Sajed Bhandari

America, Books, Cooking, Muslims and some other things

Archive for May 2010

MPAC Action Alert

The Muslim Public Affairs Council today called upon the Obama administration to condemn Israel’s deadly attack on a convoy of unarmed international peace activists bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, which has at least 10 people dead. Media reports indicate over 60 people were also wounded after Israeli Defense Forces descended on the aid convoy in international waters while sailing for the Gaza Strip.

Named the Freedom Flotilla, and led by the pro-Palestinian Free Gaza Movement and a Turkish organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi (Humanitarian Relief Foundation), the convoy of six cargo and passenger boats is the most ambitious attempt yet to break Israel’s three-year blockade of Gaza. The Free Gaza Movement, one of the organizers of the aid, said that Israeli commandos dropped from a helicopter onto the deck of one of the ships and “immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians.”

In light of this illegal attack which took place in international waters, it is imperative that the Obama administration also demand that the Israeli government lift the three-year-old siege on Gaza.

About 600 passengers were said to be aboard the vessels, including the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire of Northern Ireland, former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck, and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein. The convoy also had officials from the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, Sweden and England. All captured aid workers and ships should be immediately released, and the bodies of the dead must be returned immediately to their families.

“For what crime were these people attacked and killed?” said MPAC Communications Director Edina Lekovic. “The killing of the aid workers is a criminal act and the Israeli government should be held responsible for their murder by the Obama administration.”

Israel has falsely claimed it is not occupying Gaza, but this event shows clearly that Israel is willing to use deadly force to prevent much-needed humanitarian supplies from reaching the population of Gaza. The collective punishment of Gaza is a war crime, a violation of international law, and a massive impediment to any peace process.

Last year, President Obama presented a major speech on U.S.-Muslim World Relations, a major part of which addressed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If the United States is perceived as silent or weak on condemning the continuous harassment of non-violent humanitarian activists that culminated last night in the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla, then the dwindling U.S. credibility for any peace process will be dealt another major blow.

Many Israeli peace activists have already issued their condemnations. Gush Shalom has called for the lifting of the siege on Gaza. Several European countries and the European Union have condemned the attack. Turkey, considered the most critical strategic ally to Israel in the region, has recalled its ambassador from Israel and the Israeli government is now telling its citizens not to travel to Turkey.

TAKE ACTION NOW:

1. Call the White House at (202) 546-1111 and the State Department at (202) 647-5291 to urge them to condemn this brutal attack and call for an end to the Gaza siege.

2. Contact the U.S. Mission to the United Nations at (212) 415-4062 and demand that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice vote to support a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s actions.

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Written by sajedbhandari

May 31, 2010 at 2:48 pm

This Article is not about the Muhammad Cartoons

This article is not about the Muhammad Cartoons

Sajed Bhandari

Who is this?

Who is this?

Anger is one of the emotions I do well.  I’ve felt anger about so many things.  The Muhammad Cartoons debacle is not something I can be angry about anymore.  I, like many other Muslims around the world, was initially angry, upset, and confused by what was seen as hypocrisy in the face of these cartoons.  Granted, I was never willing to go hurt someone physically over the issue, I was still very upset.  The two opposing sides on the issue are the following.  A group of people see the right to draw such cartoons as fundamental to freedom of speech.  The other group of people sees it as hate speech and often cites the hypocrisy of labeling these cartoons freedom of speech while labeling nooses in trees as racist and swastikas as anti-semitic.  There is a misunderstanding with respect to why exactly is it that so many compare these cartoons to racism and anti-semitism.  I, on the other hand, just don’t care.  This article is not about the cartoons as much as it is about Rasulillah SAW.

Some might ask why I have a copy of the cartoon in this article if it is not about the said cartoons.  I put the cartoon in the article because it is important for me to understand the emotions I have upon seeing this cartoon.  This article is fundamentally about me.  What does the cartoon bring out in me?  I feel upset by the cartoon.  It elicits very negative emotions.  But who is the man in this cartoon?  My friend Steve sent me an article about Muslims-Americans on a campus who dealt with this cartoon issue.  There were a group of people drawing stick figures and writing Muhammad next to them.  Instead of burning things in the street, the Muslim-Americans at this campus went around, drew circles around the hands indicating boxing gloves and wrote Ali underneath Muhammad.  Ingenious.

