Reasonable Accomodation

Today in my Sociology class, our teacher had us watch a show called 30 days. The show was created by Morgan Spurlock, that guy who made Supersize Me where he ate McDonalds for a month. This particular episode that we watched was called 30 days as a Muslim. How it worked was this man in his thirties, a devout practicing Christian from West Virginia agreed to live with a Muslim family in an Islamic community somewhere in Michigan for 30 days. The town has one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the United States. The guy learned about their customs and practices, and even attended prayer services in the Mosque.

The show really opened my mind to how closed minded some people can be. During the show, at some points Morgan Spurlock would be shown interviewing random people on the streets about Islam. I find it amazing how most people to whom he asked the question, "How would you react if someone in muslim dress sat down beside you?" responded with they would be scared, or they would think the person has terrorist connections. People need to be more open minded about other religions, especially Islam. There are roughly billions of muslims world wide, to hold them all responsible for the terrorist actions of a small group is absolutely ridiculous.

This brings me to my point of reasonable accomodation. If you don't know, It's an islamic law that one must pray five times a day, so in this town in Michigan, there would be a call to prayer transmitted over a speaker on the outside of the Mosque alerting people that it was time to pray. The Islamic community had gotten so many angry emails and even death threats about this. People were saying that this was America, they shouldn't have to hear other religions if they didn't want to, blah blah blah.

Well excuse me but the last time I checked, no one was MAKING you listen to the arabic prayer on the speaker (which lasted all of 10 seconds). These people aren't forcing ANYTHING down your throats. They can believe what they like, you can belive what you like.

When a people immigrate to a new country, they should be allowed to continue practicing their own religion and language and customs without conflict. I'm not saying that somehow American customs should be lost, you guys keep playing your baseball and eating your apple pie. Cultures shouldn't be assimilated completely, but accomodated for.

My point is, I think there are a lot of people who need to open their minds. Perhaps I'm biased, coming from a very multicultural city; apparently more Montrealers are chosen for the UN than any other group because of our exposure and therefore openess to other cultures. All I'm saying is there's no hurt in learning.
Posted on February 10th, 2010 at 09:46pm


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