Wednesday, March 05, 2014

...and now, the Mardi Gras Hangover...Wahab evangelism

...which isn't what you might expect, actually.

First of all, thank you to those on Google Plus that found my recipes interesting enough for my blog to be added to your Circles.  The snag with that, though, is that I don't post recipes frequently enough for that level of attention.  But now that you've Added me, I'll see if I can do a better job of that.

Second of all, in the late evening hours I spent on Facebook, I was complimented by a speaker of English, Arabic, French and German on my simple statement "Laissez les bon temps rouler!" as being good French.  Ya, this person wasn't aware that this was a typical Mardi Gras/New Orleans quip, and when I attempted some German in the form of "Eins Zwei, Für, Die Musik Nicht Nein Bier!", the joke wasn't gotten that time either.

It was one of my Muslim friends who initiated a brief conversation with me in French, and then in private message, attempted to debate religion with me, which was very interesting indeed. As was often the case in past debates with Muslims, the Muslim didn't identify himself as being either Shiite or Sunni (not surprising--each regards the other as heretical and as good as nonexistent).  I was asked if I read the Quran and was it convincing, do I believe?  I said yes, no, no.

The person then asked if he could describe something miraculous? I said, sure.  He said that every time he hears the recitation of the Quran, he finds it soothing.  I responded that I sometimes tune in the Quran recitation on the radio and find it soothing, too, but I didn't understand one word of the recitation.  I added that because I'm an atheist, I am in a position to disbelieve the lies that Christians have been telling about Islam and that there have been a number of occasions where I find myself in the peculiar position as being an atheist actually defending Islam against the things that Christians say which are not true.

As the discussion progressed, he attempted to school me on Islam and I pointed out that I'm very familiar with Islam and even know how the Shiite-Sunni rift came about.  And that's when things 'way got more interesting.

He went on about having nothing against the Shia, the Quran is what it is, and even said I didn't have to pay attention to hadiths after I mentioned the known problems and differences with those...and observed that he spoke like a Sunni.  He then admitted that he was.  I mentioned that among Sunnis, the Wahabs were a problem and he commenced to defend the purity of the Wahabs and Salafists in one I'm wondering to myself how a Salafist of all people would take the obvious contradiction of an atheist defender of Islam. Whoa.

But that is the crux of how I'm able to get along well with my Muslim friends--they know that being what I am also means that I don't buy the crap that's being sold about them...but I haven't mentioned being a time traveler who has gone through all the trouble it takes to sort all of that out.  I don't think any of them are ready for that.

Well, an attempt to convert me to Islam ensued, thus the evangelism part.  It's clear that Salafist Sunnis don't believe the old Muslim adage about how only Allah can make a convert.  We closed the evening with a resolution to resume the debate later.  I'm looking forward to that.

In more serious news, there's the development regarding Qatar's alleged involvement in internal meddling. This is a charge we've heard before when Al Jazeera tried to raise alarm about the capture of its journalists in Egypt, except that the meddling charge rose to the extent of charges of allegedly joining a terrorist organization in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The western journalists who have joined Al Jazeera say, to a man, that it's for the sake of journalism that they've joined, but as long as Al Jazeera is an organ of the state of Qatar, that will never be the case.  And now we see further fragmentation in the Muslim world and it's all about Qatar at the crux of it.  Others may be surprised, but I'm not.

Some stunning news in the shortwave world this evening: Marie Lamb is pulling the plug on Cumbre DX as it airs on the radio.  It'll still be on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Still, shortwave radio isn't going to be the same.  And it just occurs to me that World of Radio's Glenn Hauser is no spring chicken himself.  That program has gotta end some time.  When those two programs go kaput, there's gonna be a huge vacuum left in the shortwave universe. Yikes.

Other Facebook memes I can really really really relate to...

...and when ya find that one guy who actually can, ya hang onto 'im.  Gettin' that lucky more than once just ain't bloody likely.

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