You know you’re a convert when you get asked about how you converted at every social gathering ever and have memorised the fastest way of telling it.
1. The constant re-telling of the conversion story is possibly the most common affliction to plague the oh so humble convert, so much so that you have now mastered a version that is so fast that you even sometimes feel bad about its speedy delivery. Sometimes. #notreally.
2. When you are the first one to arrive at every single event. Ever. Like always. Even when you are running late, you still manage to arrive before everyone else.
3. When you meet another Muslim, they somehow feel obliged to instruct you about the five pillars and how you should pray. “Brother, like this, see, look how I am doing it…Look, look at how I do it,” as they motion the takbir with their hands and make you copy their movements to make sure you are doing it right… “No, put your feet closer to mine, brother… closer! No gaps brother!” It doesn’t seem to matter at all that you converted almost 11 years ago now…
4. You end up telling people that you’re a vegetarian when you go out for dinner, or when you rsvp to a wedding, or when you take a flight, or when you’re at a BBQ, or basically whenever food is involved, because it’s just so much easier than explaining the intricacies of why you only eat halal meat.
5. You know where every single halal restaurant, cafe, food truck and butcher shop in your area is. You even know which brands are halal AND kosher and you find it amusing when racists try to boycott halal goods, because yoghurt is clearly a risk to our national security. But it doesn’t matter too much because they are obviously less cultured than the deliciously organic, pot set, probiotic, halal certified yoghurt they are boycotting.
6. You need to justify the reason why you don’t eat bacon anymore. “Seriously, but dude, it’s so delicious… What about ham? Not even pork chops? Surely prosciutto is ok though, right? Parma ham? No? Wow… like, what do you even eat?”
7. Having to explain to work colleagues every Ramadan why you are not eating and how you wont die by not drinking 37.4 litres of water every hour. “No, no… you guys go to lunch without me… I’m, er, detoxing?”
8. Your non Muslim friends ask you about every single issue relating to the Muslim world. Like, EVERY single issue! “So, as a Muslim, how do you think terrorism effects the contemporary religious, political and cultural framework of the Middle East?” Dude, how about you tell me about how the post colonialist mentality has become the mechanism for arbitrary arrest and detention as well as foreign policies that destroy countries and have given rise to the far right movements we now see engulfing Europe…
9. A member of your extended family offers you a safe haven, just in case you need to escape “the cult” you have obviously just been brainwashed by. To which you reply by whispering in their ear “Don’t worry, I didn’t drink any of the kool-aid,” before covering yourself in melted butter, building a bonfire in the lounge room and dancing wildly around it screaming “I am the lizard queen!”
10. People just can’t seem to understand why you don’t drink alcohol. “But, like, what do you even do when you go out?” Well, for one, I don’t get drunk, puke my intestines out and take selfies that I will instantly regret in the morning, but it’s too late because they’ve already gone viral and the boss just messaged saying “we need to talk.”
11. You feel a tiny bit awkward at airports, even though you’re totally innocent.
12. You feel totally oppressed when you get “randomly selected” at airports, even though you’re white and you either look like a meth addict or it was clearly just random selection for once.
13. You have to navigate the silly seasons with great diplomacy… It’s time to activate the “lite version” of Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah and or Chrismukkah. But it’s all good, because now you have Eid, which is kinda just like any of those, except that there are two of them… Which means you can now have ChrisMukkahDiwaliEids every year! Yaay for our culturally diverse family!
14. Non Muslims automatically assume you can speak Arabic. Muslims automatically assume you are linguistically retarded.
15. You are among the very few people in the world who actually use their smartphone compass. I think cub scouts are the only others.
16. After saying salams to another random Muslim on the street you automatically feel like one of those white tourists trying out their ethnic vocabulary. “Oh look dear, a brown person. Let’s greet them in their local language to show them how cultured and respectful we are of their life choices…”
17. Having to explain to house guests why you have a watering can in your bathroom, but no plants… Yup… This one is always fun.
18. Your beard gets you hipster cred plus haqq cred at the same time. #InstantXP
19. Having to stop yourself from saying Insha’Allah when your boss asks you to send in that report. We’ve all been there… “No probs, you’ll have it on your desk first thing tomorrow morning insha’All… er… Yup, the desk. It will be on that. In the morning. Tomorrow.” Or accidentally saying things like Subhan’Allah, Alhumdullilah or Masha’Allah in front of people who just stare at you blankly, half expecting you to blow up or something.
20. Non Muslims think you’re a spy for a terrorist organisation. Muslims think you’re a spy for the Government. Jokes on you, we work for both! #ObviouslyJoking #OrAmI?
21. You’re sick of hearing how all the worlds problems are because of Muslims… When they are clearly caused by the Illuminati, New World Order, Zionist agenda… *Deletes browser history, carefully places aluminium foil hat on head and makes plans to build a farm and live off the grid.*
22. Did I mention the not eating bacon thingy? Yeeeeah, apparently that’s a
PIG BIG issue.
23. Lastly, you have no idea which name to use when introducing yourself to other Muslims… “Salams… my name is… Reuben… er, Riaz… er Reuben Riaz?” Oh, I see you picked up on the fact that it is actually meant to be Riyadh in “proper Arabic.”
Welcome to my world.
Reuben, Riaz, Riyadh, Brand.
About the Author:
Just some dude who likes to pretend he is a writer… He draws the odd cartoon sometimes as well… Oh, he also likes to believe that he is somehow a coffee aficionado and is an occasional #TotesOrganic ironic hipster. Check out his full profile here.