Do Blonde Muslim Children Have More Fun?

By Carol Coulter

Bismilliah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem

Asalamu Alaikum

Islam without a doubt is a universal religion based on tawheed (Unity). Unity extends not only to Muslim ideas on the Unity of God, but the Unity of the Muslim ummah (community) itself. Marriage outside one’s own ethnic group is not only “allowed,” from a religious standpoint, it is held up by many as the proof and example of Islam’s lack of racism and egalitarian nature. In Islam, status is not determined by race, ethnicity, culture, or skin color, but rather on piety! European-descent Muslims believe in this ideal. Cross-cultural, cross-racial marriages are held up as visual proof of this ideal in action.

The truth is, in reality, most cross-cultural marriages are dismal failures. The vast majority, let me re-emphasize, the vast majority, of these marriages end up in divorce. Besides divorce and a myriad of other social issues and problems, these marriages between European-descent Muslims and other non-European descent Muslims, successful or not, many times produce children. It is these children’s struggle and journey that I wish to discuss in this article, in particular the girls growing up in the Muslim community. The term “cross-cultural marriage” for the purpose of this article assumes at least one of the parents is of European descent from the original peoples of Europe, unless otherwise indicated. The terms “Whitey,” “White,” “European Descendants” are terms being used interchangeably to convey the meaning of European descent from the original first peoples of Europe.

It is not the purpose of this article to delve into the issues between husband and wife, or the issues the converts themselves encounter. When the article does, it does so to further illustrate the situation with regard to the experience of the children. Any references to those descriptions have to be understood as limited. Future articles will be addressing those issues more fully.

It is in the hopes that armed with more knowledge, many of you of European descent will consider entering into such marriages with other European descent Muslims, if for no other reason than for the sake of your future children. They will have enough issues already, even if both parents are ethnically the same, to function as Muslims in the West.

Before dismissing this article as a covert racist KKK white privilege rant, I humbly suggest that you read it first and then decide how you feel about it. It doesn’t hurt to read another person’s opinion. One can simply decide to ignore this advice if they do not find it compelling. One may even, later, remember some of these words and wish they had paid heed to them or retrieve them to show to someone else.

I am not trying to say all children from cross-cultural parents will suffer all of these issues, but I would be very surprised if they did not suffer from any of them.

Converts to Islam in the West freely choose to be Muslim and usually do so as adults. Their future children do not. As children, they have the psyche of children without the coping skills of adults and internalize stress in dysfunctional ways that affect them as adults. Sometimes parents do not realize the stress and effects of stress the family faces as Muslims in the West is more pronounced in the developing child.

In the West, we have a peculiar situation as it pertains to European-descent Muslims. The Muslim community is continually receiving huge influxes of immigrant Muslims, in addition to a growing Latino and African-American sub-community. Masjids cater to and are influenced by these influxes. As a result, the white Muslims have become nearly invisible. While mosques have an Islamic responsibility to help these new immigrants, white Muslims are mired in a strange situation. Instead of just being Americans who are Muslim, they are dealing with assimilation into an immigrant population to interact with Muslims. It is a backwards flow. It makes no sense that people who live in a country are assimilating into an immigrant’s culture, when the immigrants are needing to adapt to their new country. Our European-descent children end up appearing and behaving like immigrants themselves in the wider culture into which they were born. If the family were to move to a different city and change the masjid they attended, the entire family often has to repeat this assimilation process all over again. This is because many times, the masjid has a different dominant immigrant culture. The “Umbrella Masjids” are geared for the immigrant’s descendants who are progressing on their assimilation into the Western culture. While the boards of umbrella masjids pat themselves on their backs complimenting their “progress,” European-descendant Muslims are suffering.

Converts do not have enough experience to know the full ramifications of entering into cross-cultural marriages with other Muslims, and neither do most immigrants either. Experience is the operative word here. These are important lessons that one cannot learn in a book. The parent who is the convert does not have the experience of being a Muslim child living in the West. This is a handicap when rearing Muslim children in the West because they do not have the correct frame of reference and experience to draw from. Likewise, the immigrants who are coming to the West to live as adults have a frame of reference different from the dominant society. Immigrants have no idea what children in the West experience, and even less of what Muslim children in the West experience. That equates to two parents who do not fully understand what the child is going through, both dealing from a different set of cultural cards and inconsistent parenting rules. These families receive really bad and even harmful advice from immigrant imams who have no idea what they are dealing with. The imams are speaking from their own cultural set of cards from their own countries, which would work if one was living in the imam’s country. I highlight the fact of the imam’s country since even in cross-cultural marriages, the imam could be from a different country from the immigrant parent. In short, the parents cannot identify the correct course of action and use the wrong box of band-aids to “fix” a situation. The biggest causalities of these cross-cultural marriages, even the ones that do not end up in divorce, are the children. The European-descent children from cross-cultural marriage suffer the most, and the most extreme suffering among them is the blonde, blue-eyed, female child from these marriages.

