Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Worst Argument for Monotheism Ever

Ok, I guess I lied about that hiatus thing. But I did get a good amount of work done on al-Tarjamaana al-Kubraa, which is one of the couple of books I´ve recently picked up for my dissertation. The problem, it turns out, is that my to-do list always gets longer, even when some things get crossed off. I managed to get through about half of the relevant/possible-relevant parts last night, and hope to toss it into the "ship to the States/make visitors take Stateside for me" pile within the next couple of days.

Anyhow, I´ve been stewing about this for a while (three days) now:
on the plane back from Morocco, I had this conversation (the conversation was thrust upon me, really, since I was in fact reading Le Città Invisibili and managing to understand most of it, and picking up some good Italian vocab to boot), which started with the guy sitting two seats away from me asking how long I´d spent in Morocco.

Since I´d lived there, he reasoned, I was obviously Muslim, because how could anyone spend more than a minimal amount of time somewhere where everyone is Muslim and not convert?! Anyhow, I told him that I wasn´t, and he went on and on about how great Muhammad was, and how great Islam was, and that if I were just to read some of the Qur'an I´d convert in a snap.

I, of course, think that proselytizing should be illegal in most places, not the least of which is international air space. But none of that's really new, and I´ve had the "how could you possibly speak Arabic/have lived in the Arab world/have heard of Islam and not converted?" conversation (um, it´s more of a monologue, really) thrust upon me more times than I care to recount.

That wasn't what's been making me shake my head in incredulity, though. What did it was that the guy, realizing that I wasn't about to say, "you know, you're right; why don't I just say the shahaada now and become become Muslim," pulled an, "oh, well you know, Islam says it's okay anyways. Christains and Jews and Muslims are all monotheisms with overlapping prophets."

People usually end right there.

This guy took it one step further: "It's really important that there's just one God, because do you know what would happen if there were more than one? They'd start fighting, just like people!"

I was really, really glad that this guy wasn't a mufti.


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