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Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Okay, you read the title… don’t jump on my throat just yet!

As a Muslim the first thought that goes through my head every time any killing or bombing happens in any place, especially in a non-Muslim country,  is “Oh, God! Please don’t make him be a Muslim!“..

That is how it is for many of us Muslims in Oman or Muslims who live in the US. We dread it when the news reports these bombings or shootings because the first thing that is mentioned in these reports (if it is a Muslims guy) is Islam. “He is a Muslim US born”, “American citizen, with Arabic roots”! The focus changes from this man being a killer to a Muslim killer. His actions become a Muslim trait and that is just absurd!

It is also of concern how I go about to read in some posts or comments on the news websites and read what people have to say. Some think that Muslims leaders should issue an apology. Others still hate us for the 9/11 attacks and are still resentful because the Muslim countries did not issue a formal apology. Now let me see.. Does the Pope apologizes for every Christian murderer out there? I mean common! so NO! We will not apologies for every Muslim that decides to kill people. They do not represent us nor are they related to us in any way! I shall not feel guilty but sad for the loss of those lives in such a horrific incident. My heart goes for their families, and I am sorry this happened to them. I am not sorry because he is a Muslim and I should not feel guilty for being one either.

I am a good person and a Muslim too. I would not hurt anyone be they are Christians, Jews, Hindus…etc. I respect others and only ask for the same. And here, I ask that I am not judged based on some person’s actions who is on the other side of the planet that the only thing he shares with me is a religion.

 

 

 

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Alright, so I went to a lecture at the Grand Mosque on Sunday. Prof. Richard Bulliet is a professor of Islamic Studies at Columbia University who came to Oman recently to give a lecture (or to promote his book, whichever) on Islamo-Christian Civilization.

I must confess that I didn’t research the guy before going to the lecture and I guess that gave me a clean slate in which I can judge the professor from my own perspective (though it would have helped if I did!). So, for this post, I took notes.

In brief, the lecture was about promoting an idea of an Islamo-Christian civilization vs. the Clash of Civilization ideology. I had many questions concerning this lecture because the professor’s goal from this lecture was sometimes vague.

When the professor talked about the idea of “the clash of civilizations” he didn’t give any explanations towards what it means. Instead, he attempted to say that the clash of civilization is “hateful and negative” towards Islam. Now, I know that this ideology is not the most positive thing in this world, but it holds a lot of truth in it. The main idea in Huntington’s theory behind the clash of civilization is that people’s cultures and religious identities will be the source of conflict after the Cold War. Now, when Huntington explained his theory, he didn’t just focus of Islam (the professor made it seem as if it was another conspiracy against Islam!). Instead, he talked about the major religions and/or regions.

Now, I have to be honest, I was somewhat annoyed with some of the professor’s statements. Maybe it’s just me, but he seemed to try too hard to promote himself as the “loving and understanding guy towards Isalm” and that everyone else was hating Islam. One statement was: When September 11 happened, everyone thought Islam was a threat, but I kept telling them.. no, it wasn’t, Islam is great.. but no one listened to ME!! …

Or, when saying that “Billions of dollars are spent on a danger that is not great!”.. he was talking about Afghanistan here.

Or when talking about an article he had to look over that had eight verses from the Quran that were negative and he tried to ask the editor to change those into some more positive verses (by asking a Muslim) and the reply was “we are asking YOU to do it, not a Muslim”..

Most of the professor’s stories to prove that America doesn’t like Islam are based on things that happened seven to eight years ago. I would like to think that America’s view towards Islam has grown or matured at least a little bit. Also, many of the educated Americans know the difference between Islam and Muslim extremists. At least that was my personal experience.

I mean common Bulliet, we really don’t need another American promoting the theory that America is conspiring against Muslims.  Whether you meant it or not, the lecture was only feeding your listeners what they already think is the absolute truth. However, the truth is.. Many Muslims (and Omanis) who are not well educated know nothing about Christianity or Judaism. I mean, it bothers me that what we always ask is “what are they doing to understand us?” do we ever ask, “what are we doing to understand them?”..

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First of all, I would like to say.. this guy will soon be a favorite of mine. He rocks! (okay, I’m excited).

3aeth_alqarane

Today, I read an article in the Al-Ittihad newspaper about tolerance in Islam towards other faiths. Here is the poor google translated version of the article:

Stressed the Islamic preacher Dr. Ayed Al-Qarni Yesterday evening, during the lecture taking place in the final religious council headed the team of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces during this Ramadan, the need for a religious Islamic Tsamehi and conciliatory at the global level with all people.

Saw the lecture, which was held under the title «culture of tolerance»…..

He stressed that the message of Islam is the message of saving humanity, not exclusionary or threats and intimidation, murder and looting, noting that the work of some of the imams from the pulpits of prayer for all the evil that the people of his neighborhood does not suit the Islamic nation that carry the universal message. It was his Consequently, it should not be used Friday sermons or religious discourse to antagonize the world «Vnkhalv that the teachings of the Koran, which says the Almighty God: Pay the way that is better, then that enmity between you and treat them badly».

