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bubblyshades @ 07:56 pm: A dialog between Muslims and non-Muslims
Hi there,

I'm a college student interested in culture and bridging gaps between different communities. This semester I am taking a class called Islam Today, wherein we study and discuss issues in the Middle East and Islam. These issues include 9/11, women in Islam, the Middle East conflict, Arab culture, and so on.

One of my assignments is to interview Muslims and see what they think about the matters we discuss in class. I was wondering if anyone here would like to share your opinions with me? I am always looking to open my mind, and to advance my understanding of global events and issues and of different religions and cultures. I would appreciate any insight you have.


Below are some of my questions. I look forward to hearing your guys' thoughts.
1. Unfortunately, Islam is a widely and grossly misunderstood religion. How big a role do you think the (Western) media has in producing or reinforcing this gross misrepresentation?
2. What is your stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
3. It is sometimes easy to confuse culture with religion. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive. Upon learning of this, many people would jump to the conclusion that Islam looks down on women, when in reality the religion teaches respect for them. How do you suggest breaking down the stereotype that Muslim women have no rights nor respect in their communities?
4. Certain countries have banned the hijab (France, Turkey). What is your opinion on this issue? Should women have the right to choose to wear the hijab? Do you think that freedom to wear a hijab is a relevant issue in Islam, considering other issues such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, go
5. Do you think 9/11 and the consequent War on Terrorism has affected the global ties between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities? If yes, how so?
6. Do you think peace in the Middle East is possible? However long it might take? Why or why not?
7. What are some major differences between progessive Muslims and conservative Muslims? In terms of beliefs and values.

Anything else you would like to add to the dialog is welcome. Thank you all.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:southernbrother
Date:March 30th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)

contd.

(Link)
again, if it is ok in your cultural for women to drive, for example, well what if in saudi arabia the culture is for women to not have to drive. in my own opinion there is nothing "Islamic" about it really because islam never puts that kind of limits on it. some people may try and justify it "islamically". However i think it is a cultural issue. For example a woman working in pakistan who is married would be sort of weird (things are changing here though). That is because it is the cultural responsibility of the husband to provide a comfortable life for her so that she doesn't have to exert any effort.

My main point here is that one culture should not judge the "correctness" or "properness" of another cultural based on cultural values alone. Even in the US cultural values change everyday and that is because there is no real "standard" for them. Muslims have a standard which is their religion, any cultural value which would directly conflict with a religious value would have to be thrown out as the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, threw out cultural practices in his time which were based on pagan beliefs. other than that, each culture is different.

In the US, again since I am from the US that's why I'm citing examples from there, the age for a woman to give consent to sex is different from state to state. You don't see an agreed upon standard even in one nation like the US. In one state you're leagally having sex with a consenting individual while in another you would be considered a sexual predator. Islam gives us a standard and every culture can be different as long as it doesn't violate that standard.

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