Our Moslem Neighbors

It is a boast to describe America as a ‘Melting Pot‘. We have been a strong country for many reasons. Some are accidents of geology or history. A major reason, derived from the complexities of the flow of history, is that we are many. The fact that America is a composite of many cultures gives us unique qualities in the same way that glass fibers and epoxy, individually deficient for structures, form a composite – fiberglass – that is both strong and resilient.

Tomorrow marks a day of anguish for us. It will remain in our national consciousness in the same way that Pearl Harbor Day has. It will always be 9-11.

The events of that day, and subsequent events, have tested our American ideals. Many folks have not been confident enough, loving enough, and insistent enough to stand for American ideals and keep them as realities. Some folks have gone out of their way to fight enemies who are imagined, only existing in their anxieties.

Some of those imagined enemies are fellow Americans and neighbors who are not yet Americans. Some of them are otherwise accorded the deepest trust in their work for others as doctors, engineers, attorneys, and in a host of semi-professional and non-professional jobs. They are good and productive people who are worthy of our friendship. They are Muslims.

A while back, my friend Kasim (Craig) invited me to visit The Islamic Center of Joplin for a worship service. The Moslems in attendance that day were enthusiastic in their warmth and interest in Kasim’s friend. It has been too long since that day, so tomorrow is a good day to visit again. {Note ‘Prayer Times’ at the link.}

I invite you, fellow American, to embrace a neighbor in friendship on 9-11. I hope that some of you seek a Moslem neighbor to affirm that we are still the great Melting Pot.

PS I have a kufi – a cap worn by Africans of all faiths – which is good headgear to wear to a Muslim service. To be extra neighborly, learn the Islamic greeting, “Assalaamu ‘alaykum“!

Note that men & women worship separately at the mosque. That’s why I was reared as a Southern Baptist instead of a Methodist. Dad insisted upon being with Mother for Sunday School!


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All original material Copyright James R. Stone 2010, except where specifically noted. Some images licensed under Creative Commons, or GNU Free Documentation License, or unlicensed and public domain.

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