The Benevolent Dictator – No, Not Kim Jung Il, ME

As Salaamu Alaikum and good morning all.  It’s about 9 am here in Virginia.  Kids are off to school, smaller ones are ensconced in front of the TV watching cartoons.  The cats are milling about hoping someone drops a frosted flake on the floor.  I am here this morning to confess to being a really disorganized person.   It affects all areas of my life.  I start something, forget what I was doing, go back later and have to start again.  I do it with this blog, too.  Sometimes I’ll post more than one day in a row.  One time I even posted twice in one day, wow!  But then I’ll get busy dealing with a sick kid or someone’s spelling bee or something, and then I’ll come back a week later or more to pick up where I left off.

Well, when I did that, I didn’t realize that comments had been automatically approved for all my posts.  Now, being human, I love to hear positive feedback from people and the kind words really gave me a warm glow.  But in among those were a lot of comments that were, shall we say, not very nice.  I was  shocked to see so many comments.  I guess that my visibility is higher since I’m here at Patheos instead of over at Blogspot, and I’m being seen by A LOT more non-Muslims.  That’s a good thing, but it is also natural that a blog written by an unapologetic Muslim will attract some caramel-covered nut balls as well.   I am here to tell the nut balls to go away.

I have switched my settings so that I have to approve comments now, and I will be very, very selective on what gets through.  If someone raises an honest point or criticism, I reserve the right to use the comment in a following blog post so that I can answer the comment in a full, thoughtful manner.  If someone is just blowing off steam, as happened with my post about wanting Sharia law in the universe, well, you are more than welcome to create your own blog and then you can bloviate to your heart’s content.

I do want to say a very big “Jazaak Allah Khair” to some Muslims who worked in the comments to refute those who had negative things to say.  I appreciate your efforts, but I don’t want the comments section to be a forum in itself for debating Islam.  My blog is not a place to debate Islam; it is a place for me to PRESENT Islam.  You are welcome to agree or disagree, but I won’t let everyone have a piece of me.  My blog brings me pleasure and I will hit the “trash” key really fast in order to avoid being brought down by something hateful, or even something that’s not hateful but just ignorant.  No doubt that will whittle the comments way down, but that’s why my blog is a dictatorship, not a democracy.

Aha!  You say.  I KNEW she was against democracy.  See, she wants to bring Sharia law even to her blog!  Well, duh.  Of course I want my blog to be a place of Islamic values, and that includes not allowing nasty people to post lies about Islam.  I promise to read thoughtful comments even when they don’t agree with me.  I will do my best, in my disorganized fashion, to post regularly so that if something I wrote previously was unclear, I can try to clarify.  That’s the best I can do.  And trust me, I think I’m doing pretty good.

Even while I was writing this very post, I was interrupted by 1. preschooler wanting cereal with NO milk and a cup of milk on the side 2. toddler with a dirty diaper who then wanted to nurse 3. customer coming to pick up item he had bought 4. circuit breaker tripping and cutting off electricity to half the house and making me think, for one panicked moment, that my blog post went “poof” 5. preschooler going potty and needing me to help her clean up, and 6. toddler just now climbing up into my lap to see what I’m doing.  So, on the whole, considering all the distractions, I think I did okay, huh?

I deleted ALL the comments, good, bad, and ugly, and will try to keep up with them more on a day-to-day basis, though I’m not promising anything.  The kids will be on winter break in a couple of days and nothing is better at disrupting my literary muse than a house full of screaming kids chasing the cats.  But, that’s life.  We can only take it one day at a time, apologize for the mistakes, and then keep plugging away.  I’ll see you next posting, inshaAllah.

  • Lew

    Dear Mrs Shehata,

    I know you said before that you didn’t want people “blowing off” on your blog. And you’re busy what with the five kids and the cats (I’m a dog person myself and find cats dirty, however clean they pretend to be), but as a person who is, like you, divergent, I must say I feel some kinship with you on the meagre basis that at this time of year we are under the assault of what I would rename Crassmas.

