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 Topic: Hassan interview thread

 (Read 5783 times)
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  • Hassan interview thread
     OP - September 28, 2011, 10:43 PM

    Smiley

    At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings. - Stevens
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #1 - September 28, 2011, 10:47 PM

    Hey Hassan...

    How long have you been an ex muslim?

    Do you believe in the theory of Quantum Intelligence, in the sense
    of "being part of a whole" outside of the physical realm?

    And most importantly, how are YOU doing now?  Things any better for you?

    When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
    Helen Keller
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #2 - September 28, 2011, 11:05 PM

    Thanks for starting this thread, I really wanted to hear from Hassan. Smiley

    Hassan, you seem to have lived a life full of experiences. How do you look back at your life as a Muslim? And do you go through existentialist depression, thinking that you have nothing to live for? If so, how do you battle that? And finally, what would you say to the young person who's lost meaning in his/her life?
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #3 - September 28, 2011, 11:26 PM

    the best pub in london?

    why tottenham hotspurs?


    At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings. - Stevens
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #4 - September 30, 2011, 09:50 AM

    Hey Hassan...

    How long have you been an ex muslim?

    Do you believe in the theory of Quantum Intelligence, in the sense
    of "being part of a whole" outside of the physical realm?

    And most importantly, how are YOU doing now?  Things any better for you?


    Hiya J&T

    I finally "came out" at the beginning of 2007 - so it's over 4 years now. Though that was only the culmination of a period of about 7 or 8 years of gradually increasing doubts.

    I don't know what QI is and did a quick search but can't find much on it, but I have often wondered whether there is a sort of universal consciousness or some sort of link that ties us all together and that our separateness is an illusion of this world. I guess a sort of Sufi type of mysticism that sees everything part of the 'one' - though it goes without saying I don't see that 'one' as anything to do with the man-made fictions in any holy book.

    As for how I'm doing. Struggling a bit with all sorts of stuff  Smiley
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #5 - September 30, 2011, 10:03 AM

    Thanks for starting this thread, I really wanted to hear from Hassan. Smiley

    Hassan, you seem to have lived a life full of experiences. How do you look back at your life as a Muslim? And do you go through existentialist depression, thinking that you have nothing to live for? If so, how do you battle that? And finally, what would you say to the young person who's lost meaning in his/her life?


    I look back to my life as a Muslim in a fairly stoic way tbh. I do sometimes wish I could go back and do things - many things - differently. But at the end of the day it was a journey that led me to where I am now - and helped me gain perspectives I perhaps wouldn't have gained if I had not gone through that - so I have no problem with it.

    If you met me back then - even at the height of my Islamic zeal - I suspect you would immediately recognise the same person as I am now. Just a lot of praying, mashallah'ing and some apologetic bullshit.

    I think I do suffer bouts of existentialist depression and find it difficult at times to find meaning to my life. Though I'm not sure how much that has to with Islam and how much it has to do with the general crap in my life lol.  I battle it by thinking of my kids and those who rely on me.

    To the young person who has lost his/her meaning I would say that the one thing I know about life is that situations do always change - especially when you are young and at the beginning of the road of life. It's always up and down. There are always twists and turns in the road and surprises and opportunities. Don't just sit on your bum feeling sorry for yourself - get out and take a few (calculated) risks and grab opportunities. Don't let fear stop you taking a chance. The brave person isn't one who is never afraid - the brave person is the one who has a go even though he's afraid.
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #6 - September 30, 2011, 10:07 AM

    the best pub in london?

    why tottenham hotspurs?




    Actually I don't know many good pubs in London. I never drank most of the time I lived here. It was only when I moved to Oxford in 2006 that I started to drink. So I can certainly tell you about some excellent pubs in Oxford. My favourite is the White Horse in Broad Street:



    I'm back in London now - but rarely get the chance to get out. But if I do it's a few yards down the road to the Cavalier.  grin12
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #7 - September 30, 2011, 10:12 AM

    OH and why Spurs?

    Growing up in Finchley - North London - as a kid there were only two clubs everyone at school supported - it was either Arsenal or Spurs. My best friends were Jimmy Murphy (Irish Catholic), Gary Krieger (Jewish) and Peter Hughes (CoE) and they all supported Spurs.

    Not to mention Spurs had a class team back then and played beautiful football.

