The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media and that Veil Thing

The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media and that Veil Thing August 2, 2010
The Qu'ran, the Media and that Veil Thing
What I'm Reading.

 

So, since my last major post last week, quite a few things have happened.  First, we were graciously featured by my long-time friend, Magda on her parenting blog AskMoxie.  Magda and I have known each other since waaaay back when, and she’s been a mentoring guide in the startup of My Islamic Life.  So, *hugs* Magda!   

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I stopped off at the local library to pick up Nurture Shock and another book that I wanted to reread.  That book was The Muslim Next Door by Sumbul Ali-Karamali.  In my never-ending quest to find resources that will help explain the Islamic life, I came across this book and was very impressed.  The author grew up Muslim in California, so she talks like an American and writes like an American, but has the information on the topics from an inside point of view.   

Let me tell you, it is a breath of fresh air.  I have so many books that try to explain the Islamic life, but are written by someone from the east and are bogged down by so many redundant quotations that renders the information dry, stale, and unreadable.  I am not someone who can sift through the data and bring away the larger picture.  If you are in a similar boat, this may be the book for you.    

I am only on the first chapter, but this time I’m taking things more slowly and digesting the book.  My initial reading was to devour the information like a starving child, tasting the knowledge but not savoring it thoroughly.  Here is an example of the author’s voice and how she connects with you:   

Chapter 1Everyday Islam: How Muslims Practice Their Religion   

“My adolescent life never marched in rhythm with those of my non-Muslim friends.  Balancing Muslim practices successfully with teenage life in Los Angeles ws not easy feat.  As a Muslim girl, I never dated and could not be alone with boys.  I rarely attended parties and never attended dances, so I never learned to dance when all my peers did.  Even now, the lurking prospect of encountering dancing at parties or corporate functions, even with my husband, never fails to incite, deep within my soul, the irrepressible urge to flee.”   

If you have read the book, or would like to read it, please let me know what you think.   

Just a few more bits of chatter before I head off to do my family keeping for this Monday.  On Saturday, I posted a new item in the My Islamic Life Store on Etsy. It’s a customized tote bag that matches the hijabs and prayer outfits, and it can be embroidered with your child’s name or a phrase of your choice.  I only have the one font at this time, but I have some decorative flourishes that I can put on either side to add some flair.     

Ever since I started carrying prayer outfits for my daughters to wear at the Mosque, they’ve been toted in those gallon  sized plastic zippy bags and I wrote their names on the outside.  Yep, they were ugly, but they worked to keep the outfit clean and organized.  Then I thought about how I had a specific tote for the dance stuff that lasted only 4 sessions, the karate gear that lasted until the red-black belt, and my rotating stock of library books, why couldn’t I make something for the ladies to carry their outfits, and store them on a hook or a doorknob so they don’t get lost and are kept clean and relatively wrinkle free?    

So, I found a cute bunch of tote bags that are the perfect size to carry a child’s prayer outfit, I customized it with a ribbon of fabric from her prayer skirt and I embroidered her name on it with my sewing machine.  It works like a dream, and I wanted to offer the same option to anyone who purchases a prayer outfit.  I listed all the colors I have in stock this morning.   

And finally, when I opened my browser this morning I found article upon article discussing the marriage of Chelsea Clinton to Marc Mezvinsky.  I’m not overly into Chelsea’s life, but I like to be up on current events so, I scrolled down my home page and found this article “Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding reflects mix of religions in USA.”     

Of course my curiosity was peaked!  Apparently Chelsea is Methodist, and Marc is a Conservative Jew.  I was not surprised that this article from USA Today was on my home page, and I was not surprised that the article focused on marriages between Christians and Jews, I was not even surprised when they mentioned this website: InterfaithFamily.com.  (Although I tell you, I had hoped I stumbled on a goldmine of information on all inter-religious marriages.)    

Upon linking to it, I found that it was all about “Encouraging Jewish Choices & A Welcoming Jewish Community.”  Basically, a resource for people living a Jewish Life!    

What surprised me, was that the article mentions a couple from Gaithersburg, MD where the husband, Saqib Ali, is Muslim and the wife, Susan is Christian.    

“Saqib Ali, who is Muslim, and his Christian wife, Susan, eloped to a nearby mosque for their Muslim wedding 11 years ago, since “neither set of parents was interested in our getting married,” Ali says.”A few months later, when everyone settled down, we had a Christian ceremony and a big reception,” says Ali, of Gaithersburg, Md. They are rearing their two young daughters in Islam, while still going to Susan’s Presbyterian USA church on Christmas and Easter.   

 “I don’t try to force my religion on her and she doesn’t force hers on me,” he says.”   

Is this the beginning of something?

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  • z

    The couple that you have posted about are actually friends of my extended family. I don’t know them personally, but know that they are good people. I found it interesting that you have posted about them since I know them through a degree of separation 🙂

  • Ahh, It’s a small world, isn’t it? If you ever have contact with them, please forward my info to Susan, I’d love to talk to her.