Garni said «we hear some speeches and lectures to pray for the enemies of religion, using words and phrases to Allah to destroy the enemies of floods and earthquakes, and even dying from swine flu», pointing out that it is detrimental to Muslims, as they live with people of other religions on the same planet and are not isolated or far away, and therefore must be dialogue and tolerance. He said that unfortunately some of the imams of the claim against the infidels, and each of them from outside their religion, God had to come out of the solidity of worship and unite and supports the Islamic religion.  He emphasized that Islam is only to fight those hostile to Muslims and occupy their land, pointing out that non-Muslims, like Muslims, have contributed in building the human civilization and the like also have creations and useful inventions of all mankind, such as electricity, telephone, etc. of inventions and new scientific discoveries and »therefore may not pray for them death and extinction ».

He called in this context to remove the Inquisition of the mind and the minds and do not believe that there is no other band survivor or that there is a people and not others, custodians of the religion or speaking in his name…

Garni said «We do not have the last word and Ajthadatna not regard as sacred and must respect other points of view and to move away from the confusion between the words of the scholars and the Word of God and the words of His Messenger, peace be upon him in the deterministic and constancy and significance»….

Qarni called to the need to raise their children and generations for dialogue, tolerance and respect for the other party rather than heavy-handed, which alienate people and to enforce the provisions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah in our lives in various fields.  And forbade the letter excommunicating you have an adverse impact on the entire society, stressing that the great writers, thinkers and geniuses and men of Western politicians understand Islam and the traditional values of their knowledge of and read about our religion

He stressed that some of them written in the literary contributions of Islam and the values that came to them, pointing out that the world today is in dire need of tolerance, effective and positive coexistence between people, where people mingle in our Arab and Islamic variety of nationalities from various continents, colors, customs and religions, and therefore of every Muslim highlight the bright face of Islam through tolerance to deal with them and giving them the security, safety and tranquility….

In response to questions submitted to it, “said Qarni Treating the current situation of Muslims is through the propagation of the letter Altsamehi to end militancy, extremism and violence, emphasizing the importance of reviewing the curricula being laid of love and tolerance among young people….

He also called Qarni scientists and scholars not to dwell on matters of politics and left to the governor, pointing out that scientists and scholars and preachers of the distant past they refused to take political positions and devote themselves to worldly things jurisprudence and legal reform and advised the Governor.

Well, for those who read Arabic, here is the article.

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Alright, since its Ramadan, I wanted to talk a little bit about religion and for today I chose the topic of Jesus’ crucifixion. Ohh, and I hope I do not get crucified over this post. Please read with an open mind and think before you attack.

I remember years back when I was in college, I met these two young protestant girls that wanted to talk about Christianity and hopefully win us over. Well, we began an open discussion and I thought it was a chance for me to open their eyes to Islam. To make the story short, we were all deriving our examples and “evidence” from our holy books and we tried to point out the things that did not make sense from what the other person was saying. “So you are saying that Jesus was crucified, which means he was dead then he woke up from the dead to go to heaven without any brain damage ?”, and their point was “So you are saying that Jesus was not crucified, that his soul was swapped with another one, even though historically crucifixion was a normal event and it was more likely to happen than a soul swap?” …do you see what I mean?

I cannot deny that these conversations were helpful (opened my mind), but at the same time, I do realize that we were discussing and at some extent arguing about our beliefs that are solely based on faith. At the end, I became friends with the girls and we hung out. We ventured on the topic of religion many times but the intention changed to learning rather than changing each other.

It is similar to arguing about whether a mountain crawls or jumps. Both are not common sense though we might try to think so! Sometimes I think it is funny how we argue and battle each other over things that are not logical! I’m not saying it is not true or that it did not happen –clearing my conscious – but what I am saying is that we fight over things that are based on our decision to believe that what we are taught in school or in our houses –some based on self education– is as true as daylight.

I mean, they are called miracles for a reason. Miracles in religion are those events that are out of the ordinary and that are not based on logic or the natural order of the universe. So, whether the Quran says oh it was not him even though it did seem to them that it was him, or whether in Christianity it says oh it was him, and he died to save us, but then he was resurrected –other versions might have it differently– it all does not make sense!

Saying that, my point from all this is to hope that one day we are able to respect each others beliefs and give each other the space to practice our religion –as long as it does not overstep someone elses space–  and just stop overstepping our boundaries. No need to harass each other or be dramatically offended – seen it happen from both sides, the shock followed by the deep exhale and the widening of the eyes as if saying “How DARE you!!!!”.

At the end, the Quran did say:

Say: O disbelievers! (1) I worship not that which ye worship; (2) Nor worship ye that which I worship. (3) And I shall not worship that which ye worship. (4) Nor will ye worship that which I worship. (5) Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion. (6) ” (Surat Al-Kaferoon)

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Ramadhan Kareem

I had to write this post about the month of Ramadhan. This is my first time for almost ten years to be in Oman for fasting. It is a lot different than being in the US.

