Islam students at LUC

Archive for November 29th, 2015

Since we did not meet in class this week, I will go back to the concept of Justice in the Islamic paradigm. The concept of equilibrium was set as the focus of Islamic justice. This concept was portrayed as an absolute necessity for a just society. The application of such an absolute to western society would cause some extremely drastic changes. The idea of interest being an unjust practice would change many seemingly normal economic practices(Islamic banks using loopholes to compensate for this loss of income is extremely interesting, as I would like to see how this is done and how it is explained as just). Another action that would be considered unjust in an Islamic society would be fear mongering. It could be argued that many news stations engage in tactics of this nature to boost viewership. I would be curious to see how journalism industry would change if a “no fear mongering” law were put in place. who would be in charge of deciding what news is considered purposefully panic inducing.

In response to @earofvangogh , I struggle with my analysis of the character of Malcolm X. As a white male, I have never experienced any sort of negative prejudice displayed towards me. When I see the terrible things that African Americans were subjected to(are subjected to), just because of the color of their skin, I will never be able to personally experience that horrific of an injustice. Even though I have heard many accounts of this racism, I cannot fathom how demeaning it would be to be on  the demeaning end of such an action. Many African American authors have catalogued their struggle, be it on page like Richard Wright, or in verses like Kendrick Lamar. The pain in those voices is such I will never experience. So although I do not  necessarily agree with the methods or motives of Malcolm X, I see why he would be motived for such an aggressive separation.

 

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So like many have stated, I did not know what to write. So I also will talk about my Thanksgiving experience. I also do celebrate the holiday as a Muslim like @abc123201. For me it’s interesting on reading some blogs and wondering if the holiday is haram. I for one can’t comment on the holiday being haram, but I think the holiday has cultural significance, and it brings a lot of my extended family together for dinner. It’s interesting to note that many blogs talked about whether Muslims celebrate it because a customer asked me while I was at work whether I celebrated it. To me it striked me as a weird questions as to why he would assume I wouldn’t celebrate the holiday just because I was Muslim. I can see a lot of people are wondering about that too so it’s nice to hear how some Muslims celebrate it while others don’t just to provide a better perspective.

I will also talk briefly about Malcolm X. It seems interesting to note the beliefs of Nation of Islam compared to beliefs of mainstream Muslims. Many of their beliefs seem to imply black supremacy and a way to interpret Islam as a means of gaining equality amongst the white. I would be interested in knowing if the beliefs of Nation of Islam has changed or whether many of their beliefs still remain the same.

We did not meet in class this week and I was out of the country on a beach basking in the sun, therefore wasn’t able to watch one of the movies many others have been posting about. Instead I wanted to write a little about Malcolm X. Although I understand the significance of Malcolm X in history, so far in the film, I’m not really liking the kind of person he is. His views are supremacist and preach inequality with the wrong incentives for trying to do the right thing. Of course, racism and inequality is unjust, but doing the same as white supremacy, except reversed, doesn’t seem to be the best approach in solving the situation. Although, maybe I just need to see the rest of the film and how it plays out, because I don’t know much about the history of Malcolm X.

In response to abc1232015, I don’t know if I missed when we learned what “haram” means, but I had to look up the meaning of the word to understand your post. Apparently, it’s any act forbidden by Allah. My parents are Polish immigrants and people ask me if we celebrate Thanksgiving, which is so strange to me, because although they’re immigrants, my family still considers itself American. We live in the U.S. and celebrate the holidays of this country. I agree that it’s a cultural/historical celebration and not a religious one in any aspect of the tradition, so I wouldn’t think it to be haram. Greenbaypackers87 does a good job of giving a perspective with the Muslim’s option whether or not to celebrate depending on how they perceive the origin of Thanksgiving as well as Black Friday.

 

This past week was Thanksgiving break, so I’m not really sure what to write about. I know that I would like to discuss the holiday and what giving thanks has to do with the Islamic tradition. I don’t know if Muslims celebrate this holiday, but the idea of giving thanks for everything that one has seems to work in perfect accordance with Islam. Personally, I don’t see too much significance in Thanksgiving mostly because of its origins in American history and its association with black Friday; which is a huge demonstration of greed and thanklessness. This Thanksgiving, however, I couldn’t help but think of the teachings of Islam. Which helped me to appreciate the holiday all the more.

