Woolwich Attack

unite

I am deeply shocked by what happened yesterday in Woolwich. I am from East London and my husband used to work in North Woolwich.
I love East London and its diverse community.
My neighbours are Polish,
my GP is Indian,
my chemist is Pakistani,
my Butcher is Algerian,
my children’s childminder is Indian
my daughter’s teacher and Teaching assistant are English,
My daughter’s Minibus driver is Carribean
The Minibus’ hostess is English
Etc, etc,etc…
East London is far from being a well –off area but Alhamdulillah in tough Economic times like today, we are still a strong and bounded community.

To these nutters , I ‘d like to say, you don’t represent me or Islam. What you did yesterday was just an expression of your own Madness. Shame on you for disgracing our Religion! Please don’t tell us that you did it for Afghanistan or Irak! You did it only for yourselves because you’re just a bunch of crazy attention seekers! Ask the people of Iraq or Afghanistan if what you did is improving the state they are in. Far from it, you may just have set them up to even more reprisals!

What also shocked me is the fact that so many people gathered around the crime scene, filming these idiots , as per their requests.
A man was just stabbed and the only thing people could do instead of running away was to stand there and film. I think we should blame Reality TV for this type of attitude. A man had just been brutally killed and people didn’t even respect the dignity of his corpse. They filmed it! You guys kind of cooperate with these idiots because that is what they wanted: PUBLICITY. Imagine if this guy had been one your family members, you would not have appreciated people to violate his sanctity as a Human being! What’s wrong with you people???

Ultimately, I ‘d like to salute the bravery of the lady who tried to rescue the victim without fearing for her own life and the other lady who tried to get the weapons from one the killers. MashAllah, these women are heroes!

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Autisticazation!

Autisticazation!

It is funny how once your child is diagnosed with Autism, his being, his identity seems to vanish.

His main feature is Autism

His personality is defined by Autism.

His tastes are consequences of his Autism.

Your child doesn’t have a gender anymore. He is not a girl or a boy.

He doesn’t belong to any ethnicity. He ain’t no longer a Black or a White child.

No, my friend, from the moment, your child is diagnosed, he is no longer Karima, Fatima, Adam or Yacub. No, from now on, just forget about it! He is just Autistic…

My point here is that, even as a parent, if you do not pay attention, you will end up considering your child exclusively from his Autistic angle. I am going to give you an example. Let’s say, on a sunny afternoon, your child “behaved”, no tantrums, everything went perfectly fine. So, you can’t wait for your hubby to come home. As soon as he will be opening the front door, you will tell him something like this :“ Assalam aleikoum, I hope you had a good day at work. Adam and I had a fantastic one. He has been really good MashAllah. Like a perfect normal boy!” Duh!!!

From another perspective, you have the parent who feels that he has to let everyone know that his child is Autistic. Of course, my relatives do know that my daughter has autism. Of course, I won’t hide it from my friends. Of course, I will inform people who care for her like the medical staff, the childminder etc…                                                           That is already a lot of people, don’t you think?  But what about strangers? What about the person who will be sitting next to my daughter on Public transport? Is it a duty to inform him or her?  I will say that it just depends on how my daughter will be behaving. As long as she is not having a massive tantrum and as long as I feel that I am in control, I will keep my mouth shut. Not out of shame but why should I introduce my daughter by first emphasizing on her being different from us “neurotypicals”. (I didn’t know how to turn the above sentence for you to get my point without sounding silly and arrogant but InshAllah, I hope you understand what I meant. )

It also relies upon the way the Stranger will be dealing with me and my daughter. If the individual is reprimanding my daughter for being naughty or for not behaving in accordance with her age, then, yes, obviously, I will step up to the plate.

As a conclusion, I would like to say that my child has a personality. My child has feelings. My child has weaknesses and strengths. My child is a bit of me and a bit of her father. Autism is a piece of her but Autism is not her.

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Stop the Abuse! Part 2

Addressing this subject and researching about it are draining me emotionally. You can find so many links on google by simply typing Autism and Abuse on the search box. But come on, let’s break the Ice in order to eradicate Abuse O-N-C-E   A-N-D  F-O-R   A-L-L  InshAllah

The Family Unit

First and foremost, I would like to salute  the effort and honesty of DESIblitz.com* for recently releasing an article ” The Asian Stigma  with Disability”**. To acknowledge spontaneously ones shortcomings may not be “in” but MashAllah   it is incredibly brave . Self-criticism is definitely the right track towards rectification, progress and InshAllah Success.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Although DESIblitz ‘aim was to depict behaviours spotted within the Asian community, I would like to make clear that these are also seen among other ethnic groups.

