Freethinking Stokie

A blog by a British, Pakistani, North Staffs woman providing analysis and discussion on the issues that our local media struggle with.

Muslim Convert Privilege

on June 2, 2013
Kristiane Backer - Former MTV host and convert to Islam.

Kristiane Backer – Former MTV host and convert to Islam.


When will converts to Islam recognise their privilege? They haven’t lived through what “born Muslims” often experience from the day that they enter the world, yet they patronise and tell us that we have no right to be angry at our ex co-religionists. They paint pink fluffy pictures and tell us that what we see the majority of Muslims practicing is not “real Islam”.

Don’t get me wrong, Islamophobia (anti-Muslim, irrational, unwarranted bigotry) combined with race based prejudice DO exist. That’s why this Woolwich attack got labelled a “terror attack” immediately (brown man) whereas there was strong desire from the media to label Anders Breivik anything but a “terrorist”. “Insane” “lone madman”, these were the kinds of terms used.

I just wish that the Kristiane Backers and Yvonne Ridleys would recognise their privilege. Their experience doesn’t define my experience growing up in a Muslim household from birth. They chose to join the club. I did not.

One response to “Muslim Convert Privilege

  1. Can you cite how Kristiane Backers/the people you listed try to ‘define’ all Muslim experience? I can certainly understand how their experience has been different as Muslims in the Western world, but it doesn’t mean that they might not face criticism-especially from parents and friends. Furthermore, sometimes among Muslims Converts are often looked down upon, accused of converting for their spouses (if they’re women) or of not being ‘real’ Muslims because they don’t come from a Muslim background. Ultimately, I think the bottom line is that no one group of people-be they Arabs, South Asians, Africans, white converts etc. can speak on behalf of ‘what’ is Islam–how Islam is practiced differs from culture to culture 🙂

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