Islam and Arabs

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    Jan 06, 2013 12:28 AM GMT
    Hey guys ,

    As an Arab ( Moroccan) and Muslim myself, I'd like to know what your perception is of Arab culture and of Islam.

    Feel free to say what you think as long as , you know, you stay respectful ;)



  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jan 06, 2013 12:30 AM GMT
    Some have sex with men but think they are straight as long as they top.

    EDIT: I see the original topic was changed.

    EDIT: Yet again ... the constantly changing topicicon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2013 12:34 AM GMT
    Ramadan.

    I saw my classmates did this.
    No food for a whole month after sunrise and before sunset.
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    Jan 06, 2013 12:37 AM GMT
    THIS guy is changing it. He's fabulous.

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    Jan 06, 2013 12:40 AM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidSome have sex with men but think they are straight as long as they top.


    Yup , I haven't met any guy like that but would't surprise. Then again , isn't it more a universal rule for self loathing gay guys ?
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    Jan 06, 2013 12:41 AM GMT
    gayusasian82 saidRamadan.

    I saw my classmates did this.
    No food for a whole month after sunrise and before sunset.


    I did it , was in the middle of summer this year and it completely messed up my fitness plan
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    Jan 06, 2013 12:42 AM GMT
    eagermuscle saidTHIS guy is changing it. He's fabulous.



    He's Persian, not Arab... just saying ^^
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    Jan 06, 2013 12:44 AM GMT
    Saad22 said
    gayusasian82 saidRamadan.

    I saw my classmates did this.
    No food for a whole month after sunrise and before sunset.


    I did it , was in the middle of summer this year and it completely messed up my fitness plan


    However, I didn't try to persuade them to eat lunch!
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 06, 2013 12:47 AM GMT
    I think most American's don't know much of anything about Islam or Arabs other than what they've seen on TV -- and much of that is very distorted. I've met one RJ guy in real life who is Muslim. Sweet guy between a rock and a hard place so far as his family and home country is concerned. I've known a few Muslim's in my life but not many. Don't really understand the religion -- but then I don't have much respect for religions in general except maybe for Hinduism.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jan 06, 2013 12:52 AM GMT
    MikeW saidI think most American's don't know much of anything about Islam or Arabs other than what they've seen on TV -- and much of that is very distorted. I've met one RJ guy in real life who is Muslim. Sweet guy between a rock and a hard place so far as his family and home country is concerned. I've known a few Muslim's in my life but not many. Don't really understand the religion -- but then I don't have much respect for religions in general except maybe for Hinduism.

    To understand it, you have to realize where it originated
    http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/History-Abraham.htm
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    Jan 06, 2013 12:54 AM GMT
    I'm a Muslim and believe me it is indeed a a rock and hard place ...
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    Jan 06, 2013 1:08 AM GMT
    I usually try to keep the two separate since Arabs are an ethnic group and Muslims are followers of Islam. Many Arabs in the world are not Muslim, and many Muslims in the world are not Arab.

    In fact, I have only one Arab friend who's an atheist. And the only Muslims I know are a Kazakh and an Uzbek.
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    Jan 06, 2013 1:11 AM GMT
    Fivealive saidI'm a Muslim and believe me it is indeed a a rock and hard place ...


    Do you find it is harder to deal with the personal aspect of it : having to choose between your homosexuality and your beliefs or are you more concerned about your relationship with your family will be affected ?

    The latter is the problem for me as I don"t see my family , ever accepting the fact that I'm gay , and the consequences of it are that I have to remain somewhat closeted for none of my family members to know by word of mouth.

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    Jan 06, 2013 1:14 AM GMT
    Saad22 said
    Fivealive saidI'm a Muslim and believe me it is indeed a a rock and hard place ...


    Do you find it is harder to deal with the personal aspect of it : having to choose between your homosexuality and your beliefs or are you more concerned about your relationship with your family will be affected ?

    The latter is the problem for me as I don"t see my family , ever accepting the fact that I'm gay , and the consequences of it are that I have to remain somewhat closeted for none of my family members to know by word of mouth.



    How bad it will become if you come out to everyone?
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    Jan 06, 2013 1:25 AM GMT
    nicodegallo saidI usually try to keep the two separate since Arabs are an ethnic group and Muslims are followers of Islam. Many Arabs in the world are not Muslim, and many Muslims in the world are not Arab.

    In fact, I have only one Arab friend who's an atheist. And the only Muslims I know are a Kazakh and Uzbek.


    Legitimate argument. If we speak of meaning alone, then Arab and Muslim are two different things. However, historically, you can't deny that Islam was mainly concentrated within Arab countries and helped shape their culture. Today, it simply doesn't make sense to speak of Arab Identity without acknowledging Islam as one of its essential components.

