27 March 2010

Wacky week in Doha

Pic courtesy of omarsc View of the Fanar Centre from the Souq

So I've been in Doha for almost a week now. Came with very low expectations - not about life here, but about the archaic and insanely slow pace of things - most especially the administration. Its been an interesting week, catching up with old friends and making new ones, learning my way around and getting a feel for what the job is going to be like. There have been no major highlights yet, and my most spine chilling, blood boiling, infuriating moment was during the Jumah that I attended at the Fanar Centre. The finger waving 'angry imaam' had a massive audience of hundreds of English speaking expats from all over the world. This is some of the speech. So shocking it will leave you speechless:

This is a religious war. It is a conflict based on faith. This is based on ideology, on Aqidah.

Salahudin took an oath to not have any relations with his wife until he liberated al-Aqsa and he went and fulfilled this. People say that we don't need to fight, that we need to find nice ways of sorting this out - while they continue to occupy our lands, and our homes.

Very few people speak out, very few governments speak out. May Allah give those that do speak out the strength to continue.

We have a history with the Jews that didn't just start with the Balfour declaration and the Nakba. These very people used to make fun and mock the Prophet. These people even killed Prophets of God. They believe in books that say Rabbis have authority of God. They even say that to slap a Jew is to slap a divine being- they say that they are the chosen people. They think they are everything and everyone else is nothing. They believe that those outside their faith are filthy pigs. They are the ones who insult Jesus. These are teachings of Jews.

They wrap pages of Quran on heads of pigs throw them in al-Aqsa.

And if in some bizarrely unlikely case it is not clear that I totally disagree with this type of ideas and speech, I'd like to clear it up: this is not the messages that Muslims should spread or accept!


ummon said...

wonder what the sermons in arabic say.

Soraya said...

Agreed. Get very disturbed and confused by vitriolic messages like that. More disturbing is the fact that these mullahs are educating a whole new generation in this vein.

Islamic reform must prevail.

To quote one of my favourite authors, Ziauddin Sardar: "Muslims have been on the verge of physical, cultural and intellectual extinction simply because they have allowed parochialism and traditionalism to rule their minds."

ilmgirl said...

I KNOW! I was there too. At some point my brain just shut off. The worst part was that I'd brought a friend who had never been to a mosque before, and she was pretty horrified.

I can't stand that kind of diatribe. It's the wrong message to be sending, and just the wrong message period. There's a right and a wrong way to address political issues in the masjid, and that was definitely the wrong way. How can Muslims expect to be considered as a multifaceted group, the vast majority of whom don't support the, say, two who threaten South Park creators (and their ilk), when the message that we're told is that ALL Jews are bad? Real nuanced, huh? Really stupid, too.

Don't know if you caught yesterday's khutbah but it was much, much better. Not the same imam, for one thing, and he talked about the volcano, how small we are, and the environment.

Incidentally, it would be awesome to bring some like-minded peeps together for halaqas. I've heard that the ones at Fanar are a bit...eh. I'm thinking something with open minds and hearts. We tweeted something about rescreening Veiled Voices...wouldn't it be cool to actually do that and then have a discussion? Anyways, thoughts.


Bilal said...

thanks for the comments..
ummon: understand a little - Sh Qardawi was speaking about South Africa this week - going to blog about that soon...

Sardar is awesome! Loved his book: Desperately seeking paradise. But the ending lacked a bit I think...

I have recently joined a halqa group in Doha, that has room for improvement but is great - email me and I'll pass on details...