This article that my friend shared with me made me re-think the whole Muhammad Cartoon issue.  The article makes one ask the fundamental question about the nature of symbols and art as a symbol. I ask myself again then, who is it that is in these cartoons that the Danes are putting out?  I look again at the black and yellow and beige paint that sits in front of me.  The Arabic calligraphy that is so familiar.  Is this Rasulillah SAW?  The picture that is formed in this cartoon, is it the same person whose memory I recall so fondly?  This is not Rasulillah SAW.  This is not the man we sang about when I was a child.  This is not a symbol or image of the man I love and the man to whose truth I testify to.  It is ink on paper; it is a few pixels on a screen.  It is not the man that is in the heart of 1.5 billion human beings.

The cartoons beg me to ask, what are my memories of this man?  This man who is only a man the way a diamond is only a stone.  The cartoons, are they the image of Rasulillah SAW that I hold in my heart and in my mind? Growing up in a Bangladeshi-American household, I would often take part in milads that were held to commemorate the dead.  We would praise God and send blessings on the dead.  But the poems and songs that were the most heartfelt were the ones in praise of Rasulillah SAW.  This is the memory I hold of this man.  A shitty cartoon is not going to replace those memories of Rasulillah SAW that I hold.

I transcend the ignorance, the hatred, the negativity that flows from this cartoon.  It is not an image of the beloved of God.  It is again, ink on paper.  It is not a symbol of the man who bled in Taif.  He bled for us and he bled for himself.  He sought earthly protection in Taif and was stoned, maligned and ridiculed.  He like all of us was looking for stability, a safe place to exist.  Rasulillah SAW, a man, bled so that there would be justice on the earth again.  That is the memory of Rasulillah SAW that I hold.

I am not angry.  I am not upset by this image.  It is not an image of the man who loved his wife Aisha, the way I can only hope to love the person in my life.  It is not the man that cared for her, played games with her, loved her and died being held by her.   That is the memory I hold of Rasulillah SAW.

The ink on the page is not this man.  It is not an image of the man who when being protected by his companions in war ended up protecting them.  This is not an image of the brave prophet who stood in the face of tyranny and oppression.  It is not an image of the man who denied the sun and the moon that were offered to him by his enemies.  He was a man that sought justice above all else, be it for those who agreed with him or those who disagreed with him.  That is the memory of Rasulillah SAW.

What will I say if I see this man on the Day of Judgment?  Will I say that, Ya Rasulillah, I spent my life in anger?  Or will I say, Ya Rasulillah, I have spent my life with your memory strewn across my actions the way the stars dot the sky?  Ya Rasulillah, I have spent my life reading about you, wanting to see you, dreaming about you and all I want to do is sit at your feet.  This is the memory of Rasulillah SAW.

What can be said about this man?  Words are empty when attempting to explain what he means in my heart.  I am a sinner.  I am not a good Muslim.  I don’t claim to be otherwise.  This is not a statement on humility as humility is not one of the things I do well.  It is a statement of truth.  But in my heart, there is love for Rasulillah SAW.  There is a love that transcends the ink on the page that is meant to be a symbol of Rasulillah SAW.  So the black and the yellow and the beige paint can continue to exist.  If it is your freedom to express this image, then it is your freedom.  But, when I am on my deathbed, it is not this picture I will be thinking about.  It is not the black turban or the evil look on the face of this cartoon that I will remember.

My thoughts will not be tainted.

My memory of this man is mine to hold.  My memory of this man is the ease in my heart.  There is no stress, no thought that can cover the luminance that this love for Rasulillah SAW creates in me.  Paint dries, newspapers crumble and are thrown away.  But love for Rasulillah SAW is a memory that will never die in me.  It is this love that unclenches my fist when I see this image.

And as the poet says,

“Love of the Prophet runs like blood in the veins of his community.” – Iqbal.

Written by sajedbhandari

May 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

LOST

LOST

omg

Written by sajedbhandari

May 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A Statement on Principle has no room in American Politics. The Rand Paul Story.

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“A Statement on Principle has no room in American Politics.  The Rand Paul Story.”

