Frankly I never thought this would be a problem.

Never anticipated that there’d come a time when people who have little to no affinity for my faith would write stories about it just to get their foot in the door of children’s publishing.

And to have come across the phrase ‘professional Muslims’ in a wonderful book written by a convert, is just the most delicious irony.

I’m talking about a book called The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson.

Thing is, you can never control what other people do.

I learned that lesson the hard way when I confronted Suzanne Fisher Staples about the inaccuracies in her books at a children’s literature conference in Boston.

She had written the typical western feminist narrative of a Muslim girl who balks at her identity and religion, dresses up as a boy and runs away. Yup, pretty darn insulting!

It’s funny. Now the books out there that are misrepresenting my faith (in my perspective) aren’t written so much by non-Muslims as they are written by really secular and westernized, even lapsed, people who might have been born Muslim but seem to bear little resemblance to anyone who actually gives a darn about the faith!

G. Willow Wilson called them as they are: Professional Muslims–in that they use their Muslim faith as their ‘profession’, to boost their credibility while they ridicule and undermine the tenets of their faith.

I will not name names mainly because I don’t want to give them any publicity or further credibility.

Not that long ago, I went toe to toe with one of these professional Muslims, I’ll call her “C”. I challenged “C” regarding her scholarship during a televised debate. (Her scholarship was very shoddy! She didn’t even know the manner in which the Quran was transcribed during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him)! )

While waiting in the green room to confront this traitor to my faith, I was speaking to another traitor. A real loose cannon who’s made a nuisance of himself in Canadian media whom I’ll call him “B”. But in this regard, “B” and I were on the same side. We were both opposed to “C” and “B” made a very interesting comment to me. He said that people like “C” made his job harder. She drove more people toward Islam than away from it because she represented the extremes that western intellectualism could lead to.

The televised debate was awful! One of my worst performances. I can laugh now, but at the time I really didn’t think it was funny!

Give “C” some credit. She’s very good with the sound bytes, and television lends itself to sound bytes!

The hilarious thing though was afterwards, “C” published an editorial in a national newspaper, thoroughly trashing “B” and calling him an anti-semite.

“B” came crying to me. Asking me to assure the T.V. hosts that “C” had misrepresented his comments.

I really didn’t want to get involved, but I did think that “C” had gone too far and I wrote an email to the T.V. show hosts saying so.

I thought that would be the end of it.

Well no. “B” decided to write a rebuttal of an editorial in the same newspaper that attacked “C”.

You can imagine where it went from there. Back and forth, tit for tat, one editorial for another, very publicly lashing out at each other, and me laughing because it was all rather funny!

Two traitors to the faith duking it out in mainstream media–both looking equally ridiculous!

And it occurred to me then, that this was just the beginning.

Attacks like this on Islam and our Prophet (peace be upon him) have been occuring for hundreds of years. They started with the orientalists. Hitti, Watt and Nicholson, are just some of the names of professors who built a profession on trashing Islam and particularly the credibility of the Prophet (peace be upon him). (by the way they were never issued fatwas for what they did either–instead Muslim scholars rose through the ages and refuted every one of their claims–which is as it should be.)

But nowadays it’s not POLITICALLY correct to have orientalist/white people doing the trashing. So the powers that be recruit lapsed Muslims to do it.

That way they can’t be accused of racism.

It’s the old divide and conquer technique, and it’s working to a certain degree.

There’s a whole segment of Muslim society who feel embarrassed by the tenets of their faith, they find them constraining, and so they follow the Professional Muslims.

In fact one of them even had the nerve to email me and ask me to join a petition calling for the legalization of alcohol and dating in Islam. I told him leave me the hell out of his stupid schemes! If he wanted to booze it up and fornicate–he was more than free to do so–nothing on earth was stopping him! Just don’t try to change the laws of Islam!

Even “B” tried to get me to join his group. He subscribed me to his email list.

Being such a loose canon I really didn’t want to piss him off, but I unsubscribed to it. He emailed me demanding to know why I didn’t want to access his ‘pearls of wisdom’. I told him flatly I didn’ t agree with him, and he should take me off the list.

He took it personally.

Nevertheless, several other times he re-subscribed me and when I inevitably asked to be removed again, he accused me of having a closed mind.


And now all these Professional Muslims are clogging up the literature and with the advent of self-publishing and ebooks, it’s going to be harder and harder for people to get an accurate depiction of what Islam and Muslims really stand for.

Recently I was asked to recommend a picture book about Ramadan written by some lapsed Shia where the sister decides it’s a good deed to let her brother cheat while he’s fasting in Ramadan. Needless to say I did NOT recommend the book!

The publisher sent me a copy of it and although it was beautifully illustrated, I asked for their address to mail it back because I couldn’t even keep it in my house in case my grandchildren came across it, nor would I give it as a gift to others or even a school because its basic purpose was to undermine the fasting that is key to Ramadan!

And more recently I heard of a teen novel in which the girl decides to fast during Ramadan so she can lose a few pounds and her reward at the end of it all is to lie on a beach, like a piece of meat, in a teeny tiny bikini so men can leer at her!

Yup. These are the works of Professional Muslims!

And yet, some might argue that I’m completely wrong. That these books represent the reality of a LOT of Muslims, and I guess they’d be right.

No point in railing against it.

They’re free to write their perspective and I’m free to write mine.

I told myself when I realized there was nothing I could do, or even should do, to stop Suzanne Fisher Staples, “I’ll just have to write something better!”

I repeat that to myself right now. “I’ll just have to write something better!”

But oy vey!

It’s only going to get worse!

God give me patience!