Saudi Arabia: New To America

A frequent question I am asked is how can someone be helpful to a Saudi who is new to America.  Naturally there are many answers to this question but one answer I wish to respond to now and a Saudi will very much appreciate is to help him or her with food selections.  In Saudi Arabia a Saudi never has to think twice on whether or not a dish is halal or if it contains any pork products.  That is not the case in America.  In fact, I have found that the further South one is located in America, the more frequent pork and pork products are used in cooking.  For example, in North Carolina many restaurants will prepare their mashed potatoes with pieces of bacon.  Vegetables may be cooked in pork fat as it is believed to add more flavor.  Salads may have pieces of bacon.  A pepperoni pizza may just as likely be made with pork instead of beef.  Baked beans are generally cooked with pork fat and/or have pieces of bacon in the mix. Taking the time to explain and point out these differences are appreciated.

For the Saudi student who is coming to the States for English language studies and may not be comfortable with written English, this advice can be essential.

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201 Responses

  1. Some ten or so years ago I was helping an Indian visitor order lunch in cafeteria. He didn’t realize the difference between truly vegetarian and food that is made with vegetables but contains meat flavorings (I am sure he would have known once he ate the food). I guess for Muslims the pork problem is similar.

  2. They should look for the little circled uppercase U. if it’s not there, it’s not halal. They need to look for it even on a carton of eggs because many chickens are fed pork.

  3. I don’t understand all this strictness and fetishness about “pork” amongst muslims, especially saudi wahabbis. I have many muslim “friends” who say that according to their “scholars”, that while pork in itself is haram, pork byproducts (lard, bacon bits, pepperoni, etc) are halal.

    Go figure :)-

  4. @Okie homestay – That sounds pretty extreme to me!

  5. Harry, I remember one the day, shortly after Valentine’s Day one year, my daughter’s (Muslimah) friend was over and I had those little Conversation Hearts candies and I had one that had a really cute/sweet message and I handed it to her girlfriend who accepted it with a smile and an ‘awwwww, thank you’ and started to put it in her mouth and my daughter SLAPPED it out of her hands and it went flying across the room. I guess there was some gelatin mixed in that hard candy! Of course we have no idea whether it was gelatin from pork but OMG, you can’t take those kind of risks! grrrrr! Now you’ve got me started!

  6. Honestly, nobody’s going to die or go to hell if some pork or non-halal meat is ingested. From what I understand if you unknowingly eat some haram product you shouldn’t worry about it as you had no choice.

  7. Yeah Muslims are told not to eat the flesh of pig. I am sure you won’t go to hell if you buy eggs from chickens who are pork fed. That sin lies with those who are mistreating the animals.

  8. Lard, bacon bits and peperoni made with pig are pig. I’ve never heard a Muslim or a scholar say otherwise- even the very few who might eat it.

  9. The U with a circle around it is a Kosher certification from the Orthodox Union- not a halal symbol, though most Kosher food is also Halal.

  10. It is interesting to note also that while many muslims (most especially saudis) will go bonkers and head over heels about gelatin or pig-influenced eggs, they have no qualms about drinking their brains out in local taverns/pubs and hitting on and bedding what they call “white sluts”. That is indeed height of hypocrisy :)-

  11. @Harry,
    I don’t think it’s hypocracy- I think it is two separate issues. Someone who is not devout might drink and sleep around (though if they are critisizing others for the same they are indeed hypocrites).- but it isn’t just about not eating pork- many Muslims have an ingrained feeling that it is filthy and not fit to eat. People may not follow their moral beliefs- but that doesn’t mean they will eat something they don’t consider edible.

  12. @Harry
    I really want to know where you meet these Saudi friends of yours, that go on about “white sluts”.

  13. Muslms are as “extreme” about pork as, say, vegetarians are “extreme” about meat in general, etc. I remember an exchange student group from Israel who brought an insane amount of tinned food with them in case there was no kosher food available. I see no harm in having diet restrictions, whether it’s due to diet preferences, intolerances or religious beliefs. As long as they’re not imposing their own views on me 😉

  14. I think if they want to find out what is made with pork or not it should be their problem not ours! Besides, many students that come to the U.S., especially to study they won’t eat pork because is considered ‘haram’ in their culture, however sleeping around with as many girls they can find is also consider ‘haram’ but they do it anyways. What a double standard! Don’t you think??

  15. They won’t eat pig, but they come here to act as pigs. Double standard again!

  16. That is a great idea to help carol, I completely understand th eobsession with pork products.. I’m obsessed about eating vegetarian, not because i worry about going to hell but because eating the flesh of a living breathing animal/bird/fish with a face is beyond me.. it’s the way i was raised.. likewise muslims raised to consider pork as revolting can’t abide it in any form.. pepparoni or lard 🙂
    I’ve helped a few students with this, but mostly the saudi kids i know are very sweet and they’ll happily eat at my house not because my husband is muslim but because they know i won’t stock a single thing with meat in my place let alone pork:-)

    I think with most of them it’s not a religious issue it’s the way they have been raised .

    there are ofcourse those other idiots who come intop my house and ask me loudly if the food i served is halal !!! so i usually have to say – i don’t know and i don’t care since i’m not muslim…and god has in his mighty wisdom graced my husband with a fine pair of eyes and an equally fine brain to read and think and eat halal is he so desires …

    But back to the topic i think this will be indeed a great help to new students ot the us.

  17. @Lynn, Well, I’m vegan, so it doesn’t sound at all extreme to me! Hahahahahaha~ 🙂 All the Saudis who have ever stayed with me or visited me have known that everything in my house is safe to eat because I’m vegan. That’s why my offering of two dozen pumpkin muffins during a Ramadan breakfast party was gladly accepted without any questions or concerns about ingredients. I’m also the go-to person when they need a label read because they know I won’t miss a thing. 🙂

  18. You are a vegan who eats eggs? I’ve never heard of that before.

  19. And this hot off the press from Holland …

    “6 November 2011 Last updated at 00:05 ET Help

    Next month the Dutch parliament is expected to approve a ban on halal and kosher methods of slaughtering animals for food.

    Those who proposed the ban say it is simply an issue of animal welfare, but it received strong support from the right-wing Freedom Party.

    Many see it as a violation of their religious freedom, and among the Jewish community it is a worrying echo of a similar ban brought in by Hitler.

    Anna Holligan reports from The Hague.”

  20. WHAAAAAAT?!?! Seriously? Ridiculous!

  21. I don’t understand why Muslims or Jews need their animals to be fully conscious in order to kill them. I agree that it is probably more humane to stun them first. But I don’t see how they can ensure how a private rancher or hunter kills his own dinner. Muslims and Jews will be able to get around this I’m sure. But, then again, if the ‘halal’ slaughter is not available to them by law then it is no sin against them to eat non-halal slaughtered food. Just like it’s no sin to eat non-halal food that your mother prepares for you. A good, sincere bismillah can go a long way, no?

  22. The animals do not need to be fully conscious and Muslim slaughter houses in New Zealand and Australia apparently stun their animals before slaughter. Traditional halal slaughter of course does not include stunning as that is a new technology.

  23. I guess that depends, is the ‘tradition’ to slaughter animals in a humane way, as was prescribed by God or ‘tradition’ as in ‘must be done EXACTLY the same as how Mohammed did’. If that were the case then they sure as hell better not drive their CARS to the slaughterhouse.

  24. Lynn, *I* don’t eat eggs. My boys do. I don’t impose my beliefs upon them. They can eat whatever they want, provided of course that they are willing to buy it themselves. 🙂

  25. Argh….meant to say, provided that they cook it themselves.

  26. You don’t use eggs in pumpkin muffins?

  27. So can there not be some sort of compromise? If the Dutch government is concerned about cruelty to animals which seems fair enough to me, can’t Jews and Muslims still slaughter their animals the way they usually do (slitting the throat) but stun them before? Is it necessary that they be aware and bleating before the slice?

  28. I find any imputation of ‘morality’ into food preposterous. At most, what we eat is basically a matter of health, taste and nutritional value – nothing else. One is not better or ‘more moral’ by eating or not eating this or that – with the possible exception of human flesh (not healthy, just ask the people of New Guinea) – that is the only taboo that makes sense.

    As to people that identify certain foods with sin, that is fine as long as they have overcome all other human failings and are looking for new worlds of holiness to conquer. I see little value in a morality based upon diet or clothes or empty actions. The only thing that counts is how you live your live in relation to others.

    As I have said before, sacraments of any type – including food and clothes and mindless rituals – are easy; true morality is not. Not eating bacon does not make one person better than any other; it only means that the person does not eat bacon. Traveling 10,000 km to walk around a monument or kiss a cold statue is equally pointless and doesn’t add an iota of devoutness to a person.

    I would very much be willing to live with the “thou shalt not eat the flesh of the pig” and “thou shalt not drink wine” by Muslims if there were at least a “Thou shalt not be mean to infidels” in the same neighborhood.

    I think I’ll go have a bacon margarida.

    Just got back from trip to Safford. First time, 12 hours rt. Nice country, full of Mormons and cotton. Took my dad there to visit friends. That is two trips in two weeks (last week was in Vegas, that den of iniquity). Even stopped in Superior today to see how it looks. Bad; all boarded up. My Grandparents lived there in the 50s. Tis a shame because it is really a pretty area and there is no better hike in all of Arizona then walking down the canyon above Superior.

  29. Lynn, nope, I bake a lot and I never use eggs. You can substitute one banana for one egg, or use applesauce instead, or even Ener-G Egg Replacer….though I prefer to use fruit because I don’t like processed foods. In fact, the recipe I use for those pumpkin muffins is originally vegan….didn’t have to modify a thing. The pumpkin itself acts as a binder. So, there’s no cholesterol, but I wouldn’t call them healthy as there is sugar. Delicious though! 🙂 I can bake two dozen and have them all disappear before they’ve had a chance to cool off.

  30. Ooh, that’s good to know. I often use applesauce in place of oil but I never heard of the banana substitution. I’ll have to remember that if I ever find myself short an egg.

  31. And you think that is good or what??? The poor things were scared silly. Australia’s method of stunning before cutting the throat has been proven to help reduce the pain.

  32. Avoiding pork products in the South is most definitely a pain, particularly with breakfast foods. I honestly don’t like the taste of bacon in my veggies because I think it tastes disgusting. I try to avoid it when I can, too. What is wrong with simply steaming the veggies in water? Yum!

    Eating pork is just as much a health issue as it is a religious issue. I think Sandy explained it well.

    I think just being nice to Saudis and simply being friends with them helps a lot. They may have questions about where to shop, what to do when one is not studying, etc. Basically, just normal questions an international student would have when studying abroad. Maybe also explaining American culture and customs when problems come up. There are some weird habits and sayings (idioms) Americans have, and these can vary from region to region within the US. Also, they may need help “translating” various American accents.

  33. My Saudi husband says Halal branding is the biggest marketing sham in the world, but because of the way he was raised, he’s incapable of putting anything non-halal in his mouth. I never heard of Muslims who refuse pork but accept bacon bits, sorry, I think that one is a fantasy. Anything with identifiable pork ingredients will be a no-no. Interestingly, even non-practicing, drinking, sexually liberated Muslims would typically not eat pork – I guess food prohibitions become more visceral than anything else.