Sajed Bhandari

I have been visiting my parents in Minnesota since Monday.  My mom said she would not take me out in public until I shaved and got a haircut.  It was a fair state of things honestly; I looked hideous.   I had cut my hair one other time in Minnesota.  There is a local barber in the complex.  My dad had set an appointment for me to see him the next day.  My appointment was at three so I decided to head down the elevator and into the skyway to see him.  The man, his name is George, offered me a seat.  Before I sat down, I noticed that he was watching a video of my favorite newscaster, Glenn Beck.

This was not going to go well.

I was about to get my hair cut by a Teabagger.  That was my thought at least.  I don’t know if it was because I was in a different state or because the man had two sharp blades very close to my neck, but I decided not to get into a political discussion with him.  I am not very civil sometimes.

The first question that came out of my mouth… “So what did you think of the Primary results.”  I am an idiot.

What followed was a conversation on the Attorney General of the United States, Arlen Specter, Rand Paul and the Democrats.  But that is a whole lot of conversation to type.  We got into a discussion about media bias.  There was a young girl there, her name was Jennifer.  I think she said she was studying English.  In any case, she offered her input.

Jennifer said that it was interesting how George thought the Media was biased towards the Left and that he saw no bias on Fox News (don’t worry, I bit my tongue when George initially said this.  Again… not sure if it was Minnesota or the two sharp blades).  Jennifer continued saying that we only see bias if we disagree with it.  This is true.

I’m a relatively liberal person.  My friends would say my liberalism is a bit more absolute.  My friends would not be wrong.  But I like using the word “relatively”.  It’s a nice word, relatively speaking.   I guess I never really mind the Media bias on MSNBC because I tend to agree with what they are saying.  I watch MSNBC like it’s porn.

I never really had an issue with MSNBC’s bias, until what happened with Rand Paul and Rachel Maddow.  Long story short, Maddow grilled Paul on his opposition to a title in the Civil Rights act of 1964.  That is not the point of this article.  I don’t want to summarize beyond what I just said.

MSNBC created a firestorm.  They made much noise about Rand Paul and his absolute libertarianism, his purist ways, his political ineptitude.  MSNBC commentators kept saying how Paul was not fit for politics because he was too principled.  Instead of making pragmatic legal decisions, some were worried that he would spend too much time taking part in 2 AM dorm room bull sessions on national TV.

Needless to say, much of the commentators supported President Obama and his campaign of Change.  I think most of us were fed up with Washington and even more with President Bush.  Change would have been more than welcome.  But, these same commentators were criticizing Rand Paul for being too different from what is expected of politicians.   I guess change was important, but too much change from Washington’s ways, too much deviation from what is mainstream is not welcome.

Rand Paul was having a discussion on the nature of private ownership with Rachel Maddow.  He was not advocating the repeal of the Civil Rights Act.  But the nature of a 24-hour news cycle does not allow for an intelligent and informed debate about such issues as the nature of ownership.  Instead, conversations on these issues are turned into convenient political jabs.  The issue is deeper though than the faults of a 24-hour news cycle.  The issue that I am concerned with relates more to the deep-rooted anti-intellectualism that exists in much of our political discourse in America when we disagree.  President Obama, the philosopher-President, was able to intelligently articulate the case for a Just War while being the Commander in Chief of a military at war in two different nations and accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.  That is not sophism or political maneuvering.  It is good logic.  It is good argument.  It is Obamaesque.

The Media has time to sit and appreciate such an articulate speech when they agree to the premises and conclusions being made.  Rand Paul however, a libertarian, is not given the same patience.  We disagree with his premises and conclusions.  We do not let him have a reasoned interview on national TV.  We would much rather create sound bites and denigrate the man as taking part in dorm room bull sessions.  The issue is not that we have biased media.  That is a welcome part of a free society if not an integral one.  The issue is not allowing a person to logically explain his position when we disagree.  Thomas Jefferson preferred a free press over a functioning government.  Free press is what makes democracy possible.  But how are citizens of our republic to be informed when a person cannot defend his ideas in the abstract?  This is the change we need in our politicians; Republicans and Democrats who can have a civil discourse and argue with civic reason.  But that will never be the state of political discourse so long as every politician needs to worry about his or her speech being worthy of the 24-hour news cycle sound bite.

