So Catholics and Christians... how many Muslims do you know in Real Life?

The recent tussle in the Middle East due to a certain video tape seems to have sparked some rather interesting responses from different religious quarters.

While on an Islamic forum that I frequent, a few accusations were hurled about and so I decided to ask a question of the participants there.

The results were…expected… to say the least. But i was rather curious given all the vitriol that I tend to see on religious forums that I decided to ask the question here…just in reverse.

I by no means wish this to be an inflammatory thread, and invite the moderators to close is if it does become as such but…

My dear Catholics and your fellow Christians - How many Muslims do you know offline? Away from the vagaries of the internet? Are any of them your colleagues at work? Your friends? Do your children go to school together?

What has their been take on what’s going on? Do they feel a strained relationship with Non-Muslims? Has the sweep of current events strained your own relationship with your Muslim neighbors?

I’ve always found it very interesting that I knew virtually no Muslims until two years ago when I met a guy who was in my class for tech school in the Air Force.
If asked…he was muslim but he wasn’t a practicing muslim at all. I knew he didn’t attend a service and he was very westernized and loved his beer and pork.

I’m from an area where you’re either Catholic or a non-practicing Catholic/agnostic. I live within a few miles of at least six different Catholic parishes and 4 of those parishes have their own Catholic schools. It’s interesting running into a Protestant…let alone someone who practices a faith that isn’t Christian.

Sounds like what you folks would call a Cafetarian…or lapsed. :wink: Thank you for your thoughts.

I don’t have any close friends who are Muslim. I have a number of friendly colleagues who are, and my work environment creates other contacts as well. Religion is not discussed in that environment, nor is politics, and rarely world events. So I have no idea what they think. But I don’t know what the Christians in my work environment think either. We all discuss sports and the latest murder trial and how long until the parking lot is repaved or whatever thing that no one will argue over. The point is friendly interaction and a supportive environment for work, not intellectual discussion.

I could have a bunch of Muslim neighbors, but who would know? Most are rarely home. The retirees are the easiest to meet.

Well, 20% of the population of my country is Muslim, so I know several of them.

One of our most respected Presidents was a Muslim, and he’s still considered a national hero by many of our youth.

The Minister for Health, to whom our institution answers directly, is a Muslim.

I had a good Muslim friend and cricket-playing mate in school. :wink:

I have two residents working under me who are both Muslims, one of whom is certainly orthodox, right down to the head-scarf. More than one senior professor at my workplace is Muslim, too. :wink:

Most of the ones I’ve met are genuinely good people, who blend in well with the rest of us. I guess it’s part having a common culture, as well as the Government’s official policies regarding religious tolerance and secularism. (While I know that these are controversial concepts, which are certainly not part of official Church teaching, they do serve to “keep the peace”, especially in a country like India which has a long and on-going history of Hindu-Muslim conflict.)

There are extremists, too - in fact, there was a huge protest outside the US Embassy at my hometown just a few days ago - but they’re not the “majority” by any means. I’ve just been fortunate to never have any dealings with them.

I have some students who are muslims and one coworker who is muslim. I don’t know her very well but apparantly she made some religious comments that another coworker took extreme offense to. (the other coworker is a Coptic Christian so she’s admittedly sensitive on the subject) As a result, I try not to speak of religious matters around her. Besides her ability to make my coworker cry, she seems nice enough. I’m not sure what she thinks of the violence in the middle east.

Two years ago, I lived and worked in a multicultural city and there were at least a dozen muslims at my workplace. Every once in a while we’d have a casual sort-of multifaith religious round table discussion in the lunch room, but everyone was civil. We really found more similarities than differences amongst all the faiths represented (mostly muslims, sikhs & catholics).

Anyhow, I’d love to get my former work-buddies’ take on the recent events in the news. I miss our talks.

BTW, Catholics ARE Christians :wink:

My close friends husband is a Turkish Muslim. Non practicing. He just don’t eat pork and goes to mass with us. His wife is Catholic and they are raising their children Catholic. Once in a conversation his faith came up and he said he does not want to be called Muslim. He is Turkish. He does not consider himself that anymore. He said back in Turkey the Muslim scare his family that our non practicing Muslim too. ( I don’t know why.)

I am a Muslim, married to a Catholic and am surrounded by Catholics. I’m embarrassed by what some are doing in the name of Islam but don’t believe it strains relationships I have with people. I’m a private person but am fairly active in my community and no one really seems to mind me being around too much.

I have 6 Muslim friends and 4 Muslim nephews. Haven’t asked them about the events. :shrug:

No personal Muslim friends here, no. Where I grew up was so whitebread Anglo-Irish Catholic-Protestant it wasn’t funny. We had four denominational school systems: Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Seventh-Day Adventist. The closest thing to a public school system would’ve been the Protestant one. AFAIK there were no Muslims in my school.

I had some Muslim coworkers when I lived in Toronto. One young woman wore the hijab – she was one of the nicest, most cheerful, most outgoing people iceberg had the pleasure to meet. She was working her way thru veterinary school.
The woman who managed the little diner in the building I once worked at was Ismaili. Now many Muslims do not consider Ismailis to really be Muslim — YMMV. She was very sweet, and she was very offended by the notion of religious violence.
A young Muslim schoolmate of mine at art school was a total pacifist.
My next-door neighbour in Toronto when I was a child was a Muslim from Palestine. He married a Catholic. He and Dad used to have long religious discussions but stayed good friends.
My Donna says the people who ran the “Smoke ‘n’ Crunch” in her office building were very kind and friendly. They always wished everyone what the seasonal holiday was…I.e. they said “Merry Christmas” to the customers they knew who celebrated it.

