An Educated Spirituality – Reflections on Gems from Said Ramadan

I wrote this post around the same time last year on my xanga, but I recently read something that quoted Said Ramadan and thought of putting this up again with edits:

“Our problem is one of spirituality. If a man comes to speak to me about the reforms to be undertaken in the Muslim world, about political strategies and of great geo-strategic plans, my first question to him would be whether he performed the dawn prayer in its time….

…Power is not our objective: what have we to do with it? Our goal is love of the Creator, the fraternity and justice of Islam. This is our message to dictators….

Our ethical behavior and conscience of good and evil is an arm that is used against us by despots, the lovers of titles, power, and money. They do that which we cannot do; they lie as we cannot lie, they betray as we cannot betray, and kill as we cannot kill. Our exactness before God is, in their eyes, our weakness. This apparent weakness is our real strength.”

— Said Ramadan, father of Tariq Ramadan Continue reading

Why Every American Should Want a Mosque in His/Her Neighborhood

Why All Americans Should Want a Mosque in His/Her Neighborhood

Every few weeks, it seems that another article appears in the newspaper with the headline, “Community X Protests New Mosque, Council Reluctantly Grants Building Approval.” It seems that fear has gripped even the most sensible of us. A masjid (literally the “place of prostration” in Arabic, or “mosques” as they are known in English), has unjustifiably become a symbol of fear and worry in American communities, many of whom have begun to protest against their construction, afraid that they will become hotbeds of extremist activity. Muslim communities are almost afraid to request the right to build a mosque for their growing populations, afraid that uneducated (and some educated) township members will raise threats, protests, or rally against them with hate crimes and other acts of hostility. Continue reading