Mecca of America

January 19th, 2006 by Sommer

On NPR last Friday, Commentator Ahmed Tharwat related how he and his family celebrate Muslim holiday Eid al-Adh. First stop: prayer room. Then a quick bagel before heading off to the Mall of America. Even more amazing to me was that thousands of Muslims in Minnesota celebrate in this way.

It’s so delicious. Where to begin? First and most obvious, the irony. He describes the Muslim women, covered head to toe in black, stark against a Victoria Secret store front. It’s just too good. And then there is the fact that they don’t buy anything. They are using a place that uses so many Americans.  They have no bags to lug. No wallets to lose. It’s almost as good as New Year’s, which I love because people are not expected to be with their families but are expected to get drunk.

Although I am puzzled as to why they chose this location (maybe I missed something in the commentary. If so, please let me know), I’m tickled. It’s the Mall of America, and Midwestern Muslims are using it in such the opposite way that most Americans do. They make a pilgrimage to it during one of their biggest religious celebrations all year. Most Americans’ biggest celebration of the year revolves around buying. For most of us, the mall is not an alternate location for worship. And especially for someone like me, who doesn’t do much besides shop and eat on the holidays, it is, in a sense, my sole means of worshipping. God bless the Midwest.

Entry Filed under: General Ranting

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Feygele Goy  |  February 19th, 2006 at 8:35 pm

    What I found interesting as well was Muslims enjoying an ethnically Jewish pastry during a holiday devoted to the patriarch most central to both Judaism and Islam — Abraham.

  • 2.  |  November 29th, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Good blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing
    like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!
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