PURDAH [PUR-duh]: the seclusion of women from the sight of men or strangers, practiced by some Muslims and Hindus.

The more we in the non-Islamic world can learn about the traditions and practices of Islam the better.  We have been raised, for the most part, in a culture of ignorance about the religion, and are vulnerable to teachings which are biased and dangerous. One such example came to me in viewing the film, Zero […]

SHARIAH [shah-REE-ah]: a system of law deemed to be derived from the Koran

      A lot has been said and written about Islamic law over the past few years, some out of intelligence, some out of ignorance.  The fear of something “different” keeps some people from seeking the truth when it comes to things Islamic.  This is particularly true when dealing with the concept of Shariah, […]

ABRAHAMIC TRADITION: belonging to a community which traces its history to Abraham

In a very interesting op-ed piece in Wednesday’s New York Times, David  V. Mason, an associate professor of theater at Rhodes College, explains his unique understanding that as a Mormon he does not see himself as a Christian.   This flies in the face of numerous positions that have been stated over the past couple of […]

DEMOCRACY: a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Sometimes we Americans can be  myopic, especially when it comes to political issues.   We have been raised in a system which teaches us that our way of government is excellent, and that we are fortunate to live in a country where democracy is understood to be the superior way of conducting a nation.  From the […]

GLOBAL: having a world view that is expansive

Our Thanksgiving dinner was outstanding.   It was a shared preparation process with all of us doing what was needed to put together the ingredients of a traditional turkey dinner.   The food was outstanding.  After the pumpkin and apple pies had been invaded appropriately, we felt that familiar Thanksgiving sense of satisfaction that can only come […]

IDOLATRY: the religious worship of images

The attempt on the life of Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist, has brought the issue of Islamic prohibitions against idolatry back into the news again. At the invitation of a Danish newspaper in 2005 Westergaard produced twelve cartoons poking fun at the Islamic prohibition against depicting the image of Mohammad. Since then there have been […]