Sunday, August 5, 2007

Arab Fest

So every year at about this time, the Arab Center of Washington holds an Arab Festival, showcasing some 22 countries, down at the Seattle Center. This year, according to a radio story that I heard earlier this week, Christian missionaries will be attending, looking to convert Moslems that they come across. They will also be setting up outside mosques in the area. It was only a small story, in a top-of-the-hour news brief, not the sort of thing that seemed to warrant more enduring coverage.

I'm not sure that I approve. Yes, I understand that the missionaries have freedom of speech, and all that, but it seems... unwelcoming. Partially because it strikes me as being motivated more by fear than by a desire to spread "the Word of God." It's unlikely that Islamic radicals are going to be looking to recruit suicide bombers in a venue that an organization has created as an introduction of their culture to the rest of the world. But even if they did convert everybody they spoke to - what then? Our idea that the tensions that we're currently having with the Middle East, as well as Moslem populations in the rest of the world, is due to the religious differences, seems rather naive. Wouldn't they still be upset with us for what they perceive us as having done to them?

I was tempted to go down, and see if anything interesting would come of it, but I passed. Seattle Seafair is this weekend, and that means that one of the floating bridges in closed for part of the midday, so people don't kill themselves trying to watch the Blue Angels fly overhead when they should be watching the highway. So going into and out od Seattle is a pain, and I have a couple of standing appointments on the weekends that I need to keep. So going into the city is less than a good idea. But we'll see if anything pops up in the news later on this weekend.

1 comment:

ben said...

I'm 100% for religion-on-religion stupidity... go 'tards!