ILHAN

ILHAN

ILHAN

ILHAN

Religion and Relationships

SHAG spent the afternoon with Ilhan Ali, A British born Muslim girl living in London. 

We speak to her about what modern muslimhood is about, how to express your sexuality and respect your faith and dating as a young muslim girl in the 21st Century.

Tell us about dating?

IA: In terms of dating okay.. so like.. for me in terms of dating I’ve spoken to non Muslim guys but to me non Muslim guys are not serious like they’re just like, fun, ‘I’ll chat to you now’ like summer time cool yeah like fling but, in terms of religious guys I see them as more long term. Even though I’m kind of on and off with my religion I still feel like its the most important thing lowkey.

"

Girls can definitely talk about their sexuality a lot more than they could before. Now it’s not seen as such a taboo you know, it happens and we can talk about it. 

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My parents are very very religious, they both come from very religious backgrounds. Even in my house its quite religious I just kinda feel like you know, the apple fell very far from the tree. 

"I have Muslim friends who are queer but the conversation we have amongst us is - we know that what we have, it's haram and technically it is wrong but they do what they want because they’re like ‘you know what God is going to forgive you in the end’"

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YOU AND

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YOU AND

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YOU AND

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YOU AND

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Do you feel like you would want to be in a relationship with somebody that is also religious?

IA: Yeah you know what.. I guess it’s like.. to be very frank I feel like I believe in my religion but I feel like I’m like  ‘off’, you know what I mean? So I feel like eventually I’ll be ‘on’ so eventually I would prefer someone a bit more religious than me so that we can kinda be like better Muslims together kinda thing, cos at least they’re not like me we’re just gonna fall off together

 

But religion is like a spectrum, it’s like, sometimes you feel like you can do really religious things and other times you don’t, just like partying whatever… I don’t really know how I class myself. All my friends are like me as well like but the thing about like when you’re a bit more out there a lot of stuff is in secret, when you and your friends go out you’re not going to be posting it  because there’s still that very big stigma. Even though everyone does do it, its like, it's a very big stigma it’s not something that would be very open for everyone to know.

Do you feel like there are issues with female sexual liberation?

 

"Yes! Forgetting sexual liberation, even if a woman is sexually assaulted thats something people keep on the hush so never mind sexual liberation but I feel like Muslim women should definitely be more open about their sexuality, what they like, what they don’t like, because its so hush hush it’s almost like they’re prude but we’re still women, and because we wear hijabs its almost like we’re not…we don’t have a human aspect to us especially when it comes to sex, cos your Muslim its kinda like… I’m Muslim I shouldn’t talk about that, you know what I mean? But I still feel like we should be able to have as open discussions and not feel like its shameful because its just something thats natural and normal, something everyone goes through" 

FEMALE SEXUAL LIBERATION

Do you think that there is enough of that conversation? Do you feel that with young Muslims in 2020 there is more of a movement towards acceptance and liberation even in relationships? 

"For sure. Girls can definitely talk about their sexuality a lot more than they could before. Now it’s not seen as such a taboo you know, it happens and we can talk about it. We can talk about sexuality, and even though it may not be conventional for us and it may not be what is accepted in Islam it’s still a conversation that we can have and even though it may feel to them… You know what it is about Islam theres also a heavy sense of guilt with lots of things that you do so I feel like sexuality is definitely one of the biggest things for that. Girls should be able to have this conversation… and I feel like we are. Me and my friends definitely talk about things like that"

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MODERN MUSLIMHOOD

Do you think that theres a misconception that some Muslim relationships can be quite controlling or unhealthy?

 

"Yeah yeah for sure yeah. I feel like Muslim relationships can be very very patriarchal but I feel like Islam is heavy mixed in with culture as well, so it’s not just a religion its also peoples influence and culture. I don’t think Islam is as patriarchal as it seems, I really don’t think that. Even in my household. I was speaking to my mum about it and it can seem like the men control everything but in Islam women have their own rights, they have got their own - they’re independent and they have laws and rules that protect them completely from everything so, yeah. I feel like because of that and then the cultural element it can seem very patriarchal and you know what, there are a lot of Muslim people that kinda do buy into that whole patriarchal like ‘we should stay with our husband’ kinda thing but - I don’t think its like that personally"

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Produced by SHAG

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ilhanilhanilhanilh

YOU AND 

THE EARTH

YOU AND

THE EARTH

Be kind. Be patient. Be respectful. Be yourself.

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