December 03, 2012

Conversion Challenge Accepted

There are many people who have attempted to convert me to Islam and all of my students are deeply confused by the fact that I'm not. I once received "A brief illustrated guide to understanding Islam," which attempts to use logic to prove that the Quran is flawless and therefore, holy. Another student offered to give me a Quran to study. And once a student tried to trick me into saying the Muslim creed. (I might not know much Arabic, but I can recognize the creed.) When I refused to say it properly, he was very upset.

It's like a challenge to try to convert me. I don't blame them. It's a great boon for their place with Allah if they teach others about religion. I just don't know that they realize that includes teaching, not just forcing someone to recite a creed or handing someone a book that they'll likely just throw away. (Although to be fair, I have skimmed my illustrated guide. Apparently the Quran is flawless because it likens mountains to pegs.)

I once had a conversation with a man in a bar about how I couldn't be a Muslim because I didn't speak Arabic. And he nodded sagely, then insisted, "But you could learn!" My half-Lebanese friend insisted that I didn't need to know Arabic to be a Muslim, but the man and I shook our heads sadly. And that's my newest escape. "Maybe when I learn Arabic I can be a Muslim...."

1 comment:

  1. The people you know remind me of the bunch of kids I went to school with (at the age of 5) who got confused when I told them that I didn't know what a church was. One of them told me that I was going to hell, and then I told them that I didn't know what hell was.

    I also wonder if they realize that teaching others about religion is related to, but not actually the same, as getting someone to convert. I'm sure that you've learn a lot, though!