"Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do as you do, or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today." - Malcolm X
Thank you for visiting the west meets east community.
I am a non-Muslim woman living in beautiful West Philadelphia. This neighborhood is also home to a large Muslim population, but there is little chance for us to meet or interact. If I can live so close to the Muslim community but know so little about it, how much less of a chance do most non-Muslim Americans have to learn about Islam?
Currently, ignorance and fear, manipulated by a short-sighted, extremist administration and a sensationalistic media, control what non-Muslim Americans know about Islam. On a global scale, this ignorance and fear result in a climate of hatred and war in which innocent people are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives.
The goal of this community is simply to create a forum for dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims, Philadelphians or not, Americans or not. Ideally, it will be a place where Muslims can state their opinions and beliefs about anything that concerns them, and be respectfully heard by an open-minded non-Muslim audience, and where non-Muslims can ask questions about the customs of Islam and be respectfully answered. I will moderate the site only in order to prevent hateful or offensive posts, and I will edit posts only by replacing hateful or insulting language with "***".
Until this community gets off the ground, I will leave it open for anyone to vent, express themselves, or share their thoughts about whatever is on their mind regarding stereotypes of Islam, Muslim / non-Muslim relations, negotiating between Muslim and American identities, and anything else. This could be as mundane as a Muslim praising his favorite local Halal restaurant, or as deep as addressing the impact of America's wars. For non-Muslims, it could be as simple as asking about head-scarves (as I will) or as serious as taking on the American government's assumptions about Islam.
I look forward to conversations that make us all think.