Bedouin Culture

The first converts to Islam came from the Bedouin tribes and therefore (Sunni) Islam is embedded and deeply rooted in the Bedouin culture. Prayer is an integral part of Bedouin life. As there are no formal mosques in the desert, they pray were they are, facing the Ka’aba in Mecca and performing the ritual washing, preferably with water but if not available they ‘wash’ with sand instead.

Are there themes that we can build on in terms of an Indigenous-Islam conversation based on the Prophet Mohammed and his early days with the Bedouin Tribe?

A very typical thought pattern of many Canadians, which shows the need for M103.  I think indirectly our brother makes the government's points.

Freedom of speech is protected under Section 2 of the Charter and if one reads the actual text of the motion, resolution has to be done within the context of the what is the "freedom of speech" danger?

He seems to be promoting conspiracy theories here, assumes what hate crime is (it's already defined by the Criminal Code).   Totally reading too much into the wording....he's not engaging in hate speech by the way, he is making points that he think is valid...that is free speech, and he will be quite safe in critisizing the legislation or motion. 


​​Philosophy in the Islam World:  An opportunity to look at things through new lenses.​

Philosophy discussed and learned from within the Islam or Muslim context provides an exciting insight into the basic questions all human beings think about.  I am not sure if the methodology, metaphysics and epistemology employed by Muslim philosophers is any different than western philosophers, but certainly, the thinking produced in the Islam philosophical world is accentuated by the world view and cultural or experiential knowledge arising from being Muslim.

A few years back I had the opportunity with my theology class to go and visit a mosque and have a discussion with its Iman.  I put the question forward to the Iman that in his view, had Islam arrived on indigenous land before Christianity, did he think the history would be any different.  His answer was that he understood how Christianity made certain mistakes in regards to the spiritual needs of indigenous peoples, he thought that an Islam government in Canada might of been more tolerant simply because of the demands made on Muslims in regards to the treatment of other beings. He also thought though, that if indigenous peoples became Muslim, the Islam faith would require additional commitments to living an Indigenous-Muslim life.   We don't know what that would look like, but more and more these days, indigenous peoples are becoming Muslim and exploring the two world views.  A natural emergence of new thinking is happening because of the interaction of indigenous peoples who have become Muslims and the Muslim community itself. 

Virtually, everything Muslims know about indigenous peoples and vice-versa is second or third hand information that is sometimes misinformed and/or reflected by the editing powers of the news media.  A potential exploration that could happen between the Islam and Indigenous communities is the fact that Mohammed was adopted into and taken care of by a desert tribal group - the Bedouin Tribes.  There he learned social relationships, and I am sure there would be more that is reflective in his writings (his choice of words, styles to communicate the visions/knowledge given to him by Allah.  

The lack of conversation between indigenous and Muslim peoples can be a dangerous thing in that ignorance can be the fuel to encourage Islamophobia and/or anti-indigenous ignorance that causes much mental health distress if not violence and/or physical stress on our lives (i.e. stress and health).  The fact that many people are forgetting that their is only one Creator who has created all, then how can we continue to engage in the "them-us" hard-wiring in our human experience?  

So, in a humble effort to contribute towards this much needed global conversation, the cementing of a global philosophy approach that is based on a "unity within diversity" goal, the understanding of Muslim and Indigenous wisdom - certainly not ours to hide, deny or not share - can only benefit all of us at the end of the day. 



Just say'in.... 

Hard to find words, yes we pray and/or send good energy to the families of those who were senselessly killed in Quebec City mosque; we are happy that the majority of the wounded will survive and yes, Quebeckers and Canadians have pulled together and made our message clear; terrorism (including anti-Islam terrorism) is not accepted in Canada and the terrorists have not won in this Quebec tragedy.





​Where the Rivers Meet (WTRM) Website


Opinion piece

In terms of criticism I originally shared the view of some conservatives:  I found that reporting on the bill made me think that it is a weak bill; no enforcement measures, or measures that connect or define better how to employ the criminal act to counter islamophobia.  I thought that a lack of definition for what constitutes "islamophobic acts" and how they balance with free speech is not politicizing the issue but rather asking for a stronger bill.   However, the motion was  processual in nature and it facilitates a thorough process of policy creation that involves the government as a whole responding.  I am satisfied that this research will address the issues brought up by the Conservatives.  

I found myself disagreeing with the idea of "generalizing things' as this minimizes the urgency of what Muslims are facing in Canada, but certainly to support the anti-islamophobic bill is not saying that other groups such as the Jewish people and Sikh's are not protected, so perhaps a more broad and inclusive bill that includes all peoples, with specific references to the unique nature of each struggle (including anti-indigenous rhetoric) should be included.

Then, i looked up the actual text [below] and realized that the motion calls for research and the development of a comprehensive and holistic strategy to deal with hatred in Canada and a hatred that is escalating towards violence.  In reading the wording, the prophets of doom prophesy the end of free speech and so forth, but "read the text"....

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discriminationand take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the Houseno later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms...."

So, I think many critics of the bill are prematurely drawing conclusions that are not logical fallouts of the above wording; one may be politically paranoid, but that does not make the motion a weak or dangerous motion especially when two similar motions put forward by the NDP and Conservatives were passed unanimously.

The wording IS inclusive of any kind of attack on groups, it is protective of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 2) with regards to the Freedom of Speech and it is simply calling for a process to define what Islamophobia is, how the government as a wholistic and comprehensive unit can address islamophobia with applications to other groups...this bill should of been a no-brainer to pass.