Aug 10, 2010

The Faith Club, Chapters 16 & 17

They finally (after what, 3 years?) are comfortable enough to deal with their communities.  I don't get this whole fear of "I have friends who are not like me" thing.  Whatever.

Ranya, as usual, ticks me off.  It starts when she says "Muslims are still required to recite Quranic verses in Arabic." (pg 249) Uh...Wrong.  In this same paragraph though, she talks about Imams who would rather teach "rote recitation over open discussion".  I agree -- and I really think that the discussion OUGHT to be discussed.  Merely memorizing it makes you no more faithful than say...holding it while you give birth or carrying it around in your purse.  Just saying.

Then...she goes on to talk about a teacher who told the children in her daughter's class that she "covered her hair so that she would not be attractive to men other than her husband." (page 250)  Ranya gets upset about this because...well, I don't want to delve into Ranya's whacked out mind.  The woman who is constantly terrified of being judged has no problems dishing out her own judgment, "Had this teacher represented her choice as just one of many options for Muslim women, or was she claiming it as the only true Muslim choice?" (page 250)--- hmmm...I read over that line that the teacher said 100 times and I still don't see her saying that she wears it because she's Muslim.  Nope.  Don't see it at all. 

Did you know, dear readers, that there is a whole new trend of Non-Muslim women who choose to wear a hijab?  Google it... you'll see.  Anyhow -- It makes me wonder what Ranya would think of me.  When children ask me about my hijab (they inevitably do) I always tell them that I wear it because I think it makes God happy.  Simple enough explanation for me.

On page 252, Suzanne's priest and Ranya are talking about the lack of acceptance by certain people.  He shares his personal experience with her and Suzanne says "...he only shared this order to assure Ranya that every religion has its doctrinaires who pass judgment on the worthiness of the rest of us to participate in the community.  Those judgments, however, shouldn't drive us away." I could not agree more.

Onto Chapter 17, and not surprisingly, more whining from Ranya.  *le sigh*  At one point she is at a meeting for the moms of her daughter's schoolmates and she says, "I wondered, should i affirm my identity and not worry about stereotypes, proclaiming a pride and security in my heritage?  Could I hand over the reins?  I decided I could?"  (page 262-263) Well, thank GOD for that!  It's about time.  I have learned somethings as I've gotten...ahem..older...most importantly is this.  If I go out into the world and look for something, I'm likely to find it.  I can choose to go out and look for ugliness and negativity -- and the world will give it to me.  Or...I can go out and look for beauty, love and acceptance...and I will find it.  Make a choice, and live it.

Another thing that she says that I agree with (yes, I can actually agree with some of the things she says!):
There are Muslim voices protesting the violence committed in the name of Islam.  The problem is that these voices aren't as sensational and therefore are deemed not as newsworthy as the violent stories out there. page 264

The scales tip once again for me though -- when Ranya decides that sticking a Quran in her daughter's backpack is a way to deal with bullying at school (page 269).  Seriously? the kid's gonna walk around with a Holy Book in her bag and suddenly have the strength to stand up to this kid?  How about teaching her to have a backbone??  Maybe Ranya could learn to grow one too.  Sheesh!


Erin said...

Most of my friends are not like me...more fun that way. ;)

I will admit I rushed through these chapters, but I did take note of the comments the priest made on pg 252. It's the judgment I have often encountered in organized religion that has turned me off.

NanLT said...

Regarding the hijab, I really have to share this story.

We have 2 Muslim children in our school nursery. Their mothers are immigrants from one of the African countries and both wear a hijab plus a robe like covering over their dress. (At least I assume it is a covering).

One afternoon as the kids were coming out and one of the mums was leaving a little boy from the nursery came running up to her, stopped her, and said, "Are you Jesus?"

His mother was terribly embarrassed. The mum found it quite amusing. I got home and laughed my bum off.

Hethr said...

lol, Nan, that's hilarious!

Ironically, it's often my comeback when people (usually women, why is that?)tell me how "horrible" it must be to be so "oppressed" by my hijab. My response is usually, "first, I choose to wear this, no one has made me, and two; why then, am I considered oppressed, but Mother Mary isn't? Or a nun?"

Then...they usually blush and say ... Oh... I never thought of that...

Jesus saves me sometimes, too.

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