National attitudes to bellydance and bellydancers

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Aisha Azar

New member
attitudes, etc.

Dear Group,
I tried to respond earlier, but my post got lost in space or something, so here goes Take 2. I will try to respond to everyone who directed a post to me, but if that does not happen, I apologize.

Dear Bin Rodi,
I am not a Muslim. I try to resepct what I find to be great in every religion. Currently I find myself in sitautions more than once where I must defend Islam to those who have no education about it. My own education is limited, but I do know enough, through my own researches and through the infroamtion apssed on to me by Muslim freinds, to see some of what Islam brought to the world that has had a positive effect. I also know some of the negatives of Islam, having witnessed some of them firsthand, but that does not take away from the good things.

Dear Bellydancer,
I do not think that anyone here has disrespected Bin Rodi's viewpoint. I called into question that it was only telling one side of the story. He went on to agree with me on this later. (Recall the "schitzophrenic" posts). It is not disrespectful to disagree with someone unless you get insulting about it. When he was talking about Egypt, I think he and I basically agreed. His input in Sauid Arabia is where my "facts" are more factual than his, as you say. I gave all the reason for that, including seeing with my own eyes video that did not support his points about savage punishment, etc. as well as the stuff about Soheir Zaki, who is one of my heros in dance. Many Egyptians do not feel as Bin Rodi, and if in Saudi Arabia, you can find women learning the dance in privacy of their fitness club, it is equally clear that it is not something that can get you dead. This is not my opinion, it is fact that some Saudis belly dance and it is popular enough to be taught in classes there, whether or not it is seen in clubs there. If is clearly not against the law. Re my responding to something in tone of which others may not be not aware, that would open up a whole nother can of worms and is better left unexplained right now, in order not to make things heat up again. And, thank you for the "cool chick" compliment! (BTW Re Bin Rodi being the "underdog", I do not consider him to be so and he might not appreciate that you do... I consider him and I to be on equal footing.

Dear Kiraze,
Absolutely, and I think I said something similar in one of my earlier posts. Islam is a diverse as the countries in which it is found!!

I am not sure who made the comment, but someone sort of questioned the value of my research methods. I would like to say here that secondary research, personal interview and observation are all very much accepted as modes of research, often even at the doctorate level in at least some academic fields. I know that secondary research and personal interview are accepted at the Masters' level for sure because I have used those methods to get a Masters' degree. The thesis subject was a comparison and contrast of Islamic and western law. I am not entirely unfamilair with either Islam or research methods.

Regards,
A'isha Azar
 

taheya

New member
Aisha, qualitative research includes interviews, questionnaires personal experiences etc but how did you get your sample?? It is biased because they were friends of yours. Credibility in qualitative research can be reinforced if if the interviewer is not biased, and while i dont know your exact research methods, i have not seen any evidence other than what you say here which is that you have spoken with your friends over the years about their experiences. While this maybe interesting and revealing, can it really be transferable to a larger population?
For qualitative research to be credible and trustworthy you would need to interview a sample of the population you are interested in, showing how you chose these people and why. Then you would possibly show how your findings might relate to a larger population.
 

belly_dancer

New member
hello dear group! & happy holi-daze!
dear A'isha.. 1st off I was thinking last night abt the fact that there IS SOOOO much mis-information out there.. so I appreciate the fact that you are trying to find out facts & inform us....
on the Saudi thing...
I think again you & bin_rodi are looking at different sides of the same coin,

I think HE was MAINLY talking about performing PROFESSIONALLY being looked down upon, and possibly "punished"....
but

