Forbidden Love

No, not that "love". Or that one. Or that one.

Check out the short film "Forbidden Love" about the struggles of a Muslim student to pray on campus. I, and I suspect most practicing Muslims, can completely relate to its heroine’s dilemmas and struggles to fulfill her religious obligations during her daily life in mainstream society.

The funny thing is that I chuckled at the wish fulfillment and seeming improbability of its happy ending (which without spoiling it is worthy of an Indian movie), but experienced the same thing in real life myself the other day.

I was studying for Comprehensive Exams in a Starbucks in a southern university town. The place was empty except for one other patron thanks to Spring Break.  Magrib salat was approaching and I was loath to disrupt my long over due cramming by packing up and heading home just to pray, so I figured I’d try giving the other customer a heads up about what I was about to do quietly in the corner and that he needn’t call the Fuzz.

"Sorry to disturb you, but I’m…umm…Muslim and I need to pray. Hope you’re not freaked out by me doing it over in the corner." To my surprise, he responded, "No problem at all, man. I’m Muslim, too!"  A Syrian American, born and bred in the South.

How ironic and delicious. Sorry, Islamophobes. We’re everywhere and we’re reproducing.  You’re going to have get used to us. And Mexicans, too, for that matter.

The days of WASP hegemony are numbered. Muah ah ah ah!

Off to take my beating (i.e., Comps) like a man. Those of you so inclined, please include me in your prayers.

I’m reminded of a politically incorrect observation made by Sean Connery in "The Untouchables" about preparing for a fight.

Update (18 March 2008): Forgot to mention another twist. When that guy left I was alone in the room…until a Pakistani family arrived. And sat at the same table. It’s like the "Twilight Zone".

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