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Allah Bless Texas
February 2, 2006 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Redneck Muslims? Apparently. Strange BBC piece on Christian Texans converting to Islam. I have a hard time believing these people don't eat pork.
posted by mosessmith (51 comments total)

 
Not BBC, Channel 4.
posted by loquax at 8:48 PM on February 2, 2006


Texas barbecue is beef-intensive.
posted by raysmj at 8:48 PM on February 2, 2006


The Appalachian and Ozark regions are better known for pork production (and consumption). But don't let that stop you from lumping half of the country into the same stereotype.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:51 PM on February 2, 2006


I have a friend who converted to Zoroastrianism. Now that was strange. These Texans are worshipping the same god as before, just with a twist.
posted by loquax at 9:00 PM on February 2, 2006


Great link. Fascinating. That one female convert that was lining everyone up during prayer seems insufferable though. Nobody likes those "masjid aunties."
posted by Falconetti at 9:08 PM on February 2, 2006


Yes, texans are all rednecks, asshole.
posted by puke & cry at 9:16 PM on February 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I want these fuckers on my side.
posted by fingerbang at 9:22 PM on February 2, 2006


Well done piece. Channel 4 done good.
posted by billysumday at 9:26 PM on February 2, 2006


I'm still pondering the mother of Eric who converted 14 years ago. She said she almost wished that he had said that he was gay.

Wow. Just wow. Good documentary.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:42 PM on February 2, 2006


Not saying it's applicable here, but I've been predicting a merger between Christian and Muslim fundamentalists for some time. There was a piece somewhere a few months back about some white power inbred freak and his acclaim for the Muslim warriors, but I've not yet seen the convergence I'm expecting. It's coming though, I'm certain.
posted by freebird at 9:59 PM on February 2, 2006


Yes, texans are all rednecks, asshole.

You didn't know that it's ok to be derogatory towards white people?
posted by Jase_B at 10:02 PM on February 2, 2006


A powerful 24 minutes. I've been close to (and have studied with) many white, natural born Sufis. While not orthodox Islam, it's rather telling that religion is no longer region-bound.
posted by moonbird at 10:02 PM on February 2, 2006


Would have been nice had the poster included a mention that this was a video.
posted by Goofyy at 10:05 PM on February 2, 2006


I think that Islam is offering a new way of law to many people in America and I think that it has the solution to a lot of prevailing evils in society, I mean you know there's a rape every minute, drug abuse, very high divorce rate, adultery, fornication...All of these things are very destructive to the moral fiber of any society

Awesome! Did you guys know that rape, drug abuse and adultery don't exist in the Islamic world?
posted by ori at 10:13 PM on February 2, 2006


This deserves the OMGWTFBBQ tag.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:21 PM on February 2, 2006


The part about George W. Bush converting is so true. Imagine how great that would be! If he actually put some effort into it, it could be very sucessful in repairing our image abroad.
posted by matkline at 10:40 PM on February 2, 2006


Hearing Texans speak the tenets of Islam with that twang makes it seem about as credible as a Jimmy Swaggart sermon.
posted by tweak at 11:04 PM on February 2, 2006


On a more serious note, this actually makes a lot of sense to me. The massmarket, boilerplate theology of Baptist, and in general, evangelical Christianity is laughably devoid of structure, tradition, discipline, and as a result, reverence.

At least Islam seems to fill that void for some of these people who simply must believe in God in order to function, but can't reconcile their desire to with the system they were raised in.
posted by tweak at 11:08 PM on February 2, 2006


and they get to keep all the fundamentalism in the process.
posted by tweak at 11:10 PM on February 2, 2006


freebird: Chrislam.
posted by tweak at 11:16 PM on February 2, 2006


Does this mean Baptists finally be able to dance?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:30 PM on February 2, 2006


Does this mean Baptists finally be able to dance?

Only if airplanes are crashing into NYC, Alvy.



</i'm_going_to_hell>
posted by ori at 11:35 PM on February 2, 2006


I wish I could've posted this, just so I could've titled it "Allah the Pretty Horses"...
posted by maryh at 12:05 AM on February 3, 2006


I have a hard time believing these people don't eat pork.

Wow, what a fucking dick.
posted by symphonik at 12:10 AM on February 3, 2006


I made the Jimmy Swaggart comment 5 minutes into the documentary. After watching the documentary, I retract my earlier statement. At least some of the subjects seem like honest, well-meaning (misguided, in my opinion), regular people. Now I feel bad for being such a hater.
posted by tweak at 12:37 AM on February 3, 2006


Not BBC, Channel 4.

Er... whoops.