(& this is the point that I got from YOUR viewpoint... am I correct???) to do it for fun & exercise is something that is probably way more commonplace in the midddle east than here (where most of us belly dancers are considered to be doing something not quite mainstream!)
I know that ALL my Arab friends (men and women) have told me about growing up dancing with their mom/aunties/big sisters etc... & even performing (not in bedlah!!!!) at weddings and family parties... BUT>>>> ALL the women would NEVER perform PROFESSIONALLY (even in this country)
I have one friend who cannot even come to any ALL FEMALE dance parties that I have sponsored (her husband will not ALLOW it.... because she could not come unchaperoned (by him or another adult male FAMILY member))..
they are Egyptian....
I have a student (21 yrs old... born in Egypt, but been here since she was 2) who cannot tell her parents that she is taking Belly dance.... her sister (here in America... raised in AMERICAN schools) called her a whore (when she found out) but did not tell the dad because she was afraid of what he may do... she did tell the mom, who said ok (perhaps knowing a womans NEED to dance) "but you must NEVER perform in front of MEN!!! & you MUST NOT let your father find out".... if it is like this here... I am ass-u-me-ing that it is PROBABLY worse in the mid east! but AGAIN I digress (sorry!!!)
(& yes I realize that my examples are NOT Saudi... but from what you have said I think the attitude, while maybe not exactly the same= similar??)

I HOPE my main point here is that (bin_rodi was saying...( if this is NOT TRUE... you, bin_rodi, MUST correct me!!!)) PERFORMING the dance PROFESSIONALLY SEEMS to be the BIG NO NO in mid east (& possibly MANY Muslim countries*) where-as it is TOTALLY OK (A'isha is this what you are saying???) to learn/dance/informally "perform" in the privacy of your own home
*I have had both Indian and Afgani employers(2 different families who do not know one another)who treat me like "family" and are very respectful of me as a dancer... with the youngest generations born & raised here... who think I am a "fabulous" dancer.... (yet all the women who have danced their countries dances growing up & are JUST as "fabulous") would NEVER be ALLOWED (this being told to me by both the women themselves & their fathers/brothers!) to dance PROFESSIONALLY....

so maybe the "PROFESSIONAL" part was the point bin-rodi was trying to make??????

while you A'isha were coming with proof of the women dancing with women, or their families & not the profession?? (you mentioned they BROUGHT in Belly dancers from else where to perform (professionally) I think????
ok then... please let me know if where I THINK you are coming from is true!!???!!!
& then I would LOVE it if A'isha & bin_rodi would "kiss & make up"!!!! (or at least agree to disagree without either one of you "losing face"!!.. but kissing is more fun!!!)
since I think you BOTH were NOT mistaken in your views.... but just looking at the same view from opposite angles!!!!
thank you!
 

bin_rodi

New member
Dear Group,
I tried to respond earlier, but my post got lost in space or something, so here goes Take 2. I will try to respond to everyone who directed a post to me, but if that does not happen, I apologize.

Dear Bin Rodi,
I am not a Muslim. I try to resepct what I find to be great in every religion. Currently I find myself in sitautions more than once where I must defend Islam to those who have no education about it. My own education is limited, but I do know enough, through my own researches and through the infroamtion apssed on to me by Muslim freinds, to see some of what Islam brought to the world that has had a positive effect. I also know some of the negatives of Islam, having witnessed some of them firsthand, but that does not take away from the good things.

Dear Bellydancer,
I do not think that anyone here has disrespected Bin Rodi's viewpoint. I called into question that it was only telling one side of the story. He went on to agree with me on this later. (Recall the "schitzophrenic" posts). It is not disrespectful to disagree with someone unless you get insulting about it. When he was talking about Egypt, I think he and I basically agreed. His input in Sauid Arabia is where my "facts" are more factual than his, as you say. I gave all the reason for that, including seeing with my own eyes video that did not support his points about savage punishment, etc. as well as the stuff about Soheir Zaki, who is one of my heros in dance. Many Egyptians do not feel as Bin Rodi, and if in Saudi Arabia, you can find women learning the dance in privacy of their fitness club, it is equally clear that it is not something that can get you dead. This is not my opinion, it is fact that some Saudis belly dance and it is popular enough to be taught in classes there, whether or not it is seen in clubs there. If is clearly not against the law. Re my responding to something in tone of which others may not be not aware, that would open up a whole nother can of worms and is better left unexplained right now, in order not to make things heat up again. And, thank you for the "cool chick" compliment! (BTW Re Bin Rodi being the "underdog", I do not consider him to be so and he might not appreciate that you do... I consider him and I to be on equal footing.

