Archive for August 6, 2010

the Mosque on Main Street

I was in town to cover the Planned Parenthood protests, got there early before the people did when I noticed an older fellow heading toward the Mosque. (Which was a bakery years ago). I never had actually been inside and asked the person (who it turns out was 89 year old Grammy winner Jazz legend Yusef Lateef of all people) if I could speak to the Iman, I wanted his take on Planned Parenthood opening across the street. I was told the gentleman would be there in 15 minutes and I was welcome to wait.

I hung around waiting with the gentleman while people continued coming in, men and boys to the front section and women to the rear behind a curtain. The congregation was primarily Indian rather than Arabic in appearance. When the Imam, Bashir Uddin Mehmud arrived it turned out he was about to start his Friday Service, he invited me to stay and I observed the service which lasted about 35 minutes.

Iman Bashir Uddin Mehmud

His sermon was a no nonsense one about the start of Ramadan next Wednesday and the need for spiritual renewal, the rewards of fasting and the need to avoid sin and temptation. The basic thrust of the sermon could have been given in any Catholic Church in preparation for Lent. He also asked the congregation to pray for the members of their community that were killed in the May 28th Mosque Attacks. (Their Branch of Islam the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are rejected by many mainstream Muslim groups). His sermon also touched on a denouncement of violence. Not surprising as his sect has been the target of radical Islam

We spoke for 45 minutes after the service. He has lived in Fitchburg for almost 30 years and has seen the change in the town. His opinions on the direction of the city and the cultural decay of the country could have been said by my mother.

The first thing you see when you walk in

This is the same group BTW that you might remember from the 4th of July parade , where you had Christians, followed by the Jews, followed by this Muslim community back to back.

He seems a very fine fellow and everyone was very sociable considering I was a stranger suddenly thrust upon them. From what I saw this is exactly the type of Islam we need to see more of.

As for Planned Parenthood speaking for himself he said it was a symptom of a larger cultural decay he mentioned before.

Update: Just heard from the Imam who kindly invited me back anytime. Who would have thought I’d be exchanging friendly e-mails with a local Imam two weeks ago?

Big Government tell me I’m apparently not the only person who remembers the Republican Establishment’s reaction to Reagan:

You had to live through it to recognize the metamorphosis. During those early days of June 2004, as the nation mourned the passing of Ronald Reagan, you would have never known he had been ridiculed and treated with disdain for most of his political career—not only by Democrats but by establishment Republicans. Frankly, I was stunned by the display of love and gratitude in 2004.

As the Reagan motorcade drove toward the Reagan Library for the final tribute, ordinary citizens along the route were paying their final tributes as well. It was an amazing moment.

But it was not always so.

Yet another testament to the great love the Republicans have for members of their party who are actually capable of winning elections. Somehow he sees the same parallel with Palin that I do.

Imagine that!

Bad Lawyer tells the story of a Judge in Washington State that is in some trouble:

[The] court ruled Thursday that King County District Judge Judith Eiler violated rules requiring judges to be ‘patient, dignified, and courteous’ to defendants, lawyers and others.

Five justices, led by Justice Jim Johnson, ruled in favor of the five-day suspension plus censure. But four others insisted that Eiler should be subject to a 90-day suspension recommended by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.”
I’ve witnessed this routine many times over the years. As I’ve said previously, there is some frustration on the part of some judges that they are powerless to actually affect behavior of the defendants who appear, oftentimes, again and again before them. The judges aspire to say something that might register in a positive way on these folks that will work to the advantage of the justice system and the community. This is especially true in “small law” courts.

At Simple Justice we see that Judge Judy is to blame.

Nowhere in the judges’ handbook does it require jurists to employ sugarcoating or gobbledygook in the performance of their duties. But when you put on a robe, part of the deal is that you exercise discretion and hold that sharp tongue. It’s not that judges don’t think that people are idiots, but they can’t say it. They just can’t.

The problem, of course, is that Judge Judy is unbelievably popular, maybe even one of the best things to happen to the legal system, as far as the public is concerned, in a long time. People love to watch Judge Judy jump to baseless conclusions and rip people’s lungs out through their nose. Swift, brutal justice. How fun! Unless you happen to be the one whose nostrils are at stake

How many people back in the 60’s took up Science because of the Professor from Gilligans Island or Scotty from Star Trek? If you decide to get into the law because of Judge Judy, it just might not be what you imagine to be. etiquette

You’ve read and examined my opinion of Gay Marriage. Making the case for the other side a blogger I respect who is just as nice in person as she is committed to what she believes, my friend Cynthia Yockey:

The fundamental rationale social conservatives advance for denying equal treatment to lesbians and gays under the law — including the liberty and freedom to choose sexual partners and spouses on the same bases that straight people use: sexual attraction and love — is that gays are intrinsically evil.

This of course is not the Catholic position but the number of people who make that argument is not insignificant to say the least.

Read her whole post and her others on the subject. Her opinion is worth hearing and understanding. After all once can’t be secure in one’s own opinion and beliefs and be unwilling or unable to hear the other side without rancor.