I'm a college student interested in culture and bridging gaps between different communities. This semester I am taking a class called Islam Today, wherein we study and discuss issues in the Middle East and Islam. These issues include 9/11, women in Islam, the Middle East conflict, Arab culture, and so on.
One of my assignments is to interview Muslims and see what they think about the matters we discuss in class. I was wondering if anyone here would like to share your opinions with me? I am always looking to open my mind, and to advance my understanding of global events and issues and of different religions and cultures. I would appreciate any insight you have.
So I could probably answer this question by doing some internet surfing, but since this community has been dead for awhile, I figured I might as well post it here. I was just wondering what the progressive Muslim's take is on circumcision? Obviously, everyone will have their own opinion for or against or neutral- but I am particularly interested in knowing if there is much of a movement these days for not circumsizing? I know that it is not in the Quran but it is Sunnah. I have read that all or most "mainstream" Muslims are circumsized even though they don't necessarily follow the other guidelines on cleanliness as explained in the Sunnah (such as shaving arm pits). I kind feel myself that circumcision isn't necesarily more important that shaving one's arm pits other than the ummah has made it so. Also, I have read that the circumcision that is done in Judaism is different from the circumcision that is practiced, in say, U.S. hospitals. That in U.S. hospitals it is a bit more "puritanical" in that they take more of the foreskin thus creating some desensitization. I assume that Islamic circumcision would be the same as circumcision done in Judaism. Thus, I would rather avoid circumcision for my own son unless I know for sure the procedure will be the Judaic/Islamic way. Are there any Muslims here that did not circumcize their sons? Are there any resources out there on the world wide web that you can lead me to regarding keeping Muslim baby boys intact? Please feel free to refute, extropalate or add to this. It's open for discussion!
Keith Ellison is Proud to be Named Vice-Chair of Bipartisan Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus “I am proud to join Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) today in launching the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus,” Congressman Ellison said.
The mission of the Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The Caucus will work toward extending equal rights, repealing discriminatory laws, the eliminating hate-motivated violence. The Caucus is dedicated to the improved health and well-being for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
“I am honored to join this caucus because of my lifelong commitment to fighting all discrimination. I believe when my gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender neighbor suffers from discrimination, then I suffer, and so does our whole community. Every member of our society contributes to the health, wealth and generosity of our community. Only when we recognize, protect, and, celebrate that will we realize all our citizens’ potential,” Ellison concluded.
Americans are asking for Political Asylum...Why don't we hear about it?
There is no country in the world that understands propaganda more than the United States. Billions are spent at the Pentagon on what you hear and repeat. The mainstream news is a psychotronic parade as the democrats bumble and the reporters comment as though they are on the Bush administration payroll.
The truth is not reported. The public responds as a story of importance makes breaking news only to see it squashed in the next 72 hours. Americans are asking for political asylum and you are not hearing about it.
The government is torturing American citizens who are Whistleblowers- myspace Darren Gelbard, youtube Monarch Katherine Moore, and DIA Topoff to see electronic warfare torturing a U.S. citizen in 2007. Or, for those of you who think these victims are conspiracy theorists, there are the ADS military tests on youtube, 60 Minutes, and CNN. People being hit out of thin air by a ray beam. For real!
Weapons that can harm or kill you from a distance, without leaving marks if the operator so desires, are being used on people in their homes. There are interviews with U.S. citizens who are victims and with a Baghdad surgeon in which he states there are bodies in Iraq he and his team of ten Doctors have seen that are being killed by..."No bullets, no shots..arms cut straight off...we don't know what kind of weapon it is." A Baghdad Orchestra player also stated he saw bodies where..."Only the face was burned, no eyes..and the teeth. The rest of the body was untouched.
The Washington Post released an article called Mind Games in which the victims of psychotronics and V2K described what it was like to have someone mentally and physically torture you using communications and electronic warfare from a distance. And Russia is trying to ban Space weapons after Congress changed the bill that would have banned psychotronics years ago. This is the most dangerous game. Weapons that no individual can defend themselves against. Weapons that manipulate people and that torture and can kill you in your home with no warning from a distance.
I hope you are having beautiful holidays and had a blessed Eid.
I have a question which is really gnawing at me at the moment. You see, as progressive Muslims, I believe we are all here trying our best to do something positive for Islam's role in the world and the ever-present issue of coexistence. I find elemts of koran that are beautifully conducive to that. Other times, I don't.
Here is a prime example:
In Surah Baqara, there is long passage about the Israelites (Banu Israel) that clearly refers to their rejecting of later prophets (Jesus and Muhammed, PBUT). It then goes on to say about the Jews (verse 96):
"And you will most certainly find them to be the greediest of mankind for like and (greedier) than the idolaters..."
Its hard to read the condemnations that are found in koran but its particularly hard for me to see where we can have an opening to speak to Jews and other non-Muslims when this sort of text can be brought up.
Thank you yet again to "Ben Thal":http://myspace.com/bejaru for his night-long production of this, the first HijabMan commercial. I also appreciate him allowing me to use his music towards the end. Oh, and for convincing me to order those chicken wings and pineapple-topped pizza at 3 AM a couple nights ago. It totally hit the spot, man.
