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my muslim SIL is making my life near impossible

(31 Posts)
notundermyroof Sun 25-Sep-11 23:38:24

thought this was best here rather than in relationships

bit of background.

met my wonderful DP 5 years ago in our early twenties. he is a british born 'muslim' tunisian. but was very much of the sex, drugs and rock and rull mentality. eats non halal meat, doesnt pray, drinks, smokes... you get the picture

relationship was kept secret from his parents until 2 years ago when i became pregnant with our DS whilst travelling south america together

we came home, fessed up to his family, moved in together...happy days.

his parents and twin brother and older sister accepted me as part of the family from the word go. to his complete suprise they were fine with him having a relationship with me, a white british girl, and are wonderful with our son. they admitted they always knew he would never marry within his 'faith'. his brother and sister are pretty much as lax as him as far as their religion goes and im now very close to his older sister and would consider her a friend as well as my SIL

BUT his other sister (aged 24) is a whole different kettle of fish. very strict muslim. she feels the need to pass judgement on every parenting decision we make. classic examples
- we gave our son a very classic western name - jacob. upon annoucing name SIL decides she is going to give our DS her own traditionally tunisian name as a nickname as she is embarrassed to tell people her nephew has a jewish name?!?
- bumped into her in sainsburys whilst i was with DP and a friend buying bbq supplys. she sees non halal meat in trolley and starts a huge row with DP in the middle of the supermarket basically telling us we are sending our son to hell?!?!
- she refuses to talk in english in PIL home (where she too lives). even to myself or DS. (DS has only ever been spoken to in english). she is british born so has no need to talk in her parents language. they talk fluent english.
- she constantly sends me links to youtube videos about conversion to islam
- she constantly questions my beliefs (christian) and asks what religion DS will be brought up into (none of her fucking business he is 14 months at the moment!)

i could go on but i fear this post is long enough! you get the picture though

and now for the finalle - she has PLANNED yes PLANNED a circumcision and party to follow. for my DS for next weekend as in her words 'we havnt bothered yet so i have taken the worry out of the planning for you'

what the actual fuck?! DP has told SIL to cancel. FIL cant understand the fuss, thinks we might as well go ahead with it. normally very understanding MIL thinks im over reacting. SIL must be rubbing her hands together at the family row she has caused.

DP is fuming. im fuming.

how do i deal with her? im at my whits end. myself and DP have explained politely a million times that she needs to back off.

i cant even avoid her as she lives with PIL


solidgoldbrass Sun 25-Sep-11 23:41:53

Just tell her to fuck off and mind her own business. Repeatedly. 'Your imaginary friend is not my problem' is the motto best suited to dealing with people who keep trying to inflict their stupid superstitions on others (and I apply this to all superstitions not just islam). And well done for cancelling the circumcision - this is a fucking barbaric practice and anyone who does that to a small child should be arrested and charged with child abuse.

solidgoldbrass Sun 25-Sep-11 23:43:10

Oh, and another good quote for you - 'Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one. It's fine to be proud of having one. But don't wave it about in public and don't shove it down my children's throats.'

booyhoo Sun 25-Sep-11 23:48:08

i never say this but Oh My God!!!

se has no right whatsoever to be so intrusive into your life!! i am with SGB tell her straight to mind her bloody own. your son is your and your DP's business and none of hers. personallyi would find it very hard to be in the PIL house while she was there buti understand you watyour son to see his grandparents.

and do not,under any circumstancesleave your son alone with her. if she took ituponherself to arrange a circumcision i wouldn't put it past her to whisk himaway when you think she is babysitting.

browneyesblue Sun 25-Sep-11 23:57:24

Wow - words fail me!

Love SGB's religion/penis analagy (please, please use it), but seriously she can plan all the circumcisions she wants - let her explain to everyone why one doesn't take place. You and your DP do not have to justify yourself to anyone.

Outrageous behaviour angry

solidgoldbrass Mon 26-Sep-11 00:11:56

It's very important to understand that her having religious faith doesn't make her 'better' than you or your H and in fact it makes her (as demonstrated by her behaviour) stupid, tiresome, rude and unreasonable. So don't be afraid to tell her to fuck off.

MrsJasonBourne Mon 26-Sep-11 00:18:48

There is absolutely no danger of her taking your son is there?

notundermyroof Mon 26-Sep-11 01:12:08

no im not worried about her taking our son. and i wouldnt ever ask her to babysit. i think she must genuinly be deluded enough to think she is being helpful.

i totally respect her religion and that she has very strong beliefs. BUT PIL are traditional muslims and dont seem to feel the need to force it on me. they respect i will never convert. that im christian. they are happy as long as our son grows up to believe in god.

