Islam students at LUC

Archive for November 2015

So this week we did not meet for class sadly. During break, like many of the posts prior to mine, the many misconceptions regarding Islam was brought up. Today I had seen a video about a man attempting to open a mosque in his hometown, however when the people of the city assembled in the city hall they objected to his proposal. He was thinking about canceling the meeting to propose this idea due to the attacks in Paris, as he stated in the video, however decided to meet still. While the meeting was going on, many of the people were saying things like all Muslims are evil and terrorists and that they will do everything in my power to make sure you cannot build the mosque. While some people were saying these things,  some objected but some clapped and supported those ignorant people. I had to stop watching the video because I was getting pretty upset and the Muslim man that was proposing this idea continued to respond in a very polite manner. It just shows the lack of education some people in our country have.

 

In response to earofvangogh. I am pretty jealous you were baking on the beach while I was dealing with the bipolar Chicago weather. I could not agree more with you regarding Malcolm X’s character portrayed in the movie. I have heard many stories regarding him and the comparison between him and Martin Luther King Jr and the movie seems to back up what I had heard. Every individual is different in the sense of how they go about certain issues, however the mainstream views are usually more passive than what he was represented as. Like it is said, two wrongs do not make a right. Just because there was white supremacy, does not mean that it is in any way justified to behave in the same manner, with anyones race really.

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Posted on: November 30, 2015

Although we did not meet in class this week, just like many other people in class, I was still thinking about this course over break. The different events that have been happening in the past few weeks stirred up conversations over break with my family, and I was able to contribute to a lot of the conversations with knowledge from this class and from being a Loyola student in general. As chiqenbutt stated, I was also able to clear up some misconceptions that some people had. Before taking this class, I was just like them and my views were more narrow than they are  now. I wish the media did not have such a negative influence on some people’s views because it is very misleading.

I would like to also relate this back to Malcolm X. There were protests going on this past weekend related to race and people were chanting Black lives matter due to the events that happened with the police officer who was charged with first degree murder of a young man. I like that we are watching this movie right now and I know that it was no accident that we are watching this movie. I think the way religion ties into the movie is really important and a great way to end the semester. I think things will soon be lighter, although I do not think the issue of injustices will ever go away.

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Posted on: November 30, 2015

 

 

For this week’s blog post, I chose to watch the documentary “What a Billion Muslims Really Think”. I really enjoyed this documentary because it is extremely pertinent to today’s current events. As a Muslim, I felt very empowered by this documentary. I felt that the Gallop Poll restores the balance and allows people to understand just how isolated and extreme these voices are. They don’t represent the vast majority of what Muslims believe and what they aspire to be. I was very much compelled by the overall message of this documentary, I liked the idea of being able to bridge the gap between the Arab Muslim world and the west. Also their approach to uncover things with no agendas of any kind was refreshing. I liked their research technique of how they intimately learn about the root of the people. They try to understand their relationship with God, society, the authoritarian government and their core values that they hope to instill in their kids and future generations. Moreover, the documentary also highlighted one of the main differences we see between the Arabs and the West is this idea of gender inequality. What people fail to understand is that it is more of a cultural element that it is as religion. The west believes that women are submissive and oppressed, whereas the reality is that men in Muslim societies support women who qualify for any job. Most importantly, the Hijab is not a symbol of inferiority or oppression. Educated women who wear the hijab want people to focus on their interior, i.e. their mind, heart and intellect. All in all, I really enjoyed this documentary I feel like it touched upon various controversial topics.

In response to reginaphalange104, I also agree that people should watch this documentary to be more educated and aware of the situation as oppose to passively accepting the media’s unquestioned truth. Fifty percent of the U.S media is controlled by U.S militants, they focus on a small group of extremists who only make up one percent of the community. Why should we over represent these groups in the news they create a bad image of Muslims, and make them seem violent.

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.

 

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).