I’m not going to compromise my beliefs in order to fit your definition of modernism and I shouldn’t have to.

In the media and according to much of public perception,a “moderate” Muslim either drinks, smokes or takes off their hijab.

Who has made this the definition of a moderate Muslim?

In part, I blame extremist groups who have hijacked the external aspects of practicing Islam, while completely neglecting spirituality and human decency.

I also believe people have the duty of looking beyond the surface when judging someone.

Guy with a beard? Probably not a terrorist. A woman with hijab and you think she’s oppressed? Why don’t you ask her before proclaiming yourself the saviour of Muslim women?

The ironic thing is the people who complain that Muslims are oppressed are doing their best to ensure that Muslims are ostracized, including Quebec’s minister for the status of women, Isabelle Charest.

In a statement to reporters in Quebec she said, “I told you the hijab does not correspond to my values. My values are that a woman should be free to wear what she wants to wear or not wear.”

What that statement should say is,“A woman should be free to wear whatever she wants, except for hijab.”

In other words, a “moderate” Muslim doesn’t wear hijab.

A call from someone that is not Muslim, telling Muslims what they should and shouldn’t do in order to be moderate.

It doesn’t matter if that person is a doctor, a nurse or a charity worker; one look at their appearance and they’re not moderate.

I don’t want to come out with you for drinks, I’m not moderate.

A person can be a productive member of society without violating the tenants of their faith.

Expecting them to do so isn’t moderation, it’s extremism.