    I can still name the squad from when I was a kid from memory - here goes:

    Jennings, Kinnear, Knowles, Mullery, England, Beal, Gilzean, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Coats. (Sub Morgan).

    How's that!  grin12

    Squads didn't change much back then lol

    Oh and of course our manager was the legendary Bill Nicholson (who I met - lovely guy)
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #8 - September 30, 2011, 11:14 AM

    How many times did you get married?

    What happen with you and the first woman(the one you talked about in your autobio) you were with before you joined Islamia school?

    Are you single?

    How did your ex-wife and children take it when you left islam?

    Sorry i have to bring it up, i know you have talked about it somewhere in this forum(you can show the link if you dont feel like answering it)

    My last question; what is your view on this man that is on my avatar? grin12

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #9 - September 30, 2011, 11:46 AM

    How many times did you get married? 4 times. jawdrop (Not all at the same time).

    1. Egyptian - was an arranged marriage - I was 20 - it lasted about 9 months (long story to do with my dad's meddling) - no children.

    2. Moroccan - also arranged - I was 23 - lasted 10 years - 3 children (one died as a baby).

    3. Yemeni - Muslim matrimonial ad in Q News - lasted 5 years - 2 children.

    4. Anglo-Asian - introduced through family - lasted about 10 months - no children.

    What happen with you and the first woman(the one you talked about in your autobio) you were with before you joined Islamia school?

    Diane? We split after I became a Muslim. Here's a quote from my blog:

    I came back to England full of zeal and determination to learn more about my new-found faith. Diane was shocked by my sudden conversion and felt sure it was just a passing fad. She humoured me, hoping I’d come to my senses. But all I could talk about was Islam. I insisted we stop sleeping together, explaining that Islam forbids sex before marriage. I stopped drinking and smoking, and I began to pray regularly. I lectured Diane about the Day of Judgment and Heaven and Hell and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, trying desperately to convince her of Islam. Eventually we both realized we were wasting our time. Diane was not interested in becoming a Muslim and I wasn’t going through a fad. Our relationship was over. I moved out of our flat, leaving behind, amongst other things, my record collection and paintings. I had no need for idolatrous distractions from the path of Allah.

    Are you single? Yes.

    How did your ex-wife and children take it when you left islam? My children were OK about it. My ex's were pretty OK about it too. They make Du'a that I will return to Islam. I get on OK with them (the two I had kids with).

    What is your view on this man that is on my avatar? grin12 My dad was a monarchist and hated Nasser with a vengeance, so I grew up loathing him. When I became a Muslim I heard about how he brutally suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - and although I've never been a supporter of the MB - I regarded Nasser as a brutal Arab tyrant. I didn't have much time for Nasserists - though I knew a few. Looking back my view of them and Nasser himself has softened - but at the end of the day he was a typical authoritarian Arab ruler in the style of Arab rulers and frankly they can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned.
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #10 - September 30, 2011, 11:48 AM

    Hi Hassan  Smiley

    What was it like growing up with lots of brothers and sisters? I've always thought it must be fun to have loads of siblings.

    Also, what are some of your fondest memories of childhood?
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #11 - September 30, 2011, 11:53 AM

    Hi Hassan  Smiley

    What was it like growing up with lots of brothers and sisters? I've always thought it must be fun to have loads of siblings.

    Also, what are some of your fondest memories of childhood?


    Well as you may know I have 5 sisters (6 if you include my half-sister Jehan in Egypt) and 2 brothers.

    It was great - always loads of people to play with - though we used to fight a lot too lol. My eldest sisters used to look after me (they were all older than me bar one - I was the first boy). The three boys formed a gang called the "Black Aces" (I was "Boss") and we played football & "Cops & Robbers" in the park every minute god gave us. It was great - happiest days of my life! Even the constant fighting and eventual divorce of mum and dad didn't spoil it too much.