  34. @NN, if you are taught from the get-go that something is bad you will probably always think that. Pork is not a danger to eat anymore. In old times it could be. Muslims who have no other choice are allowed to eat pork and I do know Muslims who rather like bacon. 🙂 Yep, Kosher and Halal foods are big marketing businesses outside of Muslim countries. I have no problems with that. I just hope that Muslims who come to eat at our table do not ask me if the food is halal. I will either have to lie and say yes or tell them that the chicken in front of them has no religious connections. I am not going to run out and purchase halal foods and my husband could care less about halal chicken, etc.
    I don’t cook pork in the house even though I absolutely love a beautiful pork tenderloin but that’s about it. I can eat pork in a restaurant.

  35. Wendy, would that be pork bacon or turkey bacon? An aversion to pork extends to bacon, as well, just as NN stated. You can’t not eat pork chops on principal, but, enjoy bacon bits on your salad. If asked whether your food was halal or not, no need to lie. Just tell them the truth and leave it up to them. But, maybe you should reassure them that no pork is cooked in your home:) That makes a big difference.

    But, if someone were coming to my house for dinner or whatever, and I knew of their special dietary requirements ahead of time, I WOULD go out of my way to have what was needed for them to enjoy themselves in my home.

  36. When we talk about bacon here we are talking about pork. Personally I don’t consider turkey ‘bacon’ as bacon.
    I hear what you say about accommodating guests but I don’t keep a halal kitchen nor a kosher kitchen so in all probability I would cook a vegetarian meal so that I wouldn’t offend anyone.

  37. Wendy, agree about pork not being a danger. In fact, I think it’s kind of sad to have to exclude the entire family of thousands diverse, creative, delicious ways people in every major culture found to enjoy pork snout to tail. Collective millions of Italians, French, Chinese, Islanders, Russians and Latin Americans cannot be wrong. The contribution of these peoples to the gastronomic civilization history certainly trumps everything Arabs were able to come up with.

  38. Now I wonder what happens when someone needs a heart valve replacement and that replacement is from a pig. Would a Muslim person accept the valve or chose to die??? Pig skin is being used to help burn victims among many other things. Scientists are working on genetically modifying the lovely animal to use for all sorts of human medical needs. Pigs are very intelligent and quite clean animals and deserve a lot of respect. In fact all of God’s creatures deserve respect and … don’t get me started on the treatment of donkeys in Muslim countries. 😦

  39. NN, for me, ALLAH’S reasons for prohibiting swine trumps any reason your Italians, French, Chinese, et al have for consuming it:))

    Islam if very kind to all animals. Islam & muslims, have become 2 different things, unfortunately.

  40. Allah did not prohibit swine. We all have one God but different religions. It is your religion that prohibits pigs just as with the Jewish religion. I doubt that God wanted to kill all the Christians or a large part of the population in the world by allowing them to eat pigs.

  41. Wendy, dear. The Qu’ran was revealed for ALL of mankind. Everything that is in it, is for ALL of mankind. That would include the People of the Book – Jews AND Christians. Sorry!

  42. @Robin – ‘ALLAH’S reasons for prohibiting swine…’

    What reasons did you get from him/her?

  43. Ummm, you all seem to know more about my religion than I, so YOU tell me! :))

  44. Then I’d probably just have to go with ’cause I said so!’. But that is not a ‘reason’. Certainly not one that my kids ever accepted 😉

    But I have heard Muslims give their OWN reasons to explain God’s Wisdom in not allowing pork but those reasons all get blown out of the water so I thought that since you spoke of ‘ALLAH’S reasons’ that perhaps you had heard of them. Why don’t you want to share?

  45. ” The pig also because it is a splitter of the
    hoof but there is no cud. It is unclean for
    you. None of their flesh must you eat and carcass
    you must not touch. ”
    Deuteronomy 14:8 ( Bible)

    Didn’t we talk about this in another recent post? C’mon, let’s not go here again. That’s MY stand and that’s it. Lynn, this prohibition is also in your Bible!! People conveniently FAIL to remember this. Well, they would have had to read the Bible in the first place, right? People insist on challenging Islam when they have no idea about their own religion.

  46. Point taken. Now some theories about pork being prohibited were sound. The pig did carry disease. When that problem was solved I guess some religions moved on. Christians don’t follow everything that was written in the Bible. IF they did they would still be stoning people among other things I suppose.

  47. Ok, just checking to make sure that you didn’t really mean ‘reasons’ because I was pretty sure that no ‘reasons’ besides ‘because I said so’ existed.

    ‘Didn’t we talk about this in another recent post?’ If we did then you CLEARLY didn’t pay attention 😉 because you are still confusing the Jewish Bible (Old Testament – aka Jewish Law) with the New Testament (Christianity)

    ‘People insist on challenging Islam when they have no idea about their own religion.’

    LOL!! YOU are the one that doesn’t understand Christianity (and has never read a Bible at least not the New Testament) if you believe that Christians have any dietary laws. Perhaps you are the one that needs to do some studying up before trying to tell others what their religion tells them.

    Oh, and by the way, please remember that I do not profess any religion so I am not bound by any of ‘God’s Laws’ Unless they also happen to be my personal preference or the Law of the Land that I live in. That probably helps me to look at things in a completely different, (unbiased) way than you yourself might.

  48. ‘IF they did they would still be stoning people among other things I suppose.’

    Because it was prescribed by Jewish Law but Jesus came along and set them straight on stoning just like he did with the dietary laws.

  49. http://bible.cc/matthew/15-11.htm

    What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.'”

  50. Lynn, I did remember that you do not associate yourself with any religion so remember that I did go to Catholic school for 12 years and am quite familiar with the Bible.

    My BIBLE contained Old and New Testament, which included Deuteronomy.

    Lynn, 3 comments in a row! Why so frantic? 🙂

  51. I also do not follow any organized religion. Now tell me about the ruling on pig parts to fix the human body.

  52. Wendy, I honestly don’t know about that, but there is a disagreement among the scholars about the pig heart, for obvious reasons.

  53. But you were not paying attention in school if you came out thinking that Christians were left forbidden to eat pork but just did it anyway.

    Another thing. Catholics are not really big on the Bible so I can’t imagine you having been taught much ‘Bible Study’ in those years. I’ll have to ask my older siblings that DID go to Catholic School. I do however remember my mom saying that they could tell a person’s religion because the Protestants carried Bibles. 😉

  54. The pig also because it is a splitter of the
    hoof but there is no cud. It is unclean for
    you. None of their flesh must you eat and carcass
    you must not touch. ”
    Deuteronomy 14:8 ( Bible)
    If this is the reason for not eating pork you must not eat Camel.. Which Muslim do eat……

  55. Camels have hooves??? I’ll admit that I’ve never looked closely at their feet, but I always thought they had toes…..

  56. http://www.allsinai.info/sites/fauna/camel.htm

    Yep, camels have toes….not that I advocate eating them. Incidentally, doing a google image search for “camel toes” is not something I’d recommend.

  57. http://niv.scripturetext.com/leviticus/11.htm

    4“‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you.

  58. What I’ve gathered is that Jews were forbidden a lot of things we now eat for food including pork, crabs, lobster, shrimp, catfish, rabbit, squirrel (if you’re a frontiersman), camel (Arabs?).

    Christians were permitted to eat anything (or they could refrain if they felt God wanted them to.)

    Muslims could eat everything except pork plus a prohibition on alcohol was given by God because they were apparently showing up drunk for prayer time.

    So I guess the moral of the story is that God changes what He permits depending on whom He is talking to (or whoever is doing the interpreting of God’s will for humankind.)

  59. OK..question…how can Muslims have issues with Christians not following the old Testament and adhering more closely to the New testament? Jesus came to improve on the Old Testament, just as Muslims claim Mohammed came to improve on the New Testament and the Old Testament. So if Mohammed can do it and Muslims find that OK, why can’t Christians “improve” on the Old Testament? If Muslims say Christians don’t follow the OT so closely wouldn’t Christians have the same right to complain that Muslims don’t follow the New Testament?

  60. How to differentiate on the cloven hoof …..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloven_hoof

  61. ‘So I guess the moral of the story is that God changes what He permits…’

    Either that or people make shit up to try to gain control over others.

  62. Oby, that’s a good question. I’m eager to read what they have to say although I’m sure it will be along the line of the NT being corrupted and Jesus never freeing us from following the Law, therefore, Christians needed Muhammad to bring them back under God’s Law (shariah – the path of God). I think the NT lacks the control-every-detail-of-my-life rules list that both Moses and Muhammad imposed upon their people and that “freedom in Christ” stuff is bothersome to those who are used to rules. (Not that the churches don’t impose enough rules on people, but “freedom in Christ” is too, well, freeing, individualistic and has too many gray areas.)

    Lynn, oh come on! People wouldn’t do that! 😉

  63. Robin, Pleeeeeaaaase.. Your “the Quran is Perfect” mentality is exactly what is wrong with Islam and Muslims.

    It leaves you without any mental capacity to reflect on simple basic issues. It means that you blindly accept even the most stupid and obviously contradictory facts. Your ‘perfect Islam” exists only in your mind, because in the real world, as also in the pages of the Quran and hadith, islam is full of hate, fuzzy facts, errors and contradictions, so much that Muslims themselves cannot agree on dogma and Islamic societies are among the least free and respecful of human rights in the world. Perfect, hum.

    Which theory better explains reality, yours or mine?

    Your “Islam is Perfect” mentality is responsible for hate, discrimination, violence and wars. Will you accept responsibility for these, or are you going to make an excuse like Muslims always do?

    By the way, explain Quran 9:111 do me.

    I probably know more about the Quran than you because of the simple fact that I have read it from cover to cover, unlike most Muslims. I found it has some eloquent passages but overall very verbose, irrelevant, harsh, repetitive and often boring. Its basic themes seems to be: 1. infidels are very bad people, 2. Allah is the true god and Mohammad his voice and rep on earth and 3. Keep and bunch of ritual and fight infiels and you will get a ticket to heaven.

  64. Lynn, I was not aware that Christians didn’t follow/utilize the Bible. Since when?! So they don’t have a holy book? I KNEW I couldn’t believe all those weird stories in there!! (Teachers “loved” me) Hmmmm, suspicious. So, there was a discrepancy between the time the OT was revealed and the Qu’ran was revealed? Where did the NT go? Oh, it was revised over and over and over until it was unrecognizable as any semblance of a revealed Book. Just like Susanne said:)

    Since Muhammad(pbuh) is the last messenger, his message was the seal of all the previous messengers, not disregarding what they said, but, summing up, so to speak, the message of them all. Everything that is in the Qu’ran is what was previously revealed through the other Books, but clarified for ALL of mankind.

    With regard to the camel meat, land-animals who have flowing blood in them, survive on grass and leaves, and do not prey on other animals (i.e. non-predatory terrestrial animals) are all considered Halal, such as a camel, cow, goat, buffalo, sheep, deer, etc.