Regards,
A'isha Azar
listen ma'am
people who believe in muhammad as a prophet are muslims- period
and i guess you admit you believe in him as a prophet, you even told the (PBUH) after his name
i honstly think it's okay if you are muslim, no problem at all

and by the way who want to educate people about something should mention both positives and negatives about that thing to be honest and gain credibility
because you know we are on the cyber and even 5 years old kids can check if we tell the truth or lie
and if you gonna abuse this thread to make probaganda for islam i'll have to tell the people here what is islam too using what i have of proves and let them judge it

last things i wanna say about this is
1- iam egyptian and live in egypt(muslim country)
2- muslim nations takes it's ideologies, values and principles from only islam they even apply it in non-subjective way like apply it in public and apply the opposite in private
for an instance egyptian people is most people who pray a lot same time they kill, steal, rape and spit on belly dancers
they want the belly dancers same time they despising them (schizophrenic)
3- in the muslim world may be there is imparity in levels of applying islam but still apply islam
4- muslims never tell the truth always because islam command them to hide negative stuff to incourrage non-muslim people convert to islam (and we all saw you doing this here in the forum in this thread Aisha when you talked about "positives" only of muhaamad)
5- if there is minority of people respect bellydancers in egypt there is still the majority who look to them as hookers and filthy
 

belly_dancer

New member
"they want the belly dancers same time they despising them (schizophrenic)"

sounds like the Catholic "madonnna/whore" syndrome.... are we really that shocked???
still bin_rodi, I do not think A'isha is a Muslim, why would she lie ??? (I also am assuming YOU are not lying,,, we have to give all the benefit of the doubt)...
maybe she was jsut trying to show her knowledge of the Muslim culture!

still the points you make about Muslims are interesting, and I think a reflection of most organized religions. (do as I say NOT as I do!)
you mention some bad points of being Muslim (which could be applied to any religion... everything has its corrupted side....)
are you a practicing muslim???
what does this consist of?
what are some of the parts of being muslim that you find fulfilling???
I think your 1st post on this thread, you said something like you respected belly dance & saw it as art... does this make you a "bad" muslim????

sorry for all or the questions, I have never actually questioned my muslim friends on their religion, as A'isha has... so I am curious!
welcome back to the thread bin_rodi.:)
 

Moon

New member
Dear bellydancer, if I remember right bin Rodi said in the thread about Orit that he isn't a muslim.

Sorry bin Rodi if I'm wrong.
 

bin_rodi

New member
"they want the belly dancers same time they despising them (schizophrenic)"

sounds like the Catholic "madonnna/whore" syndrome.... are we really that shocked???
still bin_rodi, I do not think A'isha is a Muslim, why would she lie ??? (I also am assuming YOU are not lying,,, we have to give all the benefit of the doubt)...
maybe she was jsut trying to show her knowledge of the Muslim culture!

still the points you make about Muslims are interesting, and I think a reflection of most organized religions. (do as I say NOT as I do!)
you mention some bad points of being Muslim (which could be applied to any religion... everything has its corrupted side....)
are you a practicing muslim???
what does this consist of?
what are some of the parts of being muslim that you find fulfilling???
I think your 1st post on this thread, you said something like you respected belly dance & saw it as art... does this make you a "bad" muslim????

