Of Muslims and Breaking Down Stereotypes

November 10, 2005 11:46 PM

On Morgan Spurlock’s TV series – “30 Days” tonight, a staunch Christian lived as a Muslim for 30 days in Dearborn, Michigan. I hope those of you in Australia managed to catch it tonight because it goes a long way, albeit at a shallow level, towards dispelling myths and highlighting the similarities between Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

I guess the easiest way to illustrate this is to explain it the way the show did:

  • Jews believe in God and are still waiting for the Messiah, ie. they do not believe Jesus to be the Messiah
  • The first Christians were Jews who believe Jesus to be the Son of God, eg. the Messiah
  • The Muslims like the Jews do not believe Jesus to be the Messiah but unlike the Jews, believe the Messiah had arrived and his name was Mohammed

Also, an interesting point of view was posed: the person who perpetrated the Oklahamo bombing was an Anglo-Saxon American by the name of Timothy McVeigh but neither Christians nor Anglo-Saxons had to apologise for that atrocity. On the other hand, Muslims and indeed Arab ppl are expected to apologise for 9/11 and subsequent terrorist attacks. Food for thought, no?

Following “30 Days” was the news, and the headlines of the day was of course the Jordan bombings and the death of the bombmaker for JI. Then followed the news of the dissapearance of a 19-month old baby girl by the name of Rahma el-Dennaoui – neither race nor religion was mentioned as part of the story.

What is so remarkable about that? It’s one small step towards illustrating the fact that we are all one people sharing one planet. Good and bad exists in all corners of this earth and no one is immune to either so we should not get clouded by stereotypes of race or religion.

4 thoughts on “Of Muslims and Breaking Down Stereotypes

  1. girlstar7

    I really wanted to watch that show and I totally forgot about it and missed out, so I’m kind of annoyed! I watched the same program last week, though, where they had a homophobic guy from a red neck town live in the gay part of San Francisco for 30 days. it was pretty interesting so I”ll definitely watch that program again if it’s on next week…

  2. mooiness

    yeah yeah – this was the one I had been waiting for since I saw them advertise the series. Was very very enlightening and I hope that those who had no idea about Islam would come away having more understanding and respect.

    Last week’s was good too.

    Next week they gonna put a pair of city-dwellers in a woop-woop place without modern amenities. Should be interesting. 🙂

  3. ~*Starryluvly*~

    I only managed to catch the last half of that episode – truth be told, I think one of the guy’s teachers wasn’t particularly good at explaining stuff.

    For example, the guy asked about alcohol, and he merely said that you hurt yourself drinking alcohol. Really, he should have elaborated saying that alcohol is intoxicating thus might make you harm yourself or denounce yourself as a muslim.

    But who knows, he might have explained all that, but it may have been cut off.

  4. mooiness

    starry: ah then you didn’t catch the first imam he talked to. Though he was cordial, I think the imam went too deep for a complete noob (ie. the Christian). The second imam was a bit better – he started him off in the practical aspects of practicising the religion which were easier to grasp.

    As for the alcohol explanation, yeah I too found it kinda weak but I sorta understand what he’s trying to say.

    All in all, was a fascinating look at how Muslims are perceived over in the US and indeed in other western countries including Australia. Morgan’s show is a good starting point. “Islam for Dummies” if you will. 🙂


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