  65. Well, Jay, thank you for your diagnosis of my problematic personality.

    As you have stated, YOU know more about Islam than I, so why not do us the honor of explaining what “we” couldn’t possibly fathom in our infinitely violent minds?
    Again, “infidels” is not a word used in the Quran. (but, you, having read it already, knew that)
    If you read something looking for violence, as the media has brainwashed YOU into believing exists in the Quran, then, YES, you will definitely find it. So, your “Islam is violent” anthem is old and boooooring:)

  66. Waiting with abated breath for your educated explanation, Jay.

  67. Susanne…

    Good point. Soooo…if Christians deviated away from the OT and therefore God’s law, why do we need a new Prophet bringing a new twist to God’s law? Ie: Islam. Let’s assume that Christians did corrupt it (which I don’t believe at all…I think they were freed from the cumbersome human laws by Jesus)…why not go back to the old laws of the OT if it was fine in the first place and us pesky Christians messed it up? If God laid the law out correctly in the first place and Christians messed it up and God is all knowing and doesn’t make mistakes (only people do) then why do we need a new religion in Islam? Why doesn’t God send a prophet to say “OK all you malcontents…your messing with God’s law. Make an bout face and let’s get back to what God originally intended?”

  68. “If you read something looking for violence, as the media has brainwashed YOU into believing exists in the Quran”

    Robinrocks…

    are you saying there is NO violence in the Quran?? Come on…Even the bible has violence in it and I think most Christians would be able to accept that…but though they can see it in there they have moved away from actually incorporating that in their lives. Most Muslims IMO don’t follow the violence in the Quran but to say there is none in there is ridiculous. Of course there is. Muslims selectively follow the Quran jsut as Christians do. Otherwise there would be people smiting each other and taking an eye for an eye all over the place.

  69. and Jews as well…don’t want to leave them out!

  70. @Robin – ‘Lynn, I was not aware that Christians didn’t follow/utilize the Bible.’

    THAT explains things….

    See, you don’t pay attention. I never said that. I said CATHOLICS were not big on The Bible. They didn’t take it to church and study it out of it like PROTESTANTS do. Hence my mom telling me that’s how they could tell (in her town in Scotland where people walked to church on a Sunday Morning) a person’s religion (no, I don’t think there were any others i.e. Muslims or Jews, around her growing up)

    ‘…just like Susanne said’

    LOL that is not quite what she said but you do get an A+ in Islam since you are so good at (attempting to) twist the truth. 🙂

    ‘…land-animals who have flowing blood in them, survive on grass and leaves, and do not prey on other animals’

    Oh before the OT counted but NOW it doesn’t? It cracks me up when Muslims like to try to quote the bible to validate what they do but say it’s corrupted when it doesn’t jibe with what the point they are are trying to get across. 🙂

  71. Robin! OMG 3 comments in a row?
    Why so FRANTIC?! lmao!!

  72. No, never said there was NO violence, but, it is not a book based on violence, as say the OT. Lynn, I meant, Catholics, in response to you. The Bible was used immensely in my private school. Who cares if protestants used it more? My point was: Deuteronomy is in the BIBLE that includes the OT.
    On the Susanne comment; I paraphrased what she predicted I would say;)

    What OT reference? The camel meat comment is from The Fiqh of Halal and haram animals.

    STILL waiting on the resident psychoanalyst, Jay.

  73. ‘Who cares if protestants used it more?’

    My POINT is that I don’t think you would have studied ‘The Bible’ extensively in your Catholic School but rather ‘The Catholic Catechism’. But I guess a lot might depend on WHERE you went to Catholic School. I’ll guess that if it was in a less than hospitable place for Christianity but yet is the only means to an education then I could see things being WAY toned down. Where did you say you attended Catholic School for 12 years?

    ‘My point was: Deuteronomy is in the BIBLE that includes the OT.’

    And no one was disputing that. We were disputing that Christians (followers of Christ – who shows up in the New Testament) are obliged to follow the dietary laws of the Jews.

  74. I’m sure if they were writing a book nowadays they’d ban beef what with “mad cow disease” and all.. 🙂

    I went to catholic school and thankfully never had to expend my brain cells in pursuit of all that much religious eduction.

    Most people think their religion is the BEST !!!! and for all time !!! and for all mankind!! sometimes i wonder if this is all god made, why on earth god didn’t follow a set protocol an pick one for all..
    in my world, there is only 1 god, we worship in diff forms/religions etc., this logic seems to work…

    As for pig’s value – nowadays there ar eplenty of options if one doesn’t want that, no need to die. plus F says his god said he could eat a pig if he got no other food and was on the verge of death, so he assumes that goes for pig’s valve too 🙂 see very convienient , every religion has little bits of loopholes that help you get into the pearly gates…:-)

  75. Coming back to the halal food issue … food rules were put in place not by Allah but by men who undoubtedly had good intentions and wanted to protect their people from food poisoning, food born illnesses, etc. Pork could be dangerous back in the old days. Shellfish are dangerous if harvested at the wrong time of the year. Food poisoning can happen more easily if you mix meat and dairy and especially in the days of no refrigeration. Now that latter two are Jewish but these rules all started in the same part of the world with a dusty hot climate. Fermented beverages were also consumed more that water because it was actually ‘safer’ to drink. There are probably reasons back in older times why blood should be completely drained from an animal as in Halal and Kosher. It is odd to me that these rules all came from basically the same part of the world with the same health issues involved. The rules were man-made and sometimes man-made rules can change because the world changes. Some religions move on and some just refuse to. I guess we can boil it all down to how different we all are and how boring it would be if we were all the same. 🙂

  76. @Wendy – ‘Some religions move on and some just refuse to’

    But you certainly can’t word it like that or it would never be acceptable to a religious person. As if they can just ‘move on’ because they learned that ‘God’ must have been wrong. BLASPHEMER!! They needed a ‘prophet’ or a ‘savior’ to come and tell them that they were misled by those charlatan priests that taught them Jewish Law, that you really CAN’T be ‘defiled’ by what you put in your mouth.

  77. ‘I went to catholic school and thankfully never had to expend my brain cells in pursuit of all that much religious education.’

    My point exactly radha, thank you 😉

  78. Radhaa, no one disputes “F” on the on- the- verge- of- death “loophole,” but, the pig valve IS in dispute.

    I went to a catholic school in NY. Is that a “hospitable place” for Christianity? Also, Lynn, what is this NEED you have to dominate the pages of these posts? I noticed that you seem to have to have the last word and will drag on about nothing, really, ad nauseam.

    Where’s Jay?

  79. ‘I noticed that you seem to have to have the last word’

    So? LOL But the dragging on about nothing? If you said ‘Yes Lynn,you are right’ then I would have nothing to go on and on about, and I would be happy to let you have the last word. LOL I’m sure that I’ve told you before that I don’t let false things be stated without a challenge whether it is about Christianity OR Islam or anything else that people like to spread lies or misunderstandings about. 😉

  80. “Yes, Lynn, you are right.”

  81. Told ya! LOL

  82. Wondering if pigs were ever even found within the arabian pennisula at the time of the prophet? I have never personally heard of them being there but who knows. If they were there at one time…were they all killed off simply because god said you cant eat them? That would be an interesting research subject.

  83. robincks…Lynn always has to have the last word. I’m thinking she will record a message to be played after her funeral…something along the lines of …I told you I was sick. 😉

  84. Here’s an interesting little article about pigs in the ME countries and elsewhere and also includes a reference as to what Mohammad might have been thinking about the pig at that time in history.
    http://archaeozoo.wordpress.com/2007/10/06/the-question-of-islamic-pig-prohibition/

  85. @Robin

    I don’t need to know Allah’s reasons. One look at the counter of good French charcuterie is all the reasoning I need.

    And if the Quran was revealed for the entire mankind, why don’t you tell your co-religionists to stop spouting that nonsense that all Quranic translations are not the real thing? Did God expect us all to learn Arabic? Did he reveal a book to all mankind in a language unavailable to majority of that mankind?

  86. NN, yours is a common question.

    Surah Fussilat Verses 44, 45

    And if We had sent this as a Qur’ân in a foreign language (other than Arabic), they would have said: “Why are not its Verses explained in detail (in our language)? What! (A Book) not in Arabic and (the Messenger) an Arab?” Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur’ân) is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away (so they neither listen nor understand).
    Wa Law Ja`alnāhu Qur’ānāan ‘A`jamīyāan Laqālū Lawlā Fuşşilat ‘Āyātuhu ‘A’a`jamīyun Wa `Arabīyun Qul Huwa Lilladhīna ‘Āmanū Hudáan Wa Shifā’un Wa Al-Ladhīna Lā Yu’uminūna Fī ‘Ādhānihim Waqrun Wa Huwa `Alayhim `Amáan ‘Ūlā’ika Yunādawna Min Makānin Ba`īdin

    And indeed We gave Mûsa (Moses) the Scripture, but dispute arose therein. And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, (the torment would have overtaken them) and the matter would have been settled between them. But truly, they are in grave doubt thereto (i.e. about the Qur’ân).
    Wa Laqad ‘Ātaynā Mūsá Al-Kitāba Fākhtulifa Fīhi Wa Lawlā Kalimatun Sabaqat Min Rabbika Laquđiya Baynahum Wa ‘Innahum Lafī Shakkin Minhu Murībin

    Anyway, who says Arabic is unavailable? It’s available in colleges and online. And, did you know that there are people who have memorized the Qu’ran without speaking a word of Arabic? So, I guess Allah DID expect us to learn Arabic if we were really interested in the truth. Also, it is not allowed to pray in English, so…

    Thanks for asking!

  87. Robin,

    I wasn’t really asking. Look up the term “rhetorical”.

    Do you know that there are parrots out there who can whistle The Little Serenade? That hardly makes them closer to Schumann’s genius, now does it.

    I guess you have to have special goggles on to continue down the path of your circular reasoning of “this book is true. Because the book says so.” Or else you have bought into the Arab marketing scheme of “we’re the most special people in the world because the Lord wants you to speak this very special language. And we are the only ones who speak it. Waaa. So special.”

    When you meet your Lord – if that day comes – you’ll be very sad at how little he cares how many languages you know. That is, if you don’t see how ridiculous your idea of online colleges is before that happens (seeing as most of the world’s Muslims don’t have access to clean water, leave alone online colleges.)

  88. Only prayers in arabic are acceptable to god…cause…god doesnt understand any other language except arabic? 0_0 god needs to try the rosetta stone …I hear it works wonders. 😉

  89. Wendy…thanks for the link. That was quite interesting.

  90. Okay, so to get back on topic, I thought of another thing….it’s good to tell new Saudi students to only shake hands briefly and then LET GO. I’ve many times had a student shake my hand as he’s introducing himself and then keep shaking it or just keep holding it long after introductions are over. I’ve seen them shake hands with each other, and it’s a much longer affair compared to what most Americans are accustomed to and comfortable.

    Also, it’s good to warn them to read labels carefully or have someone read it for them when choosing cold medicine so that they don’t end up using cough syrup (for example) with alcohol. Some won’t care but many WILL care.

    I don’t know if this is true in every state or in other countries, but in Oklahoma, if you get a ticket for any kind of traffic violation (speeding, no insurance, no driver’s license), you must pay for it AND go to court. Some students mistakenly believe that if they pay right away, they don’t have to go to court and end up with arrest warrants taken out on them.

    Finally, the ones here but not on scholarship are often too afraid to see a doctor for anything at all because the high expense has been drilled into their heads. They don’t know about the lower-cost clinics, campus clinics, etc. It’s also good to teach them about using small clinics rather than going directly to the ER.

    Oh, one more finally…..try to get them to not use the middle finger when pointing or gesturing at something. They might be fine with that in a classroom setting, but it could be misunderstood and get the, in trouble in late night social settings.

  91. @Coolred – ‘something along the lines of …I told you I was sick.’

