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amazighstarrynights (profile) wrote,
on 4-29-2005 at 10:49am
I am writing two papers right now for the end of the semester. One is on Women in Islamic law and the other is about Uganda. Hardly connected one might say. But as I get into these I find myself asking questions, and especially because this whole religion question is central to my life right now. So let me draw some small connections. Uganda is a multi-religious nation, Muslim, Christian and some animism. There was a lot of fighting and controversey between the religions during colonial times. Ok, enough said you can start to get that. So the women in Islam part, let's just say I never really understood Islam. Which bothers me becuase I'm well educated and I should know more than the very, very basics. As I'm reading all these legal texts I'm starting to understand more (the Arabic words really threw me off). But I can see how the religion started, how it was changed social structure in Arabia, etc. Hmmm...wait it did something good?? Have we not, in this country, only known the negative things of Islam? How they beat women into submission and force them to cover themselves? I know that it happens and I don't agree with that but Islam also made positive changes at its beginning. Women became partners, not objects for sale. There's a lot more but it just got me questioning and wondering.

It also sparked a really interesting conversation with Youssef. I have been with him and his family and the level of devotion to their religion is just unbelievable to me. It's not a part of their life - it IS their life. Somehow the lack of ritual etc in the American way of life makes me sad. Now before you think I now believe we should turn fundamentalist and become a religious state just hold up. I like the seperations we have and the rights because I don't agree with all aspects of Islam. But this has be asking a lot of questions. Questions about me, about what I really beleive, about how my children will be raised etc. The fact is I am starting to see a lot of lines between Islam and Christianity (a lot of differences too).

I guess I'm just at this point where I'm questioning which way I want to go. As I said earlier after my first trip to Morocco, the first time I was in a mosque, the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca I felt a real holiness. It didn't have all the "things" that are in cathedrals or churches but it didn't need them. I've been in cathedrals and religious places all over the world but I never had the same feeling. So am I on the verge of conversion? I don't know, I really don't. I worry how my parents would react to such an announcement but I know that faith is something that is in a single person, not something that should be dictated to them. Where my path will lead I don't know....
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04-29-05 7:44pm

i know what you mean about being this age, learning all of these news ideas and finding out the truth about things you've always taken for granted. i've had some issues with my religion the past few years, and it's very disheartening.

i think you know i agree with you on how unfairly arabs & muslims are portrayed here, and i wish the positive things from the middle east could be just as widely-known as the negative ones. education is just so important. i think a lot of the time, things humans bitch about and blame on other groups of people are usually their own fault. look at all of the problems that the world wars caused... all of the colonialism by super powers... and now the middle east is all jacked up and bent on nationalism... gee, whose fault is that? obviously people today should be held accountable for things they do and not given free reign to kill - but i can understand the frustration the arab people must feel, constantly being the puppets of the US and other powerful countries. even the hatred between christians and muslims in places like lebanon never existed before countries like france came in during the 19th century, divided the people up, and pitted them against each other. france gave capitulations to the maronites and it was unfair to the others. i'm starting on a rant, but i just think it's so ridiculous how there is all of this fighting over nothing, and how we bitch about it, but we're part of the reason it happens.

if you decided to convert, i think that would be cool, because you would be doing it because you really wanted to. i think that's such a huge difference - being forced into a religion or actively taking part in a religion on one's own.

i enjoy your entries.

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Re:, 04-30-05 9:49am

Thanks ~ I just wish that there was a way to make people understand things. Like that there were groups that really promoted talking about all faiths and it wasnt' such a contentious subject. Like you said it's no wonder there's all the fighting in the world. No one takes the time to understand and listen to each other, or make any exceptions.

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05-01-05 4:58pm

as you learn more, keep writing. I'm interested.

Oh and by the way, next spring I am taking Ayoob's Islam and World Politics class and a Religion class on Islam.


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