A blog post by fashion blogger Zahrah Perry has caused outrage in the South African Muslim community, after it attempted to criticise Muslims who cast judgement on Muslims who don’t observe Ramadan, but instead belittled an entire community who follow the traditions of the month.
The post, titled “The Hunger Games- Ramadan Edition”, was published on Friday morning, and by Saturday, had gained more than 20,000 reads, crashed Perry’s website, and propelled her to Twitter infamy, trending status attached.
“I have nothing to feel ashamed about nor hide. Dude, my mommy knows where I am (thanks, bye) and as I am an adult, my decisions are my own,” Perry wrote.
The incident, she writes, made her reflect on how Muslims judge each other during the month of Ramadan, and how she sees Muslims behave differently for one month only to return to smoking marijuana, drinking and clubbing after the month passes. In her post, references to her love life and her neighbours sending burnt pancakes (no, seriously) for her family to break fast inspired the odd joke among readers, but her remarks about Muslims who become “part-time religious folk” involved in “alter-ego shit” were fodder for outrage.
“High-five to you for trying to either please mum and dad this month, cleanse, lose weight, do it because your friends are doing it, or do it for the right reasons. Do what you wish, but to those of you who I will be seeing out and about in the next month or two, don’t turn your nose up at those who are not part-taking or entertain this alter-ego shit, where I can’t have a decent conversation without your eyes throwing down judgement of, ‘how Muslim are you’,” Perry wrote.
The post started a storm across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, where some people applauded Perry for her outspokenness, but many criticised the way in which she seemed to reject people who tried to be conscious of Islamic traditions and rites during the month of Ramadan.
— What Nadia Likes (@Nadia1977) June 20, 2015
— *Ayesha Moola:) (@Ayesha771) June 20, 2015
Some people raised their eyebrows at a seemingly irrelevant moment in the blog where Perry referred to her love life.
The blogosphere has also reacted strongly to Perry’s blog. In one instance, a Christian blogger called Ruth, criticised Perry for bashing Muslims who sinned, but chose to follow Islamic practices during Ramadan.
“You see the very things that you are bashing these Muslim people for… Christian people do too. Hindu people do it too. PEOPLE do it. Human beings all sin. No sin is greater than the other. If we bashed each other every time someone sinned, our world would be as bitter as your post,” Ruth wrote.
The backlash continued throughout Saturday, and Perry posted a response to her critics on Facebook.
As the furore continues, Perry has maintained on social media that her blog was targeting neither Islam nor Ramadan, but rather Muslims who judge each other.