    LOL That’s a GREAT idea! It’ll probably have to be more like – ‘I told you they were full of shit’ That could go for doctors as well as argumentative people that may decide to off me one day. But seriously, have you heard of those ‘talking tombstones’? PERFECT!! Thank you SO much for the idea. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  92. Robinrocks…

    Memorizing something is entirely different than understanding it. Memorizing the Quran does not mean people understand the arabic nuances. It makes sense that it might be revealed in the language of the prophet, particularly an illiterate one as Muhammad was. What makes no sense at all is that Allah expected it to spread all over the world and anyone interested in the religion would have to learn a whole new (and arguably difficult) foreign language in order to participate or understand it. What happened to Islam is simple? Obviously not if one must speak arabic.

    While in the modern age there are a lot of useful aids to learning arabic, how would someone centuries ago in a country to which arabic is foreign who was introduced to Islam by a traveling merchant (who would be moving on at some point) learn the language in order to understand the religion? This person would not have had access to computers, college courses or many arabic speakers so it would seem they are at a disadvantage and would have to accept what they were told rather than read it for themselves. On top of that why would Allah want anyone to have to work that hard (learn an entirely new language) to even begin to participate in Islam? Shouldn’t loving God be relatively easy and not involve jumping through so many hoops? I don’t see how that makes Islam for all mankind or easy. I would think Allah would be willing to meet human beings halfway rather than make them work so hard simply to understand His “simple” religion.

    Feels to me more like a political tactic to spread arab culture around the world.

  93. Robinrcks – I’m not sure what the value would be of memorizing the Quran in Arabic when one doesn’t understand it or speak it. Your idea that this is a good thing puzzles me.
    I have access to an English and Arabic Quran. My Arabic is barely on a social greeting scale so if I really want to know something in the Quran it would have to be in the English version.
    Another thing … Allah did NOT write the Quran. It believe the Quran, Torah, Bible are all books written by mere mortals who supposedly received God’s words and then wrote them. Your logic that God must want everyone to understand, read and write Arabic is a tad off base. These books are interpretations by Man but then I guess I’m blaspheming??? Sorry if I’m offending you.
    Back to Halal – do read the link I posted about pigs as it’s rather interesting.

  94. @Okie- ‘I’ve many times had a student shake my hand as he’s introducing himself and then keep shaking it’

    That’s interesting unless perhaps I was mistaken and you are NOT a woman. If you are a woman why would he be shaking your hand like that when it is not of his culture to shake hands with women?

  95. @Oby – ‘Feels to me more like a political tactic to spread arab culture around the world.’

    Ding ding ding! You got it. When white people do that it’s called ‘colonialism’ and then it’s a bad thing, go figure! lol

  96. Oby, Muslims believe Jews also tinkered with their Scriptures so Muhammad *did* go back to the original stuff. Only they know the true teachings of Jesus and Moses and the other guys. (so they think.)

    I’m laughing at Robin’s paraphrase of my words!! 😀

    What good is it to be able to quote the whole Quran in Arabic if you understand very very few words? Is the poetic nature of the Quran supposed to make me spiritual just because the lilting words and haunting sounds are pretty?

    Not everyone is able to learn Arabic nor do they want to. Thankfully God can communicate in all languages and, for me, it sometimes even sounds a little bit southern.

    OK, giggling now at Lynn’s talking tombstone. 🙂

  97. Yes, I am getting more and more irritated with Arabs who speak against colonialism. Sure it was/is a bad thing, but they need to look in their own mirrors to see that it’s also in their history. If it’s bad for the big bad white West, it’s bad for those Muslims who spread Arabism and Islam all over. I think it’s just the history of people so I’m tired of being scolded for it like we are the only ones who have ever done it.

    (Lynn’s comment reminded me of this which has been stewing in my mind lately….)

  98. Three posts in a row for me now. Oops! I knew there was something else that took my attention.

    Yes, the thing Okie mentioned about shaking hands… if Okie is a lady, then it’s taboo to shake hands anyway, right? If Okie is a man then, eh, I remember Arab guys walking arm in arm in Syria so it’s cultural.

    The ONLY cultural no-no we were given before we went to Syria was “don’t shake hands with the guys unless they offer their hands first” and for my husband: “Tell Andrew not to shake hands with any of the women.” I wasn’t even advised to only use my right hand for eating and greeting … just this about shaking hands.

  99. @Okie Homestay – thanks for the great suggestions.

    Hand shaking – Saudi students are encouraged to know the country and culture in which they are studying. Many Saudi students (and even a lot of Saudis in Saudi) will also extend their hand when meeting expatriate women.

    Yes, the hand shaking can be more extended to what Americans are accustomed. The Saudi does not want to offend by stopping a handshake to soon and waits for the Westerner to terminate the hand shaking.

    Yes, one may see Saudi male students holding hands outside of Saudi. It is a tradition they have grown up with and does not imply anything other than friendship.

    Yes, one might witness Saudi guys kissing each other on the forehead or if being playful on the nose. This happens between close friends and/or on special occasions. It’s like a type of male bonding, similar to when you’ve seen some Western guys “butt each others bellies.”

    Both the Saudi male and female may not be familiar with the mixing of genders. I’ve had both male and female students ask me about the parameters of friendship between genders. They are not accustomed to conversations being initiated by the opposite sex and can interpret that as an expression of romantic interest. One female Saudi student had shared with me that she thought many male students wanted to marry her because they said ‘hi’ to her each day.

    Culture can be a fascinating and at times entertaining experience.

    Thanks again Okey for steering the thread back to its initial topic.

  100. I have had many Saudi men shake my hand outside of KSA. For example two Saudi males I know shook my hand once we were in Bahrain. Carol, Saudi male bonding is often quite deeper than you are letting on. That’s what happens when males can’t mix with females. Males can get away with intimate behaviour with another male in KSA because it is accepted by men. Saudi males can also get away with outrageous ‘camping’ behaviour as well and it is accepted with a 😉 😉

  101. When my husband was newly arrived from India he and his male colleagues used to walk in the halls of the hospital holding hands. Finally a nurse clued them in that in America that will be misunderstood. They stopped right away!

  102. What is camping behavior??

  103. I’m thinking it’s probably ‘camping’ as in Broke Back Mountain ‘camping’ 😉

  104. Oby – as in long wavy hair, make-up, exaggerated hip swinging walk, etc. Saw lots of it in KSA.

  105. Yes, I am a woman, and as Carol pointed out, the Saudis know they are here to learn about culture as well as English. Of the HUNDREDS that have gone through our school, I’ve only heard of a couple who refused to shake hands with a woman. They didn’t last long either. The Saudi guys will shake hands with women from any country EXCEPT Saudi Arabia. They will also kiss guys from any country who are okay with it and they learn pretty quickly which cultures are not comfortable with it.

    We (the teachers) go slowly with them when they first arrive. If they’ve never traveled before, they often cannot even look at our face and are visibly uncomfortable if we stand next to them to explain something in their book to them. Some are ready for hugs within a week, but they tend to be the well-traveled ones. The younger teachers do not hug them at all, but those of us who can pull the “I’m old enough to be your mother” bit with them often give hugs of congratulations, sympathy, and encouragement. The longer they are here, the more they miss their mothers and the more they seem to need hugs. Homesickness makes hugs even more valued. And yes, there are some Saudi boys that don’t get hugs from anyone, not even the teacher in her 70s. If we feel like they are being creepy or taking the hugs the wrong way, they just don’t get them…..but that goes for men of any nationality, not just Saudi.

    Sometimes Saudi men fresh off the plane need to be taken aside and told that staring at women is not appropriate and neither is talking about her to friends, even in Arabic, while giving her highly suggestive looks. Of course, then we invariably get bombarded with requests for help in HOW to talk to women! 🙂

    Most Saudis have no idea of how important Americans consider punctuality to be. Then again, most countries have a far more flexible concept of time than we do.

    They also don’t particularly view cheating as dishonest…it’s more, helping a friend. We often have to be brutally direct again and again before they realize how serious we are about it and the consequences. Talk about it as a matter of “honor” as that word carries a lot of weight with them.

    Finally, the best way to have a good Saudi student is to develop a relationship with that student. Saudis will work especially hard for a teacher they respect, care for, and know that the teacher cares for them, but the same students will not bother to open a book in a class if they feel that the teacher doesn’t care about them. The Saudi boys who call me mom are the ones who will do anything at all for me….even study. 🙂

  106. ‘…they often cannot even look at our face and are visibly uncomfortable if we stand next to them to explain something in their book to them. Some are ready for hugs within a week, but they tend to be the well-traveled ones.’

    Is it just me or does that behavior seem very odd for someone who might also be overly gregarious and lingering while shaking the hands of a woman?

  107. Wendy…Yikes! THAT is accepted in KSA among men and yet women driving isn’t?? How do they reconcile that and islam?? And they make fun of the WEST?!

  108. Just as women in Harems had relationships … when you segregate you have same sex relations that happen by choice and not by birth. I often wonder if that is why homosexuality is thought of so poorly in many places. Humans are sexual beings and they are going to find an outlet somewhere. For countries where this happens they probably have difficulty believing that people are actually born that way. But then that’s a whole other discussion.

    For me if young Saudi male FOB to the western world I would accept a lingering handshake and try to understand what the young man is feeling/seeing/experiencing for the first time.

  109. Homosexuality is not accepted in Saudi..maybe hop over to bahrain and that a whole other storey..yes it may happen and thats not due to being segregated..men should be marrying younger..yet now a day they have to wait sometimes until their 30’s + to marry cos saudi women are so high maintenance and need crazy amount of money to get married..there are bigger problem then what u see on the surface..if segregation was the key to being gay..then how do u explain homo’s in the west..?
    I think Saudis need a crash course before they go overseas..the clash of such diverse cultures/religious beliefs/ can be all too much. They should be prepared and informed like what expats have to do before going to saudi.
    Btw lets not generalise about saudis shaking hands..as many of those who shake hands with women..there will be the same amount who refuse to for their entire stay in the west..its in built in them..as well against islam.(for those practising) as well as culturally abnormal for them.

  110. In arab countries where segregation is the norm…homosexual activities are engaged in by CHOICE…not necessarily because that person is gay. As someone pointed out…circumstances (segregation) dictate that budding sexual emergence must be expressed through same sex contact…there is very little choice. It is normal and expected for men to be shut away together..nobody would raise an eyebrow…likewise for women. I do not care what any arab tries to claim that homosexual activitiy is frowned upon or not accepted. You cannot enforce segregation on a society and expect the victims..I mean people…to not find ways to express their sexual feelings. It is impossible to believe it will not happen…and hands down EVERYONE knows it is happening unless they have their heads somewhere the sun don’t shine.

    Now…it happens. End of story. Whether people vocally declare it acceptable is something else all together. It is the Great Unspeakable Sin that so many engage in to the point of culturally “acceptable”…otherwise you wouldn’t accept doors being closed and couples secluded for hours at a stretch without even wondering what’s going on.

    btw Bellavita…your opinion of Saudis is laughable…they go to Bahrain specifically to engage in sex…of every form…and Bahrainis themselves are disgusted and tired of the continual weekend onslaught of sex hungry Saudis who use their country like a back alley dirty bed mattress..and then look back over their shoulder as they leave over the bridge as if Bahrain is little more than a used condom. Yeah..those Saudis are so much better than Bahrainis. Whatever.

  111. umm thats what i meant…other then that u can assume as much as u like..
    btw lets not kid ourselves to think bahrainis don’t partake in these things as well and are just so repulsed by saudis….

