|People are the same everywhere
||[Aug. 25th, 2011|07:07 pm]
Today at lunch I walked past a Middle Eastern food store and stepped in to see what they had in the way of naans (quite a lot, as a matter of fact).
About thirty seconds after I entered the store, a Middle Eastern-looking man walks in, goes to the counter, and asks if they sell alcohol.
The clerk, an older Middle Eastern-looking man with an amazing beard, starts gesticulating wildly and declaring that alcohol is haram, forbidden by Allah.
The customer then says that surely, even if he may not drink it, it is not a sin to sell alcohol in a shop.
The clerk starts quoting all of these verses from the Koran and from the sayings of Mohammed, and then one of the other customers starts quoting verses of his own, and they end up in this serious (and animated!) scholarly battle right there in the store. Eventually, the clerk makes some irrefutable point, quoting from a hadith in the original Arabic, and the second customer backs down and agrees that selling alcohol is haram. The first customer, the one who wanted the alcohol, slips out while this is going on.
So now I am wondering whether this is the sort of thing that goes on all the time wherever Muslims gather - in which case I need to hang out around Muslims more often! - or whether it is an act they put on for their own entertainment as soon as they see a white guy walk into the store.
In other Islam-related news, today I met my first Irishman who thinks Obama is secretly Muslim. I'd thought that sort of thing was confined to the US. But in this man's defense, he was a paranoid schizophrenic I met with the psychiatric crisis team. What's your excuse, Americans?