Sunday, March 05, 2006

Do the conservative Muslims have an 'Amish' type somewhere?

Ok, bad title. I couldn't think of a better one because part of me feels I need to make spaghetti sauce, the other part says; common, it's been too long, start writing already!

So, the essence of what I was wondering 'up there' is that I was reading about the Amish in the newspaper a little over a week ago. Knowing how the Amish have seperated themselves from 'modern', i.e. technological society while pursuing their life as they feel God intended, I all of the sudden had this thought; could those conservative Muslims who fight modernity, and who are afraid that many things modern/technological would pervert the Muslim mind, could they adjust themselves and just focus on themselves leading the life as they believe God intended? As in, seclude themselves from that part of society and set up shop as a little village, working the land, dedicating their daily chores to God?

I don't even know if in the Muslim world there are any groups that have sequestered themselves in pursuit of the godly life (and for those who'd know, please fill me in), but the point I am trying to make is that there could be a peaceful coexistence between those who want to keep things as they are and those who are considered too liberal and who want to include things such as women's full access to politics, the workforce etc. Men and women co-mingling. Granted, not all countries where Islam is the main religion are women prevented from participating, but there are different levels of taboo or areas where the religion seems to be at odds with modernity. (truth be told, I cannot imagine any conservative group just deciding to give up their fight and retreating in that fashion because I think they seem to think it a means to an end to fight those Muslims with their 'perverted' thinking)

I also realize I am writing in general terms and I apologize for that. I am thinking about all the info I acquired when I studied political science more than 10 yrs ago, but I will say I am still looking for bloggers around the world to start up my own 'group of 8'..I would love to discuss this in depth. And to be fair, as much as there is a pre-occupation with international politics and Islam and 'terrorism', radicalism etc... there are many more topics worthwhile discussing that pertain to the 'forgotten' places such as Africa or South America..
Don't worry, once it comes about, it'll be a veritable smorgasbord of discussions...Any takers??


Anonymous Ibn said...

Hi Ingrid,

Just came across your blog. I am very impressed by your fair and rational outlook on things here.

I am currently frothing at the mouth at this whole Dubai fiasco, (hypocrisy on the side of the US congressmen), and I was seething at the burning embassies (those particular Muslims) due to the cartoons too a while back.

My background is Middle Eastern, or Muslim heritage, and I have to agree with you about the comment you made that, yes, there are indeed some members of Middle Eastern immigrants who just simple do NOT want to assimilate into their host countries in the West. Lets just say, I know a couple such people. ;)

At the same time, I want to say that some other Middle Eastern people fully assimilate into their new Western homes, (the liberals), but the conservatives tend not too. I tend to forgive the immigrants who come to the US at an old age however, because they are fixated in their views, and wont change anyway. Even young Middle Easterners of conservative families will assimilate too.

Regarding the mentality of why dont the conservative Muslims assimilate, I think I know enough about this to say the following Ingrid:

What I have noticed is that to alot of conservative Muslims, the West is seen as yet another "tribe" of sorts, one that has its own sets of decadence and decay, and that as usual, "their" tribe is the best. Its almost not about religion anymore, but thats where it starts.

- Its bad enough they arent of my family, its bad enough they arent of my tribe, its bad enough they arent of my race, and wow they arent even of the same religion. How alien. How dirty. How strange. Again, I will state the obvious that I am not talking about Muslims/MiddleEasterner's, I am talking about the ultra-conservative ones, who appear to be the most intolerant.

Now here's the million dollar question: How are you judged?
answer: By the actions of your race/ancestors/religion.

Its that simple.

In a nut shell Ingrid, you are of the wrong race. (The white race? Oh those evil whites...always invading or conquering...)..the black race? (oh those blacks, always trying to speak up - who do they think they are? They are black!), those christians? (Oh those christians always crusading, and they have such silly concepts of a trouple' God), etc etc.

Thats really it Ingrid. You are not an individual. You are white. You of the "white tribe". But since there are plenty of white Arabs, then they add "wrong religion".


You are right about Holland having gone through its time of religious intollerance, and now people realize that they have alot more in common than their respective religions to care about, and thats how mutual respect comes about.

A dutchman from 1000 years ago has the same mentality as a conservative Muslim today.


9:28 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Dear Ibn,

thank you for your compliment. I can understand your upset re. the Dubai thing. Want to know something 'funny'? One of the possible 'candidates' of 'US entity' could take over from Dubai ports management? Halliburton! Immediately I had red flags flag showing in front of my eyes thinking;hmmm..who was behind all that uproar? Silly conspiracy theorist that I can be (sometimes)!

I need to get the name of this book my friend Karen is reading right now. It is written by someone who used to work for Clinton who describes in essence in clarity the difference between conservatives and 'liberals'. It reminded me of Muslims as well and there are similar outlooks that conservative Christians and Muslims share. The only difference is that most of the Christians live in a world that does not tolerate certain behaviour (believe it or not) and for a lot of conservative Muslims, they are being encouraged and manipulated to react emotionally. (in some Asian and Middle Eastern countries)

I do agree with you also, that in general, immigrants (whether they are Muslim or otherwise) will assimilate in a Western country and I think it is totally understandable that an older person will not be able to do so. Makes perfect sense to me!

Thanks so much for your explanation and insight. You seem just as 'enlightened' or perhaps just 'educated' which allowed you to think for yourself, just like Alhamedi/the religious policeman.

I think his post 'my new best friend' brought up an interesting point by this lady Wafa Sultan (if memory serves me correctly) that it's the education in countries such as Saudi Arabia which breed unconditional acceptance without any critique of Islam. Well, 'their' version of.

Thanks so much for your feedback. I am trying to do research for finding bloggers to join my roundtable but you know, not everyone even responds to say a polite, no thank you so..I keep at it. Do you have your own site?
Thanks again for visiting and hope to see you again in the future..



10:14 PM  
Anonymous Ibn said...

Hi Ingrid,

Yes, actually one of the things I have noticed about American conservatives is that message-wise, they are at times not too different from Muslim conservatives! Same "strictness", same "unopen-mindedness", different religion.

Now I am not one who bashes one of the political movements for no reason whatsoever, and is hypocritical. (At least I strive not to be). So I find alot of things the "liberals" do quite hypocritical at times too.

But there is a pattern here I think that comes out - just as with what you mentioned about a book you said your friend was reading:

The underlying pattern here seems to be simply that conservative-RELIGIOUS people are not too accepting of other peoples' and/or their messages.

And i have noticed this patten in both the Christian and Muslim faiths.


1:23 AM  

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