Islam students at LUC

Archive for November 11th, 2015

Today we started Malcolm X, which brought up so many issues within the little part we were able to view today. It takes place in the War Times, and I know times were different then, but the way he treated women made me so angry. He manipulates women, lies to the girl he is seeing, and then forces the women he just had sex with to feed him. Additionally, he expected them to do whatever he wanted. It was just very annoying to watch.

However, the movie also illustrates the complexities of being black in the 1940s (possibly 1950s). Malcolm, the main character, seems to despise white people. They killed his father, raped his grandmother, and burned his house down. He has nothing positive to say about them. However, he also put lyme in his hair to straighten it and he is dating a white woman. His character seems to want the power and influence that comes with being white, but hates the idea of being white. The movie does a great job on portraying the difficulties of being black; it seems impossible to be powerful and successful without breaking the law in some sort of way. All and all, the social issues it brings up are very interesting.

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Posted on: November 11, 2015

I really enjoyed the end of the movie, X-Ray, because it did a wonderful job of highlighting the continuous cycle those in incarceration face. Recycling through new guards to old treatment presents a monotonous tone paralleling the experiences of the inmates. I also appreciate how the movie did not truly reveal whether or not Ali was a terrorist or explain the reasoning behind his back story. By keeping this a mystery from the audience, it forces us to realize how regardless of the past motivations people have come from or the past intentions, dehumanizing someone still encourages empathetic emotions. Even if Ali was a terrorist, would it justify treating someone in the manner incarceration often can? I struggle with this idea of torture when it comes to harming one to save a thousand. Although I personally think torture is wrong, I can also see the viewpoint of turning toward it in times of need or urgent decisions. Leaving the uncertainty of Ali’s past not only helps Amy sympathize, but helps the audience sympathize to look beyond what Ali might or might not have done and look at keeping someone detained behind bars.

In response to , I also found it interesting how many people raised their hand for being happy versus not being happy. i was even more surprised when Professor Mozaffar gave us the statistics on overall Loyola students. Extending your thoughts about having a small or large inner circle of people, I find it interesting to see who we consider as part of our inner circle and whether or not they feel the same way. It would be interesting to learn about how we might feel closer to one or two people but those people might feel closer to one or two other people. In this way, the circle essentially continues to grow allowing for overlap and many people to involved. On the other hand, it can also be a daunting responsibility to hold the privilege of one’s trust in your hands, or looking at relationships in which one did not have the choice (e.g. mother and child). Tying this point to the point about vulnerability, I wonder if vulnerability increases with the larger number of confidants one might have or decreases?

Today was a very fun and interesting day in class. I for sure felt like everyone in class was engaged today because the of the various activities and questions Mozaffer was throwing at us, which was really cool. We began by talking about the heart and how our heart’s intentions (good or bad) lead to certain actions. Our actions tend to influence our heart: if they are good, they keep our heart sound, but if they are bad, they make our heart hurt. This all leads back to how our actions originate simply from the heart all in all. We then moved along to discuss several things that are incorporated into Islam and our everyday lives: contentment, trust (within ourselves and the Divine), gratitude, certainty, awareness, etc. I think a few that really stuck out to me were contentment, trust, and certainty. With contentment, I was surprised to see how many people in the class did not raise their hands when asked if we were happy. I guess it was just shocking for me to see that not everyone is happy-go-lucky as they may seem on the inside – not that I am ignorant of people having stuff going on in their lives, but since some of my closest friends are in the class, it was a little bit of a vulnerable moment. With trust, we were told to ask ourselves how many people are in our close group of friends and let this be a reflection of how readily vulnerable we are to trusting them for any reason. I really liked this because I felt as though it is very true.  Many people don’t have a close group of friends (perhaps only 1-2 people), whereas others have 6-10 close friends. It can make a huge difference of how many people you actually are willing to show your soft side to. Lastly, I found certainty pretty cool too because there are so many things we can be uncertain about, but on the other hand, there are also so many things we can be uncertain about and sometimes I feel like I really struggle with being 100%, no doubt certain about something. Whether it be with homework, exams, what to eat, etc. I always seem to second guess myself and never know why.

In response to @meekers1732, I totally agree when you say “each religion can be identical with each other depending on what we are focusing on”. I have always wondered how religion is so different yet so alike at the same time. I remember one time in high school, I had to attend a religious ceremony of a religion other than mine – I chose to go with my friend who was Catholic. And when I attended Sunday mass with her, I noticed lots of similarities (and of course differences) with the type of praying I do at my mosque. For example, at the end of the mass, people go up and get Host and in my religion, after prayer, we go up and get a small food-like blessing as well. I know this is generic and it may mean separate things, but what I am trying to get at is that each religion may seem different on surface level, but at the end of the day we are all generally trying to achieve one goal – to be in touch with whoever/whatever we consider Divine.

This past Monday we talked about whether religions were ultimately the same.  Many believed that there were many different goals for each religion while others felt that each religion had the same end goal.  Despite the different forms of religion, I believe that in all, the religions are essentially the same, or at least have the same end goal.  Even though there are different traditions and forms of prayer, we do all that we do in order to get closer in a spiritual way and to live our lives to the best that we can.  It’s like we all have the same goal of graduation from Loyola, but we all take a different path, whether it be taking science classes or business classes, either way, our end goal is still to graduate within four years.

In response to , I agree that there are many similarities and differences within all religions.  He or She mentions how essentially we do not know what exactly we are supposed to focus on and what if the similarities between the religions were the main focus of religion and spirituality. But at the same time, for each religion, what if those differences were what we are supposed to focus on.  I think that this is something we will never fully understand and vary’s by each person because each person is struck by something different from their religions.  All in all, I still believe that each religion can be identical with each other depending on what we are focusing on, such as the process to get there or the ultimate end goal.