    Of course, that is not to say that the christian/jewish/atheist minorities should be disregarded, but what's interesting is to watch how they mix into the Islamic world.
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    Jan 06, 2013 1:26 AM GMT
    gayusasian82 said
    Saad22 said
    Fivealive saidI'm a Muslim and believe me it is indeed a a rock and hard place ...


    Do you find it is harder to deal with the personal aspect of it : having to choose between your homosexuality and your beliefs or are you more concerned about your relationship with your family will be affected ?

    The latter is the problem for me as I don"t see my family , ever accepting the fact that I'm gay , and the consequences of it are that I have to remain somewhat closeted for none of my family members to know by word of mouth.



    How bad it will become if you come out to everyone?


    I'll get back to you in a few years when I'm financially independent !
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    Jan 06, 2013 1:32 AM GMT
    Saad22 said
    nicodegallo saidI usually try to keep the two separate since Arabs are an ethnic group and Muslims are followers of Islam. Many Arabs in the world are not Muslim, and many Muslims in the world are not Arab.

    In fact, I have only one Arab friend who's an atheist. And the only Muslims I know are a Kazakh and Uzbek.


    Legitimate argument. If we speak of meaning alone, then Arab and Muslim are two different things. However, historically, you can't deny that Islam was mainly concentrated within Arab countries and helped shape their culture. Today, it simply doesn't make sense to speak of Arab Identity without acknowledging Islam as one of its essential components.

    Of course, that is not to say that the christian/jewish/atheist minorities should be disregarded, but what's interesting is to watch how they mix into the Islamic world.


    I can definitely understand that since Islam was brought upon the rest of the world through influence of the Arabs and their conquests in Northern Africa, Central Asia, and Southern Europe.
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    Jan 06, 2013 5:51 AM GMT
    Saad22 said
    eagermuscle saidTHIS guy is changing it. He's fabulous.



    He's Persian, not Arab... just saying ^^

    I read that ethnic Persians make up 60% of modern Iran, and thought that most of the Persians on that show - including Jewish Mike (the other guy in the photo that he business-partnered with) - were Iranian. So I assumed Reza was Iranian, Arab and Islamic, but since I've only seen one episode for all I know he's Armenian Christian.

    14n0i2g.jpg
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    Jan 06, 2013 5:55 AM GMT
    I just remembered a friend from college. He was the quintessential white nerd, extremely liberal, and fond of whiskey. Yet he was Muslim. I had always meant to ask him how he got into Islam. I should ask him that finally.
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    Jan 06, 2013 8:48 AM GMT
    eagermuscle said
    Saad22 said
    eagermuscle saidTHIS guy is changing it. He's fabulous.



    He's Persian, not Arab... just saying ^^

    I read that ethnic Persians make up 60% of modern Iran, and thought that most of the Persians on that show - including Jewish Mike (the other guy in the photo that he business-partnered with) - were Iranian. So I assumed Reza was Iranian, Arab and Islamic, but since I've only seen one episode for all I know he's Armenian Christian Armenian.

    14n0i2g.jpg



    Yeah Iranians are mostly Persians not Arabs. Persian and Arab are two different ethnic groups, but obviously there are strong ties between Arabs and Persians , mainly because of Islam ( although Persians are chiists while most muslims are sunniest) .

    There's an Iranian access that I'm in love with:it's Shohreh Agdashloo. She was in House of Sand and Fog.




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    Jan 06, 2013 9:08 AM GMT
    nicodegallo saidI just remembered a friend from college. He was the quintessential white nerd, extremely liberal, and fond of whiskey. Yet he was Muslim. I had always meant to ask him how he got into Islam. I should ask him that finally.


    Yeah ,but just because you're muslim doesn't mean you have to be extremely rigorous with what the Qur'an says.
    I guess that's one of the differences in the perception of Islam. People are used to the idea that Catholics, for instance, might not respect each and every one of the Bible's verses. However, they imagine that Muslims are a extremely committed to the religion and are shocked to see a Muslim drinking or eating pork ( speaking from experience).

    The truth is , even though it can't be said that most Muslims are agnostics, a lot of them basically have the same attitude most average Catholics have towards the bible, meaning they don't make their daily lives revolve around what's written in the Qur'an.

