Earlier this week, the Administrative Court of Alexandria, Egypt, banned a festival held each year for decades in honor of a Moroccan rabbi.
According to the report in WorldPost, “local residents…objected to the mingling of men and women and the consumption of alcohol at the festival, and claimed that strict security measures applied during the festival negatively affected their normal daily life”.
That the attendees were Jews from Mediterranean countries certainly wasn’t a factor, eh?
It’s going to be a recurrent problem: older members of a mosque in conflict with younger members.
It’s a situation that has been repeated in religious institutions in the United States since Colonial days (think of the immigrant Pilgrims’ conflicts with their own North America-born children and grandchildren).
This time it’s Sacramento, California, where Mohamed Abdul-Azeez, the popular imam of the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM) Islamic Center, was forced out by the governing board. According to the Sacramento Bee, “His departure comes after a majority of the nine-member board rebuffed his expansion plan, which included establishing satellite mosques throughout the region, hiring an IT manager to televise his sermons and adding an assistant imam to handle many of the needs of the congregation.”
Every immigrant religion faces the problems of adapting an Old World theology to New World challenges. The American conundrum of Islam is no different in many ways. Like both Christianity and Judaism in the United States, Muslim institutions in the U.S. must reconcile beliefs of congregants from many different originating cultures and their varying views on religion. When age and immigrant/native born status is added to the mix, disagreement seems inevitable.
Muslim-majority countries need to get a grip.
First Turkey jails a 16-year-old boy for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and then Mauritania sentences a journalist to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Really? In the 21st Century? We haven’t figured out the benefits of free speech?
How can a Muslim possibly believe Muhammad is harmed in any way by something someone has said or written! (Now, politicians like Erdogan…that falls under the category of “thin skinned”.)
Pakistan is a mystery to me. How can it continue to act in such self-defeating ways? I’ll let the New York Times‘ Editorial Board summarize:
“Despite the grief and rage that followed the massacre of 148 students and their teachers by Taliban militants at an army-run school in Peshawar last week, Pakistan persists in its duplicitous and self-defeating response to the extremism that is threatening the country.”
Read the whole editorial online.