May 15th, 2008


Islam, You Slam, We All Slam

I spent a while today wading through the deep magazine racks in a Loop bookstore. I came away with a few things, including a special issue of Scientific American on the subject of perception and visual illusions. Cool stuff, and a lifelong fascination of mine.

I also looked at a great many publications that I did not buy, and I have to say my jaw dropped a bit when I saw a magazine with the title Muslim Girl. A veritable jumble of thoughts flashed through my mind in a few moments – this was nothing I’d ever seen before or imagined in any way. Mostly, though, it made me smile, because it served as a reminder that Islam, like every other major religion, is a big tent encompassing everything from hard-line fundamentalists to casually observant worshippers to very familiar sorts of people. Of course, I already knew that; I’ve worked with various Muslims over the years, in both the business and theatrical worlds. Still, the word Muslim has acquired an electrical charge in recent years in both the media and in the minds of many Westerners, and it fascinated me to see something that is quite apparently the product of observant Muslims, yet which would be considered inappropriate, and maybe even blasphemous, by many of the fundamentalists. Ultimately, there is something inescapably American about the whole concept of the magazine, and I’m glad to know that it’s out there.
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