This was about how the faith ought to be practised, and while the media did mention that they discussed climate change, there was an element of “whoa, they know ‘bout it, eh?”. Of course, references were made about “appropriate dress”, “right colour to dye the beard” (henna orange, if you missed it and are dying to know) and how women can contribute because they keep the family in shape (so do gyms). Here is one such gem from a report:
Queries reflected the dilemma most followers faced in attempting to adapt principles of Islamic living with contemporary conveniences and ideas. On Sunday evening, one man wanted to know whether Islamic principles allow a follower to run a television repair service. He was told that while fixing damaged television sets was halal (permissible), watching a programme with inappropriate content was not.
Got it? Among three lakh people a handful would have been concerned, and if they are truly religious they can get the information from the local mosque’s maulvi or stores selling religious books/CDs. This was a stupid little effort and I won’t be surprised if some special queries were put in to cater to the salivating media. Or asked by a media person faking it?
Most religions, if seen in their original form, go against contemporary living, whatever the heck that is. Your contemporary living is different from mine. Such reports make it seem as though everyone is living one way of life and these Sunni bros are kind of really fumbling in their ankle-length pyjamas and saffron beards (haw) wondering how to do it right.
Boy, all my TV repairwallahs have been clean-shaven Sunnis (ok, one Sindhi too) and managed to only damage the set even more. I guess they thought they had to butcher it before repairing it.
This meet reminded me of another one which I had attended. It was at a hall organised by some secular Muslim organisation and had speakers from “different walks of life”. I did not walk there, but was quite tickled that the cameras were focussing on me. I was suitably embarrassed at my magnetism and kept turning my face away. You don’t believe it? You are right. The reason was that, clad in pristine white with my head uncovered and a real sharp looking object in my hand –a pen, I had behind me and in front of me only black veils. It was sheer co-incidence, but can you imagine how thrilled the photographer must have been?
My own excitement lasted until the break after which I made a quick exit to do a few haraam things.