sorry for all or the questions, I have never actually questioned my muslim friends on their religion, as A'isha has... so I am curious!
welcome back to the thread bin_rodi.:)

listen belly_dancer:
she admitted muhaamad a true prophet from god, did you red this???
i think you red it well, so please stop saying she is not a muslim
even her name is a muslim
as i said it's the name of one of muhaamad's wives the one he married when she was 9 years old
Aisha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
so no need to waste your time in trying to prove she is not muslim
muslims used to lie and say they are not muslims to gain credibility, subjectivity and to show they are neutral they always do this on the forums and cyber in general
and people don't believe in islam and muhamaad just to show their knowledge of the Muslim culture
and any way please feel free to disbelieve me

iam not a muslim
iam in that part of my life when people search for the truth
i born to find myself officially christians just because my parents are Christians
but i want it to be my choice
so now iam studing,reading and searching for the truth which i may or may not find it

thanks belly_dancer
thanks moon
 
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Aisha Azar

New member
Attitudes, etc.

Deat Taheya,
I think in some cases the ONLY way to get any real information is to become freinds with the people. I think that both anthropologists and dance ehtnologists will say that in some situations it is even necessary, in order to get anything of value. As Bin Rodi has stated several times, you may not be getting "the truth" in some situations. It is not always cold science that gets the answers, and I think its safe to say that there is really no such thing as "objectivity" in human relationships anyway. I have taken classes in anthropology and sociology,and found that the best studies are done by those who feel the people. (eg: Dwyer, K. (1982) Moroccan dialogues: anthropology in question, Prospect Heights, Waveland Press, Inc ISBN 0-88133-293-3.)
I have found that among Arabs, until we have built a trust relatonship, nearly everything that takes place between us is kept polite and impersonal. Only after we have established a freindship do I ever get anything beyond this politeness. I hope you will go to my website and read my series "The women in between". It is not an impersonal anthropology, but the story of several women who are trying to make their way in a country that is not their own. Each one of them allowed me to tell their story under cover of aliases.
I know how to write in the sciences, I simply prefer not to. Too much of the human quality of cultures and relationships is left behind. We are, after all, all human beings.

Dear Bin Rodi,
If you prefer to think of me as Muslimah, thank you. I am honored!

I am spending the next two days with family and freinds andwill have no time to respond until the 26th.

Ma assalaama and Merry Christmas to all!!

Regards,
A'isha
 

bin_rodi

New member
Deat Taheya,
I think in some cases the ONLY way to get any real information is to become freinds with the people. I think that both anthropologists and dance ehtnologists will say that in some situations it is even necessary, in order to get anything of value. As Bin Rodi has stated several times, you may not be getting "the truth" in some situations. It is not always cold science that gets the answers, and I think its safe to say that there is really no such thing as "objectivity" in human relationships anyway. I have taken classes in anthropology and sociology,and found that the best studies are done by those who feel the people. (eg: Dwyer, K. (1982) Moroccan dialogues: anthropology in question, Prospect Heights, Waveland Press, Inc ISBN 0-88133-293-3.)
I have found that among Arabs, until we have built a trust relatonship, nearly everything that takes place between us is kept polite and impersonal. Only after we have established a freindship do I ever get anything beyond this politeness. I hope you will go to my website and read my series "The women in between". It is not an impersonal anthropology, but the story of several women who are trying to make their way in a country that is not their own. Each one of them allowed me to tell their story under cover of aliases.
I know how to write in the sciences, I simply prefer not to. Too much of the human quality of cultures and relationships is left behind. We are, after all, all human beings.

Dear Bin Rodi,
If you prefer to think of me as Muslimah, thank you. I am honored!

I am spending the next two days with family and freinds andwill have no time to respond until the 26th.

Ma assalaama and Merry Christmas to all!!

Regards,
A'isha
okay Aisha
there is no problem at all to be a muslim
the problem is to say you are not a muslim while you are
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
okay Aisha
there is no problem at all to be a muslim
the problem is to say you are not a muslim while you are
I know her, she's not a practicing Muslim. She is someone who is respectful of all religions. I guessed from your statements that you are a Coptic christian. I also understand that there is a great deal of tension and discrimination experienced by the Coptic community in Egypt. as a person of african descent living in the United States, believe me I understand the anger and resentment that is obvious in your posts. However, you need to understand that we are Americans and as such our experiences and views regarding religion are very different from those in Egypt.

