17 January 2011

Elizabeth Choose Islam after Eight relatives So Victim Tragedy 11 / 9

Elizabeth Pilih Islam setelah Delapan Kerabatnya Jadi Korban Tragedi 11/9

Safia (right) dan Natalia
 
Elizabeth Choose Islam after Eight relatives So Victim Tragedy 11 / 9

Sunday, January 16, 2011, 11:42 GMT
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, NEW YORK - He is still often called by his birth name, Elizabeth. Although now, he had replaced all his official documents into Safia Al-Kasaby, his new identity after becoming a Muslim.
News he had converted controversy in the United States. Maklumnya, many things are not disconnected why then he dropped the option on the Islamic faith.
Not disconnected? Yes. Safia, 43, is Jewish and Puerto Rican descent. His grandfather is a Holocaust survivor who later escaped to Puerto Rico. They hid in a house of worship.
He is also a former first sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. And, this is it, Safia lost eight relatives - one uncle and seven cousins - in the September 11 attacks that places Muslims as "suspects" in 2001.
But for Safia, all-to-back. Precisely after the mourning tragedy of September 11, he find out about Islam. In her growing confidence in the U.S. increasingly discredited Islam, he felt was wrong there.
"I do not care who did it," he said. "I only care about why Islam suddenly hated. I did not hate Islam, or hate Muslims. For me to be angry about what happened to the twin towers would be like me hating all the Germans who killed Jews."
The more he devoured books about Islam, the more he falls in love with the religion which was broadcast by the great man, Muhammad SAW. He was more agitated. Finally arise courage, in 2005 or four years after the tragedy his family frowned, he bersyahadat.
Like other Muslims, Safia feels the tension around her: curious stares because she was wearing the hijab or headscarf and a shopkeeper who was suddenly asked for additional identification every time he went to the shopping center.
Even officials at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo refused to request the beginning of her future husband, a man from Egypt, for a temporary visa. Safia considered to have other hidden agenda to marry Egyptian men.
New religion has also expanded the gap between him and his family. His mother, three sisters and one daughter, Sylvia, questioned the choice.
Sylvia even want nothing to do with him. Sylvia berated Safia all-out when she appeared in her husband's funeral wearing a headscarf and carrying the Koran.
But he was lucky, another one of his children, Natalia, to support his choice. "Religion is selected mama really cool," he said.
The girl was 18 years old Safia appreciate the confidence transformation. He often can not stand with those who mock Islam or stereotype Muslims. "I said, 'Wait a minute. my mother is a Muslim, "he said imitating when he interrupted his colleagues." And he's not a terrorist. "
http://www.republika.co.id/berita/dunia-islam/mualaf/11/01/16/158875-elizabeth-pilih-islam-setelah-tujuh-keluarganya-jadi-korban-tragedi-119
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REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, NEW YORK--Ia masih kerap dipanggil dengan nama lahirnya, Elizabeth. Walau kini, ia telah mengganti semua dokumen resminya menjadi Safia Al-Kasaby, identitas barunya setelah menjadi seorang Muslimah.

Berita dia berpindah agama sempat menuai kontroversi di Amerika Serikat. Maklumnya, banyak hal yang tak nyambung mengapa kemudian dia menjatuhkan pilihan keyakinannya pada Islam.

Tak nyambung? Ya. Safia, 43 tahun, adalah keturunan Yahudi dan Puerto Rico. Kakeknya adalah korban Holocaust yang kemudian melarikan diri ke Puerto Rico. Mereka bersembunyi di sebuah rumah ibadah.

Dia juga  mantan sersan  pertama dalam Angkatan Udara AS. Dan, ini dia, Safia kehilangan delapan kerabat - satu paman dan tujuh sepupunya - dalam serangan 11 September yang mendudukkan Muslim sebagai "tersangka" pada 2001.

Namun bagi Safia, semua sambung-menyambung. Justru setelah duka Tragedi 11 September, ia mencari tahu tentang Islam. Dalam dirinya tumbuh keyakinan semakin Islam disudutkan di AS, ia merasa adalah yang salah di sana.

"Saya tidak peduli siapa yang melakukannya," ujarnya. "Saya hanya peduli kenapa Islam tiba-tiba dibenci. Saya tidak pernah membenci Islam, atau  membenci Muslim. Bagi saya untuk marah tentang apa yang terjadi pada menara kembar akan menjadi seperti saya membenci semua orang Jerman yang menewaskan orang-orang Yahudi."

Semakin ia melahap buku-buku tentang Islam, semakin ia jatuh hati pada agama yang disiarkan oleh manusia agung, Muhammad SAW. Ia makin gelisah. Akhirnya timbul keberanian, tahun 2005 atau empat tahun setelah tragedi yang merengut keluarganya itu, ia bersyahadat.

Seperti Muslim lainnya, Safia merasa ketegangan di sekelilingnya: tatapan penasaran karena dia mengenakan jilbab atau kerudung dan penjaga toko yang tiba-tiba meminta  identifikasi tambahan tiap kali ia pergi ke pusat perbelanjaan.

Bahkan pejabat di Kedutaan Besar AS di Kairo menolak permintaan awal dari calon suaminya, seorang pria asal Mesir, untuk visa sementara. Safia dianggap punya agenda tersembunyi lain dengan  menikahi pria Mesir.

Agama barunya juga telah memperluas jurang antara dia dan keluarganya. Ibunya, tiga saudara perempuan dan salah satu putrinya, Sylvia,  mempertanyakan  pilihannya.

Sylvia bahkan ingin tak ada hubungannya dengan dia.  Sylvia memarahi Safia habis-habisan ketika dia muncul di pemakaman suaminya mengenakan jilbab dan membawa Alquran.

Namun ia beruntung, satu anaknya yang lain, Natalia, mendukung pilihannya. "Agama yang dipilih mama sungguh cool," ujarnya.

Gadis 18 tahun ini menghargai transformasi keyakinan Safia. Ia kerap tidak tahan dengan orang-orang yang mengolok-olok Islam atau stereotip Muslim. "Saya berkata," Tunggu sebentar. ibu saya seorang Muslim," ujarnya menirukan kalau dia memotong pembicaraan rekan-rekannya. "Dan dia bukan teroris."
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