    I cannot avoid it unless I go up the mountain. Or withdraw to a darkened room. Or the woods. But then I have time to think why I’m there. I feel reinvigorated, but that just makes me angry again and in need of another walk.

    Here’s the mountain:

    Here’s the woods:

    Beautiful whether you think some entity created them or not. My town is where the song Danny Boy was written. It’s people are modest and mad (not in the sense that they’re angry, just mad – bonkers – as country people tend to be). So I keep my mouth shut when my spleen aches as it does now, at Crassmas.

    I hope I can say that we probably share some values. I hope that you don’t look on me as inferior as an atheist, for thinking about you amid this assault on the senses and incitement to gluttony that has about as much to do with anything of the spirit as the toenail clipping that I’ve just noticed on the floor and am about to sweep up.

    Okay, he’s a rebel. I have a feeling you probably are too. I offer you the Thanksgiving Prayer by William Burroughs, another person I feel kinship with at this time of year:

    And since it’s so hard to avoid, I hope your Crassmas is, like any other twelve days in your year, happy and peaceful.

    I’m off up the mountain again.

    Regards to you and your family.

    Keep thinking,


    • Anonymous

      Thank you for the kind sentiments, Lew :).

  • Redriding86

    Hello Nancy, please recite these ahadith and share them with your brothers and sisters. Paste these words on your wall and memorize them:

    The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” (Muslim 3433)

    “We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter” (Sahih Muslim 3371)

    • Lew

      What big teeth you have.

  • Lew


    I admit I was a bit surprised that you deleted all the posts. I didn’t read the ones you deleted initially. I was quite enjoying my ping-pong with Allah’s Word and don’t think we resorted to rudeness. Bit of passion maybe but not ignorance or rudeness. I took you at your word when you said you were willing to talk if I was willing to listen. I absolutely am. That’s why I asked you if you had any thoughts on the exchange I was having. By “listen” do you mean “agree”?

    I don’t know. I just stumbled on your blog because, as I said, there was a link to it carried by the UK’s National Secular Society, of which I’m a member, and which probably explains why you had a surge in traffic. Most of them will have gone away now. I just like bashing ideas around and as I said before, I’m fascinated by religion. I hope none of this makes me a caramel coloured nut job.

    Anyway, best wishes. I’ll drop by later. But if I’m somewhere I’m not wanted, then I’m off. But I’d have to wonder about the sincerity of your claim to a spirit of openness…



    • Syed Live

      Before you and Allah’s word started your exchange, there were many rude comments, some of them full of hate. But your exchange of words were respectful, not offensive and really insightful.

      • Lew

        Thanks. As someone who was brought up in a religion, it’s taken quite a lot of active thought to arrive at a place where I can resolutely reject it. Some would argue that I should never have had to undergo my “conversion”. That I should no more have had to struggle to figure out why I am not a catholic than why I am not a communist, or a neoliberal, because (one of) my parents were. Not for nothing are converts known for their zeal.


        • Syed Live

          I respect your views as an athiest but I was referring to the peaceful and well-mannered nature of your dialogue, which was a stark contrast to some of the nasty comments.

    • Gia Daniel

      Lew, not a criticism, just a comment … it isn’t caramel COLORED nut job, it is caramel nut job. I mean, I know Nancy, to a small extent, and she has nothing against the caramel color, just the nut jobs.

      • Anonymous

        Heh heh. Exactly, Gia. I actually LOVE caramel, the color and the flavor, got a kid who has some latte in him since I’m part Native and I’m married to an Arab, lol. Yes the reference to the caramel-covered nut ball is the fact that for some people it matches the consistency and contents of their brain pans. :).

    • Anonymous

      Please don’t take it personally that I deleted some of your comments. I just came through with a big broom and swept everything out. I’m going to do my best to keep up on everything and as soon as I figure out how to make the comments wait to be approved I’ll have a better handle on it. Have a great and peaceful day :).