Sunday, January 11, 2009

Muslims and Jews

I was graciously invited by the Jewish Day school to speak to an 8th grade class about various theological questions and how they are conceived of by Muslims... Firstly, Jewish kids are very smart and witty (when you compare then to the kids I went to public school with). Secondly, private school kids ask alot of questions. Thirdly, I must must admit that I generally enjoy meeting with conscientious and thoughtful people from those who are trying to be good Christians and Jews... Its always interesting. Please enjoy the email feedback received by someone who helped set this meeting up, from the students who attended my short talk...

Humza

PS: I was also asked about why all religious people have beards. I told them that the beauty of a man is in his beard. I said the cheetah is the fastest animal around, but why is he not the King of the Jungle? What makes the lion special [imagine at this point, Humza smugly running his hands through his luxurious black barba].

PPS: I also educated the young Israelites about a fact that their forefather Rabbis knew before them. That is that all [or at least alot of] the real Rabbis and, heck, cool people in general wear turbans (it helped that there was, right behind me, a big artist's rendering of the Rabbi Musa bin Maimun, aka, Rambam to the Rabbis, and aka, Maimonides to Reneissance Europe, wearing a turban that would put any sardarji in his place).
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Mrs. XYZ Judaics Teacher Writes:

Dear ABC [The Muslim who arranged my talk]

I wanted to write to you to thank you again for organizing our God Talk visit at JDS. Yesterday, Imam Humza came (...) and we had a wonderful discussion with him and the 8th graders. It was a great discussion and I wanted to thank him again. Please pass on my gratitude and a few quotes from the responses of the students. This was an important event that has already contributed to Shalom, Salaam in our world.

Here are some of the responses:

“This shows me that I shouldn’t judge a nation on the actions of a few crazed people. If only because we are Jews, we know how it feels to be a victim of prejudice. People quickly judge a situation before truly understanding it. But maybe if we all took the time to understand what type of people Muslims are, we wouldn’t cower in fear of a man on the same airplane wearing a turban. Maybe if we took the time to understand every situation we encounter we might be able to control our actions better.”

“I really enjoyed this God Talk speaker because as well as being very interesting, it taught me to be a little less judgmental.”

Another student wrote, “… made me realize something, not all Germans were Nazis, not all Americans are obese, not all musicians lead messed up lives .. not all Muslims are terrorists..”

I am truly grateful to you and Imam Humza for making such a huge difference in the lives of my students and teaching them to love and respect all people. They learned an important lesson that will help the Children of Israel and the Children of Ishmael learn to live in pleace together..

Shalom Aleichem,

2 comments:

Ashraf said...

Assalamu'alaikum

Great work Mawlana.

We need more of this.

Wassalam
Ashraf

Abubakr said...

as salaamu 'alaykum,

This is Abubakr, I just saw you the other day at salaat al-jum'a but I forgot to ask for your contact. So, I asked Shaykh Google and I came across your blog. I wanted to share that many Ethiopian Rabbis still don the turban:

http://flickr.com/photos/10314173@N07/1496211953/

Ma' salaama

Abubakr
langt2@u.washington.edu