Aug 10, 2010

The Faith Club, Chapters 14 & 15

I'm finished this book, but out of respect for the followers who are reading along and may have more comments than me, I'm going to just do two chapters at a time for the next couple posts here.

Chapter 14 - by now, their sappy little stories annoy me.  I hate them.  I literally have NO comments written into the book on anything until Ranya chimes in about stuff...however, some thoughts.  The Day of Atonement is an interesting thought -- to reflect on those who have passed is always a good idea (as much as I hate history) - we learn from those who have gone before us.  I found it interesting to read about, but nothing tugged at me.

And then -- Ranya's section comes along.  She talks about this man who was "...happy to be with such a moderate Muslim..."  Then she says something that I hate to admit that I agree with:
...I felt that this complement may have revealed more about [his] underlying prejudice and assumptions than about my genuine assets.  It unwittingly betrayed his perception o f me as a unique or rare Muslim specimen.  As a Muslim, I was an exception to the religious norm. (page 237)
Once again, i feel as if the only time one hears about Islam is through terrible events.  Why aren't there stories about the charity that we do?  Why aren't there stories about the Red Crescent Society?  What about the millions of people who are Muslims who don't commit acts of terror?  Why does the world only seem to want to focus on the minority fools who do violence and terror and claim to be Muslims?

Then he starts getting into the political talk...and once again, Ranya gets sick.  It seems to me that every time Ranya is faced with something that she doesn't want to deal with, she's suddenly sick.  A head cold, the flu, a migraine....once again, "suck it up, buttercup."

Then, her friend that she's chatting with says "Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim" page (237)
Ouch.  That's harsh.  It may seem true -- and actually according to the news, it would be.  In other countries (or more precisely, if the person in question is NOT a Muslim) they are called guerillas, radicals, extremists, freedom fighters, rebels, revolutionaries....these are all terrorists, too...but it's not newsworthy to call a dude who's waving a gun around like a fool (who happens to be a Muslim) a rebel.  Nope...Terrorist it is.

Okay - onto chapter 15.  In this chapter, they are talking about the Holidays.  Suzanne talks about sending holiday cards and being worried about how her cards will be received by people who aren't of the Christian faith.  She says, "I resented being forced to compromise my tradition for their benefit."  (page 245)  One question - why would you compromise?  I used to.  I used to be afraid of what my dayhome parents would think if I put up Ramadan decorations or didn't send Christmas presents home with their kids.  Not any more.  My traditions do NOT include Christmas or Santa, or anything else.  Why should I compromise?  Why should anyone?  I happily accept cards and gifts from others on their special days, and I plan on giving them out to others (for the first time) this year.  Why do we need to be ashamed of our faiths?  Why can't we all knowledge and accept each other for who we are?


Keahn said...

I agree about the Day of Atonement and other traditions -- it's good to know and interesting to read about.

BTW, Ranya's IMAM Fiesel (sp?) was in the LA Times this past weekend. The article was about the mosque that the Muslim community is trying to have built that, apparently, is near Ground Zero in NY and they're getting a lot of flack from various people (real surprise there, eh?). Well, I hope that they succeed in having it built. :)

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