    That being said, there is still a major difference, which is that State and religion aren't separated in a lot of Arab countries.
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    Jan 06, 2013 9:17 AM GMT
    Not too long ago I saw an interesting article on RIA Novosti talking about the ethnic identity of Tatars (a Turkic, predominantly Muslim ethnic group in Central Russia). A lot of the article talked about what qualities were most important in having a Tatar identity. Much of it revolved around Islam since Islam has been the main religion of most Tatars for centuries. However, religion was pretty heavily oppressed during the Soviet Union, so the interest in Islam among Tatars is recent. Apparently more Tatars believe that being able to speak the Tatar language was the most important characteristic of being Tatar than being a Muslim because many Tatars are Orthodox Christians, agnostics, or atheists like their Russian neighbors.
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    Jan 12, 2013 12:16 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidAs sexy as a lot of Arabs (and Persians, frankly) are, there's no way I'd ever date someone who believe in a pedophile prophet and that demonic book. I've dated a (non-practicing) Christian Lebanese guy, and he was amazing. And I've hired plenty of Muslims (even having to resource a prayer room), and they've been amazing employees and no doubt great family men. But the proof is in the pudding, and that is a religion of hatred and backwardness and there's no way I'd have a relationship with someone who truly "believed" it, to the point of prayers 5 times a day, or fasting crap (what the fuck is that....if there was a religion that said you needed to hop on one foot for an hour upon waking one month of the year, everyone would see how stupid that is, right?)

    So yeah...if he's given it all up, and that's just his background, we're good to go. If he wants me to read the Qur'an (and I do have one) with him, then he's got to go. Right away. Now.


    I think it's unfair to call Islam a religion of hate and backwardness. Sure, the scriptures have some unsettling elements. But we must not forget that it was written 15 centuries ago. So just like it is done in other monotheistic religions, I believe some verses should be ignored.

    Now , the problem is that in the Arab world, we haven't come to that stage yet. Generally , Muslims do tend to take at heart what's written in the Qur'an more than Christians, for instance, do with the Bible. And it is true that it would be very difficult for Muslims to accept that some of the scriptures are simply outdated.

    This is why Muslim countries are still lagging behind when it comes to human rights .

    (That being said , I would like to point out that, despite sticking to traditional values and believing in the validity of the scriptures, most Muslims are completely against terrorism ( which is the result of a misinterpretation of the Qur'an anyway). Just like the "Western World" , we are also victims of Islamic extremism .

    Case in point , most people ignore that , but along with the terrorist attacks that occurred in New york, London, Madrid, there was one in Casablanca in 2003. 40 people were killed, most of whom were Moroccan. So , yeah, Morocco , a MUSLIM country was also attacked by Al Qaeda.

    Sadly, the lines are blurred in many people's minds. And , well, terrorism has played a big part in people's general perception of Islam in the world today )

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that religion is what people make of it. Arab countries do still have a lot of work in terms of human rights , but ... to say there's nothing but hate and backwardness. That's untrue. One of the first things that people tell me when they go to Morocco , is how well received they are, and how touched they are by people's kindness and generosity. Well , I personally think Islam has a lot to do with that. Just like Christianity, Islam also insists on treating your " neighbor". And contrary to you westerners , we still do that haha ^^

    You also mentioned praying and fasting. Now , let me explain to you what these two rites mean exactly.

    1. PRAYING : Muslims are expected to pray five times a day : dawn/morning , noon, afternoon, evening, night. Before praying , you have to wash up : face , hands, arms ,feet. So praying serves two purposes
    a - Hygiene
    b- Keeping god in your mind all times of day.

    What you should keep in mind, that people generally don't know, is that , if you're in a hurry , you can make your prayer last no more than 30 seconds( although it's not recommended). But generally, people do about 2 minutes. So it's not like you're locked for 2 hours five times a day.

    Also , you can do all your prayers at the end of day, instead of interrupting your work to pray. That's what my dad does . I don't pray , my mom doesn't and most Muslims I know don't. Why ? Because it takes a lot of dedication and we just don't have the motivation. But having done it in the past, it does feel great to get to be in a spiritual bubble for a few minutes.

    2- FASTING : The purpose of fasting is very simple . It's not a masochistic experience that muslims inflict on themselves. The point is to feel hunger would feel like for a day, to help you understand poverty and be more compassionate with people who don't get to eat every day. Yes, it is very hard thing to do and yes I do complain all day when I do it ^^ but yeah , it does have a meaning to it , so it's not like hopping on one for an hour.
    What's hilarious though is how people have completely transformed Ramadan into an excuse to eat like a fucking horse every night ^^ In fact, a lot of people ( myself included) tend to gain weight during this month and kind of miss the point haha


    There , I hope I made these few things clearer. The last thing I'd like to add is that if a guy EVER asks me to deny my culture and my heritage to be with him , believe me , I would be the first to leave.



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    Jan 12, 2013 1:26 AM GMT
    People who cling to a religion that kills subgroups of people for being different (ie. gay) can only be called one word: Brainwashed.

