Class started with our professor handing out an article comparing violent scriptures in the Qur’an. The author of the article refers to actual passages in the Bible that tell of God instructing Samuel to use an act of genocide against the Amalekites. He said that violence in the Bible is often minimized or excuses are made for it, which we experienced firsthand, since a few kids in class started to unintentionally make excuses or create a nice explanation for the murder in the Bible. But violence in the Qur’an is always interpreted differently by people. Some believe that Muslim radical attacks are interpreted as jihad by some, which is holy warfare, and irjaf, which is outright terrorism. But the author admits that the doctrine is aggressive. As we read actual texts of the Qur’an in class, we did recognize that Allah preaches to defend his word, and fight non-believers or those who threaten their faith.
We watched a John Stewart video clip about the opposition of those towards building a mosque near Ground Zero. The protestors claimed things like all Muslims were terrorists, they’re all out to get us, and that by building it “those crazy people” would win. Honestly, it’s amazing how ignorant some people can be and how disrespectful people are towards others. Just like how not all White people are KKK members, not all Muslims are radical terrorists. You can’t judge an entire group by the bad seeds. The show also included an interview about an incident in Nashville where a mosque was also trying to be built. But again, there were huge protests. The woman in charge of the opposition, Laurie Cardozza-Moore, said ridiculous statements like they had Muslim terrorist training camps and that all Muslims were trying to take over the world. When asked where she got all these “facts”, she stated she found them all online, and told the interviewer to Google it like she did. Incredible. If you would like to read her other "justifications" you can Google it (haha) or go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/26/the-daily-show-mosque_n_695329.html
In class we went over the history of Muhammad, and how the Islam religion split into Shi’a and Sunni. The explanation has so many twists and turns with caliphs, relatives, civil wars, and murder. It boils down to the fact that Shi’a’s believed that leaders should be chosen through dynasty, and Sunni’s who believed that the leader should be chosen democratically.
I find it interesting that the Qur’an gives rules towards every aspect in life, ranging from what clothes woman should wear, to the mourning period length before a woman can remarry, and the economic policies one should follow. The Qur’an truly dictates how a Muslim should live and behave towards one another. It also actually has reasons explaining why Allah is saying all this to Muhammad, explaining why Christianity and Judaism has it wrong. I’ve never heard of a religious text blatantly disproving the validity of another.
My arête class this week is step and stomp. It is extremely difficult to get all the patterns and gestures right. There’s a lot of smacking of body parts involved, and we ended up getting red patches where our hands hit our arms and thighs. I think I burst some blood vessels in my leg, but I’m too scared to look up online if that’s what it actually is, because I do not want to be haunted by gross extra-graphic images. Mine doesn't hurt or look gross and graphic, but it’s just interesting because I’ve never seen this before. Maybe I should ask a VSA student who is taking the Med101 class.
Tonight was proctor night which allows our group to go anywhere as long as we’re with our proctor. Although many groups went out to the mall, we decided to walk to a local Thai restaurant and then get some frozen yogurt for dessert. This frozen yogurt was absolutely the best frozen yogurt I have ever had. I decided to order the shop’s famous Nutella flavored froyo. It was delicious, and low in calories too! This place, Tasti D-Lite, has over 100 flavors ranging from the normal vanilla and chocolate flavors, to angel food cake, coffee ‘n cream, piña colada, and pomegranate.
It started to pour on our way home, so we sought refuge in one of the deserted dining halls. It was nice to have so much time to have great girl-talk with everyone. We’re becoming a close-knit family, and learning more and more about each other every day. As my friend Michal says, “Y’all know we have the best proctor group here? I love you guys”.