For us it is possible to be a christian, yet out of respect, view Mohamed as a prophet simply because he did preach that there is only one God. That does not mean that we have to follow the teachings and rituals of Islam, just that we do not feel we have the right to judge which religion is the "true religion", or not. We can practice our religion feeling that it is right for us, but Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, is the chosen path for those who believe in it. Of course not all Americans believe this way, but I would say that there are many, like aisha who do. By the way Aisha is not her real name, but her artistic name.
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Honestly, I'm surprised by the level of tension in this thread. and just as confused by all the fuss. Its not like anything has been said that we don't already know because we've discussed these issues to death a thousand time in this year alone.

we all know that in Middle eastern societies it is accpetable to dance socially at home with your family and friends, but looked down upon for a woman to perform in public. we already know that women who do so are considered prostitutes. we also know that ironically, even though top celebraties are admired for their fame and wealth, they are not necessarily respected on moral grounds. WE ALREADY KNOW THIS. Ai'sh was not trying to say that this was not the case. she was just pointing out that there are some dancers who are greatly admired.

As for all the negative religious bashing. Honestly, it has no place here. There is a BIG difference between what a religion teaches and what people choose to do. I don't believe it was fair to judge aisha so harshly because she pointed out some of the positive aspects of Islam. It is a fact that Islam did give rights and teach respect and equality and social justice. However, it is also true that many people who consider themselves to be muslim have and do behave in ways that contradict those principles. However, we can say the same about Christianity, Judaism, and other religions as well. Most of the practices that deprive people of their rights have more to do with cultural practices and nothing to do with religion, however, it is usually the case that people often confuse cultural practices with religion or use religion to justify them. In this respect, "muslim cultures" have not acted differently than christian, or Jewish societies where religion and government was one in the same. Remember our own history and why we go to such lengths to maintain a separation between church and state.

Honestly there isn't one organized religion that does not have a history of persecuting minority religious groups. A thorogh reading of history will show that the persecuted of today were often the persecuters of yesteryears. when Judaism was the major religion in Palestine 2,000 years ago, they persecuted christian, Remember why Paul was on his way to Damascus? Look it up in the New Testament, he was on his way to kill christian infidels. when Christianity became the dominant religion in Egypt, they persecuted the followers of the old pharonic religion. One needs only look at all the defaced temples all over Egypt to see this. Christians also persecuted Jews as well as the Roman pagans, who had first persecuted them when they were in power. Muslims in Arabia were first persecuted by the pagan Meccans and there were Jews who took up arms against them as well, then the tide was turned and guess what? Yep you guessed it.

I'm originally from the Caribbean. There are no longer any native Taino, or arawaks in my country nor any of the other islands, know why? In 1492 Catholic Christians from Spain "discovered" us. You can read The devestation of the Indies by Bartholome De las Casas.

As for "muslims" attitudes about dancers, I can vouch for the fact that Coptic christians feel the same way about them. I travel to Egypt every summer and live in asection of esbekiya with a large christian population. I also live in a large egyptian community in New Jersy with a large christian community.

I know this has been long, but I felt the need to chime in because this thread went in a very negative direction. Religious fundamental extreemism is not a "muslim problem", its a HUMAN problem and calling the followers of one religion liars only feeds the cycle of destructive negativity. This is why so many of us here in America, like myself and aisha, refuse to formally belong to any specific religion, but to respect all of them and worship God privaetly in our own way.
 

