Monday, September 06, 2010

the view from here

Working outside the U.S., in particular, during my time here, you become more aware that there are reasonably significant numbers of Muslims in many countries. In Africa, there's a general trend of countries that are further north will have larger percentages of Muslims. Case in point, Congo is probably about 5% Muslim, while Gabon is closer to 25% and Cameroon perhaps 30% or more. In speaking with a Cameroonian colleague, he said Gabon is a bit of an aberration since the Arab empires of yore never really made it this far south. It is countries like Cameroon, Sudan, Nigeria, Chad, Mali, etc that are desert in the north and jungle or at least non-desert in the South that have a heavy Muslim/Christian split based on this geography. Here in Gabon, while perhaps an aberration, I have been told many Muslims here are immigrants from other African countries. I actually drive by a mosque on my standard route to work.

About a month ago, during a standard 'safety stand down', which is basically an Area level safety presentation, working during Ramadan was brought up. (This Area consists of Europe, most of Africa, and the Caspian region). Attention was drawn to try and do strenuous work before sunrise or after sunset and generally take the necessary precautions to avoid fatigue and injuries while people fast during the day. Nothing earth-shattering, but definitely not a point of discussion I would have ever heard during a U.S.-based safety stand down.

Speaking of the U.S., I'd be more concerned with Eid al-Fitr being misinterpreted and blown out of proportion by the right-wing fear-mongers. Wait, I don't need to worry if it will happen. I know it will happen.

Speaking of all this blather, I thought the WTC site was "sacred ground" and not for religious sites a mere block away. Oh wait, only the 'right' religions are allowed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All religion was created by Man to control the behavior of other men... when something didn't fit, they made it up... see how good its working!!! It is all about power and control.

You don’t have to be religious to be a good person. 3 things we learned and still apply for everyday life:

humanity, humility and conscience.