Saturday, January 30, 2010


Hello Everyone:

I want to thank Michelle Wickstrom for her post last week. I found it very insightful and interesting. I hope everyone has had the chance to read it.

We have a brand new post! Please welcome Salman.
Salman is a Muslim and I know you will enjoy his post!

Here is Salman's Introduction:

I am a 35 year old truck driver. I am a Kitchener resident and if someone likes to know.... I am originally from Karachi, the biggest city in Pakistan. I left my country of birth at an early age in search of a better future and have been kicking around here in North America for a while. Life so far is good and being an immigrant in this country, I gotta admit Canada is the best country in the whole world! Thanks.

1) What religion do you practice?
I was born in a Muslim family and I call myself a Muslim though I do not practice it. If I have to practice any religion, I will practice Islam in my own way on a moderate level.

2) Did you convert or were you born into this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
I was born Muslim, and I like to die as Muslim when my time comes.

3) Would you consider yourself a moderate, conservative or other.
I am very moderate when it comes to religion. I believe everyone has their own faith and they have full right to believe and practice their faith as long as those beliefs are non violent against other beliefs.

4) In your opinion, what makes you moderate/conservative/other?
What makes me moderate is to have tolerance and respect toward all other faiths which are different than mine. Being conservative in my opinion is to say "mine is right" and I do not buy it! Period!

5) In your opinion, what makes someone conservative? What makes someone moderate?
Again, What makes someone conservative is the strong belief that "mine is right.... no exceptions!" And what makes moderate is to have belief in your faith and still open and respectful to other beliefs.

6) What's your heaven/paradise like?
Heaven is a fantasy world! I believe it exists. And it does exist for all human kind regardless of their worldly faith as they lived it. It's not reserved strictly only for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs or other believers. It is reserved only for a fine human being who lives his/her life in this mortal world and it's only in God's hand to decide who qualifies to enter into Heaven.

7) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
Again, Heaven is not reserved only for Christians, Jews, Muslims, or people of other faiths. I believe not everyone will make it to heaven. There will be some of us (human kind) who will not make it. I personally definitely want to make it like everybody else. It depends on two factors. How they spent their lives in this mortal world and if they get lucky enough to get God's mercy to enter Heaven. It's entirely in God's hand. HE is the final authority to grant Heaven to who HE thinks qualifies. It's not in my hand or yours. Period.

8) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
My religion makes a good fit for me in a sense that I have great tolerance for other religions. I respect and love human kind regardless of their beliefs and that's what my religion and my human instinct teaches me. Remember, Islam and Muslim is same as Christianity and Christians. Today, it is very much misrepresented. Islam is good as a religion but it's followers, Muslims, are not good and they vastly misrepresent Islam by the act of intolerance and violence against people of other faiths. But all Muslims are not that way. There are many muslims like myself, who respect people of other faiths. I hope I answered this difficult question.

9) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
My Holy days basically follow in the month of Ramadaan, when one is
a Muslim, one has to pray and practice more and ask God for forgiveness, and it takes time and effort. Unfortunately, I am pretty much swallowed in making money and I do not care much about those holy days. I just try to work and earn mighty $$$ regardless of holy days. To give you a straight answer, EID is one of the most recognizable Islamic holy day that follows the end of the month of Ramadaan.

10) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
Certainly. I have more friends of other religions and faith than my own faith and religion. I work with them, I deal with them on a daily basis and it makes me feel good to have a good relationship with people of different faiths and race other than mine. I gotta admit, they respect me the same way like I respect them. Its good feeling!

11) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
I am not Christian, but I celebrate Christmas. I have been to Church every time I was invited and evertime I enjoyed it. It's a very good feeling to be there at the time of their celebration and be a part of it. Would I ever join to celebrate their holy days? That was your question. My answer is I have celebrated their holy days with them and I will continue to do so. Thats what I am.

12) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?
My thoughts about Burka and Shariah law is very relaxed. I believe Burka is a woman's right. It can not be enforced. If a woman wants to take Burka, it's up to her. To make it simple, let me put it this way. If I have a wife, I certainly won't like her to go out in public and show her skin. But I won't like to have a wife who hides herself in Burka. She's gotta be moderate. Just a simple woman who dresses decently. About Shariah law, let me say, some of Shariah laws are very harsh, and I do not support them. There is definitely no room for Shariah laws in Canada or any place in the Western world.

13) What are your thoughts on women not being allowed to become priests?
I love women and I respect them down to earth. I believe if a woman wants to be a priest she has a 100% right to be a priest as long as she qualifies the requirement to be a priest. I did not know that women are not allowed to become priests.

14) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?
Being a Muslim, my place of worship is a Mosque that I have not attended for a long time. I belive mosques are not limited only to Muslims. Its open to people of any faith like I believe Churches are open to all people regardless of any beliefs. I positively do not believe mosques are the places to segregate. They are open to any one of any religious belief. But you gotta respect their regulations. Like one cannot enter the mosque in a bikini or with their shoes on. Its very simple.

15) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
My religion does not affect me at all on my daily life. It's because I have made myself a very open minded person to people of other beliefs and religion. The best policy is to not discuss religion on your daily life and continue respecting people of other beliefs and religion. Now how much thought would I give making a decision? My answer is I will marry a woman other of my thoughts and beliefs as long as I love her and she also respects and loves me regardless of my religious thoughts and upbringing. Abortion and gay marriage is a different issue. When you talk about abortion, you are making a decision about life and death. Its up to a person who makes the decision to keep life or abort it. This is something I cannot correctly answer. The person who is making decision to keep life or abort it better be prepared to answer God for their action. About gay marriage.... my views are very relaxed. If someone is gay and they want to get married as a gay couple, they should be allowed to practice it. But I also believe a marriage is between a man and a woman. I do not have a woman in my life. At the same time, I am not gay. I love women. Whenever I am ready to have a life partner, I will choose a woman over a man, because I believe it's natural.

16) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
I do not have a kid. If I had one I would certainly not be against him/her to marry a person of another religion as long as I know they are truly sincere with each other.

17) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
Like Heaven, I believe in Hell too. But criteria to go to Heaven or Hell is not in my hand or yours or anyones. It's entirely in the hands of God. HE is the one to decide who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell. A muslim murderer is well qualified to go to hell than a christian priest. It all depends how we spend our life in this mortal world. We all have to die one day and we will either be sent to Heaven or Hell. I definitey like to go to Heaven because its a good place compared to Hell. I wish all of us make it to Heaven and none of us goes to Hell.

18) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
Practicing or non practicing? Its all up to you and I. If it comes to take a pick, I rather be practicing, but its not easy to be practicing. It's definitely an easier life being non practicing than practicing regardless of religious beliefs. In my religion it's Imam and in Christianity, it's the Priest. I do not think Imam or Priest has a right to speak on your behalf. You do what you gotta do as long as you are not hurting other people.

19) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
Being an immigrant and a person of different beliefs as compared to the majority of other people's beliefs in Canada, I have not so far experienced any hate crime against me. But some times I am questioned to answer some stupid questions like this chap asked me not too long ago, Will I get a thousand virgins when I go to Heaven? I don't know what to answer nonsense questions like this.

20) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
I truly sometimes feel that religion devalues me but I do not blame it on to my religion. I am good with my religous beliefs. It's the ignorant people who make it feel like you are devalued.

21) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Yes. My religion definitely gives me peace of mind. It does not bother me at all. I am a moderate Muslim, I respect people of other beliefs as my religion teaches me and I certainly want to die as a Muslim whenever my time comes.

22) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
I do not believe in reincarnation. Why? Because my faith tells me there is no such thing as reincarnation, but there is a life after death. And that life is not in this world. It's in the form of Heaven and Hell, and nobody has ever come back after death to tell the world what happens after someone dies? It's all faith and you can't really prove it. You just gotta believe it.

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