In the US:

  • You fast, work full hours, and take classes at the same time.
  • Your work or classes sometimes are during sunset. So you can’t really eat till later.
  • Having Ramadhan in the summer is the worst because its sunny ALL day. You break your fast, in some places, at 9pm.
  • The Muslim community in that area comes together and organize awareness lectures on Islam and Fastathoons for non-Muslims to participate.
  • You walk all day long around while people are walking with their donuts and coffee mugs.
  • You pass the student union area and the smell of food chases you around. Everyone is eating and chatting away, while you look at them and curse “I hate all of you!” while tightening your belt so your belly does not ache.
  • You go home and cook something quick before you go back to your second class or writing your research paper.
  • After breaking your fast at 9pm, you are too exhausted to do anything so you go to sleep leaving you with a single meal a day.

In Oman:

  • You wake up at four and eat the lunch that your mom, wife, maid have made (important to notice that its a female!).
  • You leave for work at 9am- if you feel like it that is– and sit at your desk doing nothing.
  • You read newspapers and yawn at the same time.
  • At 2pm, you feel like you’ve accomplished too much for the minimum amount of energy you have.
  • You grab your keys and run to your car, drive home, and sleep till 6pm.
  • You wake up and look at the watch wishing it was already sunset. Realizing its not, you take a visit to the kitchen to see what food you will eat that day.
  • Your mom complains you haven’t helped her in the kitchen and you complain you’ve been “working” all day long.
  • Once its sunset, you eat, pray then eat more and more..
  • You watch all the new series and TV shows they’ve been advertising the previous month.

My comments….. I’m glad I’m not experiencing the REAL Ramadhan for once!
Ramadhan Kareem to ALL… and to all Muslims in non-Muslim countries…. suck it up! lol!

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Last night I was checking CNN to see what’s new out there. I stumbled upon an article written about Muslim women and the hijab. After reading it, I thought it was ironic how different people view certain things. Alright, let me start my rant!

What the Muslim high school senior wants you to understand is that she doesn’t wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women, because she is submissive.

Hmmmm, I thought the whole idea of Islam is to be submissive… Well, to Allah (God) of course!

“My mom says a girl is like a jewel,” Abdelaziz says. “When you have something precious, you usually hide it. You want to make sure you keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found.”

EXACTLY! Aren’t we all “women “precious diamonds! They’ve been trying to keep us in that “safe” for a looooong time! I have heard that explanation (and truly believed it) for a long time. Examples, “Mom, can I go to the cinema?” “No you can’t” “Why” “Because there are guys there” “But who cares” “You should take care of yourself more, you are like a diamond and we only want your safety”… uhuh!

You people hear that explanation for the first time and you say.. “I can understand that view”, well, I don’t. At least not anymore! When you have a diamond, you show it off and take care of at the same time! People here need to understand how to be moderate!

Plus, what’s up with this “keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found”. Are our men treasure hunters? I take that back, they are… especially when they find more than one map!

“You can sometimes feel like you’re in a zoo: locked in the cage of other people’s stereotypes, prejudices and judgments, on parade to be analyzed, deconstructed and reconstructed,”

I like this quote! I wonder how non-Muslim women feel when they are in a Muslim country….
hmmmmmm …. Any thoughts?

“It gave me a sense of identity,” she says. “I really liked the purpose behind the hijab — a woman covering herself so that a man should know her for her mind, not her body.”

By far this is my favorite quote ever on the idea behind the Hijab because it illustrates exactly the mentality for wearing it.  It’s all about ….. guyzzzz… I dont know! Maybe I’m just weird, but the way I look at this is that a GUY should respect a woman and “know her for her mind” whether she is wearing a Hijab or not! But you know! that’s just a crazy thought….

Okay, that’s it for now.

Here is the source: Generation Islam: Hijab

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Have you ever went to the City Center or the beach and saw Omani girls walking around with their bushy eyebrows and wondered…. why?

Well, here is the answer

In Islam, women are not supposed to pluck their eyebrows “they will be casted to hell”..
However, many “like some sects in Shi’a” say it is okay.. that is because it is not mentioned in the Qur’an but only in the Sunna “or prophet Mohammed’s sayings”..

Many people, especially from inner Oman, look at girls with waxed eyebrows as “bad girls”. Sometimes they are called “biatches” and other similar names. Some guys would not marry girls that have waxed eyebrows, others don’t care. The one theory these people have is that waxed-eye girls do that on purpose just to attract guys to them. Not that because the girl feels embarrassed from her bushy eyebrows, No! it’s always for the guyzzz…

The reason it is Haraam (against Islamic law) is because it is interpreted as changing God’s creation (altering it).

So, the next time you see a girl with bushy eyebrows… remember my post!

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