Dinner with moderate Muslims

by peacefulpete 32 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • peacefulpete

    My wife has a classmate that recently married a Pakistani man. He's here only on a student VISA and is faced with returning to Pakistan as soon as he graduates. He has an application for greencard pending but the wheels turn slow. Anyway we had dinner last night with the two. They were friendly and amiable folks who wanted to meet new people. I was looking forward to an evening of cultural exchange but feared the religion issue would flare up. He is of course Muslim and she has just converted. They both reassurred us with a smile that they were broadminded Muslims, representing TRUE Islam not that of the Taliban etal. Ok, my hair raised as soon as they said that. In my experience anyone who insists they have the TRUE form of their faith is generally not broadminded. Though we tried to keep the subjects neutral is was not possible. The man boasted of his love of science and physics in particular, I also love science and so thought the topic was safe. Wrong. I made the mistake of asking how his faith accomodated long geologic history and biological evolution. He mocked both ideas. God made the world and all in it, it was as simple as that. He mentioned how there are fair skinned blondes in northern Pakistan and I responded that makes sense as generally lighter skin is adaptive to temperate climates with reduced UV exposure. He chuckled and said that was just ridiculous theory. I dropped it.

    He ironically liked the Bush party despite their proChristian agenda because he hates gays too. I kid you not, they said hate. They claimed as undisputed fact that male gays are all closet pedophiles and should be arrested if not killed to protect the young. They insisted that the gays were the reason "America is collapsing". I could hardly contain my disgust with such bigotry. If I had not driven them to the restaurant I would have left them there. I asked if there were gays in Pakistan he said no, at least if there were they knew they had better never try to go public.

    I tried in vain to inform them that their lables were not only wrong but deeply slanderous. I related the stories of two gay friends who I could recognize as gay when still very young but they retorted that they were perverts who must have been sexually molested as boys by other gays. As far as gay marriage is concerned, I said it made no difference to me if my gay neighbors were married, it would not threaten my marriage. They said it would, and I would be tempted to become gay by simply living next to them.

    What an evening. These two imagined themselves moderates. Perhaps they are. How familiar their thinking was. They imagined themselves rational thinking people pointing out the obvious while asserting wild stereotypical rubbish. A man from a third world country which beats up or kills gays is suggesting America's tolerance of gays is responsible for our country's collapse? If this was true can you imagine what Pakistan would be like if they became tolerant of gays too?

  • Shining One
    Shining One

    >What an evening. These two imagined themselves moderates. Perhaps they are. How familiar their thinking was. They imagined themselves rational thinking people pointing out the obvious while asserting wild stereotypical rubbish. A man from a third world country which beats up or kills gays is suggesting America's tolerance of gays is responsible for our country's collapse? If this was true can you imagine what Pakistan would be like if they became tolerant of gays too?

    They are moderates in comparison to the Jihadists: these ones are not strapping on bombs and running towared the nearest group of Jews with 77 virgins in their dreams. I have been tryong to reach peole here with this message. What continues to happen is peopel stick their heads in the sand and compare them to fundamentalist Christians. This is a ridiculous comparison. Our radicals are like the idiots protesting the funerals of our fallen soldiers. Another example would be the few who chose to murder an abortionist or bomb a clinic.
    These Muslims are just telling you what the wonderful religion of peace is all about. They describe what they have been taught and guess what? Transplanted and western raised Islamists are now being numbered among the terrorists. We saw it in Madrid and London. Now it is in Toronto. You better face up to it. Islam's strongest complaint about the western world is not Christianity. It is our secular values and laws. This culture war that the radical gays have begun is now polarizing the rage of Islam in western countries.
    The leaders in Islam know that the cultural elites are trying not to notice the threat they pose. They also know that Christianity has not waged war against them for hundreds of years. That is why they are bold: they exploit a cultire weakened by materialism, multiculturalism (no assimilation of immigrants), hedonism and feminist castration of the male population. Welcome to the real world.

