Monday, February 11, 2008

A vignette
Last night, an earnest young black man confronted me at a coffee shop, and very enthusiastically tried to “witness” to me about Islam. He was a little over-zealous, and began to link white oppression of minorities in America to the Islamic struggle, but he was not Nation of Islam. When he heard I was Catholic, he laughed and called it “the ultimate white man’s religion.”

The coffee shop is owned by Muslim Somali immigrants, who are very decent people and kind to me as a customer and neighbor. One of them tried to temper this young man’s enthusiasm. The Somali man also praised America and told me he was voting for Ron Paul. He seemed genuine of his appreciation of America, but also was concerned that I knew he and other Muslims were not anti-American.
In the 1970s after Elijah Muhammad died his son led most of the old Nation of Islam (which isn’t Islam at all but racist rubbish invented by ignorant apostate Christians) into real Islam of the Sunni branch but it seems the old racism is still in some quarters.

(They don’t learn of the Muslims who sold Africans into slavery nor of the Church Fathers from the Middle East. Also, Sunni Islam like Baptists and Jews is entirely congregational and largely self-identifying so you’re bound to find a wide range of opinions.)

Not only do you see real Islam (from the Somali, a natural traditionalist not a fundamentalist much like this blog’s religion?) contrasted with this but an immigrant who’s a better American than many others.

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