I have only just turned my computer on for the first time today. That’s really abnormal for me, particularly on a day without school taking up a big chunk of time. What’s even more strange: I spent most of my time today cleaning. Sadly, I cleaned only one room (the kitchen), but boy, did it need it. I threw away stuff (like cereal, not fruit or smelly things) that had expired in 2002 or 2003. Wow. I have so much counter space now, I hardly know what to do with myself.
The rest of my day was spent with my nose buried in a book: Reza Aslan’s No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam. I saw this book recommended when Aslan was on “The Daily Show,” and I’ve been wanting to look at it ever since. Today, after taking an hour to do all of my recycling, I walked into Borders and bought it. Then I sat outside and read it for about an hour; add at least another 1.5 hours this evening, and you get the idea of how good the book really is. I’m in the chapter about jihad at the moment and just finished one that talked about women and Islam. Let me quote :
Today, throughout the Muslim world, a whole new generation of contemporary female textual scholars is reengaging the Quran from a perspective that has been sorely lacking in Islamic scholarship. Beginning with the notion that it is not the moral teachings of Islam but the social conditions of seventh-century Arabia and the rampant misogyny of male Quranic exegetes that has been responsible for their inferior status in Muslim society, these women are approaching the Quran free from the confines of traditional gender boundaries… Muslim feminists do not perceive their cause as a mere social reform movement; they consider it a religious obligation. As Shirin Ebadi proudly declared while accepting the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless work in defending the rights of women in Iran, “God created us all as equals… By fighting for equal status, we are doing what God wants us to do.”
I am learning so much. It’s fascinating, it’s all so fascinating. Even the prologue was fascinating, with a discussion of the difference between religion and faith, and also a particularly meaningful discussion of the idea that all myths are true; it is simply the interpretation that differs.
Like I said, fascinating.
Also today, I tried the Thai-Siam restaurant at 15th and Kasold. I’m so pedestrian in my Thai wants, but their Pad Thai (w/ tofu) was awesome. I will enjoy half of it for lunch tomorrow.