chryssanthi sahar

New member
Dear Tarik, I basically agree with you, but there are some facts, one cannot oversee. One fact is, that Islamic fundamentalism is growing very fast in our days and that what it stands for, is definitely against our Western ideas of democracy, equality of the two sexes and freedom of the individual. Don't get me wrong: I'm not talking about Islam in general, I'm talking about Islamic fundamentalism. But unfortunately this is the direction Islam is going today (in many countries. Of course not in all).
Another fact is, that every religion goes through phases of tolerance and phases of fanaticism. Christianity has been through phases of fanaticism (for example at the time of the Crusades), Judaism has been through such phases and of course Islam. Right now we have a revival of such a fanatic phase in Islam. You and the other Americans and Western Europeans may not understand that well what this means, but for somebody like Bin Rodi, who is a Christian living in an Islamic country and probably experiencing everyday discrimination, the matter looks different. I must admit that also we Greeks are not in such a good faith about Islam, because we had experienced 400 years of occupation through an Islamic nation (the Ottoman Turks) and we got a taste of what this can mean. During the Ottoman occupation there had been times, when the Turks were quite liberal about the religions of the subordinated nations, but there had been other times, when they were quite severe and tried to force people to convert to Islam. Of course, as I mentioned before, there had been such phases also in Christianity. But right now we hardly have such a phase in Christian societies (except maybe some christian fundamentalist areas in the US). So sorry, but I am not too optimistic about the Islam of today.
 

chryssanthi sahar

New member
Dear Aisha, dear Bin Rodi.

I think the hard debate between you is very typical for a cultural misunderstanding.
AISHA you talk often about your Arabian friends. May I ask a question? Are those Arabians friends directly from Arabian countries? This means, born and grown up in some Arabian country and been at the US for less than 10 years, or if living there longer, do they have their primary families in their home countries and visit their home countries at least once a year? Or are they mainly Arabs born and grown up in the States? One should be really careful when it comes to emigrants who were born and grown up in America (or elsewhere). They never represent the actual society and way of thinking of their home countries. I know this very well, because of all the American and Australian Greeks I know, but even the German Greeks who were born and grown up here in Germany.
BIN RODI, maybe it is not understandable for you, but if Aisha is talking with respect about Mohammad, this doesn't mean that she is a Muslim. She is an American who tries to have understanding and acceptance for a different religion and different culture than her own. One could also call it : trying to be politically correct. Since the American society consists of many different nations, races and religions it is essential for the Americans to respect those differences (they had not always done so in the past), in order to be able to co-exist in peace.
 

chryssanthi sahar

New member
Most non-Arab Muslim countries like Turkey, most Central Asian countries, Malaysia, Brunei and even Indonesia are quite liberal with their attitudes both towards women and dancing (of course there can be regional differencies as most of these countries are big) - and even Arab countries like Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia are not so stiff-necked either... so it is impossible to generalize when talking about more than 1 billion people :)

Dear Kiraze,
you are right, one cannot generalize. But since I know very many Turks and I have also been to Turkey, I know that a big majority of the Turks doesn't have such a good opinion about belly dancers. Well, maybe the image of belly dancers is changing slowly, but for many Turks a "dansöz" is still not lot better that a prostitute. This of course doesn't keep me from performing at Turkish weddings, restaurants etc., because since I am not a Turk myself (and also not a Muslim), it is irrelevant for me how my Turkish audience would think of me as a person. For me it is only relevant how they would think of me as a dancer:tongue: .
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Dear Tarik, I basically agree with you, but there are some facts, one cannot oversee. One fact is, that Islamic fundamentalism is growing very fast in our days and that what it stands for, is definitely against our Western ideas of democracy, equality of the two sexes and freedom of the individual. Don't get me wrong: I'm not talking about Islam in general, I'm talking about Islamic fundamentalism. But unfortunately this is the direction Islam is going today (in many countries. Of course not in all).
Another fact is, that every religion goes through phases of tolerance and phases of fanaticism. Christianity has been through phases of fanaticism (for example at the time of the Crusades), Judaism has been through such phases and of course Islam. Right now we have a revival of such a fanatic phase in Islam. You and the other Americans and Western Europeans may not understand that well what this means, but for somebody like Bin Rodi, who is a Christian living in an Islamic country and probably experiencing everyday discrimination, the matter looks different. I must admit that also we Greeks are not in such a good faith about Islam, because we had experienced 400 years of occupation through an Islamic nation (the Ottoman Turks) and we got a taste of what this can mean. During the Ottoman occupation there had been times, when the Turks were quite liberal about the religions of the subordinated nations, but there had been other times, when they were quite severe and tried to force people to convert to Islam. Of course, as I mentioned before, there had been such phases also in Christianity. But right now we hardly have such a phase in Christian societies (except maybe some christian fundamentalist areas in the US). So sorry, but I am not too optimistic about the Islam of today.
Believe me, I totally understand everything you are saying. what I am saying is that you have to realize that there is a VERY big differeence between what a religion teaches and what people try to make it. The reactionary fundamentalist movements we now see in the Middle east is a perfect example of this.

