by Izzi C., NFTY-EIE Spring 2013 Student
So today we had a very interesting trip that I want to fill you all in on. So for the last few days of Jewish History class we have been learning about Islam and where it originated from and everything relating to that. It’s always interesting learning about different religions and comparing it to our own but this time it was different.
This time we learned about the Islamic religion and then we got the opportunity to go to a mosque in Jerusalem and actually talk to two people about their religion. We had to have our bodies completely covered because that is what is expected of Muslim women in the religion. Once we arrived at the mosque we had to take off our shoes and head upstairs to one of the main rooms. The women sat behind the men. After sitting for awhile and asking questions to the man who runs the mosque, we all got a good gist of what the religion was about. There were a few things in particular that I found interesting that this man was telling us. The first thing is the Sunnis and Shiites. From this man’s point of view he said that the Shiites were not even Muslim. I had learned in class that there was a huge conflict between these two parts of the religion but I had no idea that it was so real. It was really interesting to me because in Judaism we have many different parts of it but at the end of the day, all of the sects of Judaism get along to some extent.
Another thing that stood out to me was the women in this religion. Women had to have their bodies covered when they were out in public and were only allowed to take it off when they were around their husbands or close relatives. The men were also not allowed to look the women in the eye unless they were married to them. From what I learned and saw today, the men have the majority of power in this religion. I am not sure if I could handle that today. Those are just some of the things I learned today!