  • peacefulpete

    Your mind is a dark and scary place Rex. So now you feel it is the gays' efforts for human rights, feminism, and mutliculturalism as well as the tolorent secular "elite" who are ultimately responsible for terrorism. Your verbal sputum is the same poison just a different brand. Go away.

  • Leolaia

    Well, I do appreciate Rex's comments, inasmuch as now I think I understand for the first time where Fallwell/Robertson were coming from with their "gays & 9/11" remarks....

  • luna2

    Sounds like a distressing evening, pete. I'm not sure I would have known what to say to these folks.

    I only know one muslim (that I'm aware of). She used to own a business near to where I work. She seemed quite moderate in her beliefs and tolerant of other religions. Dunno, but your dinner guesst appear to be much, much more hardline in their attitudes than the gal I'm acquainted with.

  • peacefulpete

    I guess if I don't beat or subjegate my wife I must be castrated. This BTW also came up over dinner. The Koran says its ok for a man to slap his wife. The woman admitted to feeling a little uncomfortable with that, he said that slapping wasn't beating so it was ok. It reminded me of the OT verse that said beating a child with " a rod" is "not likley" to result in his death.

  • lovelylil

    There are religious extremists in every faith. These are the ones who are judgemental about everyone, thinking they are more superior than others and are legalistic in their views. They spew things as fact that are not fact and are only repeating what they have been told without checking it for themselves. (such as gays are all closet pedophiles) Sorry to hear the dinner was such a bad experience. Lilly

  • the_classicist

    Well, of course he said he was a moderate Muslim. Can you imagine if in the restaurant he said, "I am a Muslim fundamentalist" ; by Pakastani standards, he's very moderate.

    On a side note, the great thing about Pakastani Muslims is that they will make samosas with ground beef; Hindu and Sikh-owned Indian restaurants will not. If you've never had a meat samosa, you've missed quite a lot.

  • Fleshybirdfodder

    In my work I am constantly going into mosques and have only found the Islamic community to be accepting, congenial and hospitable. There are fundamentalist factions in every community, and finger pointing and generalisations do little to promote discourse, understanding and problem solving. I left the us versus them mentality when I left the org. In a case like yours, I try to be respectful, but always firm when I encounter ignorance or intolerance. It's the only way we can work together and stamp this crap out.


  • Inquisitor


    You poor thing. Trying hard to be a gracious and yet aching to point out the hypocrisy.

    Your Pakistani friend sounds like a man who is moderate in his actions but by no means moderate in belief. Yet, it chills the spine to contemplate what a mob of people with his worldview would do to a gay person in a dark alley. He calls himeself a moderate Muslim only to project himself as a thinking, progressive Muslim, a migrant much preferred by Western democratic countries. Yet his ideas betray his true colours.

    Having said that however, one should not dismiss the existence of genuine progressive Muslims as if they were a myth. They are few by comparison, but they exist. Try reading works by Irshad Manji, Farish A. Noor or Scott Siraj Al-Haqq Kugle. It would be tragic if the world should become complacent towards this minority simply because of imposters. These reformers are not those who suck up to Western authorities to get themselves a green card. They are genuinely concerned about the stagnation of Muslim thought and culture.

    While a Muslim fundamentalist may go to great extremes to be heard by the world, I find it reprehensible to give pats on the back of Christian fundamentalists to the effect of saying "These kids of ours aren't nearly as bad as the ones next door. You're alright sonny".

    Xian fundies target abortion clinics and funerals of dead soldiers. But they do more.

    Who killed Matthew Shepard?

    For whose favour is Bush clamoring by appealing TWICE for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?

    The delusional representative of which religion made a passing threat of assassination to a South American president?

    Why do so-called secular-thinking politicians oppose stem-cell research?

    Which group is trying to silence lessons on science and evolution by replacing it with Intelligent Design?

    None of these wrongs can compare with strapping yourself with dynamite and killing Israeli civilians. But don't trivialise the mistakes in your own backyard simply because there is something worse in someone else's.

    Christianity is no more a religion of peace than Islam. It depends on who's the spokesperson and what is his/her agenda.


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