I just dont respect her constant judging and put downs. and now THIS.

i am getting more angry as they evening goes on. Im still up as i tired to go to bed but couldnt sleep as its all whizzing round in my head.

I am going to write her a letter tonight i think. i dont want to simply say 'fuck off' but i want it to convey that message grin

DP is too angry at the moment to have a conversation with her. he thinks she may have had help from a male friend or cousin and was pacing up and down earlier seething with anger and saying 'what he will do when he gets his hands on them' (disclaimer - he is not a violent man, all talk!)

NotADudeExactly Mon 26-Sep-11 10:31:47

Hmm, I recommend the approach I have taken with my proselytizing new agey father: If all else fails, tell her straight to her face that you do not wish to hear about it and can she please not speak about her religious beliefs to you again.

Repeat ad nauseam or until she gets the message.

Will she be offended: most probably. She'll have to get over it - and at least you'll hopefully be able to have a normal conversation.

If your ILs are anything like your typical Arab family I'd avoid being rude. Much butthurt will ensue as a result of family drama. My BIL and PIL have by now been involved in two entire years of bunfights about BIL's (Arab muslim) fiancee - oddly enough white European big mouth Dude is mostly okay (they don't know I'm a proper infidel, though).

BeeMyBaby Mon 26-Sep-11 13:53:59

Frankly I don't think this has anything to do with religion, just her being very difficult.

- Jacob is a prophet in Islam as well, just a slightly different pronounciation/spelling.

- It is normal for boys to be circumcised up to the age of 7, in DHs home country (in North Africa) I think they are generally 3 or 4 years old and it would be very unusual for a child as young as 14m to be circumcised. So again she is talking BS.

- your DH was free to marry a Christian as a Muslim man, there is no need for you to convert (as I'm sure you know and as I'm sure she knows).

I think it is up to your DH to tell her to back off though, its his sister.

solidgoldbrass Mon 26-Sep-11 14:10:21

Of course not all difficult, attention-seeking, meddling bullies use superstition to justify their tiresome behaviour. It's just that a lot of self-righteous controlling people find superstition an absolutely marvellous justification for harassing others because too many people feel that belief in mythology and imaginary friends deserves special treatment.

maypole1 Mon 26-Sep-11 23:04:38

If she is indeed a strict Muslim one of the big things is listing to then men in the family so your oh should tell her to shut the frigg up

maypole1 Mon 26-Sep-11 23:06:20

Every time she se sends you a you tube video, send her back one that her really get her going

LDNmummy Thu 06-Oct-11 18:02:59

Sounds like my BIL except he is not driven by religion, just a general idea that he needs to control everyone around him.

From my experience of dealing with something very similar, I would tread carefully with your PIL. They may be wonderful now, but if this blows up further between you and your SIL, it sounds like they would ultimately side with her as their daughter.

The best thing to do is ignore it. This may sound impossible, but trust me when I say that engaging with her will lead to more harm than resolution. Your DH should speak to her and his family for both of you so they know these things are not tolerated by him, or you may end up being tarnished as someone who has brought unpleasantness into their family after all. You just chime in with your thoughts when absolutely necessary and always non confrontationally so no one can say you are fuelling any issues.

Make sure you and your DH are on the same page about everything and talk openly about how you feel with him without sounding like you are slagging his sister or his family off.

Anyway, if she every were to overstep the mark and attempt to circumcise your son, she would surely be facing an assault charge and prison.

IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE. She sounds like an absolute twat to me.

Nonicknameavailable Wed 21-Dec-11 17:26:33

I just cannot believe what I read here. I am a Turkish lady and due to my upbringing also I am Muslim. I'm married to a Englishman and I would never put pressure on my hubby or my children to choose my religion. In Islam you can tell your sister in law that it is actually forbidden to force people converting their faith. If it is your choice then thats finebut obviousky you're happy who you are and what you believe and she should respect that. In my opinion she has some issues with her life. She may be quite an unhappy person and trying to take charge of other peoples lives and put shadow in your happiness this way. I would say your partner should just tell her to back off. I mean how can she expect you to agree with getting your son circumcised! To me even Muslim people consider twice about circumcision in today's world! What can I say best of luck darling it sound like a monster in law rather than a sister in law! smile

ThompsonTwins Wed 21-Dec-11 17:37:50

Does your DP back you up? If you stand together (and it sounds as though you adore him) you can withstand this, however difficult your SIL may be. Enjoy your life with your DH and child and ignore her.

giveitago Fri 23-Dec-11 20:38:34

She's a prat and awfully antisemetic.

