Storying Sheffield

An Open Letter


There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.
Albert Camus

…it is this rupture that is invoked in every bold announcement of ‘once upon a time’.
Harvie Ferguson

Stories can interrupt. They denaturalize the ‘truth’. They can interfere with the creation and circulation of ‘meaning’ in societies. They share strong human feelings including anguish. The following open letter is written by Mina. She is a Muslim woman from Afghanistan. Her story is not only a painful attempt to distance herself from the ideology of Islamic extremism, but a brave announcement of a different story that interrupts a colonizing mindset called jihadism.

I am very sad today. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what you want. I don’t understand your irrationality and violence. I don’t understand your ‘Islam’. Muslims are not supposed to kill. I saw you  when you shut the schools down in Afghanistan when I was 13. You didn’t let me and thousands like me have education.

I saw you when you said women have no right, they shouldn’t talk or have an idea because they are women. I believed that. I thought women all around the world have no voice or power. I saw you how you abused my cousin. You laughed at her and said she couldn’t do anything because she was just a woman.  She said there was one thing she could do as a woman, to kill herself and she did. Who is a woman? A woman among many things is a mother. She can create. She can change.

You call yourself pious. You say  what you do is according to Islam and sharia and at the end of the day if you die you are a martyr and  go to heaven. I don’t believe that. I saw you when you couldn’t read even a verse from  the Quran. When you were asked about one of the chapters of the Quran you didn’t  know anything about it. You are selfish, ignorant and violent. The damage you do to Islam and Muslim communities all around the world is beyond expression. Your followers are puppets who kill innocent people only because of your blind and wrong interpretations of Islam. To whom should I complain?

You are murderers who don’t want Muslim people have a peaceful life. God will never forgive you. You are not a Muslim, you just wear an Islamic mask.”