Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Islam - "Lisa Simpson of Islam"

Questions for a Muslim refusenik.

4 Later, at the local madressa, you apparently distinguished yourself as the "Little Miss Thang with the Questions," a kind of "Lisa Simpson of Islam." You didn't exactly get the "Most Promising Muslim" award, did you?

No. My first question for my madressa teacher was, "Why can't girls lead prayer?" I graduated to asking more nuanced questions, such as, "If the Koran came to Prophet Muhammad as a message of peace, why did he command his army to kill an entire Jewish tribe?" You can imagine that such questions irritated the hell out of my madressa teacher, who routinely put down women and trashed the Jews. He and I reached the ultimate impasse over yet another question: "Where," I asked, "is the evidence of the 'Jewish conspiracy' against Islam? You love to talk about it, but what's the proof?"

What he provided was an ultimatum: "Either you believe or get out. And if you get out, get out for good." With my temples throbbing and my neck sweating under the itchy polyester chador, I stood up. As I crossed the partition checkpoint, I could have uncovered my head for all the boys to see, but I didn't . . . All I could think to do was fling open the madressa's hefty metal door and yell, "Jesus Christ!" A memorable exit, I hoped.

Here's her website.

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