Ignorance, lack of understanding , lack of education or denial, on their own or combined, may result in devastating consequences in the lives of those affected by disabilities.In this regard, DESIblitz quoted some examples of verbal abuse such as being  openly mocked at Family gatherings, being called names such as “sick” , “mad” or being accused of playing the “disability card” out oflaziness.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This sets the perfect tone for a sexual predator and/ or a physical abuser  to hit with great impunity.The “Sick or mad” is a very easy target, served on a plate by his own family who openly denied his  right to be respected and  treated with dignity. If the victim manages to report the abuser to one of his family member, he may find nobody willing to confront the perpretator and advocate for him. The scandal will be hidden under the family carpet and the abuser will re-offend as much as he wishes. DESIblitz even provided us with the following tragic example: ‘In a slum in India, a mother refused to allow her daughter to be taken away to an institution, although her father was abusing her, saying: “At least here she is only abused by one person.” ‘ SubhanAllah! A child you carried for 9 months, your skin and your blood…

 I am now done with this subject. It has been really hard , really really hard but it’s worth it. These things have to be openly condemned as being evil and reprehensible. I am ready to  fight for  my daughter to be safe as well as every single  individual inshAllah. What about you?

*DESIblitz.com is an online magazine which readership is of British Asian descent. http://www.desiblitz.com

** ” The Asian Stigma with Disability”:http://www.desiblitz.com/content/the-asian-stigma-with-disability

Stop the abuse! Part 1

This is a very delicate topic to write about. I will be mentioning the most extreme cases so it might be distressful for some of you.

Abuse in Care homes

Many of us watched the BBC Panorama programm* where a reporter posed as a carer and filmed with an hidden camera the abuse that disabled patients were  subjected to at winterbourne Care home  near  Bristol.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SubhanAllah since I have seen that programm, the same image keeps coming back and forth in my head. I will never forget how this male member of staff positioned a chair on top of a young woman who was laying on the floor in  order to restrain her movements. I will never forget how she was telling him that she will call the Police on  him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I watched this programm entirely. I was sitting on my sofa, paralyzed  from shock.My eyes were  scanning frenetically the screen, up down, right and left. Worst nigthmare for a parent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           La Ilaha Illallah! How can someone be so cruel? I mean if you dislike so much disabled people, if you dislike working with them. Do yourself a favour, quit and look for another job before you end up like those loosers with a Criminal record. Generally speaking, if you don’t feel comfortable with working with children or elderly people, don’t make it your occupation too! At the end of the day, you are dealing wih Human beings. They are sensitive to your frustrations, anger and heavy-handed care. And by the way, how can somebody dare slapping an elderly?   Astaghfirullah!

What this programm demonstrates is that there has been so far an appealing lack of regulations on Care homes in this country.It feels like for too long anybody would have had the opportunity to open a Care home without worrying about ethics, procedures, qualifications, experience, rules of conduct etc…

   Is it about to change? Yes, apparently! On an article published today by The telegraph**,it is reported that  the Government warned that ” tougher regulation, including possible new criminal laws to strengthen corporate accountability, could also be introduced”.”Other measures announced yesterday include a care plan must be in place for all children, young people and adults with learning disabilities by April 2014. “The Care Quality Commission, the watchdog, will also carry out unannounced inspections of all hospitals and care homes, while new guidance on the use of restraint to control the behaviour of people with learning disabilities will be introduced.” At the moment, these are proposals. We need to make sure that these measures will be agreed, voted and legislated. We need to monitor all these decisions makers closely until what they have announced yesterday becomes a reality.

As a parent, I pray that my daughter would never have to live in a care home. Although I am sure that there is also  fantastic staff amoung care workers, I pray that Allah will always keep her among her relatives. Loved and safe. Aameen!

*BBC panorama programm : http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nqn4d/Panorama_The_Hospital_That_Stopped_Caring/

* The Telegrap:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9736258/Winterbourne-View-abuse-scandal-care-patients-to-be-moved-from-private-hospitals.html