One door slams shut and another swings wide open. After the very surprising tantrum thrown by the thin-skinned, intolerant Catholic Wife (see the last two posts to The Doerbitter Dispatch) I thought my foray into the unknown (to me) world of Islam might have reached the end of the road for now. God had other plans. I never cease to be awed by God. I have always been the type that needs to be hit in the head with a brick to see things clearly. God never lets me down.
When CW inaccurately interpreted my post as derogatory, or perhaps without the reverence and seriousness guaranteed to put most readers to sleep, she saw fit to end any communication between us. I'm not sure of the source of her insecurity and it just doesn't matter to this discussion. Frankly, I didn't think she was the main point of contact anyway, but I digress.
Today, unexpectedly, without an appointment, without warning of any sort, an old friend walked into my office. As a prominent physician, good friend, and valued client, she is always welcome but it had literally been a good two years since I had seen her. What made her visit a clear sign from God, is that she is Muslim. Born in an eastern country. Lifelong, still toting the accent, first generation immigrant, Muslim. The Only Muslim that I know. (That I know of). Strolling in through my front door today. After what has been happening in my quest for understanding of Islam in Omaha. God amazes me. No, I am not surprised, but I am totally surprised. Of course He Can do things like this but He Did do it. I'm tickled.
Doctor X (my friend's real name) lowered herself into the chair on the far side of my desk and said, "Hi".
OK, Doctor X isn't her real name. As I said "hi" back, I realized this might be an interesting opportunity to discuss Islam from a woman's perspective. I was not disappointed. She immediately spoke of the radicals giving Islam a bad name. She said they are an embarrasment to Islam. I easily saw her point about the radicals being impoverished and uneducated, making them easy recruits and that as long as education is not provided, there will continue to be the murdering variety of Muslim.
Because Doctor X is a long time friend, I could speak much more frankly. She knows my motivation is pure and that I am a fair man and I trust her not to lie to me. As the Imam stated last week, as far as Taqiyya, there is no way to tell if someone is lying to you, you must simply look into their heart. With Dr X, I am positive I was not being lied to in any way. That helps a LOT when trying to obtain truth in a situation where lying is allowed.
We also spoke openly about the treatment of women. Many Muslim men do think that the proper way to treat women is to treat them as lesser beings. Even in marriage, the man must be Muslim. If a Muslim woman in the U.S. wishes to marry, her groom must already be Muslim, or must convert to Islam. Doctor X's husband was very dominating, abusive to her and the children, and extremely self-centered. As her ex-husband, he is still very self-centered and doesn't seem to understand that his behavior is deviant in any way. I suspect second generation American Muslims might assimilate into America a little more smoothly.
Doctor X wasn't familiar with abrogation, so it didn't make a lot of sense to spend a great deal of time mulling that point. At the very end of our almost two hour visit, she mentioned her affiliation with the same group the Imam is working with to establish a mosque (a mile from my house). It Shouldn't have surprised me but it did. After all, there are only two other mosques in Omaha and they are small.
Having known Dr X for over fifteen years, I have never thought of her as a Muslim. She was just Doctor X and her kids. To come to the realization that God brought her to my doorstep at just this moment in my life, gave me one more push into Jesus' arms, gave me a little more faith in mankind in general and Muslims in particular.
I believed my friend as she spoke of her religious mandate to take care of the forty neighbors to the left and the forty neighbors to the right. I have always believed that her friendship is genuine and I still do. I am a pretty good judge of people and there was no hint of taqiyya. Normal people are not good enough actors to pull off a fifteen year friendship and be faking the whole time.
Her embarrassment over the actions of the twenty six million poor and uneducated radicals was genuine. Her description of a peace-loving religion seemed to truly come from her heart. I was able to easily envision the embarrassment I would feel if it were poor and uneducated Christians acting like barbarians in the name of Jesus.
I am a little embarrassed now, at my statements to the City Planning Board a few weeks ago. I boldly proclaimed that mosques were recruiting and training grounds for terrorists because that is what I have read over and over again. Reading something that many times from so many sources means it has to be accurate, right? We-e-e-ell, maybe not. Maybe next time I will talk to real people, do my own fact checking, make sure right is on my side before yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.
I look forward to viewing the world from a slightly different perspective tomorrow. Tonight, I can fall asleep secure in the knowledge that fanatical Muslims will not descend on me like ninja monkeys in the night. I'm not quite as secure about the Catholic wives of Muslim sons.