24 thoughts on “What Do Shabbat and Lobster Have in Common? Abe Pollin – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. That’s pretty funny! Next time I share a Ramadhan Iftar with a group I will recommend that we break our fasts with a martini. Some of them will understand and join in, some will get it, find it hilarious, and will politely decline for themselves, and the rest will be shocked and horrified and cast me out as a heathen. And, as you say, each of us will be entitled to the exact same full Islamic burial as Muslims in good standing, and each of us will stand before Allah in exactly the same way.

    1. Shirin,

      I hope I might convince you to use English terms to refer to the God when conversing in English. Using Arabic confuses ignorant people into thinking Muslims revere some strange idol rather than the same Almighty all of us monotheists do. I believe <a hef=http://www.islamataglance.org/media/Articles/General/One%20God,%20Many%20Names.pdf=this article should resolve and theological aversion you might have to my suggestion.

      And yeah, while there are many Jewish and Muslim authorities who attempt to dictate others understanding of the Divine, at least there is no Pope in either. Ironically to the point of tragedy, Jesus warned specifically against such nonsense in Matthew 23. I figure that is one of many reasons the Church was so adverse to translating the Bible into modern languages, a “brood of vipers” being a particularly fitting description of such men.

      1. What English terms when referring to God were you talking about?

        In Islam, God has at least 99 names.

        Muslims are not responsible for non-Muslims’ confusions.

      2. Kyle, while I appreciate your good intentions, I join Mary in refusing responsibility for the confusions of those non-Muslims who choose to remain ignorant. I do not object to using “English terms”, or German, or French either to refer to God, and find such objections just plain silly. I use God (or Gott, or Dieu) interchangeably with Allah, depending on the language and the occasion.

        1. Interestingly, if he read the article he has provided a link to, he would not be so confused.

          Really, what is confusing about “Allah”? Especially in the past 9 years, everyone seems to know what it means. And you can always google other words such as Ramadan and iftar, etc. I use google and other sources to understand Jewish terms, holidays, etc. We do not need a common terminology in order to communicate; what we need is tolerance of each other’s traditions, words, and to trouble ourselves to learn about them.

          1. I read the article long before I recomended it, and am at a loss as how you could read it and think otherwise, or that I’m confused here. As the article explains:

            Christian Coalition’s Pat Robertson, the world’s troubles turn on the question of “whether Hubal, the moon god of Mecca known as Allah, is supreme or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah, God of the Bible, is supreme.” Franklin Graham—son of Billy Graham and prominent evangelical who led the invocation at George W. Bush’s 2001 presidential inauguration—insists that Christians and Muslims worship different Gods. In the same vein, William Boykin, a top Pentagon general, brought himself international notoriety by proclaiming his God to be a “real God” and “bigger” than the Muslim God, whom he deemed a mere “idol,” inflammatory remarks for which the Bush-Cheney administration has refused to hold him accountable.

            There are many such people operating under the misconception that Muslims revere some heathen idol rather than God. I run into those misguided individuals regularly, and you can find plenty of them perpetuating their delusions though Google too.

            This is the first time I’ve run into any Muslims who are adverse to what I suggested here though, so I’m curious as to why you two are. You both note that it is not the fault of Muslims that others are confused, yet I agree and never said anything to suggest otherwise. My suggestion is only intended as a proactive measure help dispel such misconceptions, so we see less horrors like this in the future. Surely it is not that you two prefer the opposite?

          2. I don’t think you can or should adjust your articulation of yr religion in order to preempt the idiocy of people like Boykin or other neocons Neanderthals. They will say what they say no matter what you say or how you say it.

          3. I know unwitting masses can be preempted from being mislead by idiots like Boykin though using terminology they are more likely to understand, and not all who have already been mislead are as ideologically adverse to reality as his ilk. Besides, “Allah” isn’t a uniquely Islamic term anyway, as it was around before Islam, and Christians and Jews use it to refer to God when conversing in Arabic too, albeit Jews not so much since Zionism drove a wedge between Jewish Arabs and much of their culture. It’s much like if you want to check out the engine on a British person’s car more likely to be understood by asking them to open the “bonnet” rather than the “hood”, you aren’t changing the meaning of what you are saying by using different terms, just making yourself more likely to be properly understood.