Hi! I'm new to lj and wanted to start exploring who and what is out there... I just got back from working overseas in Jordan and traveling in Palestine, Lebanon, and Turkey. I'm actually looking for a dose of something a bit more progressive than what I encountered there in my daily musings. Brought up in a Muslim home in California, I'm always seeking intelligent thoughts and perspectives. :)
Hi there! I have some questions, and I'm interested in seeing what sort of response I get here
after two excellent documentaries, "Mystic Iran: The Unseen World" and "Inside Islam" (which was not so excellent, history channel trash, but they can't depart too openly from actual fact, so the excellence of the subject matter shines through, despite arthur kent's pathetic attempts to speak on subjects he obvious has no background in) and after just reading about a million book library they've found in timbuktu I'm beginning to develop enthusiasm for islamic culture in general. as I watched I couldn't help thinking how much the american transcendentalist movement resembles sufism and the more mystical elements of islam - I think rumi would have been right at home alongside emerson and cummings and whitman.
I have several questions, and I'm a bit sleepy so I'll try to keep them orderly, but I'm just going to throw them out here. to preface them: I theologically resemble a hindu, an animist, a transcendentalist, a unitarian...politically I follow the consistent life ethic (anti war, the death penalty, abortion, animal cruelty), and I am gay. do with all that what you will, I'm just trying to give you some background on me.
I've been told that as long as one acknowledges the oneness of divinity one is, if not muslim, regarded as at least somewhat close. I've heard that hindus in muslim india were called "people of the book", though I understand that has to do as much with political expediency as anything. I've also heard that to be a muslim one must only sincerely acknowledge the oneness of god and acknowledge Muhammed as his prophet. I believe, as a pantheist, that god is technically one, and I'm certainly willing to consider Muhammed divinely inspired - but I strongly suspect that almost nobody is going to say this makes me a muslim, am I right? if so, what more specific definition of who is a muslim could you offer?
I'm very interested in Sufism. how is sufism regarded in various muslim countries? I'm particularly interested in Turkey as a place to potentially live for a few years, so any information about religion and culture there would be much appreciated. I know sufis are a minority, but how do the different schools of islam interact? is it like, say, two christian denominations? I know the quakers are a very small minority of christians, but they aren't viewed with hostility - is it the same way with sufis, or what?
regardless of my status as a potential muslim or not, I am very much interested in becoming better versed in islamic culture - I hope to learn arabic in the future, and I was wondering if anyone could offer me advice on better understanding and entering into dialogue with the muslim community at large. can a speaker of modern "standard" arabic understand the classical arabic of the Koran? if it's only a moderate difference, like modern english compared to chaucer or even shakespeare, I'd be much encouraged. I know there are different dialects - and my goal (in life as well as my specific question about arabic) is to maximize the number of people I can positively engage with. is it futile to expect to learn arabic and be able to understand most of the dialects, and/or to also study the wealth of learning furthered by mediaeval and modern arabic scholars? I'm a history buff, and a *huge* draw to the language would be if it would open up to me the fabled muslim learning of the middle ages. I'm blessed to have an international language like english as a first tongue, (though I deplore how it *became* an international language) - and I want to learn other languages that could function like that. I want to talk to as many and diverse people as possible, and arabic seems like a great language for that, am I right or just confused?
how widely is arabic spoken in the muslim world as a second language? do iranians learn arabic for business like people in the west learn english? I know this is probably a stretch, but what about in turkey? I don't know if I'm going to be any good with languages (I only know the barest minimum of latin, and a smattering of phrases in the romance languages) so I want to be sure that if I commit to learning a language, it will be one I can expect a lot of people to know.
if I do end up spending significant time in the muslim world (years, or maybe even a permanent move) I'd want to be sure I was safe...again, I'm a gay man, and I'm sure most people are not going to consider me a muslim, though if calling the One Creator Allah instead of Brahma will help, I'm certainly willing to learn more about worshipping our Creator in the muslim manner...I just don't want to be accused of dissembling for convenience, and if mysticism would still be considered false, I don't see a point in putting one cultural veneer on over another - our prayers go to the same heaven in my mind...but I digress - if I were theoretically to learn arabic, would I be safe as an american (or former american) in africa or the middle east? as I stated earlier I am a pacifist, I have never supported american foreign policy - I sympathise greatly with the palestinian people...but I don't know if the nation of my birth would be a stigma or not. I'm not outrageously gay - I dress conservatively, I'm uncomfortable with conspicuous eroticism and would certainly be willing to confine any expression of my affection (if that were even an issue) to wherever it was culturally acceptable. can I expect to live unmolested and be treated as a peer? I honestly have no idea whither I'd be welcomed or stoned to death in most countries. Turkey being modern/secular (and thus presumably safer for westerners) and having a beautiful culture in general, I'm interested in it - but also in persian and arabic culture as well. sorry if I'm rambling...I guess what I want to know is, if I gave it my best shot to meet people on their own terms, would friendship with the average muslim (in any region or a specific one) be possible, or would I be an annoying westerner at best? would religious jewellery or admitting to anyone I'm gay be strictly against the rules, or is it like here in america where most people are live and let live? I don't want to seem as though I think muslims are intolerant or anything, but I *do* want to be sensitive to the various cultures I'm considering engaging.
anything else you think of feel free to add! thanks for listening and your help =)
1. As a Muslim, what are your views on the "war on terror?" Do you think your views are typical of Muslims in the Western World? 2. What is the place for women's activism in Islamic countries? What support do you find in the Qur'an for your view? 3. Is a Muslim woman acting in accord or in opposition to her faith when she works for educational and political opportunities in the new Afghan government?