The combination of leftist identity politics, which the majority of the immigrant Muslim community is aligned with, and the fear immigrant parents have that their children will marry out of their ethnic group, has resulted into a further exaggeration of the trend, which has been progressing from bad to worse for over forty-five years in the West. European-descent people, “white people,” “white society,” “white institutions,” and “white government” are held up as the primary examples of all that is bad in the world. Whites are the cause of all oppression. It is though an additional pillar has been added to the Five Pillars of Islam (The Five Pillars, in English for those who do not know, are the testimony of faith, ritual prayer, compulsory charity tax, fasting the month of Ramadan, and Pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca): This new sixth pillar is not one you will find in books – it is “Hate Whitey.” The amazing thing about this new sixth pillar is that even if a young child can’t remember the other five, they usually express the sixth one in their behavior. I sat myself outside a masjid one evening and listened to a large group of young teenagers (about thirty) all speaking loudly in English about how they all hated white people.

Moreover, parents from Muslim-majority countries prefer marriage for their children from their own ethnic groups. Some even prefer marrying from their own home town of origin, where they are familiar with the names and families. Conversely, it does not occur to immigrants that their children might want to marry black Muslim Americans, for example, because of their own racial prejudices. That idea seems far-fetched to them. The result of this is, American Blacks are seen as “real” Muslims but unsuitable marriage candidates for the immigrant family.

Furthermore, most immigrant families from Muslim-majority countries discipline and educate their children by objectifying what they don’t want their children to be attracted to. Christmas trees are described as ugly; white women are used as the example of total immoral depravity. European-descent women are essentially characterized as the great whores of Babylon. All white women are described in this way, even the Muslim ones. The qualification “Oh, not you” does not cut it. On the other hand, white men get the characterization of being sexual predators. Sexual predators! Incredible!

Many immigrant families will not let their children visit the home of their little friends where the father is a European-descent Muslim. Not just if he is home, if he lives there at all. Many white Muslims in the community don’t even realize this is why, thinking that the family is just stricter on the girls. Let me be clear. This is the prevalent opinion among most of them. This opinion, while the immigrant imams will deny it, is the same among the immigrant imams themselves. I have over heard them speaking: “He is a religious man; he cannot marry an American.”; “She is a virgin? There are white women who are virgins?”; “What, him? He’s American.” Then there’s my favorite: an imam looking lustily at a newly divorced cross-cultural woman’s daughter and asking the European-descent mother, when the daughter’s father isn’t around, if the mother is going to have more relationships with men. Finding spouses is a parental responsibility, and marrying inside one’s own ethnic group does make sense. This sort of prejudice on the character of white Muslims is not.

Because of the need in the minds of the immigrants, and the obvious oddity of it, white European-descent converts or born Muslims (Yes, we have white European-descent Muslims who are the children and grandchildren of converts to Islam) are ridiculed as not being real Muslims. After all, if they are real Muslims, there is a possibility their children might try to marry one! The only time I have witnessed people approving these marriages from the immigrant side is when they have lost all control over their child; they are trying to save face and remedy the situation by trying to get the new spouse accepted as a Muslim. This is too little, too late unfortunately. They are not fooling the other immigrants, even if they are fooling the new spouse.

What does all of this have to do with the children, you ask? It is a mistake, and was a mistake, to bring European-descent Muslim children up in this environment. The so-called “Islamic Monoculture” does not exist. The European-descent Muslim children brought up in this environment many times suffer from psychological problems and become dysfunctional adults. Not all, but the lighter the skin, the blonder the hair, the bluer the eyes, the more pronounced this problem is. Genetics is often a roll of the dice in this situation. You cannot predict with any certainty which parent your child will resemble.

One of the unfortunate truths about cross-cultural marriages is the parents argue more than they do if they had married into their own culture. I mention this since parental arguing can cause stress on children and most of it is over cultural sensibilities or money. Sometimes children notice this and manipulate situations to get their parents to argue to gain control in the home.

In addition, teachers sometimes assume that our children are weak English speakers and try to put them into English as a Second Language classes, based on their names or seeing the mother pick the child up wearing hijab. Even if both of their parents are of European-descent and speak no other languages this can happen. Or the child might be tracked into a slower academic classroom based on this misperception. This can be dealt with by being aware and making sure this does not happen.