    Fondest memories - playing in Laurel View park with my brothers and my dog Pluto.
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #12 - September 30, 2011, 01:22 PM

    Why you? What made you see the flaws at your ripe old mature age, when most don't. Do you think it was a particular series of events or some peculiarity you've had since birth/childhood? Would you say you are a generally doubting person, never quite sure of your convictions?
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #13 - September 30, 2011, 01:54 PM

    deleted

    The mosque: the most epic display of collective douchbaggery, arrogance and delusion
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #14 - September 30, 2011, 02:01 PM

    deleted

    The mosque: the most epic display of collective douchbaggery, arrogance and delusion
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #15 - September 30, 2011, 02:02 PM

    Why you? What made you see the flaws at your ripe old mature age, when most don't. Do you think it was a particular series of events or some peculiarity you've had since birth/childhood? Would you say you are a generally doubting person, never quite sure of your convictions?


    Good question and I've wondered about that a lot. I suspect it a combination of several factors.

    My upbringing was always pretty liberal. My dad and mum were not religious. My dad could be quite a sceptic and a cynic. He was a bit of a paradox (probably where I get it from), he was certainly a Muslim and believed in Islam, but it sat pretty lightly on his shoulders and he looked down on those who took things too seriously. As a result I think I was always fairly open-minded and had a sceptic side - and managed to retain that to some extent, even when I became religious and generally maintained a pretty balanced view of things.

    Then there were events that shook me out of my comfort zone and caused me to take a more critical look at Islam and start to ask difficult questions.

    I also always re-assess and question myself and my motives.

    At the end of the day - I don't really know - maybe God just blessed me  grin12
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #16 - September 30, 2011, 02:05 PM

    *snip*



    Dude, seriously, Fuck off!!

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #17 - September 30, 2011, 02:11 PM

    Sorry, perhaps those weren't appropriate questions for this thread.

    You're a decent man hassan.


    The mosque: the most epic display of collective douchbaggery, arrogance and delusion
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #18 - September 30, 2011, 04:20 PM


    What I have always wondered about when reading your bio and have wanted to ask you Hassan, is why you and most of your siblings became so religious. Having read your bio I know why you did, your trip to Egypt, browsing the Koran, the sudden epiphany etc., but your siblings ?

    I know that one of your brothers is not religious, but the other one is and some (all ?) of your sisters are.

    I mean, you write yourself, that your parents were not very religious, your mother and grandparents were English, you grew up in England in a neighbourhood where there were not many Muslims, you wrote once, that having a name like Hassan was a bit awkward in school.

    So what I cannot understand is why you and your siblings were not more influenced by the surrounding society and your English family.

    Also did your father arrange marriages with suitable Muslim men for your sisters ?

    Like a compass needle that points north, a man?s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.

    Khaled Hosseini - A thousand splendid suns.
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #19 - September 30, 2011, 06:53 PM

    What I have always wondered about when reading your bio and have wanted to ask you Hassan, is why you and most of your siblings became so religious. Having read your bio I know why you did, your trip to Egypt, browsing the Koran, the sudden epiphany etc., but your siblings ?

    I know that one of your brothers is not religious, but the other one is and some (all ?) of your sisters are.

    I mean, you write yourself, that your parents were not very religious, your mother and grandparents were English, you grew up in England in a neighbourhood where there were not many Muslims, you wrote once, that having a name like Hassan was a bit awkward in school.

    So what I cannot understand is why you and your siblings were not more influenced by the surrounding society and your English family.

    Also did your father arrange marriages with suitable Muslim men for your sisters ?


    Hi Paloma,

    Well only they could tell you exactly what went through their minds, but although my dad may not have been religious, he was still a Muslim and expected us to be Muslims. btw it's just my two eldest sisters and one brother that are religious. (plus my half sister in Egypt is religious.) I have two other sisters who did vaguely consider themselves Muslim but that seems to have faded completely now - not sure if my views have influenced that. Then one brother and one sister who have never been religious - at least in the Islamic sense.

    My two eldest sisters were religious ever since I can remember when I was a little boy and my dad got them married (semi-arranged I suppose) to Muslims.

    My younger brother became religious later after I became religious and there's no doubt in my mind that I influenced him, but there was a general trend amongst Muslims in the UK in the very late 70s and early 80s to become more religious. Men grew beards and women swapped mini skirts for long dress and hijab etc...

    I guess at the end of the day they may have had similar motives to mine - i.e. a search for meaning and identity. Islam was the religion we were born into - even if our parents were not very religious - it was the one readily to hand.
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #20 - September 30, 2011, 07:32 PM

    Quote
    My younger brother became religious later after I became religious and there's no doubt in my mind that I influenced him, but there was a general trend amongst Muslims in the UK in the very late 70s and early 80s to become more religious. Men grew beards and women swapped mini skirts for long dress and hijab etc...


