With a page of over 20,000 likes and growing, The Muslim Mum, an anonymous woman is running a page to bring up and talk about issues facing women in our community. The Facebook page is a space for women to post anonymously issues, problems ranging from physical and sexual health to life after divorce, violent abuse, parenting, pregnancy and socio-cultural issues. In an interview with the woman running the page, we ask her to shed some light on how this page came about.
How did it start?
“It all started in 2013 with a Mums Group for friends and family only. It was established solely for a friend to be able to ask any mum questions she has. She was a first time mum, so I wanted a good support network for her. But friends began adding friends and soon the page was up to 1000 members. Someone recommended I start a page and so I did. I called it The Muslim Mum.”
Did you ever think your page would be so popular?
“I never expected it to reach 20k people from countries all over the world. I am humbled that there are so many people who look out for one another and care about each other. Every so often I receive a request for an item. One time a sister called to ask if someone had a second hand washing machine available. Her husband could not afford a washing machine so she has been hand washing for 7 weeks. In 2 hours, we raised $900, paid for a washing machine and got it delivered to her house the next day. It was surreal. Subhanallah. This page continues to restore my faith in humanity.”
How do you manage the page?
“With a page like this, comes great responsibility. Early on, I realised that I needed professional assistance and services I can rely on. Almost weekly, I was receiving messages from sisters who are being abused, physically, emotional, mentally and psychologically, and did not know where to turn to help. I’ll be honest, there were times where I wanted to give up but I would never give up on my sisters. I am glad that I was able to help them, redirect them all to the best services in their area and ensure they received the help they needed.
Lastly, this page takes up some time, but I have learnt early on to manage well. But I wanted to thank my beautiful admin ‘S’ for her continued support and help with this page. She is simply amazing friend and full of wisdom. Without her I would be drowning in messages unable to keep up.”
How do you deal with controversial topics?
“Questions which have previously generated a lot of controversy in the past or are ‘taboo’ topics, will have a warning sign with Instant bans, such as “ giving them a warning that i do not tolerate disrespect, disunity or irresponsible comments, will deter them from commenting as such. Such topics include relationship problems such as intimacy, or individual problems such as pornography or gambling. Other topics that have previously been discussed include gender reassigning surgery. I do not believe ‘taboo’ topics exist in Islam as I believe we should be open about discussing (respectfully) anything with others.”
Why is your identity hidden?
“At times the backlash was so severe, that my family and I were receiving death threats. One of the reasons I was threatened and harassed was because I refused to disclose my identity. I feel, like many others, that the only way I can help people is to remain anonymous. If every follower knew who I am, I am unable to safely and effectively help others. More recently, I have made it clear that I will not tolerate disunity or conflict between different sects. I stand for One Ummah and believe that we are all Muslim. Many members of the public disliked my posts and chose to discuss the topic in their private groups. I have moved from this and no amount of criticism will make me change my mind.”
Check out The Muslim Mum on Facebook.