  112. Lots of homosexuality and pedaphilia in Saudi- definitately the dispraportionate amount is caused by gender segregation. The lower amounts in the west are more in line with the natural percentage who are that way (prisons excepted- where it is more like Saudi).

    As for shaking hands with the opposite gender there are a multitude of Muslims worldwide who know full well there is Islamically no problem with it and that it is a cultural weirdness of tribal/patriarchal societies.

  113. Lynn, obviously the ones too shy to even look at us are not going to be shaking our hands until they are a lot more comfortable. I AM talking about more than one Saudi.

  114. @Sandy.. segregation has nothing to do with pedo’s..don’t give pedo’s an excuse to do what they do just cos the same sex is in the room..its a disgusting thing to even think about..gender segregation cannot create a monster like that…..thats unbelievable. there are homo’s and pedo’s all around the world..dont make segregation the excuse for those problems…especially pedaphilia…saudi is probably the only 1 country in the entire world that actually practises strictly gender segregation..and im sure all of the worlds homo’s and pedo’s don’t just come from saudi…no denying they are there like every other country but its not a result of gender segregation….

  115. Saudi, like every country has roughly the same percentage of naturally occuring homosexuals. It’s incredible surplus of them is due to gender segregation- just as occurs in segregated prisons. Two different types of homosexuality. Everyone has the natural- Saudi has a surplus of the other.

    Generally I agree pedophilia is separate from homosexuatlity. But there is a sub culture in Arabia where men use boys and it is not considered wrong. Of course, everyone else thinks it is wrong- but perhaps that is the same as what happens in the west- not in excess to the global norm.

    If not gender segregation, how do YOU explain the excess of homosexual behavior, that is out of proportion to the rest of the world?

  116. In Saudi Arabia, “It’s easier to be a lesbian [than a heterosexual]. There’s an overwhelming number of people who turn to lesbianism,” Yasmin said, adding that the number of men in the kingdom who turn to gay sex is even greater. “They’re not really homosexual,” she said. “They’re like cell mates in prison.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/05/the-kingdom-in-the-closet/5774/

  117. Just laughable!!! I challenge ANYONE here to STICK TO THE TOPIC next post! Oh. My. Gawd!

  118. Sandy…

    Thank you so much for posting that article…fascinating! I knew about the homosexuality but I didn’t understand the psychology of it. It sounds like a place full of contradiction and amazing mental gymnastics. That part about the Wahhabis accepting the idea of gay thought (vs action) really surprised me. I thought for sure they would stamp it out since they are so against “wicked” western ways. And also the part about homosexuality not being explicitly forbidden in the Quran, but sex with a woman is…made me wonder if that part wasn’t there to make sure in a time when tribalism was everything and bloodlines were a form of identity and survival that a man’s offspring was his own and his wife was not secretly carrying a rivals genes in the offspring.

    Thank you so much! I wish Carol would do a post on it (again) so we could discuss the deeper nuances of homosexuality and how it is managed in KSA.

  119. WHY would you believe there is no prohibition in the Quran against homosexuality? There are also some hadiths on the subject.

  120. Robinrocks…

    read the article. It says clearly there is NO specific prohibition. It is a bit fuzzy according to the article. In fact, it suggests that many famed Islamic poets and writers were clearly writing about the beauty and desirably of young boys as recently as 200 years ago and that it is the Western influence of the Victorian era that has changed the attitude of homosexuality.

    Sandy if I misinterpreted the article please feel free to correct me.

    Robinrocks If there is a specific very clear point in the Quran against homosexuality please direct me (I am not talking Hadith). Which would take precedence? The Quran revealed from Allah or the writings of man about Mohammed’s actions (hadith) If the person in the article is wrong please refute them with distinct/clear prohibitions.

  121. “Read the article?” That was the plan until I saw you believed there would be NO prohibition in the Quran. If it’s prohibited in the OT, is that more readily accepted? Why do you guys come here expecting to be “schooled” in islam when you clearly are only here to refute any proofs offered on ANY subject mentioned?
    I could present you the Qu’ranic proofs, but you would STILL find ways to twist that. So, I will NOT be participating in such an exchange. Just know, that it is CLEARLY forbidden in the 3 monotheistic religions.

  122. I don’t think anyone comes here to be schooled in the Quran or Islam.
    That was a good article. I’m not sure lesbian women would not get away with flaunting their relationships on the street but certainly men can and do. The only reason the men ‘camp’ it up is to attract a man.

    I think there’s probably a little less ‘shell shock’ for Saudis coming to America now because of all the US television they get. At least they are prepared to see women and girls dressed in fashionable clothing and if they have been really paying attention to TV they should understand that women don’t want to be pushed around either.

  123. I read the article. This is ONLY news to those living outside the Kingdom. I didn’t read anything new. Homosexuality and other proclivities exist in Saudi. Big whoop!

  124. Robinrocks…

    IF you can refute what the article says then do so. I am not claiming to be a scholar but your tone is one of someone who knows better…you being Muslim I would not say that you don’t. Why not read it and give your take on it instead of trusting mine…as I said to Sandy I might have misunderstood it. It seemed pretty clear to me but there is always the chance I got it wrong. I think you must get angry and not read fully what people have written and make judgments based on that. I said ACCORDING TO THE ARTICLE…and even asked Sandy to correct me if I misunderstood.

    You are assuming that I favor the OT. Wrong assumption. If the Quran clearly says it then I can accept that. But what the article was saying is that it doesn’t say it directly (and they didn’t touch on the bible) for men..it is interpreted that way, but it does say it very clearly WITH punishments for zina or heterosexual sex.

    “This surely suggests that sodomy is considered sinful, but the Koran’s treatment of the practice contrasts with its discussions of zina—sexual relations between a man and a woman who are not married to each other. Zina is explicitly condemned:

    Nor come nigh to adultery: / for it is a shameful (deed) / and an evil, opening to the road / (to other evils).

    The punishment for it is later spelled out: 100 lashes for each party. The Koran does not offer such direct guidance on what to do about sodomy. Many Islamic scholars analogize the act to zina to determine a punishment, and some go so far as to say the two sins are the same.

    Two other key verses deal with sexual transgression. The first instructs:

    If any of your women / are guilty of lewdness, / take the evidence of four / (reliable) witnesses from amongst / you/ against them; and if they testify, / confine [the women] to houses until / death do claim them, / or God ordain them / some (other) way.

    But what is this “lewdness”? Is it zina or lesbianism? It is hard to say. The second verse is also ambiguous:

    If two men among you / are guilty of lewdness, / punish them both. / If they repent and amend, / leave them alone …

    In Arabic, the masculine “dual pronoun” can refer to two men or to a man and a woman. So again—sodomy, or zina?”

    I said I found it interesting (as the article says) that sex between two men was not explicitly forbidden like it is between man and woman.

  125. robinrcks…Im not sure who is here to be “schooled” as you said, in Islam. Most of what is discussed on this blog is more cultural than religious…though the two are intertwined a great deal. You sound extremely aggressive in your defense of all things Saudi..which is fine, up to you, but to declare we all wholesale refute any “proofs” offered up…then turn around in the same breath and refuse to offer them.is rather funny.

    Please, I would clearly like to understand this pivotal point in Islam. IF homosexual activities are forbidden (the Great Sin) then why has it been around since the time of mohammed..and even before…with no point of being stamped out (or even attempted)? If it is the great sin as described…why did mohammed not speak of it in depth as he does about a myriad of other things he believed to be forbidden? A few hadith hardly qualify for speaking out against it compared to the number of hadith devoted to other, less forbidden subjects. Poets have gone on about it…historical texts have described it as being all rather culturally accepted etc…but not much is mentioned about those poets and historical leaders etc being put to death as a result of it. Unlike the very real stories we get of adulterers being stoned etc now. It is only recently that Islamic countries have made a great showing of physically punishing homosexuals (and so called adulterers but are often rape victims). Why now? Could it be the extremists trying to take over as always and attempting to make some sort of point to cause fear in their followers in yet another bizarre fashion?

    Putting people to death because of sex has got to be the worst aspect of religion…any religion…and the worst reason to promote religion as being good in any shape or form. To even consider that god gives a fig about what you do with your body with another consenting adult is totally rediculous compared to other “crimes” that are given a pass. Marrying little girls…grabbing a harem of wives…death for changing your religion…oh wait…that ones even more rediculous. Sounds like god is a jealous god and wants it all.

    There are homosexuals in Saudi…big whoop? Tell that to the homosexuals in Saudi who must live in fear for their lives if they are openly exposed…I say openly because nobody really cares unless you get on TV or something and let everyone know it actually happens there. THEN watch out!!

  126. Whether or not something is allowed or forbidden in the Quran is not relevant. Muslims do things that are considered sins often just the same as other people. They pray for forgiveness. End of story. Whether something is ‘allowed’ or not doesn’t meant it will or won’t happen.

  127. Oby, I can assure you that no one here “angers” me when reading the comments. I hope my “tone” isn’t misunderstood. I only know what I know and believe. Not trying to convince anyone, only explain.

    I have also added a link for your consideration.

    http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/homosexuality.htm

    Coolred, I am just annoyed at having to prove everything I say when any one who really is so interested in the religion, could just take a course. Many are here to debate or degrade islam and I am wondering why! How can you stamp out homosexuality? The more something is forbidden, the sweeter it becomes, which is why you don’t tell your kids whom NOT to associate with. My point was: it IS not accepted by Islam.

    “There are homosexuals in Saudi…big whoop? Tell that to the homosexuals in Saudi who must live in fear for their lives if they are openly exposed…I say openly because nobody really cares unless you get on TV or something and let everyone know it actually happens there. THEN watch out!!”
    (sorry, not my cause)

    Do I seem extremely aggressive in defending all things Saudi? Oh, I wasn’t aware of that. I would rather be accused of defending things Islamic:)

  128. @Robin

    For once, I will turn off the sarcasm. Robin, please make an effort to understand that no one comes here to be schooled about Islam. There are all sorts of websites that offer Islam 101, 201 etc and American Bedu isn’t one of them.

    People who comment here have all experienced and learned about Islam, may or may not have lived in Muslim-majority countries, may or may not be married to Muslims, and may or may not have been Muslims with various degrees of religiosity. For many, this experience has uncovered things about Islam and Muslims that do not make sense and compare unfavorably with other ways of life. In the global market of ideas, there are other competitors.

    It is not anything that someone like you can mitigate or explain away. It is not something that can be helped with posting a few surahs in English and Latin-spelled Arabic and naive passion of a neophite. This is not a personal attack against you. But please understand that there is no lesson or explanation you can offer to make someone turn off their critical thinking facilities. There is nothing you or anyone else can say to turn illogical into logical. Accept that not everyone wears your goggles or wants to try them out for size. For every person who finds the Quran awesome, there are others who find it tedious and wanting, and there is nothing you can say to change that.

  129. ‘Many are here to debate or degrade islam and I am wondering why!’

    Why do you feel the need to make assumptions about people’s intentions? Are you hoping to try to discredit them or something? Does that help make your nonsense suddenly make sense or something?

  130. The story people like to quote in the OT about Sodom and Gomorrah turning into pillars of salt, it was not until the homosexuals of the town tried to rape the (male) visitors that the people there were condemned.

    Besides which, religious texts have been altered over the years by those in power.

