20 Feb 2008

Tolerance

Yesterday I had a most unusual encounter after work.

There is a little shop across from from the school where I work, run by a Muslim gentleman. Very nice chap.

Yesterday I went in to purchase some small items I needed, and which I didn't want to bother making a trip to a supermarket for.

I went in, and met the owner in a debate with a customer. The gist of the conversation was that the customer thought Muslim people 'in-bred' too much, that is were having children with too many close relatives. This cause many of the children to be damaged mentally as well as physically in some cases. Sensitive issue? You bet!

What I was surprised about was the calm the owner took these insults, in his own shop even. He didn't even get angry, and even though the customer was very articulate and well spoken, I soon realised the calm might be for another reason...

The customer soon proved himself to be as mad as a hatter.

The first clue came about when he began expounding that when Neil Armstrong went to the moon, he heard the Azaan... You don't get this? Neither did I. Until I heard that Neil Armstrong put his foot on the moon's surface, uttered the famous words 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind'... only than he heard the Azaan.

35 years later, in Egypt he heard the Azaan again, recognised it as the sound he heard on the moon and fell to his knees and wept... and promptly became a Muslim convert.

I must add here that this is a well-known urban legend.

The conversation veered round then to how the earth was fast running out of minerals and metals so we were going to attach a long rope (made from a super strong material that could lift 4 tonnes with one strand, the rope would have 10,000 strands) from the earth to the moon and transfer these minerals and metals via this link... much like cable cars.

No mention that the 'cable cars' first has to go UP at the moon (to escape the moon's gravity) then come DOWN on earth.

Heck, if this conversation didn't prove how tolerant Muslims are of idiots, nothing else will. My shopkeeper friend was actually laughing today at the customer.

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