In response to @abc1232015, I didn’t think to consider the possibility of Thanksgiving being a haram. Thanksgiving is a cultural holiday that is exclusive to America and Canada (Fun fact: Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on October 12).

Due to there being no class this week, I also decided to watch one of the at-home movies called “What a Billion Muslims Really Think.” I thought the polls conducted in different Muslim countries were really insightful and showed how wrong the image the Western world has of Islam is. It was also interesting how the data was collected. The researchers went into people’s home to get down to a personal level. They even went to homes that were in the most rural part of the countries they visited. In this way, they were able to gather diverse data and show that different groups of people generally had the same opinion. The western world tends to blow up the horrible actions of a small percentage that claim to be “Muslim.”  They forget to learn about the remaining billion who in fact condemn those actions. Instead, they believe the rest of the Muslim world and the religion of Islam supports these beliefs.

In response to  , I think it’s pretty nice how you were able to clear up some misconceptions. Sometimes its hard to avoid misinformation that one gets exposed to and believes at times especially from the media. I am also a victim of that. Now on the topic of thanksgiving, even though I am a Muslim, my family tends to get together on that day. This is a very recent tradition that started just last year lol. The reason my family started celebrating Thanksgiving is because it is an another excuse for all of us to gather and enjoy each other’s company. Most of us are out of school and work so we thought might as well take advantage of that. We also acknowledge that the history of Thanksgiving is not something to be celebrated so we meet up with the pure intention of just being able to see each other. We don’t even serve turkey at the dinner table because we love our chicken way too much haha.

This week we did not have class, so as a supplement, I decided to watch one of the at-home movies: the documentary, “What a Billion Muslims Really Think”. Overall, I thought it was an interesting documentary, one that I think many people could benefit from, especially those who do not know about Islamic religion. It showed a lot of statistics and facts that show that the acts of 9/11 and even the recent news with ISIL (even though that was not mentioned in the documentary) show a very small percentage (less than 1%) of Muslims worldwide. The lack of education of Islam and emphasis on Muslims in the news in a negative light do not help people understand Muslims any better; in fact, it forces people who do not educate themselves on the religion to believe that Islam is a violent religion, when in fact it is the exact opposite. Many people do not fully understand the religion of Islam, and this documentary emphasized that all America needs is a little knowledge of the religion to better understand its people and the intentions Muslims have to live good lives.

In response to @punjabinextdoor, I agree with your thoughts on the documentary. I also liked how the polling directors actually went into the homes of the people they surveyed instead of simply sending the survey out. I thought it made it a lot more personable and I feel they were able to get more in-depth answers than they would have had they not gone and talked with the families in their homes. I also like how they made sure to get people from all walks of life, to ensure that as wide variety people were accounted for as possible. I agree with you as well when you say that it is worrisome to see the statistics show ignorance among people in regards to their knowledge of the Islamic religion. An entire religion is being oppressed, all because they are not fully understood by the people oppressing them, which I find terribly sad. A lack of education (just like every other reason) should not be a reason as to why a population of people is being oppressed.

While I was spending time with my family on Thanksgiving, I was wondering if this was a holiday that Muslims in America celebrated.  Thanksgiving, does not necessarily have a religious tone, such as Easter, however, I did not know how Islam viewed Thanksgiving.  For myself and my family, we take Thanksgiving as a time to spend time with each other and catch up on what is happening in each other’s lives (and of course watch the football game).  Reading the blog posts thus far have expressed that it may or may not be celebrated by Muslims, but that it is not prohibited by Islam.  Greenbaypackers87 your explanation of how Thanksgiving can be viewed in two ways by Muslims was extremely helpful.

In response to chiqenbutt, I had a similar experience during my Thanksgiving.  While discussing classes, I was telling my family about the different things I learned from this class.  Many of my family members do not know much about the Islamic religion.  I informed them on some of the basics from class.  Many of the things they did know were misconstrued by what they had heard from the news and other media sources.  I enjoyed being able to tell them about what I have learned thus far.