    I try to accept the religions with the spirit in which they were taught- which is one of people being loving, respectful and courteous to themselves and others, and maintaining good health and well-being. Basically, enjoy life and allow others to do the same.

  131. NN, there is nothing you or anyone else can say to turn LOGICAL into illogical. Accept that not everyone WANTS to keep your goggles after having tried them on for size. For “every person who finds the Qu’ran awesome” I know that there are millions that just don’t “get it” and never will, no matter how hard they try. “And there is nothing you can say to change that.”
    (oh, and it’s “neophyte”).

    Lynn, my assumptions of people’s intentions stems from the fact that Carol can post ANY topic here, and someone will inevitably find a way to turn it around about Islam. I do not look to discredit anyone, anywhere, ever. I am not like that. Why do you think it’s alright to criticize every nuance of islam without being a part of it, or knowing the background of certain things and just understanding it in general, but want to label my position “nonsense?” So, your daughter’s a muslim. That doesn’t make you a muslim, though, does it?
    Somebody didn’t even understand how a person could memorize the Qu’ran, without speaking Arabic, but thought they would learn it without understanding it! But, what you fail to know, is that you can indeed learn the Qu’ran without knowing how to converse. It’s 2 different languages!! Someone also commented that they THOUGHT I meant we were all supposed to learn Arabic. What?

    Coolred was facetious enough to think I meant that ALL prayers were to be in Arabic. No, that’s only the muslims. She should know better.

  132. Yes…I knew you meant muslims must pray in arabic…you don’t come off as complicated and intellectual as you might believe yourself to be. I was answering that god must only know arabic FOR muslims to get their prayers to him and for him to understand them…since you indicated prayers can only be done in arabic…since we are speaking of islam and muslims obviously those are the prayers I was referring too. YOU should know better than to make complicated that which is easy enough to understand…something muslims are known for. I made this religion easy for you…until muslims get their hands on it that is. Whatever.

  133. Robinrocks…

    “Anyway, who says Arabic is unavailable? It’s available in colleges and online. And, did you know that there are people who have memorized the Qu’ran without speaking a word of Arabic? So, I guess Allah DID expect us to learn Arabic if we were really interested in the truth. Also, it is not allowed to pray in English, so…”

    Don’t know if you were referring to me in your comment but this is what you wrote. So at least for me it was understood that you meant Muslims. What I was saying is why should anyone have to learn a foreign language to get close to God? Like Coolred said he understands ALL languages. Why can’t a Muslim pray in Swahili or Laplander or any language that they understand?

    In the 1960’s before Vatican 2 Catholics had to hear the mass in Latin! Thank God they changed that rule. Now the priest faces the congregation and hears the mass in the language that they speak. The mass is generally the same all over the world (I have been to mass in many countries and it’s form/prayers/responses etc are the same) but the language is that of the local people. They haven’t changed the mass and how it was done so in that sense it is unadulterated…but now the people can understand what is going on and get a deeper sense. Before they just spouted words in Latin that they had memorized much like Muslims who don’t understand arabic do.

    The idea of changing the language it is said in was to make the mass more meaningful to the people, take out some of it’s loftiness and put it into the hands of those who came to worship. The only ones who understood Latin were the priests who had to learn it themselves. I think it was a good move as now people could enjoy and understand what it was all about and weren’t blindly following. The entire Muslim service is not in Arabic is it? Aren’t the Qurans in the language of the country the people are in? Why can’t they pray in their native language? Why must it be in arabic which the majority of the world’s muslims don’t share as a native language.

  134. I did write an article in 2007 about homosexuality and even cited the Atlantic article:

    http://americanbedu.com/2007/10/18/dont-ask-dont-tell/

    Here is another earlier post about women:

    http://americanbedu.com/2008/06/30/the-saudi-butch-girls/

    Don’t think that female lesbians stay quiet or in the closet in Saudi Arabia. One Saudi female in her late 20’s told me how some women are passed notes with phone numbers at ladies only malls similar to how guys would pass their numbers to women.

  135. Thanks Carol…

  136. You’re welcome Oby!

  137. just read the article..so pathetic.its like lets get random ppl who are gay to talk about their sex life in saudi..who cares…3 gay ppl in the article doesn’t mean there are more gays in saudi then the rest of the world…
    @Sandy..’. But there is a sub culture in Arabia where men use boys and it is not considered wrong.’…
    are u serious…its like saying western culture encourages and accepts child pedophelia…omg generalised statement much?
    ‘if not gender segregation, how do YOU explain the excess of homosexual behavior, that is out of proportion to the rest of the world?’..so ure saying that saudi homo’s make up more then the entire worlds numbers of gays?..
    all it can say is i just hope saudi starts enforcing the the hadd punishments more often…
    Coolred
    “Putting people to death because of sex has got to be the worst aspect of religion…any religion”…’ actually i think its the best part of religion..it means ppl are being held accountable of the bad….all i have to say is..u wanna be a muslim stick to the rules otherwise don’t be one..don’t get why its so hard to understand… I would rather have a sex abuser killed then the way their dealt with here in the west….after a small rehab program …aww lets introduce them back into society and around children…”they MIGHT have changed”…happens all the time in australia,,actually recently a pedo was released from prison and re-located into a suburb that had 2 primary schools and 1 day care centre in close proximity…lets guess how the story ends.
    hadd punishment is like a cleansing of society..can only do good.

  138. Robin, this is from your article

    “Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of the ISNA said: “Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption… No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.””

    Well, at one time it was thought that mentally ill people were not ill but possessed by the devil. Has turned out that mental illnesses are real and that many people are born with them. That’s what happens when science evolves and people understand what science has proved. Well, it has been proven that homosexuals have a little thing in their genetic make-up that makes them homosexual. It’s a proven fact so how should one deal with that then???

  139. The DSM-IV of mental health does NOT consider homosexuality a mental illness. Period. There is no psychologist worth the paper his name is printed on giving him or her a license that will conclude such a thing. People who say it’s a mental illness have no clue and haven’t bothered to research a thing…just going on personal opinion.

    bella-vita…of course I wasn’t referring to pedophiles etc when I said people shouldn’t be punished for sex…I did say TWO CONSENTING ADULTS…way to read into a comment what you want.

  140. @coolred..just read over..ure right :)..lol

  141. @Robin – ‘…my assumptions of people’s intentions stems from the fact that Carol can post ANY topic here, and someone will inevitably find a way to turn it around about Islam’

    Yes, I believe you have said that before. Again I will ask you to please go find a post (there’s plenty on cancer etc) to substantiate that claim and then we will consider your statement as worthy of mention.

    ‘Why do you think it’s alright to criticize every nuance of islam without being a part of it, or knowing the background of certain things and just understanding it in general, but want to label my position “nonsense?” So, your daughter’s a muslim. That doesn’t make you a muslim, though, does it?’

    Thanks for the great example of your nonsense! What a bore.

  142. Coolred – I was not saying that homosexuality was a mental illness. I was trying to point out that science evolves over the years and science has now proved that homosexuality is something people are born with same as what once considered being possessed by the devil is not actually that but something with a physical reason behind it and not ‘the devil’. I perhaps should have chosen a different way of saying it.

    Now here’s a true story for Robin and others. Two male penguins in a Canadian zoo have formed a ‘bond’. This is not uncommon for penguins. If they have no females available, and this is the key here, they will ‘bond’ and nest with a male and this could be a lifetime union. Now these penguins are rare and the zoo wants to breed them to improve the gene pool. They are going to separate the two of them and put them with females in the hopes that they will mate and produce offspring. The zoologists acknowledge that the two males will miss each other. They don’t know whether they will become a pair again when they are re-introduced. This kinda sounds like the situation male Saudis (and females) are put into doesn’t it? No females around so ‘bonding’ with males happens.

  143. Lynn, has been reduced to name-calling. (Lovely. Soooo grammar school).

    Coolred: you don’t come off as complicated and intellectual as you might believe yourself to be. (I DON’T believe, but apparently, YOU do. THanks!)

    Oby, its true it would be more meaningful to us if we all prayed in our own languages, but, then there would be no unity.

    The reason we pray in arabic and towards a common center (kaaba) is symbolic of muslim unity. Otherwise, if you consider the languages of the world, the Nigerian standing in line with you will pray in his language, the Spaniard will pray in his/her language, the Turk will pray in his/her language, the Malay will pray in his/her language, the Swedish will pray in his/her language, etc. and then you’d have a complete breakdown of salah in the mosque, as the salah is congregational. It’s part of one of the many aspects of muslim unity that we pray in Arabic. It’s probably the ONLY thing we muslims agree on.
    Also, it’s consistent with following the sunnah or tradition of the Prophet, pbuh.
    When words (Qu’ranic) are translated, they are not completely accurate, so they become ‘lost in translation’. If everyone started praying or reading the Quran during the salah in their own language, it would not be completely accurate. For example, there is no word for “salah” in the English language. Prayer is the closest word, but its not totally accurate because salah comprises more than just physical actions performed. Salah also integrates the heart, intention, ritual and focus of a person in worship.

    As for a muslim service. It’s more of a gathering to offer prayer congregationally. Fridays offer a sermon, usually in Arabic, but, I believe for that particular part of the “service,” the sermon’s language would depend on the the language of the community. A few years ago, when I’d heard that there was a mosque w/a sermon in English, I went to it one Friday. (I didn’t have to concentrate so much to understand it) Same thing in the states. The community was mixed (mostly Pakistanis, Indians, and Arabs), so then you HAVE to have the sermon in English.
    If you read the Qu’ran in any language other than Arabic, you are only reading a translation. There is nothing wrong with that. But the jewel in the crown lies in reading it in Arabic. Transliteration is also available.

  144. Wendy, your story only proves that man and animals are reduced to their basic needs. Doesn’t matter who’s available.

    “This kinda sounds like the situation male Saudis (and females) are put into doesn’t it? No females around so ‘bonding’ with males happens.”

    So how do you explain the rest of the world where male/female intermingling is allowed? Females galore. No restrictions. And why are THEY queers?

  145. Robinrocks…

    Thanks for your explanation.

    “It’s part of one of the many aspects of muslim unity that we pray in Arabic. It’s probably the ONLY thing we muslims agree on.”
    LOL! OK now that is funny because it is so true!!

    I hear what you are saying and I guess it is one way to look at it but for me that doesn’t make complete sense. Here is why: Your “services” generally follow the same format no matter what mosque service you attend, right? By that I mean, the body of the service (entrance prayers, sermon, etc)follow the same outline all over the world. (at least from what I have seen of Muslim prayer/practice it seems that way) Islam is a highly ritualized faith I think even more so than Catholicism (and that would be hard to beat! LOL!). Therefore no matter where one is, the act of praying or attending a service would be the same. Only the sermon (if that is the right word) would differ from week to week depending on what lesson the imam is trying to convey. Catholic mass is the same way. It is more or less the same the world over and it is the sermon or homily as we call it, that changes from week to week…and the music, but you guys don’t have music. So when I attended mass in Japan the people followed the same outline as Americans did. In India it was the same thing. England, Hong Kong, Brazil, France, Italy, the Carribean…all the same. I absolutely marveled at how I could be in so many places and yet I felt a sense of unity because the body of the mass stayed unchanged and all these people around the world were like me…they understood the mass like I did. There was a sense of awe and comfort in that. Yet in each place the language was the language of the people who could fully participate and understand the words of Jesus and the teaching moments the priest gave in the sermon. If the people did not understand then they were dutifully there at mass, but they weren’t engaged in the mass and imbibing the prayers and lessons to be learned.

