I do recognize that there are Muslims with a very healthy attitude just as there are Christians. I just found the experience alarming. I also realized how damn stupid I used to sound.
Dinner with moderate Muslims
They might be a "sleeper cell" watch out!
I sympathize with you Pete. In that situation, when you are trying to be a gracious host, it is difficult to know how far to go when confronting such obvious bigotry.
My son was recently in a similar situation. He went to visit his grandmother and her brother, his great uncle was also there. The uncle does not belong to any religion. Yet, he kept making remarks about gays and how Hitler had the right idea on how to handle the problem! Can you believe it? This guy lived through the 2nd World War. It just goes to show you, ignorance knows no limits!
Not very surprising to me. Changes in popular conscience/speech occur gradually until they are (provisionally) irreversible. And that doesn't happen everywhere the same way and at the same time. Think how racial prejudice came to be banned from acceptable Western talk. First there was only a fringe protest, but it grew until racial jokes, for instance, were not funny anymore except in very private settings. The same thing has just been happening here (I think in the US too) about homophobia. It is very recent and has definitely not reached other cultures yet.
Otoh it is by no means certain that it will. Cultural differences remain. Here advocating the death penalty is about as "politically incorrect" as racism, in the US it is definitely not the case, and in spite of a lot of communication across the pond I don't see that changing (either way) anytime soon.
I just want to say one thing...The light skinned poeples of North Pakistan actually have their roots in Greece. When the invading armies of the Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, arrived in what is now modern day Pakistan, the men had relations with the local woman who thus gave birth to light skinned children. Some of the people in North Pakistan even have ginger hair colour.
When I was a JW I helped out in Pakistan for a little while (which is how I met my wife) and because the situation between Muslims and Christians is far from ideal, we used to do the field work with in the Christian Communities / areas. I have been on the preaching work talking to Muslims...and thankfully must of them were friendly enough, but went to one house in one of the richer areas and a mullar answered the door, and before we knew it (there was two of us) we were being attacked.
But there is good and bad in all religions. I know a Christian who will agrue with me about how plants have feelings and can hear. He agrues they are alive, so they must be able to do such things. And no matter how hard I try to explain that they have no central nervous system and no brain...they can not hear anything. He will not accept that. He told me all science is bad and evil so I said to him..."look round..can you see the TV?...can you see the ceiling lights?....did you not just not take ice cream out of the freezer?...If it was not for science, you would not have those things. And what about life saving medicine....we have that to because of science. When you go home you drive in a car...when you go on holiday you fly in a plane...all things we have because of science" Of course he had no answer of that...so he went back to telling me how flowers can feel and hear.....Strange person.
thanks for the info Kero-Kero. My commnt was an offhanded one. It did occur to me that because the division was so regional might it be due to immigration, I was just egging him on a bit at that point I guess. (as many of you know I'm not always as peaceful as I should be) I bet that was an interesting experience for you, just what do you mean by attacked? Physically? Where you in danger?
I too am sorry that your meal was such a bad experience Pete. It sounds to me as if they may have a lot of Pakistani cultural Islam mixed up with the 'real thing'. A couple of your comments lead me to think this might be the case:
Firstly, the creation thing - although Muslims don't accept evolution, they do believe in the 'big bang' theory, which does put them slightly ahead of fundy Christians.
Second was this:
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.
I don't have anything to hand at the moment to check this out, but if there is a verse in the Quran which says this then your friends have not applied the complementary hadith which tells of someone asking Muhammad 'how often should I beat my wife' to which he replied 'as often as you need'. Then the man asked how hard he should beat her, and Muhammad said to beat her with a feather (i.e. essentially, don't!).
It may even be this hadith that your friends believe is from the Quran and they've only half applied it.
They probably are 'moderate' in that they are happy to live within a Western culture without actively seeking the West to bend over backwards to try and accomodate them, as regards Islam, if they are practising, they are possibly like Christians who 'do' church just because its the 'thing to do' (been there, done that!)
Man, I love talking to those types. I just love it when people somehow equate gays with "societal collapse." Please, would someone point to me how/where society is collapsing? What a bunch of bigoted lunatics.
When I say attacked, I meant we were beaten up...Thankfully I am not a small chap so I managed to defend myself....but the guy I was with was in his 60's and he was hurt quite bad. Thankfully an Australian guy who works in Lahore (I was in Lahore Pakistan at the time) also managed to help us...eventually we all got away and ran for our lives....and I mean our lives. If they had not killed us we could have been taken to an Islamic court and sentence to death if they claimed we had blasphemed against Allah...and they only need three witnesses for such a trail..and well, there was a big gang of them.
It's funny the come to the UK and have freedom of religion and demand all the rights, they feel they should have, yet in their country, if you are not muslim you are not treated well. Some Christians lie about their religion so they can get a job or even and ID card. When I was in Saudi Arabia, I really wanted to visit Mecca...But I was not allowed. There is a road sign that clearly states...Mecca (Muslims only)
wow, what an experience. Can't Fundementalist Christains and others learn from such places just why we need to cherish civil liberties?