The Appalachian and Ozark regions are better known for pork production (and consumption). But don't let that stop you from lumping half of the country into the same stereotype.

Ok.

Yes, texans are all rednecks, asshole.


Yup. In my 5 years here I haven't met one that wasn't.
posted by mosessmith at 12:49 AM on February 3, 2006


I guess the SBC just wasn't conservative enough for them...
posted by sic at 12:50 AM on February 3, 2006


matkline wrote: "The part about George W. Bush converting is so true. Imagine how great that would be! If he actually put some effort into it, it could be very sucessful in repairing our image abroad."

There's a Machiavellian spirit in this, and I think this how his ideal Prince might have won Iraq. From "The Prince," Chapter 3:

But when states are acquired in a country differing in language, customs, or laws, there are difficulties, and good fortune and great energy are needed to hold them, and one of the greatest and most real helps would be that he who has acquired them should go and reside there. This would make his position more secure and durable [...] Because, if one is on the spot, disorders are seen as they spring up, and one can quickly remedy them [...] but if one is not at hand, they heard of only when they are one can no longer remedy them. Besides this, the country is not pillaged by your officials; the subjects are satisfied by prompt recourse to the prince; thus, wishing to be good, they have more cause to love him, and wishing to be otherwise, to fear him. [...]

The intention seems to be for a Prince to appear as one with those he conquers - culturally and geographically.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:52 AM on February 3, 2006


that Texas accent makes Arabic sound... I don't know, strange.
good for them, is what I say -- Islam is a beautiful religion, and I admire the guts these converts have. walking around a Texas city while observing hijab takes a lot of guts, these days. good for them.


it's ok to be derogatory towards white people?
yeah, white people, that oppressed, oppressed minority. poor them. thanks for the comment, Mr Limbaugh
posted by matteo at 1:25 AM on February 3, 2006


Remind me again why exactly I should respect religion?
posted by srboisvert at 2:39 AM on February 3, 2006


You should when that specific religious (or political, or whatever) group or individual respects you despite differences in belief. If that condition is missing, then you shouldn't.

sounds easy, right? In theory at least respect should be mutual.

- not related to the video which I haven't seen yet.
posted by funambulist at 3:03 AM on February 3, 2006


Hmmm. When it's women covering up their whole faces and submitting to a hyper-patriarchal system, it's not "guts" I'm thinking of. I know, they're adults, their choice, but then they'll have daughters and with children it's another matter.

Anyway. It's fascinating how converts can often be stricter than people born in that religion (a phenomenon not limited to Islam).
posted by funambulist at 3:11 AM on February 3, 2006


That was truly nice and moving. It was so cool to see the young lady who had just converted and was just learning about things, and the other lady who was taking the Shahada. Finding faith is an awesome and heart-stopping experience. I am grinning ear to ear and I wish those folks well.

It's cool as heck to see these texans brought up in a rather segregated society step into the masjid and pray shoulder to shoulder with people of all colours and nationalities. Great post.

Texan-ism is very evident in their committment and zeal for their faith. It is quite understandable that they don't eat pork. That may have been an ill-advised joke.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:44 AM on February 3, 2006


I've always figured people had a certain amount of ideological inertia. Changing faiths is work. If you're a born and bred Christian who's just sorta sympathetic to Islam, you probably won't convert. You have to be really, really into it.

Hence the strictness of converts (which yeah, you see in Judaism and Christianity too, and probably in any other religion).
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:44 AM on February 3, 2006


I can see this sort of fundamentalism gaining ground. The gains of the SBC over Protestant denominations and Catholicism. The need for some cross-section of society to have an externally imposed structure beyond community (village) norms. The faults and silos of the charismatic born again movements have opened a gap for other religions to recruit.

Having been raised in Texas and having left as quickly as possible, I'm not surprised at this at all. IMO, abiding by a personal faith (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc) is non-destructive and potentially sustaining to a community. I'm simply concerned that the single mindedness that takes over in the 'bible belt' is, well, radical.
posted by michswiss at 5:18 AM on February 3, 2006


I don't think some of you know what a "redneck" is. Hint: that lame comedian isn't one of them.
posted by melt away at 5:36 AM on February 3, 2006


I can't say that I have a strong faith in god, but I know that I have no faith in religion. When I was still young, I saw the intolerance of a religion that preached tolerance. As I grew older, I searched and "converted" several times. Like some organ transplants, the conversions failed--was it my lack of faith or the inevitable contradiciton between the "word" and the "acts" of the believers? Probably both.

Older still, I realize that people search for meaning and order in their lives to reconcile their lack of control over the arbitrary power of nature. Some turn to ever more "fundamental" religions; I believe that they do this in order to further reduce uncontrolled variables, although I also think that this is a false control.

