Last week I had not one, but two postings about Islamic issues and the response was interesting.
Obviously the subject is a touchy one these days and like any other issue when discussing it you have to make sure you don't generalize or stereoptype because every opinion affects every person in a different way.
This was displayed in an e-mail I received over the weekend, and I didn't hesitate to respond.
I used to be a daily listerer of the Humble and Fred show on CFNY, and now I'm an avid reader of your blog..
I've been particularly intrigued by your recent posts on Muslims. I consider myself a devout Muslim - I pray 5 times a day, and try to be the best Muslim I can be. I'm also Canadian (born in Toronto), but I have Pakistani/Indian roots. I have a beard, my wife covers her head, and my mother actually wears a veil.. Just because of this, some people might brand us as the type of people causing trouble..
One thing I've found interesting is that people think many of the problems with Muslims stem from sticking tothe "old traditional" ways, instead of adopting to new - I used to think this way too, until I studied Islam at a deeper level than just going to the occasional conference and Friday prayer. Now I think it's the opposite. I honestly believe that if Muslims nowadays adopted the religion in the traditional way, there would be less problems here - there would certainly be no fear of terror from us..
I certainly feel that I'm a better person for Canada now, than I was before. Interestingly there was a period of transition where I was no good for anybody - haughty and arrogant towards anyone who didn't agree with me, and a bad representation of what a Muslim should be. I'm embarrassed by that now...
Enough ramblings.. I know you're a busy guy, but it would be great if we could hook up for some coffee if you ever have a chance. I don't know how many Muslims you have contact with - it might be a good chance for you to pick my brain. Trust me, I won't get offended by anything you say or ask. It will be a good opportunity for me to critically evaluate my own views as well - too many years have gone by since I've done that - probably since I was in university - wife, kids, work really change the pace of life, and reduce the chance of sitting and reflecting..
I live in Brampton too - at Sandalwood and Airport, so if you're up for it, anywhere in Brampton is good..
And here was my response.
What a great letter... sure I'd like to meet you one day...
Just so you know, I print this stuff to stimulate dialogue and to be honest I'm pleased with the response - most of it is measured..
Would you mind if I posted your letter. I don't necessarily have to use your name.. but I think it would be compelling for my readers to see.
I'm at Mayfield and Kennedy.. you name the Hortons and I'll be there.
Thanks Abu... you're a good fella..
And he replied this way.
Thanks for your quick and kind reply. I would be honoured if you post up my
I appreciate the topics you discuss and the manner you use. What I
especially like is that I've seen you change your mind about something
occasionally if presented with a logical opposing point of view.. At least
you let dissenting voices be heard instead of cutting them off (which is
what usually happens on talk radio).
I'll try and get in touch with you early next week to see if we can hook
up.. Generally weekdays are better for me - around 9ish onwards.. I've got
3 little kids (4, 3, 10 months) that I need to get to bed before I can do
anything usually.. But I can usually plan to be somewhere between 9 and
Some time this week I plan to hook up with Abu and I'll write about it. I've got to tell you, using the internet this way makes me feel pretty good.