    I have observed a similar trend like this over here around 90's(especially when i read your autobio),i.e. My mother used to wear western clothes, and listen to music etc.., same thing i noticed from most women before they abandoned the clothes for Hijab, and listening to sermon on tapes instead of music and Men grew beards,stopped wearing suit and wore trousers above their ankles etc...

    What do you think cause this trend to happen?

    In UK's case, is it the search for identity and a sense of belonging in a community as a result of alienation from the indigenes?

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #21 - September 30, 2011, 07:38 PM

    in the late 70s and early eighties - and there on - I think the causes were several factors. Oil money from Saudi funded Da'wah in the UK. The Rabita set up by Saudi encouraged Islamic projects and offered money and gave scholarships to universities in Saudi.

    Plus the Iranian revolution in '79 - then the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. - Sabra and Chatila massacre - all this stirred emotions and it led to an increasing Islamic awareness amongst the second generation immigrants who wanted to know more about the religion that their parents largely paid lip-service to.
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #22 - September 30, 2011, 08:26 PM


    And it carried on into the 1990's, after the Rushdie affair, after 9/11, after 7/7 - dawah and ummah identity politics thrives off a 'crisis'


    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #23 - September 30, 2011, 08:37 PM

    Maryam is right though when she says that much of the Islamist movement we see today is actually a fairly recent phenomena - Muslims in the 60s and early 70s and before were not interested in demanding Shari'ah Law and wearing niqabs. A great deal of the Salafi and Hizbi/Muhajiroun rhetoric is a sort of mishmash of Islam and a more modern political ideology.
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #24 - September 30, 2011, 08:42 PM

    You are so right Hassan. I have seen it happen here in the Netherlands during the 80s and 90s. It's not the West, it's something within Islam that changed....

    Religion is organized superstition
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #25 - September 30, 2011, 11:48 PM

    Question for Hassan: Would you like some Pringles?

    fuck you
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #26 - October 01, 2011, 11:40 PM

    Has there ever been a time when you didn't know what to do with your life? As in you didn't know what the fuck you wanted to dedicate your life to or become in the future? And how did you get out of that phase?

    How did you feel when you became a father?

    If you had to write down a list of all the crazy shit you want to do, what typpa things would you include?

    Started from the bottom, now I'm here
    Started from the bottom, now my whole extended family's here

    JOIN THE CHAT
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #27 - October 02, 2011, 12:25 AM

    Do you think you'll live to see Spurs win the Premiership?
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #28 - October 02, 2011, 08:07 AM

    Question for Hassan: Would you like some Pringles?


    lol... sorry I missed this important question Q - I'm not  fan of Pringles.

    Walkers ready salted, please  grin12
  • Re: Hassan interview thread
     Reply #29 - October 02, 2011, 08:24 AM

    Has there ever been a time when you didn't know what to do with your life? As in you didn't know what the fuck you wanted to dedicate your life to or become in the future? And how did you get out of that phase?


    Yes, in my late teens. I suspect most people go through that in their late teens/early twenties. I didn't know what I wanted to do in life, what job to do. I was in a rut - just drifting along.

    Then I found Islam! Yay! It got me out of my rut, and gave me motivation, direction and purpose. Whatever I may think about religion - it can - and does - help a lot of people to sort their lives out.

    Most Atheists/Agnostics seem to be able to do those things by themselves. But imho it would be good if there was a godless or at least non-religious institution/way of life that could inspire and help those who need it.

    How did you feel when you became a father?


    Wonderful. Most joyous feeling ever.

    If you had to write down a list of all the crazy shit you want to do, what typpa things would you include?


    Most of these things are not that crazy - but require a time-machine so I can be young again.

    Centre-forward for Spurs. I want to make my debut as an unknown teenager against Arsenal and running rings around them and scoring a hat-trick.

    Form a band at school - and play lead guitar - get loads of girls adoring me - play gig at school attended by press who write headlines about this amazing new band.

    Have a magic power that means I could wave my hand that would make all guns, bombs and knives etc... not work. Then travel round the world starting with the Middle East, so that no-one could kill anyone and they would have to talk to each other and find other solutions.

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