    While I agree that there may be a bit lost in translation from Latin to english, it wasn’t much in terms of understanding. It may not have been a word for word EXACT translation due to the nature of language, but the essence/meaning was not changed and so much more was gained by the people being able to fully participate/understand as a community rather than repeat memorized phrases and prayers they couldn’t understand. If I just wanted to sit and have a moment with God and say a prayer…not a ritualized one, but one from the heart, like a small talk…and I don’t speak Latin how can I do that? I might know my memorized prayers in Latin/mass but beyond that point I would be mute. I could not converse with God if all my prayers had to be in a foreign language. And having the ability to have unfettered access to prayer anytime I want, anyplace I want, on my own terms is a small price to pay for the Catholic community not to be united in a common language.

  146. Oby,

    There is a formulaic prayer, yes, but you are allowed to supplicate & ask God for things in your own language. You are NOT required to learn the language to be regarded a muslim, but the prayers, themselves have to be in Arabic. There are concessions made for new muslims to pray in their own language until they are comfortable with the Arabic. Muslims can communicate with God anytime, and in any language, and if Arabic is not your mother tongue, then your private communications would most likely be in your own language, and that is perfectly acceptable.

    Yes, as a muslim, you can travel & not know the local language, but, if you hear the adhaan, that would be the “international” language that would call the muslims together. You could attend THAT mosque and not be at a loss, because everyone would be praying in a common language, as the service is the same all over the world. Just like you experienced the different masses. But the difference in your experience was the languages of the service changed as the locales did. This is not allowed in islam.

  147. @Robin – ‘Lynn, has been reduced to name-calling. (Lovely. Soooo grammar school).’

    na na na na boo boo! I said your typical lines of words full of accusations about who is ‘eligible’ to be affected by Islam or who has the ‘correct’ knowledge of Islam are a bore (especially considering that you do it over and over and over again) with the intent of the accusations meant to try to ‘win’ by discrediting or deflecting! When you show me a post on here that was not about Muslims or Islam or Saudi Arabia or the Arab World and yet Islam was still brought up (in order to resume the bashing) THEN you will have proven your point. Calling me out for my ‘childish name calling’ will NEVER prove your point. Especially when your very next comment you call homosexuals QUEERS! LMAO!

  148. Lynn queers is not name calling, but the preferred term by the queers themselves. Yes, I know several.

  149. Yeah, kinda like the ‘N’ word. I know several. LMAO!

  150. robinrcks…please indicate one ayat of proof in which god says prayers MUST be performed in arabic. I dare you to even put one hadith in which the prophet ORDERED prayers to be done in arabic. Where the hell did this “fact” come from that prayers must be done in arabic to be considered valid and religous enough to be accepted by god? You sound so freakin rediculous when you conduct your classroom on Islam 101…there are hundreds of languages…not counting those that have died out…BUT arabic is the ONLY one that is valid and legal in the eyes of god when it comes to prayer???

    You not only lack proof in your facts but anyone that claims only arabic is accepted by god for prayers sounds like they havent got much faith in the ability of their god to understand other languages..so why even allow other languages to exist if only ONE is sacred and holy enough to withstand the god test? Such horsesh*t.

    Btw…when standing in a mosque for congretional prayer…YOU are merely listening to the imam pray…in arabic most likely…and merely replying with those short sentences throughout the prayer….which means that anybody can reply in their own language because that part of the prayer is not in the quran. Salamaleikum…peace be with you. Means the same thing…why must it be in arabic? etc etc blah blah blah.

  151. Robin you missed the entire point. Men will seek out other men when there are no women available just like the penguin. These men are not what one would refer to as homosexual but just men being men and who want to have sex with something/body. Why do you think they make all the jokes about shepherds and their sheep??? There are true homosexuals but I’m talking about the forced segregation of the sexes in KSA and what it does to the heterosexual population.

    A question – if an English speaking Muslim prays in his head in English will Allah hear him or will his prayers be ingnored????

  152. Wendy, I didn’t miss the point. That’s what I said in the first line. But, they are not referred to as homosexual. Why? Only because THEY don’t WANT the label. But, its what they are doing.

    Coolred, there you go doing whatever it is you do to twist what I said. I never said anything about the validity of the prayer and all that other mumbo-jumbo you attribute to me. You may want to reread what I said before going off on your tangents.

    There is nothing in the quran nor hadiths that say we have to pray in Arabic. But, obviously since our prophet taught us to pray in Arabic, because that was the language he spoke, and the language the quran was revealed in, that’s the language of our prayer. By the same token, if the book was revealed in Swedish and the prophet was Swedish, then I guess we would be praying and reading Swedish.

  153. I guess most of us should be speaking some form of Hebrew then. 🙂

  154. Your conclusions have no merit. Just because it was his language that doesnt make the language sacred. You are assuming something that has no basis…you and any other muslim that makes the same claim. Please explain why the prayers have to be in arabic…JUST because th prophet spoke arabic??? That’s it? That’s your reasoning? For muslims to have unity??? Why should they have unity in language when they haven’t got it in much else? God says I made islam easy for you…but first you have to learn a new language. Huh??? Or at the very least…memorize it so you can repeat it back to me even though I know you DONT understand a word of it. But it pleases me to force you to learn arabic because that’s just the kind of god I am…once again..show me your reference that proves prayers MUST be in arabic…because in 23 years of reading the quran and hadith and whatever else took my fancy concerning the religion…I simply cannot recall any reference to that order anywhere. However, I am getting on in years..my brain is so full of pointless information..that particular bit might have gotten lost in the mix….so please..do refresh my memory and point out the proof. Waiting….

  155. Why do you think that people who’ve learned the quran, don’t understand what they’ve learned? That’s not my experience, nor do I know of anyone that fits that description.
    Again, I never said prayer would not be valid if not said in Arabic.
    When standing in congregation, if you didn’t understand the prayer and the subsequent dua’as, how would you know when to respond, Ameen. Which, by the way, is pretty much the same everywhere. Amen. WHY would you say it if you didn’t know what you were saying it TO? You understand the prayer!
    Let’s see: the prophet taught us to pray; prophet(as) spoke Arabic, so we pray in arabic. Mom taught us to speak; Mom spoke (any language); ergo, we speak Mom’s language. What’s so difficult about this? Don’t the Jews have to speak Hebrew for their bar/bat mitzvahs? What’s the problem?
    You’re trying to convince I’m missing something, but, I don’t see it yet.

  156. Robin – to Oby – ‘But the difference in your experience was the languages of the service changed as the locales did. This is not allowed in islam.’

    Then to Coolred ‘I never said anything about the validity of the prayer and all that other mumbo-jumbo you attribute to me.’

    Then you admit ‘There is nothing in the quran nor hadiths that say we have to pray in Arabic.’

    So do you want to retract what you said to oby about what language is allowed or is there some other mysterious way for Muslims to learn how to be Muslims that we unbelievers are not privy to?

  157. Nothing to retract there. Your first line has to do with changing the language of the service, NOT the validity of a prayer.

    I also never said it was in quran or hadiths to pray in arabic.

    And, yes, there are lots of things non-muslims are not privy to.

  158. So if it isn’t in the Quran or hadiths then HOW do you know that it is not allowed to have prayer/sermon in anything other than Arabic, as you claimed.

  159. Hell_oooo all (lol)
    too many comments ……
    I do prayer in Arabic but I am used to beg something in prayers and I always use my own mother tongue to ask my desire things.

    “Most of what is discussed on this blog is more cultural than religious…”

    really?? But if you through the whole blog you will find most of the readers ( including me) is busy to fine something wrong in a particular religion.

    Late Eid Mubarak to you all… Wish you all the best…….

  160. Ooops, forgot!

    ‘And, yes, there are lots of things non-muslims are not privy to’

    Perhaps you could give a couple examples? Would EX Muslims be privy to it or do their memories get erased in lieu of execution? LOL

  161. Nope, would not care to give a couple of examples. Not privy means not privy. 🙂

    AND, as Dennis Miller would say on SNL, “I. Am. Outtahere!”

  162. @Robin- Are talking about muslm behavior in the “privy” (bathroom cleanliness rituals) ;-), or being left out of the loop. I’ve been married to a muslim for 14 years, and I don’t know what non-muslims would not be privy to. Is there a big secret I don’t know about????

  163. It’s not very hard or complicated to learn salah…the motions and parrot like replies to after specfic sections are performed. You don’t need to understand a darn thing the imam is saying..you just have listen for him to say ‘ameen” then react etc. No need to understand a word of arabic…just an ability to copy what everyone else is doing. YES it helps to understand arabic…to get more meaning etc but at the end of the day…it’s just copying other people…which is essentially how someone learns to pray to begin with.

    And you must not know very many nonnative arabic speaking muslims if you don’t know even a single one that can’t understand a word of arabic (besides the hamdulilahs and shrukans etc) yet recite ayats for prayer etc. Small world you live in I suppose.

    “would not care to give a couple of examples…” …there you go again..making a claim then refusing to support it. So if YOU are privy and refusing to pass that information on…you are failing in your capacity as a teacher of Islam…which I thought was the point of you being here on this blog..to school us all in Islam. 😉

    gladiator…if that is what you are anyone else is doing means that is your specific goal..that doesn’t mean that is Carol’s ultimate purpose of posting the subject to begin with. She puts it out there…where it is taken by the commentors is something else.

  164. Yet another wild claim you can’t back up, just as I figured.(I would have let it go but there is that ‘obligatory last word’ clause in my contract so it’s outta my hands, sorry…)

  165. I’m with Kristine…I don’t understand the comment about not privy either. My Saudi husband has a very large extended family and I was warmly welcomed and brought into the family.

  166. I’m pretty sure that her comment was just based on her belief that a person who does not declare Islam as their religion has no business talking about it because they couldn’t possibly have all the correct knowledge about it no matter HOW much they have read on it or seen it practiced by various Muslims (or apparently even if they WERE themselves Muslims in the past). Just ignore it, it’s just her sloppy attempt at arrogance again.

  167. But that kind of comment adds fuel to the fire of those who think Muslims are lying and deceitful, like the whole notion of ‘taqiyya”. I think Jay has touched on this subject. It is hurtful though, because I know my husband has always instilled in our children that honesty and integrity are one of the most important character traits one can have.

  168. Yes, Kristine and she has been warned before that it is precisely ‘reverts’ such as herself and her buddy Bella that help give Muslims that bad name that she comes here to complain about. Whadayagonnado? {{shrug}}

  169. Kris, I am not big on “taquiyya” as are so many non-Muslim critics of islam. I don’t think most Muslims are deceitful on purpose (I make an exception for Imams – they should know better!). I see the problem as more denial or ignorance, or even a cultural brainwashing (read ‘Under the Banner of Heaven” about young girls in Mormon communities being indoctrinated to accept marriage to 60 year old uncles! – “It is God’s way, they say”).

    There is, too, the fact that a Muslim alone is a different animal from a Muslim among Muslims (Whoooaaaa – that is an old cowboy expression – Muslims are no more or less ‘animals’ then the rest of us). It is my experience that in one-to-one talks a Muslim will say things he/she would never say in front of other Muslims. Words like “problematic – troubling – bad – yes, hateful – I wish I could change that” are not uncommon when finding a quiet minute to talk with a Muslim. In a group, however, they are far less willing to criticize their religion.