We say we are waiting for change, but we are not willing to accommodate it when it arrives.

Written by sajedbhandari

May 22, 2010 at 1:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Primaries: Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and the Rise of Ideology

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“Most important Primary until Next Week’s Primary”

Sajed Bhandari

I have been in Minnesota since Monday.  I had actually forgotten there were some very significant primaries that were to take place this week.  There were Republican and Democratic primaries in Kentucky for the Senate, as well as Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania and Arkansas.  Primary season and mid-Term elections are always interesting.  The media always makes a ruckus about if it is a referendum on the President, or if it is a protest against incumbents running in those particular races, or if it is a referendum on the party in power.   The important winners for the night were Rand Paul (R) in Kentucky, Joe Sestak (D) in Pennsylvania and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) being forced into a runoff by Lt. Governor Bill Halter (D).  What is important to understand from these results is that it was not a referendum on President Obama or necessarily the Democrats.  It was a protest against the status quo, it was a vote for change, and it can be argued that this is a continuation of the spirit that the then- Senator Obama evoked during his campaign for the Presidency.  The results highlight the increase in ideological differences of the American electorate as opposed to established party ideals.  The results highlight an increasing importance of libertarianism/classical liberalism and progressivism/social liberalism in American politics.  It is a move away from traditional Democrat v. Republican battle schemes.

Kentucky had both Democratic and Republican primaries with the Republican winner being Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul.  Rand Paul was the Tea Party candidate in this primary.  His opponent, the establishment candidate, was Trey Grayson.  Grayson enjoyed the support of the Republican machine in Kentucky as well as prominent Republican leaders in state-wide elected office.  In spite of this machine support, Rand Paul defeated Grayson 2:1.  What was even more significant was that Paul was able to bring more Republicans out to vote in a Primary than any other Republican in Kentucky’s history.  These voters came out to vote against the Republican establishment and showed that they were not going to vote for candidates they saw as entrenched in DC Politics.  Rand Paul is an extension of his father’s movement.  The movement highlights how different the Tea Party is as for as its rhetoric goes.  Both, father and son are known to be libertarians, holding views that favor greater civil liberties, greater market autonomy, and less governmental intervention.  They are contrasted to other Tea Party leaders, such as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, who in their rhetoric are much more controversial and combative.  Rand Paul and Ron Paul are two men to watch because it is not necessarily the ideas of the Tea Party that is holding the Tea Party back.  Rather, it is their rhetoric of hatred and irrationality that turns off many voters.  Ron and Rand Paul are emerging leaders in the movement who will be the more sober flag bearers of the Tea Party.  In this process, they will directly challenge the established Republicans in DC and elsewhere.

Pennsylvania saw an upset with the victory of Joe Sestak over 30+ year Senatorial veteran, Arlen Specter.  Arlen Specter was the Senator who had left the Republican Party for the Democrats in 2009.  He was instrumental in President Obama’s healthcare reform and stimulus projects.  President Obama was nominally in support of Specter, taping calls and officially endorsing Specter over Sestak.  Specter also enjoyed the support of all the elected Democrats as well as major Democratic Committee members.  He was the establishment candidate in this primary.  Sestak was a Rep. but ran on a platform of taking on politics as usual Democrats.  Specter was prey to this attack because his move to the Democrats was seen as transactional and opportunistic.  It did not help that Specter had mentioned as such on more than one occasion.   Specter, by the people, was seen as untrustworthy and not enough of a Democrat.

Arkansas will have a runoff election in a few days between Senator Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Governor Bill Halter.  Blanche Lincoln was one of the four Democrats who had voted against healthcare reform.  She was the first of those four Democrats facing any level of election.  Lt. Governor Bill Halter was seen as the progressive Democrat who could answer the needs of the people and take down the conservative Democrat, Blanche Lincoln.  He was aided by many progressive groups outside of Arkansas.    Not only did he prevent her from getting 50% of the votes, but he tied her in percentage of votes received.  This was a substantial attack on a conservative Democrat who was not seen as progressive enough because of her lack of support for healthcare reform.  What is most important to understand is that, progressive groups played a pivotal role in undermining Senator Blanche Lincoln.  Blanche Lincoln was seen as not listening to her constituents; however, what is in question is her ideology.  Is she progressive enough to be a Democrat or has she become too conservative?

