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When Eastern and Western culture clash

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Category: Politics
Forum Name: Current Events
Forum Discription: Current Events
Printed Date: 23 May 2018 at 5:16pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.04 -

Topic: When Eastern and Western culture clash
Posted By: wasi siddiqui
Subject: When Eastern and Western culture clash
Date Posted: 13 December 2007 at 12:08pm

When the Eastern and Western culture clash

By Wasi Siddiqui

(Member of the Canadian Authors Association)


It is often been said that when there is a hurricane in the sea, no matter how big the boat is, it will sink because the culture of the sea does not compromise with it’s furry whoever tries to come in it’s path, this is exactly what happened at the calm neighborhood of Mississauga, where a teenager was strangled to death by her father apparently for not wearing scarf or following Islamic culture.


When an immigrant family comes to Canada, there are lots of challenges to be face starting from not getting a job in their respectable fields, an engineer working as a security guard, a doctor working as cab driver, and then waiting for 3 months before applying for health card because getting sick during these 3 months might cost a fortune since medicines are so expensive to buy, any way this is just a start in getting accustomed to the tradition life of Canada then comes the most difficult part , when their children future when they seek  admissions in schools and colleges in order to give their children a new life in totally a different environment.


As soon as the immigrants start to settle down in Canada , their biggest fear becomes a reality when their children adopts something new in schools which is called “ the western culture” the culture which is totally different from their homeland specially in a Muslim society where mingling with boys of girls are often regarded as bad and not allowed. All the religion has their limitation so does the Islam, where it is prohibited for a Muslim woman to frankly talking with a strangers or making boyfriends.


Although the wearing of scarf is compulsory, and it is always advisable for a Muslim woman to wear it as it avoid a stranger getting their attention, while the western culture called it veils are a sign of radicalization, a move to Islamism — the most extreme interpretation of Islam. The veil is often considered an obstacle to integration.”  And sometimes the headline read as “The Muslim woman needed to be liberated from veil”.  

The Quran says “  Tell the faithful women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their scarf to cover their bosom
- Source: Quran, 24:31 (English translation)

It is time that immigrant families should know that when they have decided to come to Canada or any other western country they should sit down with their children to talk about the things which they like and what are those things which they will not tolerate, instead of starting a culture clash that reach to a boiling point when their parents decided to take the law into their hands.


The biggest concern for the Muslim families is that why in schools sex education are being taught in the name of education, this give their teenagers a freedom to engaging in sex with their partners even thought sexuality is a part of all human nature but this freedom is just more than necessary and thus come in contact with AIDS/HIV, or even left their own face with disgrace in the society. This is where the culture clash starts, they began to speak English only and forget their mother-tongue and wearing jeans and with  chewing gum in their mouth, with I-Pod in their pockets always listening to music, shaking their heads like monkey and speaking western style common word like “F” words, while they considered themselves above all and even above the law, as they adopt this new culture , their own culture becomes a joke where Muslims are required to pray five times a day , read Quran , lead a simple life , give charity , Hajj concept completely  forgotten and thus name of Islam became a history for them.


There are many Muslim families living in Canada who have made compromise with their children, in one of the case a Muslim woman marries to a Hindu man and then before their marriage, a celebration was held where strippers were hired to entertain the guests and Muslim parents were also present as a part of celebration. How shameful is this?


 In other such incident, in a Muslim family, a man who was sponsored by his wife to come to Canada was wrongly blamed as “sexual impotent” and then she gave him divorce and left to humiliation, now the same person married and living with his wife and 2 children.


 The clash of the eastern and western culture has now entered into a danger level, where anyone, anytime can become a victim of this new culture clash, a clash which will continue to happen unless today’s youth understand and return to their faith and culture because once they leave their home, it is not their parents watching them, but only Allah, whom they should be fearing all the time.


Posted By: martha
Date Posted: 13 December 2007 at 3:18pm

salaams Wasi,

I understand your point that it is difficult for muslim immigrants to intergrate into another culture. But surely, before they start a new life in another country they realise that they need to adjust to western ways? I'm not saying they have to abandon their religion. Thats not my point. I believe everyone has the chance to a better life, even if it means they change cultures. But if I went to an Eastern country I would, out of respect, try to live like them. I would have to abide by the laws of the land, just like them.