          4. I used to translate Jewish terms into English & still do in some circumstances. And certainly if someone asks I tell them. But when I think a reader can understand fr. the context I often don’t translate. I think using the proper original terms when describing religious traditions or rituals adds authenticity.

    2. Now that’s an Islam I can get behind! But isn’t it funny that Osama bin Laden in yr tradition & Rav Ovadia Yosef or whichever loony rabbi you want to choose would cast us both into hellfire & damnation??

  2. Kylebisme, forgive me but please explain yourself a little better. I am utterly confused as to what you are talking about. Why is the issue of God, or Allah, or whatever name that is used, important to you?

    I am quite familiar with the moon god thing, and it is so silly that I won’t even address it. The people who believe it are beneath my notice and I don’t waste my time on trying to educate them.

    1. Put simply, those people you prefer to place beneath your notice are among the strongest proponents of the ongoing persecuting and murdering people for being Muslim, and many are actively caring out such atrocity. I’d prefer to see an end to that, and doing so requires dispelling the misconception Muslims worship some graven image in spite of God, which is why I suggest using terms people are less likely to misconstrue. Why is it important for you to do otherwise?

      1. “Those people you prefer to place beneath your notice are among the strongest proponents of the ongoing persecuting and murdering people for being Muslim” – were you referring to the US government? Because they are the ones who are the chief Muslim-killers in the world, unless you want to count in the Israelis.

        You miss my point. Those people don’t want to know the truth. It is not going to do any good to try to enlighten idiots. A closed mind remains closed unless it chooses to open.

        What this has to do with saying “Allah” instead of “God” still mystifies me. I don’t see how that can be misconstrued. I don’t say “moon god,” I say “Allah.” I am not responsible for people’s misconceptions. You are really making a mountain out of a molehill.

        1. Rather, you are making a mockery out of my suggesting, pointing out your lack of responsibility for what I never claimed you were reasonable for while remaining inanely obtuse to what I did say. I am aware of the fact that a closed mind remains closed unless it chooses to open, and you are exemplifying that fact to a T here.

          1. I am not making a mockery of anything. I honestly don’t understand what on earth you are talking about. You are not doing a very good job of explaining it, I’m afraid. My confusion is not deliberate, nor am I “inanely obtuse.” If you can’t express yourself any better, I’m not responsible for your frustration.

            As Richard said, there is nothing wrong with making an effort to understand each other’s terminologies, traditions, etc. At the very least, it is a courtesy to the other person we’re conversing with. If I use a word the other person doesn’t understand, they can ask me to define it. If they wish to learn more about Islam, there are many ways to do that, including learning some of those words that intimidate you so much.

            All I said is that I am not responsible for another person’s lack of knowledge. You seem to have blown it up into a mini-debate, but I am not interested in arguing about this silliness any longer.

          2. You are still doing your ridiculous pointing out of our lack of responsibility for what I never suggested you were responsible for, and it is inanely obtuse. You aren’t ever going to understand what I’m talking about as long as you insist on talking about anything but it.

          3. I’m sure I made calm and rational arguments here, while you and Marry dismiss them with ridiculous handwaving. It’s not hostility which prompts me to state as much either, simply forthrightness.

          4. I detected a lot of animus. I don’t know what you’re talking about when you refer to “handwaving.” I just asked, like Rodney King, if we could all just “get along.” There should be more we have in common than divides us. I’m not dismissing yr pt of view. It’s valid for you & certainly for others who see tradition & explaining it, yr way. I have a diff. perspective, is all.

          5. I never intended any antagonism, I simply didn’t understand what the issue was. I am perplexed as to why I was browbeaten on it.

            What I liked about the article is its human-ness, and that although the literal practice of religious rule is not being practice, the intention behind it is observed keenly. I think of Muslims fasting for Ramadan and getting together for an iftar meal of ham sandwiches and cold beer.

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