In conclusion, the primary results indicate an attack on the status quo and politics as usual.  In Kentucky, the Tea Party candidate, Rand Paul defeated the establishment candidate.  Pennsylvania saw the establishment candidate, Specter lose to Sestak.  Finally, Arkansas had their Senator forced into a runoff by the more progressive Democrat, Bill Halter.  In each case, the voters came out and protested the wishes of their party leaders.  It is a sign of things to come in November when voters take to the polls another time.  What is important to consider is will the mid-Term elections be an effort to take out the Democrats, or will it be a continuation of the spirit of change?  It seems as though that voters are become disillusioned with mainstream Democrats and Republicans.  Instead, they are turning to the philosophies that supposedly underlie each of these parties.  The Tea Party represents the libertarianism and classical liberalism side of the American electorate, while the victories in Pennsylvania and Arkansas show a rise of a grassroots progressivism and social liberalism.  The mid-Term elections are sure to be a showdown between these two philosophies more so than it will be a battle between Democrats and Republicans.

Written by sajedbhandari

May 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Thoughts on Rima Fakih

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“ Thoughts on Rima Fakih ”

Sajed Bhandari

Watching a breaking news piece on TV, I automatically say to myself, oh God don’t let him be Muslim.  I was on Yahoo News the other day and saw a picture of Rima Fakih.  For some reason, I had a similar reaction.  After realizing she didn’t blow anything up and instead, she had won Miss USA, I was relieved and happy for her.   I also however felt bad for her.  Not only was she going to get the garbage that Islamophobes give to any Muslim in the public eye, but she would not be supported by a great portion of the Muslim-American community.  I would like to present three of my thoughts on Rima Fakih’s win in the Miss USA Pageant.  The thoughts are on Rima Fakih’s contribution to Muslim-American soft power, Islamophobic attacks on Rima and Rima being a symbol for an alternative image of the Muslim-American woman.

I have spent a lot of my conscious life watching stand up comedians.  Stand up comedians that come from a minority group tend to make a lot of jokes about both external and internal stereotype of said group.  This allows members of that group to address certain social issues that arise in their groups as well as neutralizing any perceived threats the greater society may have about that specific group.  This was the beginning of my understanding of soft power.  Rima has contributed greatly to Muslim-American soft power with her win in the Miss USA pageant.  I do not know much about beauty pageants, but I know that the winners are expected to travel and give speeches on empowering girls and achieving your dreams.  It is important to have a Muslim-American woman contributing to such virtuous discourses and being in the public eye while providing this service.  In providing an empowering message to girls around the country, Rima will become a role model for many.   The benefits that the Muslim-American community as a whole will receive by a Muslim-American woman providing such a service to so many of the youth are self evident.

Secondly, I was not shocked, but nonetheless saddened to see the reaction of a lot of the conservative media personalities.  As mentioned, the reactions were not surprising.  Some accused her of having ties to Hezbollah while others said that it was conspiracy theories that lead to her winning.  I will not dwell on these issues because as a general rule, I try to think of conservatives as little as possible and secondly, I do not wish to taint this positive event.  I will say however, that this linking of public Muslim figures to terrorism needs to be addressed for what it is, racism and Islamophobia.  But that is for another article.

Thirdly, Rima offers an alternative image of what a Muslim woman is.  I know many of us delude ourselves into thinking Muslim women are all chaste individuals covered in colorful or solid black bed sheets.  That is a very nice delusion to have, but the reality is there are also many Muslim women who do not wear hijab nor subscribe to traditional understandings of modesty in dress.  Rima is an example of a woman who can embrace her Muslim heritage, but not have to wrap herself in the hijab in the process.  It is a much more telling image of many Muslim women in America than the deluded idea that all Muslim women wear the veil and lower their gaze as they walk by.

In conclusion, I am happy for Rima.  She has achieved a dream of hers that I am sure she has had since she was a child.  I only wish success for her.  I am proud that America will be represented by a Muslim woman in the international scene.  I hope that she has a bright future.  She can only bring benefit to the Muslim-American community and my only hope is that as she continues to succeed, she publicly embraces her heritage.

