Olive Branch

    Dear Islam,
    I know that many of you honestly and fervently seek to know God. Myself, as a Christian, ask you to forgive our trespasses against you as we forgive your trespasses against us.
    You try so hard to be good and adhere to the peaceful tenants of your religion. But as is human nature, you have likely discovered that the harder you try to be good and righteous, and fail, the more frustrated you become with yourself. How then can we stand before a Holy God in judgment if we are ourselves un-clean?
    I was the same way as a Christian, trying so hard to be good and righteous, yet failing miserably due to my own human fallibility and weakness, until I discovered that Jesus Christ is already “righteousness” for me. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the ultimate price for my sins. I am clean by His sacrifice. You can be also. You are offered the olive branch of peace that Jesus Christ alone can provide – forgiveness.
    Hear the power of forgiveness from one of your own, Mosab Hassan Yousef, author of the NY Times bestseller Son of Hamas.

    June 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  11. GOOD NEWS

    Jesus Christ and Muhammad Mahdee

    was sent by the same GOD (=i.e. YAHWEH ELOHIM & HUWAH ALLAH)!

    Here is the Ultimate Proof:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    June 8, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Odin is displeased with your impertinence.

      June 9, 2013 at 12:32 am |
  12. Maverick

    The vast majority of terrorist acts on American and European soil have been non-Muslims? Really? When was the last time that a terrorist attack carried out by a non-Muslim has resulted in three THOUSAND casualties? And don't give me a number from the 40s. If we were to measure statistics, then all religions have had monarchs or leaders that are equally ruthless. This is about today. There is no doubt that non-Muslims are involved in terrorist attacks but those kill 5 or 10 people. Not saying that's okay. It's terrible but if you want to compare things, let's compare the Sandy Hook guy with 9/11.

    June 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  13. light

    can i ask why you swipped out my comments???

    June 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • .

      those atheists that deny freedom of speech are not deserving of freedom of speech if atheists don't agree with your comments they hit the report abuse key and the moderator (some card carrying qu eer atheist) deletes it

      June 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • light

      Iit is from atheists side or CNN staff?

      I just was explaning what the CNN logo means.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • .

      cnn staff are qu eer atheists it is a job requirement and the few loser atheists that comment and report abuse are mostly by disabled canadian qu eer atheists they do not have free speech up there and whine whenever we use it

      June 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • nope

      @ .
      nope.

      June 9, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • CommonSensed

      Probably because you're an idiot.

      June 9, 2013 at 12:33 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    June 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Colin

      Even an evil Muslim can find Salvation in prayer to the one True God renouncing and repenting from the vile lies of allah and accepting Christ.

      June 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • .

      Those who would deny freedom of expression are not worthy of freedom of expression

      June 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Science

      Hey Cap'y

      The Light...is...Science Wins God Loses | Facebook................from the little blue box.........think outside the box.

      https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses

      "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time?

      8,000,000 results Any time

      June 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Austin

      freedom is perverted by exploitation of freedom.

      June 8, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Austin

      Luke 11:34 ►

      Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness.

      June 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Didn't do much for Brandon.

      June 9, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 13, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      June 13, 2013 at 8:45 am |
  15. light

    hgf jghjg

    June 8, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  16. ronvan

    I AM SO SAD! NOT!!! Am I NOW suppossed to feel sorry for muslims? NO, no way! UNTIL ALL those BILLIONS of muslims take control over the FEW, terrorists, extremeists, then ALL will suffer the condemnation, scrutiny that abounds! "ONE" woman's opinion, enjoying her LIBERTIES in a non-muslim controlled country! Muslims and their religion are in the world news, everyday, because of the actions, as they say, of the few? Then WHY are not all those, so called, good muslims, that tell us their religion is one of peace, NOT screaming, demonstrating in large numbers, against the few? Their SILENCE screams of approval of the few!

    June 8, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • .

      All muslims are demon inspired terrorists.

      June 8, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • fallacy spotter

      Ronvan you assume silence equals approval...why?

      Dot, the middle ages called they miss you.

      June 9, 2013 at 7:16 am |
  17. Science

    The destiny of the red horn-y beast ?

    Destiny & DNA......................World Science Festival

    http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4044190/events/2110223

    June 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  18. Up yours Bill Killian-you might as well chop my head off and put me in a FEMA coffin

    You Obamanista dirtbags can kill us, but some of us will get the last laugh....
    Isa 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

    June 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Jerry

      Nobody is trying to kill you; you are quite ill. Seek help. I say this because obviously you have confused this with a political blog. Well, that, and none of what you posted made any sense.

      June 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Up yours Bill Killian-you might as well chop my head off and put me in a FEMA coffin

      Jerry, This blog isn't political? Surely, you jest???

      June 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Jerry

      No, Up yours, this is an opinion piece and not political in that it has nothing to do with our POTUS; I still urge you to get help. And my name is not Shirley.

      June 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • capitalist

      Upyours creek: please definitely get some psy help right away. if you don't have health insurance, please wait for 2014 when Obamacare kicks in.

      June 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Up yours Bill Killian-you might as well chop my head off and put me in a FEMA coffin

      The latest tactic of this evil wicked lot-declare someone to be mentally unstable if they disagree with regime doctrines...

      June 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  19. mh

    Oy vey

    June 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  20. sue

    I would like to know YOU better. I, myself & for no one else, want to say I'm sorry for the pain that is being inflicted on YOU. I don't understand how you can be told to go back to your own country, when the country YOU are from is the United States of America!. That's like telling me to go back to my "own" country because I don't look like everyone else or my prayers say "God" or "Amen". Shame, shame, shame on the haters.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • fallacy spotter

      So many people forget that the United States is supposed to contain diversity (and that includes everybody).

      June 9, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Gee Wizz

      If you were to go to a muslim country, they would do much worse than tell you to go home. Shame, shame shame on those intolerant muslims. Why do you feel sorry for an imagined hurt? Perhaps Melody will be inclided to share her meds with you!

      June 13, 2013 at 8:31 am |
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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.