Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Beer Drinking Muslim

He doesn’t pray, he doesn’t make bombs, and he can suck down a six-pack with the best of them. Does that make my husband and best friend of twenty-three years a bad Muslim? His father would say so, so would his brothers. Just marrying me, (ex-Christian, Chardonnay drinking fool) the personification of infidel, is enough to get him kicked out of most mosques. But I know he’s a good Muslim, not only a good man.
The relationship we have is not all pork buffets and all night bingers. In fact we detest buffets and a binge would have me in bed sick for a month. Us, our thing, is rocky, passionate, and quiet.
Since 9/11 we’ve argued about his religion. Prior to that date, we never discussed it, it was a non-entity. His father was a former mayor in their small village in pre-war Kosovo. As part of the communist regime, he never attended mosque and to my husband’s recollection never spoke of Islam at all. The entire family kept the festivals, but only his mother fasted during Ramadan. So why has 9/11 changed so many people? Not only the Americans were affected, the entire Muslim community was affected just as deeply as we were.
My father-in-law suddenly became devout, and along with one my brothers-in-law even made the pilgrimage to Mecca. But why? My husband, a man I thought I knew more than anyone on earth, changed overnight. He was suddenly torn between his loyalty to his family and his love for America, his home. He no longer thinks of Kosovo as his home, America is.
Having been raised in a cult, I do not respect any organized religion. I do respect the individual’s right to religion and freedom to choose any form of observance they so choose. But having said that, I still fear Islam.
Specifically, I fear radical Islam. I fear the impassioned imams taking undereducated boys in poor countries and brainwashing them into beasts of hatred. Brainwashing exists. I personally underwent thirteen years of it before I was rescued by foster care. While the damage was done in only thirteen years it has taken thirty to begin the healing of the scars left by it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thank God Bajram is Over

Bajram as called by the Albanian Muslims more commonly referred to as: Eid ul-Fitr is the Festival of the Purification After Completing the Fasting Month. Yeah, a mouthful right? The irony of that is they are celebrating the fact that they put nothing in their mouths for a month. During the daylight hours anyway. Of course, they gorge themselves stupid as soon as the lights go out.

Also referred to as simply the Eid, it lasts three days, this year the third day coincided with the ninth anniversary of our September the 11th, a poor ignorant preacher in Gainesville, Florida wanting to roast wieners (I'm sure he was using pure beef ones) over the Quran, and New York in an uproar over the building of a mosque on the ashes of the World Trade Center. I admit, I was terrified they'd be another attack in New York, and not just pissed off New Yorkers throwing their shoes at Joe Biden. (Although secretly I would have given anything to see that.)

The atmosphere around here was hot and heavy for the past week as we argued ceaselessly (I am a redhead and he is pigheaded) as to the probability of such an attack. But thank God, Allah or Daffy Duck that nothing really happened.

Unless you count: Preacher Jones' free trip to New York, sans the shoe throwing, it was too hot to barbeque in Florida anyway, and a worthless deal (worthy of any White House politician) that the 9/11 mosque would be moved to a more appropriate location by a Muslim leader associated with the project. And par for the course, Muslims squealed in protest the world over the non-existent bonfire and killed a few people just for good measure.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dear Lord Don't Let Me Pee Myself

Coming up at the end of this month, I'll be attending the Wrangling With Writing, writer's conference in Tucson, Arizona to pitch my two finished novels, Alkonost-A Tattoo Awakens and McDracula.

Needless to say, I've queried the first one to every agent seeking paranormal and urban fantasy on the planet, but I'm not giving up yet. I've held off on the self-abuse for McDracula preferring to horde the pain and desperation inside me until it's fairly bursting to explode on the first agent to cross my path.

As the days speed by, seemingly increasing with velocity, the closer I come to the 24th, I find my stomach becoming a knot of starving nerves. I eat everything within reach, even pencil eraser is tasty these days, especially dipped in Ranch dressing. By the time I make it to the 24th I'm going to be so fat, I'm going to look like a Realtor with a glamour shot on my business card, totally unrecognizable from the original.

I'm certain I'm going to do something to totally embarrass myself, no, I'm not being fatalistic, I'm being me. I'm just hoping I don't pee myself, maybe I'll buy some of those old lady diapers before the pitch session just in case. Wish me luck.