Written by sajedbhandari

May 19, 2010 at 1:54 am

Documentary Review 1: “The Man Who Walked Across the World- Magicians and Mystics”

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*** Accounting owns me for the next week so no new writing… This is a very old article I wrote.***

Documentary Review 1: “The Man Who Walked Across the World- Magicians and Mystics”

Introduction

I have this documentary fetish.  I joined a group on Facebook called; I watch the history channel like its porn.  True statement.  So, one of the recent documentaries that I watched, and felt that it was worth mentioning in a review is “The Man Who Walked Across the World- Magicians and Mystics”.  The documentary follows an Arabist, Tim Mackintosh-Smith, who retraces the steps of the 14th Century Muslim traveler, Ibn Batuta.  I am not a huge fan of Ibn Batuta, nonetheless, his travels always intrigued me.

A Disclaimer: This is my first post of the like, so bare with me…

Biography of Ibn Batuta

His name was Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn ِAbdullah Al Lawati Al Tanji Ibn Battuta.  He was born in February of 1304 and died about 60 to 70 years later.  Ibn Batuta was a Moroccan Berber and a jurisprudent in the Madhab of Imam Malik (RH).  Although he was a scholar in his own, he is primarily known in the Muslim world and the Western world for his travels.  He traveled across much of the Muslim world as well as outside of it.  Ibn Batuta visited North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the West, to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China.  And for the intents and purposes of this blog entry, that is all we will have to know about our sometimes-friend, Ibn Batuta.

Brief Synopsis of the Documentary

The narrator of this documentary is Tim Mackintosh-Smith.  He is an Arabist and has lived in the Muslim world for half of his life.  The documentary begins in Turkey, the homeland of Rumi.  This is where, according to Mackintosh-Smith, Ibn Batuta’s journey began.  The documentary continues with the narrator spending an evening with Sufis of the Mevlevi order.  The gathering, technically illegal in Turkey now, consisted of dancing, music, food and statements of Rumi’s history and philosophy.  Mackintosh-Smith then leaves the busy city to interview descendents of the nomadic Sultans in the outskirts of Turkey.  The documentary continues to the Crimea, or modern-day Ukraine and a visit to an Orthodox church, whereto it is said that Ibn Batuta also traveled.  The overwhelming remainder of the video consists of Ibn Batuta’s stay in Indian and the Sultan, Mohammad Shah.

Reflections/Conclusions

So pretty much everything that preceding this section was boring and dry because there was very little personality within the text.  Believe me I know this.  I just wanted to offer a brief historical background of the focus of this documentary and a synopsis of the documentary; you should watch it yourself (I offer the link at the bottom of this entry).  So, I don’t consider myself too accepting of a person.  However, as of late, I have been trying to broaden my horizons and exposure to other cultures and beliefs.  Aristotle is quoted to have said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”.  I feel as though I have reached a status in my intellectual endeavors whereby I can now seek out new ideas and thoughts without feeling tremendous influence by them.  With this quote in mind, I watched this documentary with a surprising amount of tolerance and wonder.

The narrator of the documentary set out to show a picture of the Muslim world that is not always seen in the West.  It sought to bring down the monolithic image of the Muslim world that has been created in today’s media and political discourse.  The Arabist does a wonderful job of showcasing the rich diversity that is found within the Muslim world.  I am of a particular persuasion, school of thought, and ideology.  However, I could not help but revel in the beauty of all the different peoples and cultures studied in this short documentary.  This is a theme or understanding that you will see in a lot of my writings from now on.  The Mevlevis in Turkey, the Tatars in Ukraine and the Muslim Magicians in India showcased in this documentary each offered a very human, yet very distinct face to Muslims and the Muslim world.

I found myself, not necessarily re-evaluating my social or religious beliefs, rather finding a certain beauty in the difference that exists in our Muslim societies.  It peaked my curiosity in cultures that I might have previously found offensive or heretical.  I hope this is only a beginning to a thorough study of the Muslim world and the plethora of peoples and cultures it has to offer.

Written by sajedbhandari

May 7, 2010 at 1:19 am

Posted in Reviews