JULY 20 — I know so many Malaysian Muslims who do things that have no basis in Islam so much so that I find it scary to think that these are the thinking moderates of the religion. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Caveh Zahedi, a documentary filmmaker whose work I have admired for some time. He was premiering his latest film, “The Sheik and I”, at the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival and I was, of course, there too.
The film, which was about his experience making a documentary for the Sheik of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, was very funny and over the top. The film can’t run away from the fact that it deals with Islam, and at the end of the day, the film was banned for blasphemy and Zahedi was threatened with a fatwa. But it isn’t the film I want to discuss here. During the question-and-answer session at the end of the premiere, someone asked Zahedi if he is a Muslim.
The son of Iranian immigrants to America, he said that he is a Muslim, but, not in the traditional sense. He referred to himself and his family as just superstitious Muslims.
“We never pray or observe any Muslim practices. All we do is kiss the Quran before going out every day so we won’t get into accidents,” he said.
That made me laugh and I couldn’t help but compare this to what happens in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]