I am all in favour of people improving their life, moving somewhere abroad, but families when they migrate should discuss all the culture differences before they move to foreign shores. If they find it too hard then maybe it would be better to continue in their own culture. After all, in Islam, we are instructed to follow the laws of the land, wherever we are, and not take the law into our own hands. It is when other cultures try to change another country that problems arise.


Posted By: Salams_wife
Date Posted: 13 December 2007 at 10:29pm

I actually feel that the parents do the right thing by trying to teach their children the right muslim ways.  I'm not talking about the cultural part of it, but the part that comes directly from the Quran and hadith.  It is more difficult in the west to enforce these beliefs on children, but I think if a parent is careful and sets a good example, it can be done.  I have seen some great muslim children raised who chose the hijab themselves and chose to follow the right path.  We will not be successful with every child.  Some children will go their own way no matter what we do and probably would have in the east too (though in a less obvious way than the west). 

I also know many Christian families tired of America's values getting out of hand.  Some send their kids to private christian school or home school them.  I know many Christian girls who dressed conservatively, didn't go out drinking and waited until marriage.  Why, because their parents put a lot of effort into raising them right and they instilled values.

It is important to instill values in a child early, set the right example and do give your kids the best environment you can.  I know in the United States many major cities have islamic schools you can send your children to that even require the hijab for girls and conservative uniforms for all the kids.  Many families bring their children to the mosque for Friday prayers, Ramadan, and Islamic and arabic classes.  We can't protect our children from everything in the west, but we can lessen the influence in many ways.

I think the extra effort is worth it for children if the parents want to give them better chances than they had in their home country.  This is just my opinion though.


Posted By: Israfil
Date Posted: 15 December 2007 at 10:36am

Good topic....

I too have had this recurring issue within the area where I live/work. There is a disproportionate influx of latino immigrants in one area where, a lot of money making business have left thus taking away the money from the city which inr eplace of those businesses are latino stores, resturants and other businesses that caters to this specific racial group. Although inherently good for this ethnic group it is bad for others because these types of businesses isolate the people outside this culture. Of course there is the issue with speaking English and the like. The issue here are the concept of words. Wasi, remember there are people of diverse cultures and from diverse backgrounds so when you say Muslims losing their culture, which Muslims are you referring to? There are African, Serbian, Pakistani, Chinese? Surely, your analysis is not true for all. There are Muslim immigrants who acclimate to Western society quite nicely.

Posted By: wasi siddiqui
Date Posted: 15 December 2007 at 11:03am

Hi Israfil,

I would like to say that I am talking about all the Muslims no matter they are African, Serbian, or any one , Muslims religion is Islam and it teaches us and gives us a guideline to follow, thus all the Muslims have to follow it .

You will be shocked to know that I met a guy from Pakistan and he use to work with me , one day I saw him eating pork ,I approached him and said " dont eat this , this is haram", so he got angry and said today we Muslims are backwards because we fall into the Haram and Halal issue , see the europe how they are progressing it is just because they don't care , and now we Muslims should also stop saying what is halal and what is haram ?

So you will see how the muslims are behaving now-a-days , if we don't address this issue now , Islam will surely will be gone from our youth's mind.

As far as you are saying that there are Muslims immigrants who acclimate to Western society quite nicely, I can assure you they are not , and the reason is that Islam does not match with other cultures .

Trust me , Iam not wrong.


Posted By: Salams_wife
Date Posted: 15 December 2007 at 11:42am
I hear more and more people of different faiths getting tired of the lack of morals and poor behavior in the west.  I think it is a matter of time before we see a turn around where we see more conservatism.  Though when that would be and in what way remains to be seen.

Posted By: martha
Date Posted: 15 December 2007 at 1:19pm


You are generalising. If you think the western society isnt suitable for muslims then why do you live in it? You will not be able to change society just because you are muslim.

Posted By: Israfil
Date Posted: 15 December 2007 at 2:18pm
Wasi, ok maybe I missed the point, but the transgression of a Muslim is not the fault of Western society regardless whether sin is open or not. Almost every action we do is by choice. If this individual eats pork its not Western society telling him to eat pork, he does so on his own will for whatever reason.

Posted By: wasi siddiqui
Date Posted: 15 December 2007 at 2:22pm

Hi martha ,

I am not saying that western society is bad , but what I am saying is that Muslims should continue to live like Muslims , whether they are living in their homeland or in a western country.

I wonder why you are not trying to understand the issue , nobody can change the society but why don't you follow what your culture ask you to do , and let other follow their culture.

