NEW YORK, NY – Since 9/11, many Muslim Americans have grappled with a dismal perception of Islam and its followers. For over a decade, American Muslims have shattered stereotypes and pioneered their way into unconventional accomplishments. But have many of them compromised their fundamental Islamic values? Have they gone ‘progressive’ at the risk of crossing orthodox lines? Does Islam in America need a reboot?
According to Ayesha ‘Tina’ Zafar, dancer at the Scores Gentlemen’s Club in Manhattan, it certainly does.
As Zafar smacks on her gum and struggles to maneuver in her skin tight pants, she bends over to check her lip gloss in the mirror. Layering on another two coats, the 21-year-old attempts to engage in a philosophical discussion. She breaks down traditional interpretations of the Quran and contends that a progressive update is very necessary for Muslims to thrive in the United States and around the world.
Adjusting her left set of adhesive eyelashes, Zafar begins her rant, “I mean, here we are sitting on the most beautiful religion in the world, and we have outdated and old fashioned mullahs telling me I can’t have my thong poking out of my yoga pants? Where in the Quran does it say I can’t wear see through yoga pants? There isn’t even a word in arabic for yoga pants. How are people supposed to see my thong accidentally poking out of my jeans if I’m wearing a jilbab, you know? Look at my thong! Follow me on Instagram!”
When asked if she felt her occupation conflicts with her Islamic dress-code requirements, Zafar quickly responded, “And that’s why I always wear pasties.”
Zafar points out that people from the Muslim world need a shift in mentality.
“Any dancer can tell you: Pakistani men don’t tip.”
Many Muslims living in the United States are feeling the challenge to assimilate more into American mainstream culture without losing their identity. Zafar believes that American values and Islam are not “mutually exclusive” and looks forward to when she can dance up on stage with Irshad Manji.
Muslim entrepreneur Rami Habibi, owner of alcoholic beverage company Habibeer, is also founder of “Drunk for Deen,” a non-profit organization focused on erasing the Muslim community’s stigma against alcohol.
“I love alcohol, I love rum, and I love – I looove white women” slurred Habibi. “And that’s why I married a buddhist [unintelligible],” stated Habibi prior to belching and squatting to defecate in public, followed by spontaneous urination.
Habibi believes Muslims in the United States cannot be productive members of society until they embrace the recreational and habitual practices of consuming alcohol, drugs and pornography.
“We’re not in the dark ages anymore, women can drive and do things now. Have you been to Tijuana? They’re doing all sorts of things down there.”