Curiously, white European-descent children score lower on testing because they are Muslim. How can this be? They are not brought up with a consistent European-descent cultural environment. Standardized intelligence test questions that are related to knowledge of environment and culture are based on white culture. While there have been some improvements in the cultural bias, this bias is still true. White Muslim children are not brought up immersed in white culture. Where they normally would have a cultural advantage, they receive an overall lower score they normally would have, based on a lack of knowledge of white culture. This puts them at a disadvantage relative to their white peers. This can result with them just missing a high enough score to be accepted into Gifted and Talented Education or even the higher Seminar. They miss out on some educational opportunities because they don’t live under white cultural norms at home. They have so many different exposures to people just doing things differently that many times don’t even realize there is a societal norm. For example, sometimes Muslim children don’t use furniture in the same way as the wider society. Sometimes they will go into a classroom, find their desk confining, take their materials, then sit and spread their material out on the floor at the side of a classroom. Why not? People do it all the time around them other places they go.

Let me present this example that causes lower test scores for white children who normally would get these answers right. Imagine if you will, a black and white drawing of a plate, knife, fork, spoon, napkin, bowl and drinking glass. This is sitting on a place mat. Take a moment and visualize this. Now your child is asked “What is missing?” Do you have the answer? Adults who have been Muslim for years often can’t answer this question correctly. It’s the table. How would your child know this after being around Muslims? They eat on the floor picnic-style sometimes, have different cultural uses of the eating silverware, including using them for different purposes than they are used in white culture. Different types of dishes are on the eating space and different types of bowls are used for serving. Let’s be clear here, no one is showing the child a drawing of a formal dinner setting that includes salad, soup and tea spoons in the out to inner order with a charger place and plate on top, salad plate and the soup bowl on top in the style of “Amy Vanderbilt’s Rules of Etiquettes.” The picture is a showing an informal setting one would find in a typical middle-class family home on a weekday. Your child can’t answer the simple cultural questions that are normal in white culture. They just do not recognize them, and don’t understand if anything is missing or not.

Muslim children from cross-cultural marriages often misunderstand non-verbal communication within a specific cultural context and misinterpret it. They are around too many different cultures at once. The visual sight of the soles of someone’s feet has a different meaning in different cultures. Putting hands on the hips does too. Their frame of reference isn’t matching anyone else’s. This means that if one of the girls has a male teacher who is somewhat intent with staring into her face, she could interpret this as the man is being mean to her and start misbehaving in class. She just doesn’t know that non-Muslim men look longer into a girl’s face and stand closer. They misinterpret why people are smiling or second guess. They become confused by these cultural norms and sometimes carry this behavior back to the Muslim community, where they are then misinterpreted. They now don’t realize that “uncle” is acting weird since he is acting like her teacher or if he is standing too close. Yes, sexual abuse does happen in the Muslim community. And yes, the white women and white children are targets of this. This becomes an issue in the secular culture because, while the children understand non-Muslims act differently, they also don’t know when too close is too close in that culture. It is setting these children up to be sexual victims in both cultures.

Cultural identity crisis is confusing in a society where race matters and cultural ethnicity is a part of one’s identity. Cross-cultural European-descent Muslim children have a lot of difficulty fitting in anywhere. Many times, the only way they can fit in in a Western setting is by removing all visual identifying factors indicating they are Muslim (e.g., hijab, kufi, Muslim name). In that case, they can fit in the wider secular society as either a white person, or if their looks preclude them from the white identity, as a minority. They figure this out as they grow. In junior high, most have realized this fully. They can be accepted somewhere, and it involves discarding anything that would identify them as a Muslim. They could actually have the ability to sit around people who are not disparaging them, but rather be around people who will accept them. Essentially, they are making plans to start “passing.” The pain they feel from the rejection that intensifies over years in the Muslim community and in the secular society has a possibility of being relieved by this compromise.

Sometimes European-descent Muslim children internalize white hatred that is around them and transfer this hate into self-loathing. This is the biggest issue that has the biggest effect on their future happiness. This self-loathing can then be transferred to include the European-descent parent because, after all, it’s all that parent’s fault. They try then to desperately be accepted into the non-European-descent parent’s ethnic group.

A common example I can give is a half-white child of an American European-descent mother and of an immigrant Muslim father. Both parents practiced Islam. The father is brown-skinned. The daughter was born with white skin almost as light as her mother who is very white-skinned. The daughter was born a blonde and stayed blonde through high school, had European-descent facial features and build. Without hijab no one would have even thought she had an immigrant Muslim father. She had brown eyes. When she was in sixth grade, she began telling people at the masjid that her mother was only half European-descent and was half the same ethnicity as her father. She was finally asked why she was doing this by her mother (The mother was surprised to find her doing this.). The mother found out that her daughter was embarrassed. Why? The other children were saying all the white women in the masjid were whores before becoming Muslim and probably had sex before marriage. Can you imagine children hearing this sort of thing about the ethnicity of their mother in what is supposed to be a house of God? Can you imagine the detrimental psychological effect and that would result when repeated over and over for years? 

