A couple of weeks ago, regarding Muslims in the West, I wrote:
If I can stress one thing, let me be clear: there is no plot. There are 1.5 million Muslims, or so, in the world; there are several hundred thousand in DFW. If we all got together, we could do some great things, but the same could be said for amateur and hack photographers, people with blogs, people who like grilled cheese sandwiches. If all the VW Golf drivers got together, we could ___________. But ain’t none of us going to get together on anything. My neighbors, the 50 or so houses, can’t even throw a block party, and we walk to the mosque for prayer together 5 times a day.
I wonder if some of the neighbors read that, maybe, and decided to prove me wrong, because last Sunday morning, we threw exactly that (a block party), with barely a week of planning. It was fun. And yum. And it the generosity my neighbors displayed with one another illustrates nicely my last reminder. Alhamdulillah, and may Allah reward them in this life and the next, ameen.
We chatted, ate, chatted some more, ate some more, and then went our ways. It was all rather sudden, and very easy, by the will of Allah alone. Alhamdulillah!
Even if it was very easy for us to all come together for a nice breakfast/brunch, we’re humans, and we still disagree on a great deal and we’re all still struggling through life just like our Christian, Hindu, Agnostic, and Other neighbors. We might be getting on a bit better than our African American and Latino brothers and sisters, and we’re probably not doing quite as well as our East Asian and Caucasian brothers and sisters, but we’re still struggling after the American Dream and that dollar just like everyone else. The women and men might gather separately, but we still eat just like you do, and probably some of the same dishes too. And, anyway, when men and women are together, men tend to dominate the conversation, peppering in some mansplaining and condescension, and with separate gatherings, women can be free to chat about whatever it is that women chat about when they’re alone together with no men around, and men can be free to chat about politics and sports and business without boring the women or having to explain anything to them. That might be the only real difference between us and you, well, that, and we pray in a different way, and we maybe look or dress a bit different than you do. But when it all comes down, we’ll be judged just like you on that final day. Sure, we can come together around some food and to worship the Creator, and we probably have much more in common with you than you suspect, much more than you have with the oligarchs and power people, anyway. But even if you look at all the brown skin and head scarfs and hate our smiling faces and think we must be up to something, trust me, whatever we’re up to, it’s going to add to our waistlines and the pockets of the grocery store and restaurant owners…there’s still no plot.
In other news, I have a very minor interest/desire in rolling my own film, so I recently started retrieving undeveloped film from sealed canisters and leaving a little bit of film—the unexposed bit between the canister and the film gate—hanging out to tape some film unexposed film to later. Well, I mis-judged that distance on this roll…
I think it’s maybe 2 sprocket holes, at most, and maybe just one and a bit. Oh well. Live and learn, inshaAllah.
Edit: at time of writing, the US Presidential election had not yet taken place. Now, with the results in, let’s all take a moment to pray for forgiveness and guidance, to pray that God guide our new leaders, help us to heal the rifts between us, help us to heal the environment, and grant us mercy on the day of Judgement, Ameen.