If you give up your culture , you will be in a no-man land , and those who are western culture followers will laugh on you , they will make fun of you that you have no identity and no culture and also why don't you also stop calling yourself Muslim as well, you will be like a distitute person who have no home , no religion , and no culture like a man who lost his own diginity.

If you like to do as the western society ask you to do , then you are free to do.

Enjoy your way of life !!!!



Posted By: Hayfa
Date Posted: 16 December 2007 at 12:02pm


It seems to me we need to be more specific, about specific issues or examples of "culture." Just using the word culture conjures up different images for different people.

For example, there is nothing wrong with say, A Muslim taking up ice skating or cross-country skiing for exercise. These tend to be seen as "Western" pursuits of exercise or family enjoyment in the winter.  

Another would be drinknig cocktails before a meal. Clearly something that would be haram but some Muslims may feel compelled to do to "fit in."

Are we talking about dress, food, we need to be specific. For example there are the Amish the Hasidic Jewish folks, other peoples who have "limited intergration" and what if anyone else does it affect. How do we define intergration. Are the Amish wrong for not having TVs and computers? Heck they don't believe in a secular education past the 8th grade level.

Martha,  I understand your point, but keep in mind that most people come here for economic reasons. If this is where you can work, you don't always have the time or wherewithall to plan that stuff ahead.

For me the two differences are:

what is considered public and private

the value of the individual vs the community

These are not always able to be discerned from afar. I know a number of people who came here to work and sent their kids back to their home country due to the negative social influences on their children.   Yes some young people grow up just fine, and there are many others who do need more social pressures /  cohesion to give them the discipline. 

To me we need to define in what ways people need to intergrate? And why should they? As long as they obey the rules why can't they live in more inclusive areas? I know many people from the subcontinent who bond not over religion (Muslim, Sihk, Hindu) but over shared food, language etc.  It is all fascinating.


When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi

Posted By: herjihad
Date Posted: 16 December 2007 at 4:01pm
Salaamu Alaykum,

An African saying that we all know is that it takes a village to raise a child.  The village can be deficient in the West or East. 

Concepts and ideologies are fine, but reality rules in the lives of children.  Who do they have to care for them?  Love them?  Guide them?  Who can they play with or study with where they live?  Who are their genuine role models?

And maybe:  Who of all these people will stand beside them and put UP with them for those teenage years when their hormones outreach their brain capacities?!

I know many cases in both the East and the West where children did not succeed Islaamically when these, and other important elements, were lacking.  We need to stop finger pointing, and just lend each other a hand more often!

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.

Posted By: Angel
Date Posted: 17 December 2007 at 1:27am

Originally posted by Hayfa

Another would be drinknig cocktails before a meal. Clearly something that would be haram but some Muslims may feel compelled to do to "fit in."

there's non alcoholic cocktails, think they are called mocktails.  

~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~

Posted By: Angel
Date Posted: 17 December 2007 at 1:40am

I don't know, i think there will always be somekind of culture clashes, always has been. I don't think clashes are bad/negative per se, life is diversity or diversity is life, that is how we evolve and grow and learn of different things. I think its in how we handle the clashes is probably the issue, some people feel threaten or its too much for them so they lash out violently or have wars, some people are not bothered by it and take it in their stride.

I believe the muslims in africa (anywhere) differ than muslims in the middle east.

 just something.

~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~

Posted By: martha
Date Posted: 17 December 2007 at 6:17am

 Wasi, you said:-

I wonder why you are not trying to understand the issue , nobody can change the society but why don't you follow what your culture ask you to do , and let other follow their culture.

If you give up your culture , you will be in a no-man land , and those who are western culture followers will laugh on you , they will make fun of you that you have no identity and no culture and also why don't you also stop calling yourself Muslim as well, you will be like a distitute person who have no home , no religion , and no culture like a man who lost his own diginity.

Wasi, I do understand what you are trying to say. But if I followed what my culture said then I would be doing those things that western people do! Can you begin to imagine how it is for me? I always lived in the western culture. I have been muslim for 4 years. So I had to make a complete turn as far as my family, friends and culture are concerned. So now because I am muslim they make fun of me! I did lose my home, my children and became destitute. For the sake of Islam.  But I did not lose my dignity. So tell me, what part do I have to play in my culture? What now is my culture? I have changed and at great cost. I am neither accepted by my own, or by those of 'muslim culture'. Yes brother, I am in a no-man land.



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