Islam teaches that there can be no complusion in religion, it must come from your heart or your conversion means nothing. However, because people have THEIR OWN AGENDAS and self centered need for power and control, they do things to force people to change and then try to justify it by saying they are doing it for God. That is just one example.

As for christians, don't be fooled, there are a lot of them who are every bit as dangerous as any Muslim fundamentalist. We still have christian terrorist groups like the KKK and other white supremist groups, not to mention survivalist groups who are against the government and are armed to the teeth and run terrorist training camps. They are anticipating a racial war as well as a war with the government. They believe that a woman's only place is in the home and they have no business outside of that role.

I myself had once belonged to a very fundamentalist church. Women who voiced an opinion or didn't get permission from their husbands were accused of being possessed by the spirit of Jezabel. They even perached that women who had sex outside of marriage should be stoned just like in the old testament. When the AIDS epidemic broke out, they praised God that he was destroying the sinners. I can tell you for a fact that right here in america, there were churches that praised God when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11 because they believed God was punishing this wicked society. Every day these people are getting more power in the government. George Bush is one of them. He really believes that God is directing him.

I could go on and tell you many grusome things that I experienced and have seen Christians do in the name of God. This is why I' say that religious fundamentalism is not a Muslim problem, it is a human problem. Once again, do not be fooled into a false sense of security. In the states we are facing a growing threat.

as for egypt. I'm not ignorant. I go there every summer and live in a blue collar neighborhood. I am well aware of what is happening there. The only thing I would say to bin rodi, is that hatred only breaths more hatred. Jesus was the one who said love those who hate you. There is a reason why he said that. Meeting hatred with haterd only creates more hatred. If I followed that rational, I would have to hate you as well as most everyone in this form because of how europeans have, and still are treating people of color.
 

Gabi

New member
Too tired to write but I want to :clap: :clap: :clap: Chryssanthi and Tarik both. What you two say is not mutually exclusive and it both rings very true to me, thanks for making the effort to write all that.

I personally wish extremist fundamentalism in any religion did not exist but it is most assuredly rising in all factions to very scary levels.
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Attitudes

Dear Chryssanthi,
Yes, my friends are for the most part raised in Arab countries. My best freind was lived in Saudi Arabia until she was 24 years old. ( She has been here for7 years.) She also spent time in other countries, coming from a family that did a lot of traveling. Another very close friend of ours is from Iskandria and she moved here about 5 years ago. I also have friends and acquaintances from the Gulf and the Levantine countries. The town where I live in Washington is one place where you find many,many refugees and foreign students as well. Because of my, I guess "standing" in the Arab community, many people come to me when a person who is well versed in being an American is needed!! I have done everything from accompanying people to the doctor, to helping them fill out forms to get kids in school, to being in attendance at a death, to helping fill out INS papers and writing letters of recomendation. I believe this is because I am trusted.
I also know first and second generation Arab Americans, but many of them are still children, being the off-spring of my freinds. When I relate what my friends say, I am telling you about their experiences in their own countries that they relate to me. If something is my own opinion, I try very hard to distinguish between what I think and what they say.
I agree that there is a difference between Arab Americans and Arabs who were born in countries of family origin. In fact, to keep the ties alive, many of my Arab freinds return home to get married and they bring their new spouses back to America to live, work etc. This seems to be the practice among MOST of the Arabs I know.


