Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Free Mixing.....With Every Five Gallons!

No sooner has the squabbling over the Al Fresco Salah died down, but a new e-argument has errupted here in North East London. I have to admit some responsibility for this one, as one of my posts on another e-group started it all off. In typical style, though, a post on one topic quickly morphed into an argument over something completely different (as another famous Welshman might have said).

My post was about how many Muslims believe they are doing Da'wah (inviting others to Islam) when, in fact, their activities are more likely to promote community cohesion, if they have any positive impact at all. For example, some here have suggested that giving out sweets to passers by outside the mosque is good Da'wah. Well, I'd be the first to agree that this would be a lovely gesture, but I am yet to hear of anyone who embraced Islam because of a Jelly Baby!

But I digress! The ensuing argument was not about Da'wah at all, but rather about that old chestnut, 'free mixing.' Believe it or not, we still have in our midst those who believe that a 'perfect' society is one in which a man has no social interaction whatsoever with any woman other than his wife and immediate family. To these extremists, even a brief 'How are you?' from a man to a woman is forbidden and clearly the gateway to all kinds of unspeakable perversions! Not only do these individuals scatter the H word (Haraaaam!!!) like confetti, but they cut and paste page after page of 'rulings' from their masters in the Middle East to support their case. So overpowering is their zeal in promoting their cause that rarely are their views challenged on our little e-group. Until now, that is!

One particular spleen venter suggested that it is frankly impossible for a Muslim man to socialise with non-Muslim colleagues as the latter cannot survive in a social context without pouring gallons of lager down their collective gullets and ogling every attractive female that passes by! Well, this was clearly a step too far even for the silent moderates on our group. Over the past few days, more and more men and women have been putting their heads above the parapet to say, "Hang on a minute! Not only do I disagree that socialising with non-Muslims is forbidden, I actually believe that it is a very good idea. And moreover, I prefer to socialise in mixed gender groups, thank you very much!"

The more serious-minded members have had a sub-discussion on what actually constitutes 'ogling'. I am just waiting for someone to cut and paste a lengthy article entitled 'The Fiqh of Ogling!'

Well, I think we have won this particular argument! The zealots have been drowned out by the moderates and some of the latter are arranging an afternoon of public free mixing at a local coffee emporium! I am minded to join them, but to avoid the stigma of being labelled a free mixer I am prepared to charge the ladies for my appearance on this occasion!

No comments:

Post a Comment