Thursday, September 20, 2007

Living with a Muslim

In Louisiana I shared an apartment with a Shiite Muslim from Iran. He was an Engineering student. People asked me what it was like living with a follower of Islam. Some people even thought I was dumb for doing so. They thought that I was living with "terrorists".

The level of distrust between Christians and Muslims is still there though on the surface people try to look "tolerant". Tolerance is really in the heart.

Let me share my experience. I learned from my Shiite friend that people in Iran are fond of beans and I got to taste how Iranians cook their beans and lamb. I also showed him what Filipinos eat. He liked "laing".

We talk about the latest Hollywood flicks and of course Iranian and Filipino cinema. My friend was surprised that Iranian movies are shown in Manila.

And when we talk about the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible, our discussion is really what is common to both Holy books without putting down the differences.

And I learned why Muslims pray 5 times a day and Islam's precepts. My friend learned why Christians pray the way they do.

And my Muslim friend asked me every Sunday a question I haven't heard from fellow Christians in a very long time, "Have you gone to Church?" To which I reply "Have you said your prayers?' I don't even bother to say that to a fellow Christian!

A bit of holiness in the course of the day. Perhaps God will be kind and show us Paradise. Amen, Inshallah!


DJB Rizalist said...

Robbin Padilla, the movie actor, is also probably the best known convert to Islam in the Philippines. But a weird thing happened to him in 2005. He made a movie called "La Visa Loca" co starring a British actor, Paul H., in Manila, whom I happen to know and who told me the story of what happened.

In the movie's plot, Paul plays a Hollywood director who arrives in the RP and meets Robbin who is playing his limo driver. Director asks driver to help him shoot a movie involving a live crucifixion, such as he heard was done in Pampanga. Driver readily agrees and finds a friend who says he's willing to do it for X number of pesos, which driver gets from director and gives to friend.

On the day of the shoot, friend does not show up! Director is mad, but tells driver, he will pay driver lots of money and get him a VISA to the US on top of it. Driver hesitates, but agrees bcoz the visa has been his dream from childhood. So in the movie, Robbin Padilla plays Jesus Christ in a movie being shot by Paul. They go to America and much else happens in the movie. It's a big hit in Manila when the movie was released, paul and robbin made lots of money.

BUT, remember that Robbin is the most famous Muslim in the RP, so a few weeks later, he gets death threats and reportedly a death sentence or fatwah for becoming the most famous crucifixee that year, causing him to take an extended vacation in Australia.

Well, of course we Catholics have some perfectly silly ideas too involving blood and wine and such.

But I would be very curious to know from your friend what he thinks of this behavior by Filipino muslims, because lots of the Muslims I know seemed abashed and embarrassed by the whole thing.

blackshama said...

Crucifixion reenactments to Richard Dawkins as silly as Fatwas and Catholic excommunications and censures and Iglesia ni Cristo "pagtitiwalag"!

I think my Shiite friend wouldn't care about how Filipinos practice their religion especially that of Robin Padilla's. They have much more significant problems in Iran like their President.

While we respect freedom of religion (after all religion itself is a by product of Darwinian selection), we can't give much respect to silliness, can we?