I can respect this up to the point when they tell me how I have to live my life. It is their choice to live the way they want, and it is my choice etc. etc.

In my life, I realize I have little control over the workings of the universe, so I stick to what I can control and "go with the tao" for that which I can't. I find more peace embracing chaos than praying to an anthropomorphic representation of the creative force of the universe.

I wish these converts well, but I won't be lining up for prayer at the masjid anytime soon.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:02 AM on February 3, 2006


Fundamentalists find an even more restrictive and oppressive brand of fundamentalism to practice. Grinning ear to ear? Not me.
posted by glenwood at 6:16 AM on February 3, 2006


Maybe we should have used the PC term, "Appalachian American".
posted by kalessin at 6:21 AM on February 3, 2006


I have a hard time believing these people don't eat pork.

Wow, what a fucking dick.


Why? I have a hard time believing anyone doesn't eat pork. I understand that there are religious prohibitions against it, but you don't have to be a hillbilly nor a redneck to believe that pork, bacon and ham are very, very tasty.
posted by GuyZero at 7:02 AM on February 3, 2006


Hey, man, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know, 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfuckers.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:20 AM on February 3, 2006


Fascinating stuff. Growing up in Midland, TX, the Muslims from abroad mixed in just as well as everyone else. But I never did meet a conservative Christian who converted. It was usually a respect-them-but-don't-believe them kind of thing.
posted by js003 at 7:40 AM on February 3, 2006


The difference between most muslims and Southern Baptists is that Baptists have pews in their mosque.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:49 AM on February 3, 2006


Anyway. It's fascinating how converts can often be stricter than people born in that religion (a phenomenon not limited to Islam).

Living in North Utah (Southern Alberta) I have definitely seen this at work with born/converted Mormons. My mormon convert friends are MUCH stricter than my friends who were raised in that faith. I think that, being converts later in life, they have that much more to prove. They need to show that they are really faithful.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:37 AM on February 3, 2006


Salam aleichem y'all!
posted by Smedleyman at 10:45 AM on February 3, 2006


As others have alluded to, this wonderful little film highlights how the right wing Xian fundies have much more in common philosophically with UBL and his ilk than with us liberal, rational, secular, peace-loving people. Granted, Islam makes more sense than the other Abramaic faiths, but this is not saying a whole lot. I can't say it makes me happy to see fools trading in one set of ludicrous irrational beliefs for another set of ludicrous irrational beliefs. I hope this is not the first wave in the next great American religious revival. God forbid!
posted by bephillips at 1:24 PM on February 3, 2006


"Some turn to ever more "fundamental" religions; I believe that they do this in order to further reduce uncontrolled variables, although I also think that this is a false control."

I agree completely.

Once you realize that all attempts at controlling anything beyond your own personal thoughts and actions are false controls, it gets much, much easier to live in this universe.

Attempting to control anything other than yourself is a fear reaction, plain and simple. Oh my GOSH! I can't control that, it terrifies me! I must wrest control of it by any means possible!

Stop being afraid of that which is beyond your control, and things smooth out pretty nicely.

That said, these people should be respected in their search for spiritual truth and enlightenment, so leave 'em alone. We have freedom of religion here in the USA, remember?
posted by zoogleplex at 1:37 PM on February 3, 2006


Basically the world is split between people who need religion and have faith and those who don't. They'll never understand each other.

Only problem is that while the liberal, secular are willing to understand and live with and are tolerant of other ideas, the opposite is not true.

Sooner or later the fundementalists will take over and impose their world view. They can do this because they have 'god on their side' and will always go that extra mile over the secular.
This doesn't mean they're right, just more nuts.
posted by Amrik at 1:58 PM on February 3, 2006


David turned to Islam because Christianity "wasn't conservative enough".

Who would have ever thought, that fundamentalist/conservative Christians have so much in common with fundamentalist/conservative Muslims. Granted being a conservative follower of either religion, doesn't always mean a person is also a fundamentalist or vice versa.
posted by ArunK at 9:27 PM on February 3, 2006


One of the more revealing moments in the documentary, for me, comes when one Texas convert's Morrocan wife (who was born into a Muslim family) argues with him on camera about how he's "too strict." It seems like the saying about "the zeal of the recently converted" turns out to be true. Anyway -- very enjoyable (watch the whole thing).
posted by davy321 at 7:53 AM on February 4, 2006


OK, all y'all Baptists and Islams join me now in a rousing round of your favorite song, "Throw the Jew Down the Well."
posted by nofundy at 1:18 PM on February 4, 2006


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