Islam students at LUC

Archive for December 2011

We finished Malcolm X and it comes to show how his life gives a narrative truly a struggle in faith. This perspective and going through the beliefs of the Nation of Islam gives a broader introduction to the globalization of Islam. We see how different groups with various concerns and needs find faith and God. Malcolm was a grand figure who will continue to inspire and challenge our thinking in society.

I was reading an article about celebration of Christian holidays in Egypt and how they are very much interfaith celebrations with mutual significance. In a time where media has presented that countries with majority Muslim populations being hostile to Christians, this was a good perspective to see how people present co-existence and acceptance. I feel we lack that here in the states where we outreach to those different from ourselves to acknowledge the realities and perspectives of others. I hope we can become more embracing.

This class has been one of the most enjoyable in my 2 and a half years at Loyola. I have learned a lot and hope to continue the enrichment and enlightenment found in finding myself in learning about another way of finding God, another way to view the world, and another way to acknowledge the identity of others. Thank you.

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Continuing Malcolm X has shown a lot of the gritty areas of Malcolm’s life with his life of crime, drugs, prison, and battle with identity and his place in reality at this point. The introduction of the Nation of Islam and seeing how immersed Malcolm has become shows his vulnerability and dependence on the brothers. It is interesting to see how he progresses through his religious community and how they react to him.

There has been a continuing conversation around the show American Muslims with the pulling of ads and Conservative groups critiquing the nature of the show. I think it is a shame with all the shows that present questionable and vulgar themes, people are choosing a show presenting the perspective of an underrepresented group of citizens to argue that it is unfit for TV. Waste of time.

In response to wsyed with the thoughts on the political climate currently, I understand the concerns. The politicians who are vocal on issues of peoples’ rights is concerning with policies actually being drafted to give government unconstitutional authority. There needs to be more questioning on what people are proposing in relation to our rights and capabilities in enforcement. Hopefully, with citizens becoming more politically active, our leaders will gain a better consciousness about the concerns of the people they represent.

In class we started Malcolm X and it is a perspective I do not know many people have given much thought toward. People know Malcolm X as the leader for the Black community in the 60s but his progression in faith is very dynamic and says a lot about the impact Islam has had for people of color in America, especially in his time. We are still in his rough period but it is an eye opening exposure to see where he started and what he had to overcome.

I was reading an article on the British rap group, Fun^Da^Mental, which is an Asian Muslim group responding to the oppressive social conditions in Britain against the Muslim. Their lyrics can be vulgar with references to terrorists attacks and clips of speeches from Osama Bin Laden. But the overall message they push is for people to have a greater consciousness about the realities for oppressed people around the world and the causes people are taking up because of the suffering caused by what is thought of as western imperial activities.

In response to wasdreamingwhen with the coloring book for kids that explains 9/11, it is interesting to see how they are using such a medium to tell the 9/11 story. I sort of cringed reading that and wondering what was the full intent. Also, thinking of representation of Islam should be something to look our for as people may not even think to include Muslim Americans in the explanation.

Going over some of the Religious practices in Islam is really interesting in finding the symbolism and cohesion of all the traditions and actions. I gained a better understanding of the links between the teachings from scripture and the rituals and practices that embody the significance. Seeing the practical connections with commitments with everyday life with the prayers, the sacrifice of Ramadan, the symbolic time frame for the pillars, which outlines the progression of faith through life was nice to see.

The Rumi poems are a nice perspective to understand the faith and spirituality of Islam through an artistic medium. It also shows a more intimate and relatable presentation for all people of faith. The different emphasis with love, discernment, being lost, and struggle are beautifully presented in the language.

In my Global issues classes we have been really focusing in on Islam and immigration in Europe and how people are reacting currently to changing populations. With policies becoming more anti-immigration and the social movements around the world touching on the rights of people especially religiously, it will be interesting to see how populations in western nations react. Our world becoming more globalized has connected many of us on very personal levels and seeing how global politics is challenged to acknowledge where Islam fits in their populations and how people are reacting to Islam in the 21st century will be interesting to see.

In response to the article littleduck2 posted, I found it very interesting to see how this reflects what many nations are doing in relation to the needs and wants of their voters. Hopefully, leaders listen a bit more and become more conscious about how policies influence peoples’ lives.

I did not come to class this week but I realized that we talked about the five pillars of Islam. The French movie was also started. I have seen the end of the movie and overall I like it. I think it shows the difference between generational Muslims. I think the movie had great message.

In the reading the book talks about hadiths about the last days. The idea of the social order being disrupted is interesting. In a way its very scary to think about the day of judgment. Especially knowing that the sun will be an inch away from your head.

For Muslims marriage is a big deal. It is half of our deen. It seems like Muslims in my generation are eager to marry. Although I think it is better to wait and live your life first. I suppose it depends on each individual persons maturity.

In response to questforknowledge, I also think it is very sad that Muslims have to worry about such disruptive actions. Even something as sacred as Hajj is no longer protected. Hopefully in the future we can move past being in fear of this kind of thing.

In class we finished the last part of the French movie. I thought it was a beautiful movie at the end. It was sad that the son only started relating to his father close to when he died. This movie taught me a great lesson about how many families can have big gaps between them but spending time together can fix that.

Reading the Murata book reminds me of how God really does listen to everyone’s prayers. It is very amazing to me that God is able to know everything that is happening at once.  I cannot even fully wrap my head around the idea of knowing everything that is happening all at once.

Recently the all American muslim show has received criticism. Many critics are upset that Muslims are being shown as just normal people. Even certain companies have been pressured to pull their commercial ads from their show. This is sad that people cannot accept that Muslims are just like them.

In response to elephantlivesupstairs, I do not think that being in love with someone of another faith makes you a better or worse person. Unfortunately many people now have become so secluded that they only believe that their way of life is correct. Hopefully people can progress from this type of thinking.

Talking about the difference between sunni and shia is interesting. Also talking about other groups like fiver percenters and nation of Islam is particularly interesting. I really wonder how these groups chose Islam, instead of another religion like Egyptology.  Even though I was raised Muslim I have never heard of Ibadi. I think it is interesting as a Muslim I can still know so little about my religion.

Reading Rumi’s poems are confusing, but the love he expresses for God is very beautiful. I know that sometimes with how the news portrays Islam as hateful can make some forget how Islam is really full with love and acceptance.

Listening to the presidential candidates talk about Islam is scary and saddening. Some are still perpetuating the idea of Muslims as terrorists. Unfortunately people by into these false claims. Even more than a decade after 9/11 Muslims still have to feel the repercussions of that horrible day. Sometimes I think it will never end.

In response to elephantsliveupstairs it is sad that some Muslims still judge others and make other Muslims feel bad about being themselves. Some people take it upon to be the haram police. I feel like if anything this drives people away from Islam. The religion of Islam is beautiful, but some Muslims choose to portray it wrongly.