The daughter began her transformation in high school. She started dying her hair black, not for the fun of fashion, but so that she could distance herself from the European-descent genetics of herself. Even though she wore hijab at that time, she didn’t want anyone to know she was half white. Essentially, what this teenage girl was doing by the time she was a teenager was attempting to “pass” in the same way black Americans would sometimes attempt to “pass” as white in America. She was trying to pass fully into her father’s culture and hide the fact she was half white. She was ashamed of being of European descent, ashamed of her white mother, and wanting desperately be accepted as one of the Muslims. It was impossible for her to “pass,” too much of her looks came from her mother’s genetics. She was called “Stupid white girl” in foreign languages in junior college by those from her father’s ethnic group who had no idea her father was from their ethnic group. She tried but was not accepted by other Muslims. She started using a shortened version of her name that sounded non-Muslim and eventually removed her hijab and left the community as a young adult. She then ran with a faster crowd of the children of immigrants who were not religious from her father’s ethnic group. That too ended in disaster. She didn’t have the status the men were after, only the “looks.”

The broader white society was more than happy to accept her as a white person. As a Muslim, society was cruel. The non-religious ethnic group of her father was cruel, facing rejection over and over. Eventually, she developed a broken heart of non-acceptance. What adds to the situation is that this girl was not a convert. She was a born Muslim who spoke three languages fluently, with passing ability in a fourth language. She would have been a real asset to the Muslim community, with her multilingual proficiency, excellence in English, and vast intelligence. Instead, she reclaimed her natural hair color, disclaimed the ethnicity of her father (except when useful), and went on to try to figure out her life. She spends a lot of her time around non-Muslim South American and European immigrants. This is only one example of the many horrible, painful case studies that are examples of “The plight of the blonde Muslims.” Beyond this one case, I know of about five different girls this happened to. They had one thing in common: They were blondes and the off-spring of cross-cultural marriages. Once they go secular, they end up making wrong choices because they do not understand secular society fully.

The boys who are not accepted by the Muslim society just as easily shorten their names too and go secular. Those who can’t really pass as white by appearance and skin colort compensate by picking a new minority identity to pretend to belong to. For example, a half South East Asian deciding to “Go Mexican” or pretending they are the immigrant children of South Americans to explain their lack of Spanish fluency.

The extreme examples of the effect this problem of social exclusion is the dysfunctional psychological problems some develop. Some of the half European-descent children take up “cutting” (self-mutilation), develop depression to the point of being prescribed medications, anxiety, and/or self-medicating with street drugs and marijuana. They end up with psychiatric diagnoses of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD. Can you imagine someone getting diagnosed with “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” from being around a religious community? Unbelievable! Can one even understand the psychological damage that the European-descent parent him-/herself has gone through that was stupid enough to put them in such an environment? Some of these children have even ended up in mental health facilities for short periods. The most horrible was a case of suicide. It was a teenage boy who just couldn’t handle the stress of it all. He was blonde.

The negative effects experienced by these children cannot be fully blamed on the immigrant masjid. The parents are the real cause of this, by being unaware of the problems and their effects and foolishly thinking things would improve. They continue to take their children to these culturally incompatible environments, even when they see that this isn’t a good situation. I can tell you, after forty years of witnessing all of this in the Muslim community, things didn’t improve. They got worse! This means we facilitated the psychological abuse of our own children. Bringing our children up in this environment, make no mistake, was and continues to be a form of abuse. May Allah Subhanna Wa Ta Ala forgive us.

Most of these problems could have been avoided, or at least dealt with in a more effective manner early, had there been a European-descent Muslim sub-culture. This culture would be able to give good advice that fits the country we are living in and fits our faith. It would provide a community that loves our children as European-descent Muslims, not ashamed of our looks, culture, or religion. It would be a godsend. So I plead with you: Please help build this community, in order to save your children. Do so even if it is too late for your children, as a service to the future generation. Perhaps your child may return and actually have a place to go for their future children where they can spiritually grow. Insha Allah.

European-descent Muslim sub-cultures provide a way for our children and ourselves to interact with the larger Muslim community and the secular community on equal footing, as Muslims who deserve respect. They deserve a community where they can fully integrate their European-descent heritage and Islam in a healthy manner, without having to assimilate by rejecting parts of themselves. Brothers and sisters in faith, know that we love you. Engage you compassion and please understand that we are not suggesting this to fully separate ourselves from you. We want to have a Muslim sub-culture just as you have, so we can be fully functioning members of the both the Muslim community and the European-descent cultures in which we live. In this way, we stand as good examples for European people to follow.

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