Monday, August 16, 2010
A Time to Listen
There has been much buzz in the news about the "Ground zero mosque." Much of the discussion I have heard has arisen form fear and has generated more heat than light. Then there was that recent comment by a Tennessee political candidate in Tennessee referring to Islam as a "cult." "Ground zero mosque" is a misnomer, and I suspect an intentionally inflammatory label. It is not at ground zero and the proposed development is not a mosque, but an Islamic cultural center called "Cordoba House."
Amidst all of the uproar, it is all the more important to take time to listen. A blog site called Ephphatha Poetry has some important information about Cordoba House, its founders, and the neighborhood in New York that you can read here. Also, my friend Joe Burt just posted a blog today that speaks of appropriate ways of grieving and remembering those we have lost, including those lives lost in New York on 9/11. You can read his comments here.
The season of Ramadan is here and it is an excellent time to learn more about our Muslim neighbors. In my town, the Muslim community invites guests to share a meal together (iftar is the name of the meal to break the fast at the end of each day during Ramadan). It is used as a time for local Muslims to share information with the community about who they are. Maybe your town has similar offerings. I went last year and I have already made plans to visit this year. You can read here about my experience last year.