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Love and Equality

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This poem was trigged by difficult and enlightening conversations about gender equality and laws I’ve been having recently with Muslims young and old. And the challenges in trying to reconcile as to how some people who believe in a merciful, just God also believe in interpretations of religious law that are unjust and unequal, especially to women.

Are we not worthy of the same compassion and justice of the same God?

These conversations have helped mold my understanding of the type of love and friendship I value and invite into my own life. I know for sure that I cannot have deep, sustained and loving friendships with anyone who does not hold equality of men and women across divides as a core belief.

How can I love a man who will look me in the eye and tell me he is the greater human?
Not in these exact words,
But in meanings hidden in their nuances,
Patriarchy lurking in the nooks and crannies of your political correctness,
You’d sound progressive, intelligent, educated – to the world,
But when dusk turns to night and we return home,
Truth returns with you.

How can I give my heart to a man who believes women are prohibited from leading a country or ruling in courts of law?
Because divine scripture says so
Because my gender would mean the downfall of a nation
Because there are no examples of female prophets
Because we’re made from the rib of Adam,
So we can be bent into shape,
Your say, because we menstruate,
So our emotions are like water,
Our tears like the Genesis flood,
Destruction where they spill.

How can I say yes to man who believes I am only half his worth?
Because according to your version of God’s laws – only two women can bear witness worthy of one man,
You must have a sense of humor
Because how funny it is that the one that has the ability to bear two humans in her single body is the one that is half of the other?
If God wanted me to be less than you then I’d be a stone,
If God wanted me to be greater than you then I’d be the sea,
I am human because I am your equal.

What version of God do you follow anyway?
One that privileged you over me for simply being born a man?
For despite being believers,
We don’t have the same idea of God.
Maybe your version of God has limits to HIS justice,
limits to HIS mercy,
So much so that He designed entire systems just to make you more worthy,

While mine is genderless,
complete, expansive, all encompassing, the manifest one,
the equitable and the light,
above and below, before and after,
unparalleled in compassion,
unlimited in the ability to love beyond gender,
race, religion, caste, class, ethnicity
privilege or power.

How small your sense of God is compared to mine.

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