Friday, April 07, 2006

Civic society and Muslim participation

Last night in Austin, it was 'First Thursday'. It is a monthly event that covers a certain strip of South Congress where the stores stay open a few hours longer; bands play dispersed throughout in front of establishments or inside of them, like this Cuban sounding band inside a Mexican import store. (sorry, it sounded Cuban because they played some Cuban music aside the Mexican ones) The church on that street has people out front offering snow cones to passers by and some give you some church hand out but nothing pushy. There is a section with street vendors selling all kinds of stuff. People with a petition board for getting Kinky Friedman on the ballot as an Independent (yes, wanting to run is not enough, you have a few obstacled to hurdle over in TX) Another Independent was running for getting on the Texas Supreme Court (hurrah, says this one). And one of the tables set up was by the Central Texas Muslimaat organization.
That reminded me that even though there is plenty to criticize here in the US re. politics or the "evil" things that go on here according to some Iranian or other Arab Muslim sheikhs , there is that one thing that makes this place so much better than any of the Arab countries; a thriving civic society where everyone and anyone can participate.
Check out the ladies from the Muslimaat. They are a worthy cause and a great example. In some Muslim countries, they would not be able to pursue this.
Check out also the Freedom and Justice Foundation.

I really appreciate diversity and living peacefully together with people who are unlike me. It makes life so much more interesting.

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