Getting to know the neighborhood kids … and their religions!

Well, the other day a young man showed up on the doorstep wondering if Isaac could come out and play.  Yessin (pronounced Yez-in) had met Isaac once at the neighbors across the street.  Three children there have recently become friends with our children.  So, Yessin came in and, subsequently, he and Isaac and Bailey all went out to play.  Shortly after that, Yessin wanted to know if Isaac could come to his house.  We agreed to a short visit.  At Yessin's house, I decided to ask him a few questions.  He said that his family had a different religion (Islam).   I asked him about his mosque and he said that over 400 people go there and that they are building a new mosque.  Later, I met his dad, Adel.  Adel was a nice man who has been a US citizen for 18 years.  We had a somewhat short (Olivia was screaming to get away!) discussion in which he told me of his country of origin (Palestine) and subsequent childhood in Kuwait.  I was definitely empathetic toward his having been evicted from his home country.

All of this has caused an urgent pause.  Kim and I realized that the neighborhood was upon us when the 3 new friends across the street showed up.  Now we face other religious beliefs as well.  Although I have done some reading and study on Islam, I am now determined to read the Muslims' scripture, the Koran (or Qur'an).  A few years ago I borrowed a book from a friend called Unveiling Islam, by Emil and Ergun Caner.  This was simply an outstanding introduction to the religion and culture of Islam.  I learned that, in perhaps a similar way to the Catholic church, people sometimes revere the religious traditions and customs as much or more than the teachings in their holy book.  The Caner brothers have a unique perspective, as they were raised as Muslims, but converted to Christianity later.  They are now both university professors teaching in the fields of theology and church history.  I highly recommend their books (they have 3 or 4 total).

Anyhow, I have a lot of reading to do.  More on Islam (and the neighborhood!) to come …

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Published in: on May 3, 2006 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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