‘Muslim Melancholia’ by Samina Hadi-Tabassum The Society December 15, 2015 Poetry, Terrorism 2 Comments Images of beheadings and men in orange jumpsuits Haunt me when I wake The black hooded vigilantes in the desert Push my heart into the bellows of despair I imagine my male cousins under the hoods Shazan, Farhan and Arshad Who came here in the eighties With taxi driver and gas station fathers And mothers who could barely read Attending Sunday school in concrete floor basements With imams who came from rural villages in India Speaking of the butchering of Muslims Hung from ropes, raped in public, electrocuted in rain-soaked alleys My male cousins listened and watched Lost in their search for identity Taking the wrong turn away From what Prophet Muhammed imagined For the Muslim ummah in the deserts of Arabia The sadness of what we once were Of what we could become as a whole Oh the horror! The horror! Samina Hadi-Tabassum is a professor at Northern Illinois University. She has published poems in East Lit Journal, Journal of Postcolonial Literature, Papercuts, The Waggle, Indian Review and These Fragile Lilacs. Featured Image: A Syrian policeman patrolling the ancient oasis city of Palmyra. ISIL, also known as “Daesh the Filthy,” reportedly blew these ruins up earlier this year. JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 2 Responses Greg Palmerino December 15, 2015 Samina, What a beautiful and powerful poem. Thanks for sharing. Best, Greg Reply Damian Robin December 19, 2015 Thank you for this ‘insider’ view bringing in a wider aspect of Islam – ‘rural villages in India’ as well as Arabia – tho’ Arabia may have further reach in Islam than only Saudi Arabia, I don’t know – and ‘Sunday school in concrete floor basements’ presumably in the US tho’ I’ve seen this (thru real windows and the TV window) in the UK. You touch on the widespread brutalisation of muslims across the world and the looking for roots or identity in a migrant world that I have come across in the past with young black people in the UK. Tho they are born here and are British, they didn’t feel rooted here. I presume this is similar for British muslims – especially with the harsher attitudes after the attacks in US and Europe on behalf of self-styled Islamic State. I’d like to draw attention to the picture caption: it uses ‘The Islamic State’. We know this is a name taken by extremists and it can be confused as something belonging to the wider Islamic belief. I would therefore suggest it’s used in inverted commas or has ‘so-called’ in front of it or be substituted by ISIS or ISIL, or, Daesh (sounding like ‘die ash’). –The article below says Daesh is “essentially an Arabic acronym formed from the initial letters of the group’s previous name in Arabic – “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wa al-Sham”. Although it does not mean anything as a word in Arabic, it sounds unpleasant and the group’s supporters object to its use. — Daesh also sounds similar to an Arabic verb that means to tread underfoot, trample down, or crush something. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27994277 Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.