Welcome to the Great American Melting Pot my middle eastern friends. Please be sure to read the Rules whilst getting comfortable in your new home.
A Muslim Leader in Brooklyn, Reconciling 2 Worlds - New York Times:It is no doubt going to get ever more interesting in the coming years. There are simply too many reasons for so many people to find immigration to the US a compelling notion.
"Over the last half-century, the Muslim population in the United States has risen significantly. Immigrants from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa have settled across the country, establishing mosques from Boston to Los Angeles, and turning Islam into one of the nation's fastest growing religions. By some estimates, as many as six million Muslims now live in America.
Leading this flock calls for improvisation. Imams must unify diverse congregations with often-clashing Islamic traditions. They must grapple with the threat of terrorism, answering to law enforcement agents without losing the trust of their fellow Muslims. Sometimes they must set aside conservative beliefs that prevail in the Middle East, the birthplace of Islam.
Islam is a legalistic faith: Muslims believe in a divine law that guides their daily lives, including what they should eat, drink and wear. In countries where the religion reigns, this is largely the accepted way.
But in the West, what Islamic law prohibits is everywhere. Alcohol fills chocolates. Women jog in sports bras. For many Muslims in America, life is a daily clash between Islamic mores and material temptation. At the center of this clash stands the imam."
Reading this story gives me more hope for that future, despite the incredible differences and adjustments that are going to be needed. Mr Shata, the imam who is the article's focus, seems like he is taking a sound and reasonable path towards understanding how best to help his folk enable such adjustments in their own lives.
Mr. Shata settles dowries, confronts wife abusers, brokers business deals and tries to arrange marriages. He approaches each problem with an almost scientific certainty that it can be solved. "I try to be more of a doctor than a judge," said Mr. Shata. "A judge sentences. A doctor tries to remedy."Dealing with change is endemic to being alive in a free and open society. More Doctors and fewer Judges seems like a excellent tack to take to me.
Please though, I would implore the imam, please come to an understanding of the rules of the secular society in which you have chosen to setup a new life. Such understanding can do nothing but aid you and your folk in these adjustments.
Religious laws are respected here. Despite some ignorant fools' obsessions, they are never allowed to be mandated by government. Where ever the two may conflict, Secular Law supercedes religious law. By this mechanism are all religions defended and respected.
So what that we all must all be kidded on occasion? We are all safe and free to kid and curse as we will. It is our physical safety from the Imperious Domination of one subjective worldview over all the others that is the incredibly efficacious achievement of the First Amendment to the Rules in this, the Great American Melting Pot.