Listening to American Muslims talk about Ramadan on “Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet”

Keeping in shape has gotten easier for me since I got an iPhone and discovered a PBS program, Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet. I listen to this on a podcast on my iPhone, and it makes the hour at the gym go by much faster.

This week’s program is called Revealing Ramadan, and Krista describes it this way:

“14 Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam’s holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one’s family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.”

I found this a fascinating window into Islam, American style. It’s a little foreign to a non-observant Jew like me, but what was so striking to me was not its foreignness but its sameness—nothing about the people speaking seemed any different from the family next door—to any one. I wish the people railing about mosques at Ground Zero, in Murfreesboro, or Temecula, could listen to the stories these Americans—and one Brit—tell.

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One Response to “Listening to American Muslims talk about Ramadan on “Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet””

  1. James Says:

    Bob,
    I listened to the original broadcast on podcast months ago. I too was fascinated by the “normalness” of the voices. Every time a group of extremist gets their message out, the masses associate everyone of that creed to be the same. I have even felt this as a southerner. I have experienced regional prejudice. Outside the south, every one here is perceived as barefoot and illiterate.
    Years ago I lived and worked in Huntsville, AL as a manager of a furniture store. My delivery manager was an Arab Muslim. I enjoyed discussing Ramadan and the Haj with him. The experience of his culture, even to this old Southern Baptist boy, was great. We became good friends.
    This is not the only experience I have had with Muslim co-workers.
    I also have lived in the rural South where some evangelicals still think that Catholics have horns. I grew up in a German Catholic neighborhood. Heck, some of my best friends are Catholic. Just because we don’t understand one another does not mean that we can’t “just get along”.
    I have enjoyed your articles. Thanks for being a voice of reason, let alone ethics, in this time of our society.

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