Mostly in south Asian Muslim cultures we tend to judge by, conform and enforce age old moral codes on ourselves and others. God forbid if someone says anything about us even if it is true, we make sure we circulate enough slander about them.

I wonder why people need to portray such a squeaky clean image of themselves? They would normally act like moral guardians of a group, almost like a cult leader. They will use cliched moral codes to form a community so that they may have a sense of belonging and influence.

Women usually minimise or deny their sexual/romantic liaisons/experiences. Men may lie about their sources of income (halal), addiction issues and may overstate their sexual conquests/experiences.

It’s astonishing the length one goes, amount of lies one fabricate, abuse, blackmail that is hurled on others to perpetuate a false narrative, enmesh others into our lies and dishonesty.

To weave such fabricated layers of fantasy and denial of our true representation one must use elaborate mechanisms.
Prolonged use of defence mechanisms is damaging for our mental health and relationships. It could cause paranoia, hyper vigilance, delusional thinking, lack of authenticity, state of unhappiness and dis-ease. People will avoid facing reality, they will carry a sense of guilt and shame, a fear to being caught out.

We as Asian community need to be more honest and forgiving to ourselves and others. Stop keeping a score of others flaws as an insurance policy to preserve your pristine image.

Such double standards and confused moral codes in family lives are causing a huge amount of stress and anxiety on Asian youth.
The most courageous act we may ever do is start debunking those internalised beliefs that coerce us into sham and dishonesty. Forgive ourselves for our limitations and messing up. Accept our flaws and avoid perpetuating lies to maintain our ‘holier than thou’ image.

Don’t ask me how
but you don’t have to be a cow,
to play ‘holier than thou’.

By Yasmeen