I disagree with judging others on their choice of religion…however… what’s up with the Window Of Islam series?

Last June I wrote of my experience at the Mind Body Spirit Festival where I had stumbled upon a group of nice Muslims people there promoting their Window of Islam series.

I wanted people to think about how terribly judgemental we as a society can be when it comes to people we don’t know, living their lives in a way we don’t understand.

There were three men in white robes there and two women in black burqas.  I wanted to share my experience of my own feelings of judgement that happened and then passed all in the matter of seconds, when one of the women turned around to face me, her eyes peering above the niqāb I believe it’s called, which is the side-attached cloth that covers the face below the eyes.

It made me think how often human nature results in us freaking out about something purely because we can’t quite see the full picture, so we jump to a negative conclusion.  Within seconds I diffused my own misguided fear pang of ‘who’s behind there?’ by noticing that the lady standing right next to her, also in a burqa didn’t have the nigab attached therefore her lovely smiling face was there for all to see.

I chatted and interacted with the Muslim gentleman manning the stand as I wrote back then, and came away with a feeling of having a nice, unexpected little moment with people I had not had such a chance to connect with thus far.  The exact sort of thing my nature drives me to do so and gives me a lot of joy.

In the weeks that passed this event and well on from writing about what went on, I got to listen to a couple more of the audio CDs these people had given me, however this time, I did not like their tone.

I will be honest; I was starting to feel like Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde.  Just a little naïve and with a mug sign on my head visible from more than a mile or so away.

I want to point out that not all the listening material designed to educate me on all things regarding Islam and the Quran had raised my suspicion, there were a number of them about creation, our planet and the evolution of life that were very interesting to me.

Unfortunately there were also a couple that sounded an awful lot like attempted brainwashing to me and I believe should never been allowed to be on display at an event like the Mind Body Spirit Festival.

This is supposed to be a space that has a reputation for being all encompassing of all people’s beliefs and theories and never a place to cultivate judgment or anger.

After the information that has come out in the last weeks since the Boston bombing, I have decided to put my hand up and say that I might have been a little quick to gush about my Islamic experience because not all of it really did end up good.  This makes me very cranky considering I went in with the idea of being open to understanding someone else’s beliefs.

But when those beliefs started to sound like I was being commanded to submit to the evidence of Islam, all words that were used over and over and over again, my inclination is to remind anyone living in this country, pushing others to deny another’s right of their religious choice, that the veil of suspicion placed over your choice is not likely to drop anytime soon if you go about things like this.

I took the time to listen to the ideals of Islam and to find out the spiritual guidelines that Muslim people in this country choose to live their life under, not just to be ear bashed about how everyone else has got their religious stories wrong. 

The information that has been revealed in the wake of the Boston bombings has made my tolerance for a message with a tone that doesn’t feel right to me, all that much lower.

 

50 thoughts on “I disagree with judging others on their choice of religion…however… what’s up with the Window Of Islam series?

  1. Yep. I don’t go to those fairs anymore because I’ve found the same thing but not from an Islamic perspective. They do offer great kirlian photography though… I once went to a yoga ‘retreat’ which ended up being a similar set up. I ended up groggily escaping from their opiate spiced chai! So yes, I’m skeptical about who wants a say in my spirituality. I worked out eventually to be open but more importantly conscious. You assume if you’re open and respectiful others will be but not always the case. Some organisations want your power and energy over money, quite scary really. It’s worth mentioning not all of Islam is like this but anyone Islamic handing out those flyers at the Body Mind Psychic Fair is worth being suspicious about! Some Christian, Yogic, Christadeliphian (whatever!) have a very similar agenda. Good post 🙂

    • Hi Ulyana!!! Good to hear from you. Firstly YES totally not all Islamic people I’m sure buy into the negative ‘tell them all they’re wrong’ type of vibe. The sad thing is though that so many people in their religion seem so angry. You don’t get that so much with the other major religions. Certainly i hear some of their ‘versions of God and the bible’ as being about control and fear but I’ve never known the others to spend their whole time talking about why other faiths are completely wrong. That’s what is just not on to me. Not bloody on at all and these people I met at the MBS…….based on 2 of their audio CDs, should have been asked to leave. I hope you’re well? Please let me know if you are ever over my way.x

      • I’m good! My latest thing is making raw chocolate and raising awareness for rainforest conservation (2 loves!). It’s very new but I have them in a few cafes around here already. I don’t go to Melbourne much but if I do I’ll give you a holla’ and of course send you some once I have it all running smoothly! xx

  2. I used to have cleaners, a married couple, who were hard core Muslim. I freely discussed their religion with them because I am genuinely interested in everyones beliefs and way of life. I did however become a little titchy when I started to notice my precious Buddha statues would all of a sudden be upside down or facing the wall after a day of cleaning. I tried to ignore the chants of the Koran blaring through my computer speakers via their iPod. However I decided that we would have to part ways when they suggested, after a run of bad luck, that someone had put the evil eye on me and that I may wish to participate in an exorcism which they would be happy to arrange. I thanked them for their help, took back the key and burnt sage in every room for the next week.

  3. Melanie………………I know it’s NOT funny but bloody hell I just laughed……..and then kind of recoiled like a snake. Scary stuff babe. SCARY STUFF. Thanks for sharing that. You get post of the year.x

  4. And therein lies the problem with much of organized religion. At some point its proponents eventually lay bare their adherence to their chosen faith and feel the need to begin prosletysing (? on the spelling) their beliefs as though they are the only valid beliefs.

    Sadly – and I thought I’d never say this – there are times when don’t ask, don’t tell is perfectly valid.

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