Author Archive

Post conversion to Islam…


     I was born and raised in the U.S., served and retired from the Navy after 23 plus years and then subsequently converted to Islam around 2005. I settled in Malaysia after re-marrying and absorbed my new culture whole-heartedly. The following comments are not intended to be inflammatory– only observations of both cultures and experiences.
     As a Christian (pre-Islam (PI)), I would go to church whenever I had time on Sunday or maybe onboard ship if they had a lay person because there might not be a preacher. Growing up, my mother would send us to Sunday school and church– I always found that part interesting, sending us to church rather than bringing? As a culture, I’ve observed that it’s basically ok to party, drink, have sex or pretty much do whatever I want — within reason of course. For example, party at the club til 3 or 4 A.M. in the morning and then wear the same suit to church the next morning at 11 A.M.  But otherwise, everything was happy with world and my surroundings.
     As a muslim now, the things I described above are not possible. To make judgements isn’t the point, only an observation aimed at letting people understand the cultures and thus, possibly making the world a better place. When I meet people now and they ask where I am from and go through all the obilgatory questions and greetings– many will comment and say, “…oh you’re a convert”; I often ponder when they say it as if to suggest you’re not a real muslim I guest. I come back with what do you mean, we both worshipped the same God (s.a.w), the God (s.a.w) of Ibrahim (Abraham)? They say yes, but it’s different as the Holy Quran is the last book and true word and his messenger is Muhammad (phuh). I reply yes, but I’ve always worshiped the same God (s.a.w) you have… anyway, that’s an interesting conversation.
     The culture and things in Islam seem to be all encompassing, i.e., everyday and five times a day there is a prayer and Azan (call to prayer); Friday being a special holy day and mandatory for men to attend– Friday Prayer. In between, there are many other celebrations and events from the birth of children, Muhammad to fasting and many others. It’s total immersion and involvment. People, young and old, memorize the Quran (Hafiz) and recite it often. Some say this creates a global sense of community and always ensures the book lives forever without being edited as any editions would be noted by the many witnesses and reciters world wide– ingenious. This methodology would not be possible in Christianity.
     Why I decided to write something about this was to get a look into both cultures to try and make the leap as to if peace between muslims and christians was generally possible! In the literal sense of the word– no; but, if we say co-exist– yes. I think one has to agree to disagree and let others live there lives as they see fit– again, within reason. The problem with this idea is that reason itself comes from a place of culture– which itself (culture) suggests an inward looking view and suggests it’s not possible to see those free ideas outside the culture as reasonable or normal! So coexistance seems to be our best chance at “peace.” However, when that peace is based on what’s called international norms framed and modeled on Western values– how is peace possible, palatable or exceptable to those outside that Western system? Seems those in power may not really be concerned about peace, but rather the imposition of certain frameworks! There are terms and words for this, but I won’t mention them here and now– what are your thoughts?

Categories: Community Building

Life’s just too short!

     I know it’s been many times before, but you know life is just short to be worried about all the small stuff… it’s like missing the forest before the trees. We’re so worried about that next house, car or ”new thing” that we can’t see what’s important right in front of us!
    So the next time you want next big thing– look in front of you, it’s right there!

The final curtain…

December 28, 2011 1 comment

Just this morning I heard of yet another of my bosses colleages had passed away. It brought visions of those close to me but yet “passed on”. And what of myself? How will it be when it’s my turn? We grow up so naive and oblivious to life’s continual reality picture show as one might call it.

I suspect when that final curtain calls for me, I’ll know it’s time… I’ll just take a bow and bid all farewell and good do…

Working with people from other cultures and global business.

December 13, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the things a global business would like to do when they go global is to capitalize on things like economies of scale and transfers of different technologies and information; this would include knowledge that could be gained by working with companies and businesses in foreign countries that you may be invested in.

As it turns out, I’ve been in a situation similar to this. I’m working in a foreign country and am supposed to be from a developed country (U.S.) and have what I think is something to offer in the local country– I think no one told the locals that! I could get into CVs and stats but I think I’ll spare you specifics. They’re [country] “on track” for world developed nation status (WDNS) in about 2020-2025 and could use the help, trouble is many locals seem not to care and the others think they’re already there.

Since my primary objective is to stay married and live happily ever after with my foreign wife– I’m not obliged nor am I overly enthusiastic about convincing them otherwise. Fact be told, I’m digging the great experiment!

All we need is a little more music…

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Have you ever thought about when you hear some really really good music how it makes you feel? It seems like nothing else matters, you close your eyes and image a time…

Find yourself some of that music tonight and feel the love! Treat yourself, cause no one else can do it better than you! My nephew did just that on facebook and sent me some love so I’m sending it to you. Never mind if you’ve never listened to this kind of music before– just have a listen, close your eyes and enjoy. This one’s on me, or shall I say “This must be heaven-brainstorm” by the old school soul group, Bloodstone.

Reality check on sustainability…

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s a reality check on sustainability, there is just too much undiscovered oil and gas out there for it all to just suddenly stop and then solar panels and ocean energy generated by magical electrolysis saves the day. Ok, the gas may be a clean source of fuel but doesn’t that usually come with the oil?

Sorry to be so cynical, I mean I really  want the next generation to have a fighting chance– but you see it seems, it’s all about the Benjamin s (100 dollar bills)!

A proper airport greeting consists of…

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

This is for all those individuals out there who actually might not know how to conduct a “proper airport greeting”. It sounds ridiculous to have to describe it, but I think it’s necessary.

For the person picking up or greeting the person flying, be at the airport waiting to greet the other person before they get there… this doesn’t mean just before they exit the airport and greeting them at the curb but before the plane lands. An yes, go and park the car and wait in the airport!

For the person flying or arriving, receive the greeting and avoid rushing for your baggage or some other excuse. For family or married couples, this most likely means a hug and/or kiss. Ask how the flight was and express how much you miss each other and are glad to finally see them.

Collect their baggage and have a quick sit down and/or coffee  if time permits and it’s appropriate. Depart the airport.

Hope this helps, but I know there are still those out there who believe they’re perpetually in hurry for the next event and won’t be able to properly greet one another at the airport!

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