≡ Menu

The market preacher

Photo by Crista Cloutier

London’s largest Middle Eastern market is just outside my door. Constantly in the background is a broadcast of the Koran with someone singing beautifully in Arabic followed by an unnerving posh British accent translating into English. The people here know me because I visit every day. They say hello and often tell me their stories. Sometimes, someone will be preaching loudly in the market. Often it is a Chr istian evangelist, but occasionally a Muslim. Today it is a Muslim. He yells his message angrily into the crowd. Women, he says, walk the streets looking like whores with make-up painting their faces. I stop to listen. I had had some wine with lunch. Others drink to relax but wine makes me strident. So I narrow my eyes at him. He sees me and begins to direct his diatribe in my direction. He speaks of the evils of cosmetics, of the terrifying wealth and power of the cosmetic industry. I can feel “Springtime Peach” burning into my cheeks under his glare. This, he says, gesturing toward me, is the evil that is destroying the world. Suddenly, I am no longer angry. I am afraid.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amanda May 28, 2011, 8:28 am

    I’d love to hear more about the stories told!

  • isaac June 6, 2011, 3:29 am

    I agree with this piece of writing. Islam uses every tactic from sweet words, threatening forefingers, to terror to beheading of an ex-muslim who publicly apostates.

    As an ex-muslim I almost know all their tactics they would use Quranic verses to proof that Islam go hand in hand with Science and that they are the proofs from Allah

    They would also use false miracles to circulate their beliefs. They would purpots things about west that never happened. The latest being this : 2 German schools has broke of from their custom being co-ed and segregated the school into Boys and Girls Sections. – this is a proof that segregation of sex at puberty and beyond is benificaial for the society and that the west has discovered it late and second to Islam.

    Goodluck with the muslim preacher and may you stay alife. I want to read more about this topic

  • Amanda June 6, 2011, 7:31 am

    Isaac, your comments are appreciated, but it’s dangerous to continue to perpetuate false stereotypes about Islam, using inciting “us/them” dynamics. It’s not fair and it’s not true to assert that Islam itself uses deceptive tactics to gain new followers — each preacher/fanatic is a person who is misusing Islamic values/ideas to promote their own warped agendas. There are fundamentalist preachers and radicals in ALL religions, and each have their tactics to allure the vulnerable searcher. The only way to strive for understanding is to revise our language around these issues, shifting from us/them, always/never to looking at the details and nuances of circumstance. Yes, this preacher in this moment seems out of his mind, but you can’t leap to Islam itself as the cause for his street-side radicalism.

  • isaac June 8, 2011, 3:51 am

    Thanks Amanda, but I’m afraid you may have not understand my reply properly. I merely acknowledged the authenticity of the article which is incredibly picturesque. I never tried to use “us/them” stereotype. I believe that human are prone to violence and religion either instigate its follower (in some circumstances) to be brutely destructive or prohibit violence to a ridiculous degree.

    As for the preaching tactics. If u were to adher to a particular religion for 23 years you’d know all their tactis. As for the scientific tactics you may find them even in videos, preaching television channels & radio.It has become since the last decade a main reason for many to embrace the faith of Islam. Many of which, i should admit go hand in hand with science in their poetic expressions.

    As for the latest one: sex-segregation I merely mentioned it as a reply to the author when she said how the the preacher yelled that women who beautify themselves with make up are whores. This is fundamental islamic teaching. Women should beautify themselves only for her husband (mostly) and even among women the dress code should be not below the knee and not too tight.

    I’m not anti-islam or anti-religion. Religions are beautiful relics of our past through which we can learn a great deal. We can use the religion morality code (after careful study and refinement) in our present times based on our HUMAN CONSCIENCE AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN.

    its not us vs them. It Progression vs Primitiveness