The bags are packed and it is nearly time to put summer of ‘14 in the books. As I reflect on the summer there are many wonderful memories of time with family and friends as well as adventures had and food enjoyed.
There is one comment that keeps coming back to me.
For those of us who pop up once or twice a year our conversations may or may not be similar to others. I don’t know. What I do know is that besides catching up with the person I am talking to there is also the opportunity to touch base about others within the same circle as there is never enough time for us to see everyone. It was during one of these conversations that the comment I have been ruminating about was made.
“Is he still doing the American Taliban thing?” he asks.
I pause as I can not possibly have heard correctly.
After what seems like a major pause in life, but was probably two seconds, I respond, “Can you tell me what you mean?”
It turns out, I had heard correctly. Unfortunately.
I am still, literally, shaking my head about this. I do realize that not everyone has any idea about different sects of Islam, but the person he was referring to is a Sufi. I have been trying to come up with a way to translate this comment into an American Christian parallel. I guess it would be like asking if a Quaker was still leading their local chapter of the Klan.
Sufis are mystics. Lumping a Sufi in with the Taliban is the most absurd thing I can imagine, but I take a deep breath and remember that American media doesn’t help people understand a religion that is the third largest in America, representing nearly 10% of the population, let alone Muslims around the world.
This moment I take with me as I head back to the Middle East.