I got dressed up yesterday to go to a very civilized coffee morning. Sometimes I just feel like making a bit of an effort, you know? The coffee was at a new friend's place. I knew she had invited quite a few people I have not met yet, and was looking forward to getting to know some new faces.
It was a beautiful house, with a beautifully set up table. The hostess made an effort, too. I sat there, chatting and sipping my coffee, when something quite shocking happened. A very pleasant Indian lady suddenly, pretty much out of the blue, announced that London was completely and utterly Islamased.
I love meeting different people with all sorts of opinions. I find it incredibly entertaining when people just come up with some bizarre stuff in front of someone they barely know, if know at all. I never really get into any arguments, not because I am embarrassed. I, in fact, encourage them to go on, as it gives me a fascinating glimpse into their minds, and without letting them speak out, I would simply never discover just how screwed up some people are. For example, only recently, I met a South African lady, who was openly telling me how she screamed at her maid, and how once she grabbed hold of her male cleaner's arm and twisted it backward to stop him washing up under the running water. She explained that she had warned him once not to use running water and he disobeyed her orders. She looked so insane telling us this story, I was beyond fascinated! I mean, when she just walked into that dinner party, she did not look anyhow interesting. She was just this very quiet, badly dressed, lonely sort of older lady. And suddenly, she came to live with all her racist, cruel, nasty personality shining through. Amazing! Simply amazing.
Anyhow, back to the Indian lady. Without any hesitation, confusion or embarrassment, she came up with this, hmm...statement. Looking me directly in the face, expecting support and understanding. I made a hmm...confused sort of noise. I was thinking that she did not know where I was from. I have dark hair and almost middle-eastrn sort of features. I could have easily been offended! Okay, as many of you know, I am far from being religious, neither am I the one to be protecting religious people and their feelings. Yet, I have found her comment really, quite unpleasant. Not only because I come from a Muslim country, I also disliked anyone saying anything negative about the UK and London. Basically, I found the comment nasty on all sorts of various levels and layers, from all sorts of angles.
She went on to explain how saddened she was by this complete and utter Islamisation of London and the UK. How London is lost to Muslims. Lost. Gone.
You know, I wanted to say... You clearly, have not been to Southall. I actually think London is quite Indianised, myself. And as for Doha, it is quite Indianised, too. Do you find me saying it to people at a coffee morning, shaking my head in an outraged racist kind of fashion? Nope. She also mentioned that America was her home now, since she has spent years living there. I wonder how she would feel if she overheard some white Americans discussing how many Indians lived in the States these days. (Or Hindu, if you want to get technical).
She went on to complain about Islam in such a way that it made me wonder what she was actually doing here, in Qatar. It must be quite a painful experience for her, really.
And suddenly, I just wanted to leave. Despite the pleasant hostess, a beautifully served coffee and a very tasty watermelon. Some opinions, you see, are better off shared when you know someone much, much better. Perhaps, intimately. I felt almost harassed by this comment. It was ugly, it was naked, it felt indecent. As if she had stripped in the middle of the morning coffee, and showed me her saggy, dark nippled breasts, shaking them in my face. That is what it felt like, to me. Revolting.
Now, she might actually be a nice person. Slightly islamophobic, perhaps, but maybe quite nice deep inside. But now that she stripped in front of me before I even had a chance to get to know her, guess what...I don't have any desire to find out.