Buy essay on “The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf” Mohja Kahf
In “The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf” Mohja Kahf vividly describes the tumultuous life of a Muslim in America with all imaginable hardships and shows the possibility of equilibrium attaining with society, God and personal identity on the example of a Syrian immigrant Khadra who comes into cultural clashes with the rest of the American world. The writer gives readers an insight into the experiences of religious and cultural minorities who live in America and have to assimilate with the society where religion takes different forms and is interpreted differently, as it occurred throughout the whole life of the main character of the novel under consideration.
But as Khadra Shamy moves to Indiana, faces the issue of traditional Islam and has to fit in the intolerant Midwest, it becomes evident how difficult it is for a woman to find her identity under the religious pressure of her family as well as her milieu. Revealing the conflict of Muslims and the minority with other religions, Kahf raises the issue that despite enormous differences, including factors which separate Muslims from the rest of the world as well as from each other, they still comprise a unity.
Within the family let alone her religious community young Khadra faces differences in religious beliefs and values. When she talks to her aunt Khadija about what it means to be a real Muslim, it turns out they understand the concept differently. Aunt Khadija thinks, she “reverted” to Islam, while Khadra claims that aunt is not a born-Muslim and used to be a common American girl before she “rediscovered her natural state” of surrender (Kahf 24). buy essay
Khadra’s family is described as being conservative and following all the religious rituals while practicing Islam and her father’s mission was to bring Muslims to what was considered traditional Islam. As the Dawah Center helped lots of immigrant Muslims, Khadra saw the influence the West exerted on Middle Eastern and Asian countries, she witnessed the fact that immigrants tried to bring up their children according to their countries’ traditions, but after all could not help but change.
This blend of cultures, for instance, was demonstrated by Kahf on the example of the Thoreaus from Chicago, who hardly resembled Muslims from the very beginning. Therefore, with a formed image of a real Muslim in her mind it was not easy and even preternatural for Khadra to call the members of this family “uncle” and “aunt”, as kids used to do in the community (Kahf 30). However, the family members changed their appearance, Joe Thoreau came to be referred to as Yusuf, Tayiba forgot her mod habits and got rid of her dog, as it was irregular to have dogs, wear large sunglasses or tie hijab on one side (Kahf 27).
In terms of Khadra’s growth as a personality her choice of this or that becomes conscious and motivated, as she is gradually filled with knowledge of Islam and realizes the meaning it has for her personally. Here the emphasis is placed more on spirituality than religion as it is, and the epigraph chosen for the chapter testifies to that and runs as follows: “the presence of the heart with God…has primacy over the ritual acts of worship…” (Kahf 30). That is how general perception of copy-book maxims studied in childhood turn out to echo in Khadra’s consciousness as well as in the heart of each and every member of the community no matter if he or she is a birth-Muslim or a convert.
In the context of slow changes in times and culture it is not an easy task to manage cultures and faith to maintain mutual respect, but the novel is a huge step in this direction, as it demonstrates the differences that exist among community and even family members which represent various generations and views. Kahf shows that there is no right way to follow any religion and should never be blind worshiping, as everyone has his or her own way to fill a personal niche and create inimitable mosaic out of its multicultural parts.
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