If you could take a little time to help me out with this, I will be forever in your debt. If you do decide to answer, if you could include a little biographical information for inclusion in the paper, that would be terrific. (i.e. Were you born a Muslim? Where were you born? Your age?)
I'm a young American Muslim who is sick and tired of only hearing about Islam in headlines. So I've started a new line of clothing and gifts that is geared towards young, modern Muslims who are ready to make their own headlines. Some political, some funny, some religious, and lots of ARABIC! So check it out, please spread the word if you dig it, and check in periodically for new designs.
So I'm a little disheartened to hear that even one of my favourite moderate voices in Islam, Khaled Abou El Fadl doesn't approve of "Western Dating" as he called it, and stated in his book, The Great Theft, that all scholars agree on this.
What is it about "western dating? Do they think that it's just a bunch of humping like jack rabbits that they don't approve of? Or do even the moderate scholars think that you should just see someone, think they are cute or funny and ask them to marry you.
Just wondering what everyones thoughts were on the subject.
I was bored and I created a Reza Aslan community. I am a hot progressive Muslim scholar groupie. So, uh, there's nothing there yet, but I'ma gettin on that, alright? haha. Just thought it might be of interest to some.
"Does the fact that we are selling, thus encouraging the consumption of unhealthy foods run contrary to what seems to be our favorite slogan, “Islam isn’t a religion; it’s a way of life”? If Islam is a [good] way of life, why is it that we sell high-fructose corn syrup laced with artificial colors and flavors in our places of worship?!"
This year's been real rich in all kinds of attacks on religious people so far, from the infamous cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to the highly-advertised and spinned "The Da Vinci Code" film. The problem is "the certain people" were "deeply shocked" at that "terrible Muslim rampage" which of course quite naturally followed the cartoon publication and republication. "Barbarians!" - shouted some representatives of so-called "civilized Europe", not noticing the real barbarian in this case. A gay star Sir Ian McKellen (who played in "The Da Vinci Code" one of the main characters), while at the Cannes Film Festival in France, managed to say that he entirely supports Dan Brown's (the author of the book "The Da Vinci Code") plot that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, because it would prove the prophet wasn't a homosexual and that Christians all over the world should be happy with this idea. Saying that, the actor as if emphasized "If you, my dear Christians, think Jesus wasn't married, then he was a gay!". Funny and acid. And completely inappropriate. The French paper "France Soir", which reproduced a set of Danish caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad, said it had decided to republish them "because no religious dogma can impose itself on a democratic and secular society", fogetting that in "a democratic and secular society" live a great lot of different people, with different religious and cultural sets of beliefs, and even if you don't share, don't approve and don't understand these beliefs you mustn't forget you live in society and if you live in society you must show respect to any member of it regardless of his origin and creed. It is highly disgusting that some members of "modern society" are just not aware of that simple rule and by their hostile behavior they kindle the flame of an ethnic conflict. Jacques Lefranc, managing director of "France Soir" was fired. That was a good step. No one has a right to justify his immoral and antisocial conduct by taking refuge in "democracy and freedom of speech" -- these poor terms are being highly abused these times. Almost every journalist nowadays immediately mentions them to apply to his dirty work -- and sometimes it works. I am glad that it didn't work this time. The cartoon scandal must be a good lesson to such pretenders. But if society can fight certain criminals in the journalist circles, it almost can't fight the big and powerful machine of Hollywood. The Hollywood criminals have strong money ammunition and with this powerful weapon you can shoot the whole army of your potential enemies. And who is the Hollywood's potential enemy? Oh they're so many! Look at the Christians. Their god is so merciful, so kind -- and totally boring. What does he give them? And look at our Big Green Dollar God -- he gives you anything. Anything you just wish for. "The Da Vinci Code" has grossed more than 200$ million -- who cares about God, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and so on? But wait, we earned 200$ million on the name of Jesus so that's okay -- thank you Jeez. With Big Green Dollar God you can say and do what you want -- you will not be punished because it's His Majesty Big Green Dollar God -- the most merciful of all gods. You may not pay respect to anyone at all but they'll all be respecting you even more than themselves -- because you're very strong, because you worship Big Green Dollar God. You're not a part of society -- you live in your own small but incredibly powerful society of Big Green Dollar God. So if you're going to ask me how to fight this machine anyway because it has to be fought I'll say the only way to fight this monster -- not to be silent. To unmask the real purposes of Hollywood producers hidden beneath "the creative process". And always remember their opinions and views are that of a minority -- that's why they scream so loud to be heard.