Dear Tarik,
Thank you once again for helping to clarify my position.

Regards to you both,
A'isha



Dear Aisha, dear Bin Rodi.

I think the hard debate between you is very typical for a cultural misunderstanding.
AISHA you talk often about your Arabian friends. May I ask a question? Are those Arabians friends directly from Arabian countries? This means, born and grown up in some Arabian country and been at the US for less than 10 years, or if living there longer, do they have their primary families in their home countries and visit their home countries at least once a year? Or are they mainly Arabs born and grown up in the States? One should be really careful when it comes to emigrants who were born and grown up in America (or elsewhere). They never represent the actual society and way of thinking of their home countries. I know this very well, because of all the American and Australian Greeks I know, but even the German Greeks who were born and grown up here in Germany.
BIN RODI, maybe it is not understandable for you, but if Aisha is talking with respect about Mohammad, this doesn't mean that she is a Muslim. She is an American who tries to have understanding and acceptance for a different religion and different culture than her own. One could also call it : trying to be politically correct. Since the American society consists of many different nations, races and religions it is essential for the Americans to respect those differences (they had not always done so in the past), in order to be able to co-exist in peace.
 

bin_rodi

New member
"when Christianity became the dominant religion in Egypt, they persecuted the followers of the old pharonic religion."

"As for "muslims" attitudes about dancers, I can vouch for the fact that Coptic christians feel the same way about them. I travel to Egypt every summer and live in asection of esbekiya with a large christian population. I also live in a large egyptian community in New Jersy with a large christian community."
sorry to drift away of the main subject of the thread, but i it's my duty toward my people and civilization to tell the truth

may i ask you sir this question: where did you got the fact that Christians persecuted the ancient pharaoh believers and defaced their temples in purpose to humiliating them while Christian age in Egypt??? would you give me a link for a non-Muslim web site please tells about this??

you lived in Egypt and among Copts and you say Copts hate and disrespect them, alright it's your right to say what you wish because we are on free forum

but i think, i have the right too to say your statement is not correct at all

you are Muslim right??
 

bin_rodi

New member
Dear Kiraze,
you are right, one cannot generalize. But since I know very many Turks and I have also been to Turkey, I know that a big majority of the Turks doesn't have such a good opinion about belly dancers. Well, maybe the image of belly dancers is changing slowly, but for many Turks a "dansöz" is still not lot better that a prostitute. This of course doesn't keep me from performing at Turkish weddings, restaurants etc., because since I am not a Turk myself (and also not a Muslim), it is irrelevant for me how my Turkish audience would think of me as a person. For me it is only relevant how they would think of me as a dancer:tongue: .

see
now tell me guys what's in common in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and turkey???:)
 

bin_rodi

New member
BIN RODI, maybe it is not understandable for you, but if Aisha is talking with respect about Mohammad, this doesn't mean that she is a Muslim. She is an American who tries to have understanding and acceptance for a different religion and different culture than her own. One could also call it : trying to be politically correct. Since the American society consists of many different nations, races and religions it is essential for the Americans to respect those differences (they had not always done so in the past), in order to be able to co-exist in peace.
here is some facts:
1- she has a muslim name("Aisha" the little kid muhaamad married) Aisha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2- she admitted she consider Muhammad a true prophet
3- no need to admit Muhammad a prophet to show respect to him(according to my experiance in my homeland)

so according to logic, normal logic in fact, i think she is a Muslim
this is a fact i believe in and please feel free to refuse it
 
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