Thursday, June 09, 2005

It made me feel better just to read this.

American Digest again humbles me. No apologist there. This post is interesting & even validating to me because it gives (eloquent) voice to a somewhat vague, ill-defined unease I've felt for a while. A tinge of disgust I feel all too often, when I catch the evening tv news, or overhear other parents' conversation while waiting to pick up my kids at their school, or when reading anything in the first 20 pages of my local daily.

The thing is, I think I have known what that disgust is. I've just not wanted to acknowledge it because to do so seemed wrong somehow, or impolite. I apparently haven't been willing to allow myself the open disdain & disregard that I do apparently feel when I read or hear of crap like so-called Koran desicration. (Disdain that neither Logic Monkey nor American Digest have trouble expressing).

Know what I really think when I hear of stuff like that? It's a book. A f***ing book. I don't like to see books destroyed because I love books. I love the printed word. Nonetheless, I know firsthand that there is nothing in the koran that I really care to read, certainly nothing I enjoy reading or believe in or am moved by.

I know this because spouse has a copy of the koran. Given to him by a good friend of his, one he doesn't have frequent contact with, but who has played an important role in spouse's life.

Spouse and I spent several evenings, a couple of years ago, looking through the Bible & the koran, comparing stories. Jesus is mentioned in the koran, as is Abraham and his son Isaac. The histories are different, though. Not just different perspectives, like one might consider the four gospels to be different perspectives of the same events, but different. In the koran, Isaac was not the son almost sacrificed due to his father's devotion to God, Ishmael was. In that book Jesus was a prophet only, not the son of God. There are other differences as well- but these are a couple of examples from just the little bit that we looked at together & that I looked at on my own.

What disgusts spouse & I to no end is how much of what we hear about the Muslim world here in the US is not from the koran, not Islamic. It's ... what? Political? Misogynistic? Paranoid? I don't know. Why, in our country, where a man can barely open a door for some women (of a certain age or upbringing, I think) without getting vilified for belittling her and certainly not getting the 'thank you' that he should get, do we not hear any discussion of the weird-assed separation of the sexes custom? And how come Muslim men & women who speak out and say stuff like not allowing Saudi women to drive is un-Islamic are at best vilified, at worst murdered by their own?

I am grateful for the role spouse's Muslim friend has played in his life, in our lives. But the book is just a book. It sits on a shelf like all our other books, including several of our Bibles, except maybe for the current favorites that I keep at my bedside. It's not separate or segregated. It's not special. And if I should, say, leave that book on the floor for my black dog to chew up (carefully and systematically- almost daintily) while I'm at work & the red dog won't play, then I won't really care about anything but the sticky paper mess.


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