All I can say is, so far as regards me and mine, we seem to be batting a thousand WRT the Muslims we have met.

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Lots and lots, I’m not going to try to count them, but the staff on our campus (one of 4 at our school) is over 100 and probably 90% of them are Muslim.

I include some of them among my friends, and have a couple of Muslim friends in my home country as well.

We haven’t actually spoken about it - it’s the beginning of the academic year for us and we have had far more important, to us as school staff, matters to discuss. However, in the past we have agreed that there is a small minority of people in all faiths who would like to promote misunderstanding and misinformation among others.

No, but is does leave me and others in this part of the world wondering what reactionary actions innocent people will suffer as a result of this misguided piece of film.

BTW, the video is now blocked in the country where I am and our ISP has asked that if anyone is still able to access it that they notify them so that they can block all access routes. A wise move, even if free speech is prized, there are times when it is better not to have seen or heard some things - this is a case in point.

Pray that innocent people do not suffer as a result of this so-called “movie”.

Sorry, seemed to have missed the whole point of the whole OP.

My neighbour in Toronto – Suleiman – as I said, married a Catholic. She did not convert. He was a Palestinian Muslim who whose business partner was an Israeli Jew.

Jad, my artshoolmate, was a pacifist.

Anar was Ismaili and an opponent of religious intolerance. She used to even be upset if people in her restaurant were rude to each other.

Trisha – the vet school student – related an incident to me. It was during Ramadan, and she bought a sandwich at Subway to have after sundown. The guy behind the counter asked her in her own language – I can’t remember which one it was — asked her if she was Muslim. He then began to berate her for eating western food and violating the fast. Apparently she politely told him to stuff it. She was very upset by that. And yes, she still enjoyed her veggie sub.

I haven’t spoken to any of these folks about what their reactions would be. I know what I would extrapolate from my experience with them. In Trisha’s case, I might be able to picture her at one of the protests, but shouting down the violence and trying to give succour to the injured.

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And what results were “expected” of them?

My dear Catholics and your fellow Christians - How many Muslims do you know offline? Away from the vagaries of the internet? Are any of them your colleagues at work? Your friends? Do your children go to school together?

What has their been take on what’s going on? Do they feel a strained relationship with Non-Muslims? Has the sweep of current events strained your own relationship with your Muslim neighbors?

I’ve had at least 3 friends that are Muslims and yes they were all friends IRL. One of them is still one of my closest friends but right now he lives in another country. I knew these people since before 9/11 and the one friend that’s always been very close, it affected him quite a bit at the time when it happened. My own religion was never an issue with him until the time I actually started taking Catholicism seriously which seemed to make him uncomfortable or insecure a few times but eventually he got over that too. He talked about Islam sometimes, and on a few occasions, I actually went with him to things that were going on at his mosque but looking back that may not have been a good idea for the most part.

I will say, as much as I like those people as friends my experience doesn’t lead me to respect Islam as a religion any more than I would have just reading about it in books.

I live in New York City and therefore run into Muslims on a daily basis in my neighborhood and at work. Where I teach, at a Catholic university, there is a sizable Muslim population of students, some of whom are in my classes. I rarely get into political or religious discussions with them in or out of class; but my general impression of these students is that many are intelligent and hard-working. They don’t appear much different from any of the other students on campus and seem to have several non-Muslim friends.

About half of my classmates in college were Muslims (I studied Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic), and currently one of my coworkers is Muslim. Most of them are fine folk. The things that bother me about the few I don’t care for have nothing to do with their being Muslim.

I don’t know any Muslims. I think one or two of the doctors at the hospital in town may be, but I am not sure.

Oh… its quite simple.

Assuming we rule out the number of cases wherein a person has had a direct negative impact from a person they identify strongly with a group (Communists, Muslims, The Labour Party, Canadians, people with Red Hair, etc.)…

Do people who raise questions about that particular group (usually the target of their ire or disdain) really know anything about a person or persons from that particular group.

I’m using a very specific definition of know - in reference to direct empirical knowledge.

The folks err… “hashing it out” on other board didn’t really have any true contact with Muslims or Christians. All they had at the end of the day were…abstractions is perhaps the best way to put it.

Kind of like what’s goes on here in the Non-Catholic forums at times. Hazy notions, images, but very little true experiential knowledge.

Present company excluded of course.

Oh, and i forgot.

Everyone, thank you for your thoughts and the sharing of your experiences.

You press upon a concern that has plagued some of my own friends who are serious about their religious faith, and yet at the same time acknowledge that they live in a world where others do not believe as they do…nor may ever.

The alternative to a secular culture (although not necessarily atheistic, there is a subtle difference that may be lost upon some, but not of those Richard Dawkinite atheists who are…well… childish in my own assessment ) is a religious one - but err… which religious one becomes the question. Simply the one that a person believes in? Beneficial to the believer if adopted, but what happens to everyone else?

Often I’ve found in such conversations that this is the part where people like to speak of conversions, of expanding Christendom or the House of Islam or some fantastical atheistic utopia. It is after all the Internet, where none of us are held accountable for the things that are said…nor see the consequences of our words.

There’s a sort of unrealism behind those comments.

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