On Sunday morning, 24 October 2010 I found myself at Melbourne University for a talk by Yasir Morsi, current President of the Melbourne University Muslim Students Association (a position formerly held by luminaries such as Waleed Aly) and one of the brains behind the Granada Project.
In the past, Yasir has taken great exception to my book and to what he perceives to be my "sucking up to whitey". His criticisms of me during public exchanges on Facebook have been so polite, have involved so little name-calling or personal attacks and have always been so focussed on the issues that they are best left for the far-right margin of Planet Irf.
So it was with some interest that I attended Yasir's lecture on Sunday. I took some copious notes and also recorded it on my rather primitive Nokia.
Believe it or not, Yasir did have some very useful things to say. What really impressed me about his presentation was his definition of assimilation, which in the context of 21st century Aussie Muslims he described as ...
... not a move toward something but rather a move away from something. Muslims are expected to move away from their tradition.
He used a very powerful image of seeing the reflection of his face with all its Arab features on the TV set while he was watching the towers collapse in New York on 11 September 2001. He remarked that since that date, it is as if ...
The towers are always collapsing.
Muslims are only being seen as those responsible for the collapsing of the towers.
I'll blog some more about this interesting talk later.
Words © 2010 Irfan Yusuf
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