Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Difference Between Us and Them

Muslims:
Offer your Salah (Prayer) neither in too loud a voice nor in too low a voice but seek a middle course. Qur'an 17: 110.
Well, I guess the imans didn't read that part.

From Dean's World, the money quote - Christians:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Any questions?

As part of OUR tradition, we find loud prayers strange - and suspicious. We don't view it as evidence of holiness, quite the contrary. This is a case where the imans and other Muslims must, themselves, practice cultural sensitivity.

As I said before, I'm willing to make accommodations for Islam. I can certainly understand that Muslims may not want to offer prayers in public. I understand that there are rules about washing before prayers. Therefore, a chapel of some kind may be reasonable.

But, it must not be for their exclusive use. Nor will I agree that non-Muslims can't observe. And, it absolutely must be OUTSIDE of the security screening. Period.

What about accommodating prayer in workplaces or schools? Only if they make up the time. Otherwise, it becomes a special privilege that other religions do not have. Perhaps a shorter lunch hour. Or coming in earlier.

Are schools and businesses obligated to provide the washing facilities? No. As I understand it, in the absence of water (as does happen in the desert), Muslims have alternative ways to fulfill the proscription.

The practices of Islam may be coming to a sticking point. Islam isn't amenable to change, but change they must, if they are to function in a modern society. Otherwise, they risk becoming a fringe group, as, for example, the Amish, or the Hare Krishna. Neither group fits seemlessly into American society.

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