    It is as if Muslims are more afraid of other Muslims than non-Muslims. Believe me, no Muslim wants to be “against Islam”. They might not even know exactly what that means, but they know that they don’t want to go there. That is why radicals always will arguments – all they have to do is tell the other that he is “against Islam” and the poor moderate deflates like a balloon and bows his/her head. This works well in politics – witness the so-called Arab Spring.

    As I said above, the idea that “Islam is perfect” leaves the Muslim no room to change. Worse yet, since Muslims don’t seem to understand what Islam is or isn’t, any criticism of other Muslims must usually be expressed in vague terms, limited to secondary issues, or blamed on a few misguided individuals.

    It is a good post and the comments are interesting. I don’t have to pay too much attention because Lynn is on the job.

  170. Jay you are right on in some many ways. Only among really good friends will Muslims discuss what is wrong and what they wish would change. Some even say I wish we could just be Muslims … in other words just good people without all the ridiculous interpretations and laws put upon so many. I will leave it at that.

  171. ‘I don’t have to pay too much attention because Lynn is on the job.’

    Yeah, well, LYNN would rather be off galavanting with old folk in Vegas and Tucson than having to repeat the same ole same ole with the same ole. 😉

  172. We watched this show, The Road to Mecca, on Al Jazeera the other night and it was quite interesting. It really seems as though Muhammad Asad had it right.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2011/10/2011102095616528352.html

  173. I haven’t watched the movie but the story about it had a couple glaring things. The first being that he left Judaism because ‘he got into heated arguments with the leaders of the Zionist movement and began to feel at a greater distance from the religion of his ancestors than ever before.’ so he left and became Muslim? But then: ‘By 1970, Asad had grown increasingly concerned that the Quran was being misinterpreted and misused for political goals. This motivated him to undertake his biggest challenge: a new translation of and commentary on the Quran’

    Why didn’t he leave Islam like he left Judaism? If he had then perhaps he wouldn’t have ended like this:
    ‘Emotionally and financially exhausted, he withdrew to Europe – settling in Spain in 1987. He planned to revise his translation once more but old age and prolonged illness prevented him from completing it. On February 20, 1992, he died, alone and secluded.’

    I’m just sayin’…

  174. I dunno? Maybe he thought that the basics of Islam were good but it was the interpretations that were haywire. He did an in depth study on women wearing the veil and came up with the fact that it was not a requirement and this is also how many Muslim scholars interpret the Quran.

  175. Also it’s not always easy for people to leave Islam* depending on where they live and how well known their apostasies are and the general mood of the people who hear this news.

    * or any religion

    But as Wendy says maybe he loved Islam or was too tired to find another religion at that point. The program seems good. I should watch it one day. Thanks for the recommendation.

  176. Yet the ‘basics’ of Islam is pretty much what he had come from in the first place since the two religions are so similar. But this way he got to die alone and secluded instead of surrounded by family. Lesson learned? If you have to rewrite something in order to make it palatable then perhaps that’s a sign that maybe you made a mistake in judgement when choosing it?

  177. I wonder if many scholars interpret that women don’t have to wear hijab, how has it gone from that to being almost obligatory. If that is not from scholars perhaps it is more of a political push. I have heard many muslimahs say on the blogs that they want to be identified as Muslims…I have never understood the desire to label myself so overtly and wondered why they wanted to. If it is to please God I can sorta understand that, but why is it so important to be known as a muslim… except maybe to make a statement.

  178. My husband swears that the Quran doesn’t say anything about women having to wear a veil. There is something about Mohamed being upset with people staring at Aisha so he had a veil or curtain hung in front of her carriage so men would not stare at her. He says it is from this that some scholar got the veiling idea but that nowhere does it say women should be covered or have their hair covered.

  179. @Wendy.
    ‘My husband swears that the Quran doesn’t say anything about women having to wear a veil’
    LOL clear evidence in Quran and Hadith ..asad and ure husband are wrong. Im guessing ure husband is muslim..just cos he says something is rite or wrong..don’t mean it is..its a common trend among men who marry non-muslims/newly converted..they wanna sugar coat islam to make it seem more attractive to their spouses..(in this case ure hubby with the hijab) always forgetting to fill them in on the important stuff he thinks u won’t take to so much..its not till later when the woman researches it herself that she realises her husband was wrong the entire time..im talking in general ..all cases are different.

  180. LOL Bella, LOL!

  181. Soooo…Islam has to be “sugar coated” to entice women to join it??? (I actually agree with that sad pathetic statement)

  182. yes, but Bella… Wendy is not a muslim so why should he have to sugar coat anything? She is not required to wear hijab nor do any of the rules affecting women affect her except perhaps if visiting somewhere and it is a cultural expectation…which I think it is. Could you please quote out of the Quran (the word of God) where it says she must cover her hair. Not an interpretation of a hadith which is written by men and therefore fallable.As I recall it said that a woman had to cover those charms which were apparent. I then guess that would depend on what charms were…many scholars say it is the space between breast to knees, not your entire body. What makes hair more charming than a beautifully made up face or expressive eyes?

  183. Bella, my husband doesn’t sugar coat anything for me. He doesn’t expect me to convert and he knows that it will NEVER happen. We respect each other. We married later in life as well. You’re a convert aren’t you, Bella?? You weren’t ‘raised up’ with the religion as he was. I do understand that the most fanatical or any religion can be those who convert to it. Sometimes the bloom wears off the rose after time and sometimes it just gets thornier. 🙂

  184. Oh and Bella … think about what you said. That’s some kind of religion if you have to ‘sugar coat’ it to get people to join it. Wow!!
    Also I’m wondering what you think of the many Muslim women around the world who never cover their heads – never have/never will.

  185. ‘never have/never will.’

    Never say never. If the Wahabbis had their way the ‘way of the salaf’ would rein supreme over all the land. 😉

  186. @Coolred..its a fact that muslim men do sometimes..pathetic or not..

    @ Wendy. ‘That’s some kind of religion if you have to ‘sugar coat’ it to get people to join it. Wow!!’..actually i said nothing about religion i was talking about us muslims who make that mistake..maybe its because they are worried their future wife has heard what the world thinks of Islam and influence her thoughts on it..i mean u can’t escape from it..and lets face it aint always pretty..

    ‘I do understand that the most fanatical or any religion can be those who convert to it.’…maybe u understood that from the latest post Ab wrote..it goes along the same way ure thinking.
    Look converts or not.. Muslims in general are passionate about their religion..it seems sometimes more then other ppl and their religion.. i think its a good thing…
    You are only judging someone as “fanatical” from what you have been pre-disposed to THINK is fanatical…if i had to listen to what every tom, dick and harry thought was fanatical i probably would be told praying 5 times a day is as well….cos for you fanatical is something and for the person sitting next to u its another thing..get it?

    ‘what you think of the many Muslim women around the world who never cover their heads – never have/never will.’
    I don’t care its between them and Allah.

    @Lynn…damm girl ure getting good at this. lol

    p.s. i didn’t forget about u Oby..lol ill get to u soon. 🙂

  187. There is nothing in the Arabic Quran that says a woman must cover her hair. I have seen it in English translations. However that is not to say I believe everything is so difficult to understand and one must know Arabic to understand Islam. The Quran is perfectly translatable, but some translators have no scruples about inserting their own things in. You’d think if they have faith in Allah’s book they wouldn’t feel the need to fix it for him.

  188. Oby said:
    “.As I recall it said that a woman had to cover those charms which were apparent.”

    Just wanted to add:

    I have taken this to mean that it is a good idea to dress conservatively for the society & culture you are in, especially when women are not supposed to draw attention to their bodies. If you’re in a culture where women go around topless all the time (in a place where there is nothing sexual about it; certain tribal cultures used to do this and possibly still do) and you’re covered from head to toe, it’s probably going to draw a lot of attention to you. On the other hand, if you are wearing a bikini in a place where most of the women are covered from head to toe, then not only will men think you’re advertising but you’re liable to get arrested.

    If a woman is wearing a bikini, men will stare. If she is wearing shorts and a t-shirt, they will still stare. If she is covered from head to toe, they will stare. If her face is covered, they will still stare and watch the way she walks, etc. Some guys prefer women with more clothing, some guys prefer the opposite. No matter what you wear, men will show interest. It’s human nature.

    What I was taught at university is that the more a culture had to hide, the more covered the people within that culture would dress. Wonder how true this is…?

    Modesty is cultural. I don’t understand why people struggle so much with understanding this, but then I was raised in more than one culture.

    And for those new here, I’m not Muslim. Even if I agreed with a significant portion of the Qu’ran, I still wouldn’t convert. Why? Because I don’t want to be negatively judged by Muslims for the way I choose to live just because I believe differently than they do about the Qu’ran on things that I believe to be completely cultural- like modesty. (The main reason, is however, that I don’t believe in religious rituals.)

  189. Sandy, I guess it depends on what English translation you have but there is nothing about covering in the English Quran we have here.

  190. @Strangeone – ‘Because I don’t want to be negatively judged by Muslims for the way I choose to live just because I believe differently than they do about the Qu’ran on things that I believe to be completely cultural- like modesty.’

    That reason will NEVER hold up so if you are going to be hanging with Muslims you better get a stronger defense or the next thing you know you will be a pregnant co-wife speaking in an Arabic accent. I’m just sayin’…

  191. Ah, Mohammed Asad. Probably one of the most progressive Muslim thinkers. I didn’t see a movie but have read The Road to Mecca and This Law of Ours and some biographies. He had good ideas but he didn’t realize he could not overpower the culture that had everything invested in selling itself as religion. A lifetime spent for the benefit of Islam and Muslims, only to be tossed out by both.

    I also got a feeling that he was just a wee bit too emotional and girly, and there was probably a hole in his life somewhere that he felt Islam can fill. His writing has a bit of German sentimentalism to it.

  192. ‘and there was probably a hole in his life somewhere that he felt Islam can fill.’

    No doubt. I watched the video about him and I saw that he had a son. That made me wonder about his wife. Why was she never mentioned? If he had a wife and a son why did he die alone and secluded? Or was that just a little touch of drama and it didn’t really mean it the way I took it? I’d like to know more about his family life. NN do you recall anything about his family from what you have read?

  193. I watched the doco on al jazeera..it was really informative. HIs books sound really cool to read.
    Lynn all i know is he was married to a Saudi woman..not sure if there was any other wives in the mix before he converted.

  194. @Wendy- yes, only some of the translations.

  195. Lynn, Asad was married first to a German woman called Elsa – they both converted to Islam in Germany. She had died soon thereafter, sadly, and it seems that her death affected him very much and drove him to look for meaning outside of Europe.

    During his travels in Saudi he was as much as gifted with a young girl-wife, and according to his account, he didn’t see her until their wedding night, and was struck by how young she was (13? 14?). She was scared witless, and after a few attempts to talk to her, he divorced her in a few days and sent her back to family with gifts.

    After he was tossed out of Pakistan and settled back in New York, he married his third wife, Paula Hamid smth? She was a convert too.

  196. PS: I’m not sure he had natural born children. His first wife had a son from previous marriage, but am not sure what became of him. Wikipedia probably knows the answer.

  197. Thank you, NN. I should probably check the library for that book. There was a man in this documentary that called Asad his father and it is not an Islamic thing to ‘adopt’ that way. But, perhaps it WAS the Asad way.

  198. That was really interesting, NN. Thanks for posting.

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