Saturday, December 29, 2007

Looking into the Islamsphere

The Brass Cresent Awards are out. Which will be giving me fodder for blessays for a good while I believe. I've been reading Sunni Sister for a couple months now and just started commenting. I hoping I'm opening up honest dialogue and not just giving offensive rants (it's always hard to keep that knee-jerk monster in check.)

After two days of reading, I'm already a fan of Ali Eteraz's writing (and his bio-photo is rather hot too). His writing is so selfaware of the believer mindset that you just want to push him over the edge, "Come to the atheist dark side, we have cookies."

The answer is because a devout believer needs to take his faith along in everything he does. If he didn't, he wouldn't be devout (at least so he thinks). The Islam and democracy presenter had to know - and had to let everyone else know - that he was a democrat because of his religion, not in spite of it. This is the "piety" part of religiosity that a secular humanist or atheist neither acknowledges, nor finds particularly interesting. The more confrontational might even call it a handicap, a crutch, or a sickness.

My carpool partner, who is a practicing Wiccan, and I are considering taking a Qur’an class. Her main worry when I suggested it was, "Are you going to be nice or snarky?" I'm very snarky in the car during our discussions, but I assured her that I would keep my snarkiness restrained and let whoever is teaching the class to present me with their Islam and not my poisoned opinion. Though I'm hoping we can find a class that's geared towards non-Muslims looking for information rather than already practicing or wanting to convert students.

I'd like to point out that I'm always very respectful of her hippy-dancing-naked-around-in-the-moonlight-with-other-pasty-white-WOW-players beliefs. (OK, as far as I know they always remain clothed - though I wouldn't if I were them.) This goes back to my earlier blessay regarding letting people create their own definitions of what their religion is rather than pushing on them, "This is what YOUR book says YOU should believe and I'm going to rub your nose in it." As usual, it's very difficult to resist lumping people together under a tidy label, mainly because it's so difficult to take pot-shots when they're all scattered about.


Anonymous said...

Keep us posted on your Quran classes. Also, I checked out Ali's page. He's got some good stuff there.

erlybird said...

Thanks for posting to my blog...I am just did you find me? I am new to blogging (I hadn't even heard the word "blessay" until I read it on your blog) and I would love to create a bit more traffic.

I look forward to reading more of yours and as for the Qar'an classes...better you than me. I will be writing about this later but one of the things that really gets me about all of this religion (having a grandfather who was steeped in Church "education" is that they even get to "sit at the table". The books are made up, fer pete's sake. I mean, they are all anthologies of made up stuff! So how can there be whole academic DEPARTMENTS devoted to their study?

Don't ask me for advice on how not to be "snarky", though. Even your Wiccan friend would have some 'splaining to do. But I do love the core virtues! (mirth, reverence, honour, humility, strength, beauty, power and compassion) Nothing wrong with that is there?

Anyway, I rant. Thanks, I will be watching your entries.

The Exterminator said...

I'm with the bird on this one. I don't see what you can get out of a Quran class other than the teacher's spin. If you're interested in learning about the book, why don't you just read it?

EnoNomi said...

erlybird - you posted in the comments on another blog (I've forgotten which one) and a follow up commenter said they like your blog as well.

"Blessay" is a term coined by sexy brain of Stephen Fry.

Try joining Planet Atheism and getting on one of the blog carnivals, like Carnival of the Godless.

Ex - Reading on my own? We all know how good I am at self imposed deadlines. Part of the interest in taking a class would be the discussions my friend and I would have afterwards. Another would be to get a different point of view - how do they see the teachings - I already know how I'd see them on my own (snarky).