Yup - she's young - but tell her to fuck off, get a life, and that you'll report her to the authorities (no idea whether you can) if she continues being racist.

I have a dp and ils who are very strong in their culture (religion) and it drives me nuts - they are offensive whilst acting the big victim over the fact our ds isn't baptised yet.

Word of warning though - although dh was in complete agreement with me over not doing anything over our multifaith ds (as is common in UK and how I was brought up in my multicultural family back way back when ) - this all went out the window once we had ds and I'm fighting now.

minitoot Mon 26-Dec-11 18:51:39

BeeMyBaby is talking a lot of sense and you could make these points to her. Or you could just keep out of her way as much as possible and if you do have to see her and she starts going on like this, tell her to leave or leave yourself (depending on whose territory you're in). I would probably opt for the latter.

meditrina Mon 26-Dec-11 19:16:20

yy to bemybaby

Either SIL is pretty ignorant of Islam, or she's being deliberately misleading to offend.

MentalMuslimMummy Wed 18-Jan-12 20:01:15

Listen, Im muslim and Ive got a few things to say on this.

the attitude she is displaying (no matter how much she loves or cares for her brother) is totally un Islamic and goes against the Prophet (saws) advice where he said 'Bring people close and do not repel them.'

Qur'an also mentions explicitly 'You to your religion, me to mine'

In other words you know what Im saying, she should mind her own business and get on with her life. My family dont pray, dont eat halal meat or go to the mosque, fast at Ramadan or anything remotely religious. Does that mean as a strict muslim myself, I am rude or outrightly hostile to them? No bloody way. Im teaching my own children to grow up loving and respecting everyone and letting people live their own lives. Note I am a fully covered, pray-5-times-a-day muslim girl, but that doesnt mean Im a judgemental biatch who supports poppy burning.

rant over. Tell sis in law that she needs to re think her attitude and read up in Islam about how she should really be behaving with her family. That should make her consider things.

MentalMuslimMummy Wed 18-Jan-12 20:05:39

Can I also ask those of you on this thread who genuinely know nothing about Islam and only what they hear in the media, to either refrain from posting or actually get to know the religion. Islam is Islam, not a load of ridiculous and insane cultural baggage like so many unfortunate people have made it into.

Jacob is a beautiful name by the way may I say.

nailak Wed 18-Jan-12 20:28:42


This doesn't make sense, how can Jacob be a Jewish name? Did she actually say that? You and Dh did tell her that yaqub alayhi salaam is a prophet of Allah?

The talking in another language when there is a person who can't understand the language present is actually haram. I can find the hadith and you can put it in your letter.

The halal meat? That is a bit weird,you can tell her from me that naseehah is supposed to be given with hikmah (wisdom) and in private, and it is haram to expose another persons sins, so by kicking off in sainsburies she wasn't going about things in the right way.

The circumcision party, it is sunnah to circumcised on the seventh day. Ask her if she has also organised and paid for the aqeeqah ( 2 sheep around $120) which is also sunnah to do on 7th day after birth. And then ask her if the sahabah had parties after circumcisions, and tell her it would be bidah (innovation in worship) to have a party if they didn't, so you would rather she just order and pay for aqeeqah and cook and distribute meat.

As for the you tube videos, I am sure she genuinely believes she is doing something good. Have you watched any? Why do you not like talking to her and discussing your beliefs with her?

Mentalmuslimmummy, mashallah at your practicing, but you must also know that Dawah is an obligation on all, that obviously doesn't mean just preeching, it can be done through good action, but your interpretation of surah kafiroon is a bit different to the tasfir interpretations. Also their are hadiths about pious people being punished as they were only worried about themselves and not the community around them. And of course community starts with family.

I also agree with your point about the importance of family relations in Islam. And how she is endangering this.

24 is not too young to have sense, manners and tact.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 18-Jan-12 20:49:44

This has nothing to do with religion

did you put her nose out of joint by basically replacing her as the baby of the family with your son? She clearly has some sort of grudge and is trying to stir up drama. She is picking on her religion because it is something you don't know much about so puts her on stronger ground. She may also feel that her parents will look favourably on her as the devout one, especially as it is constantly pointed out how you and your husband aren't

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Wed 18-Jan-12 20:53:46

Tell her if she's so keen on arranging a circumcision let her party go ahead but with HER circumcision. FFS.

thisisyesterday Wed 18-Jan-12 20:58:16

you do all know this thread is months old don't you?

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