Friday, May 1, 2009

The elephant in the room...

... is actually a religion.

Here's what I mean. The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country. The laws are based on Islam, the work week is based around mosque attendance and good luck finding any bacon.

So perhaps one would expect this all to be a bit of a shock, if not outright oppressive, to a Westerner used to, literally, nothing being sacred.

But it's not. Maybe my perception will change, but so far what I have seen is Muslims practicing their faith and everyone else going about their business. No finger-pointing, no behavior modification, nothing. I realized this as I sat here--at work--and listened to the mosque that is built into the Emirates Media building issue one of its calls to prayer. It's part of life, but only in the same way that the fog is a part of life in San Francisco or the high altitude is a part of Denver.

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