    I have absolutely no respect for the Muslim religion, or any other religion that still has anti-anything leaders (Catholicism, Christianity, etc).

    If there were truly a god (especially a monotheistic one), it would have have its presence known...and not by having various scribes writing parables about killing people for not being "holy."
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    Jan 12, 2013 7:07 AM GMT
    Saad22 said
    yourname2000 saidAs sexy as a lot of Arabs (and Persians, frankly) are, there's no way I'd ever date someone who believe in a pedophile prophet and that demonic book. I've dated a (non-practicing) Christian Lebanese guy, and he was amazing. And I've hired plenty of Muslims (even having to resource a prayer room), and they've been amazing employees and no doubt great family men. But the proof is in the pudding, and that is a religion of hatred and backwardness and there's no way I'd have a relationship with someone who truly "believed" it, to the point of prayers 5 times a day, or fasting crap (what the fuck is that....if there was a religion that said you needed to hop on one foot for an hour upon waking one month of the year, everyone would see how stupid that is, right?)

    So yeah...if he's given it all up, and that's just his background, we're good to go. If he wants me to read the Qur'an (and I do have one) with him, then he's got to go. Right away. Now.


    I think it's unfair to call Islam a religion of hate and backwardness. Sure, the scriptures have some unsettling elements. But we must not forget that it was written 15 centuries ago. So just like it is done in other monotheistic religions, I believe some verses should be ignored.

    Now , the problem is that in the Arab world, we haven't come to that stage yet. Generally , Muslims do tend to take at heart what's written in the Qur'an more than Christians, for instance, do with the Bible. And it is true that it would be very difficult for Muslims to accept that some of the scriptures are simply outdated.

    This is why Muslim countries are still lagging behind when it comes to human rights .

    (That being said , I would like to point out that, despite sticking to traditional values and believing in the validity of the scriptures, most Muslims are completely against terrorism ( which is the result of a misinterpretation of the Qur'an anyway). Just like the "Western World" , we are also victims of Islamic extremism .

    Case in point , most people ignore that , but along with the terrorist attacks that occurred in New york, London, Madrid, there was one in Casablanca in 2003. 40 people were killed, most of whom were Moroccan. So , yeah, Morocco , a MUSLIM country was also attacked by Al Qaeda.

    Sadly, the lines are blurred in many people's minds. And , well, terrorism has played a big part in people's general perception of Islam in the world today )

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that religion is what people make of it. Arab countries do still have a lot of work in terms of human rights , but ... to say there's nothing but hate and backwardness. That's untrue. One of the first things that people tell me when they go to Morocco , is how well received they are, and how touched they are by people's kindness and generosity. Well , I personally think Islam has a lot to do with that. Just like Christianity, Islam also insists on treating your " neighbor". And contrary to you westerners , we still do that haha ^^

    You also mentioned praying and fasting. Now , let me explain to you what these two rites mean exactly.

    1. PRAYING : Muslims are expected to pray five times a day : dawn/morning , noon, afternoon, evening, night. Before praying , you have to wash up : face , hands, arms ,feet. So praying serves two purposes
    a - Hygiene
    b- Keeping god in your mind all times of day.

    What you should keep in mind, that people generally don't know, is that , if you're in a hurry , you can make your prayer last no more than 30 seconds( although it's not recommended). But generally, people do about 2 minutes. So it's not like you're locked for 2 hours five times a day.

    Also , you can do all your prayers at the end of day, instead of interrupting your work to pray. That's what my dad does . I don't pray , my mom doesn't and most Muslims I know don't. Why ? Because it takes a lot of dedication and we just don't have the motivation. But having done it in the past, it does feel great to get to be in a spiritual bubble for a few minutes.

    2- FASTING : The purpose of fasting is very simple . It's not a masochistic experience that muslims inflict on themselves. The point is to feel hunger would feel like for a day, to help you understand poverty and be more compassionate with people who don't get to eat every day. Yes, it is very hard thing to do and yes I do complain all day when I do it ^^ but yeah , it does have a meaning to it , so it's not like hopping on one for an hour.
    What's hilarious though is how people have completely transformed Ramadan into an excuse to eat like a fucking horse every night ^^ In fact, a lot of people ( myself included) tend to gain weight during this month and kind of miss the point haha


    There , I hope I made these few things clearer. The last thing I'd like to add is that if a guy EVER asks me to deny my culture and my heritage to be with him , believe me , I would be the first to leave.






    I am not arab, as I am from Pakistan. However I am a practicing muslim and I love what Islam has to offer. I appreciate it that you clear things up for people who don't know the reasons as to why we do certain things.