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Former U.s. Diplomat Interprets Islam

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Former U.S. diplomat interprets Islam

Newly settled in Montana, Dave Grimland tries to balance negative images of the Muslim world.

By Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer

April 1, 2007

 

PLENTYWOOD, MONT. — Dave Grimland spent nearly 30 years as a foreign service officer — "telling the U.S. side of the story," he says — in Bangladesh, India, Cyprus, Turkey and other nations with large Muslim populations. He wrote ambassadors' speeches, arranged cultural gatherings, and more than once hunkered down as angry mobs gathered outside the embassy to protest American policy.

 

Now retired and living in rural Montana, Grimland is once again telling a side of the story — only this time, in quiet pockets of the Big Sky State, he's trying to tell the Muslim side to non-Muslim Americans.

 

"I'm going to ask you, at least for this evening, to try to put on a pair of Muslim glasses and see what the world looks like," Grimland said one recent night to about 40 ranchers, farmers and others in the basement of the county library near the spot where Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan meet.

 

Outside, it was snowing and 16 degrees. The nearest Masjid was about 120 miles away, in Regina. Many in the audience said they had never met a Muslim other than Plentywood High School exchange student Alisher Taylonzoda, from Tajikistan.

 

For two hours and 40 minutes — including a brief break for cider and baked goods — the Montanans listened intently as Grimland covered a sweeping amount of history and made a case that the vast majority of Muslims are like the great majority of Christians, Jews or Buddhists.

 

"No worse; no better," he said. "They want peace. They want to live their lives."

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetlatimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/news/printedition/asection/la-na-montanaislam1apr01,1,3079479.sory?page=1&coll=la-news-a_section&ctrack=1&cset=true"]Full Article[/url]

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

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PropellerAds

More of this needs to happen and I must say I'm surprised that it could happen in Montana, a state that appears to be renowned for its 'redneck' attitudes.

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Awesome post =)

 

Thaks for sharing!

 

Jazak Allah khair..

 

 

Islam is all about peace..

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:sl:

 

agree with that guy.

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all peoples should have more travelling as part of the general education. I have travelled through, and sometimes lived in homes in, turkey, iran, pakistan, india, nepal, israel, most of europe, and malawi. Without a shadow of a doubt, meeting these fellow humans as people, living in their homes and eating of their food, has made me far more human in my understanding of other cultures and peoples. When i hear right-wing politicans proclaiming all muslims to be evil, backward savages, i have only to remember the myriad kindnesses shown to me on my journeys, and *know* that people everywhere, whilst not being exactly the same, are for all intents and purposes pretty much.

 

we the human species can no longer afford the luxury of ignorance, intolerance and war-mongering, our existence is too perilous for such feudal stupidity. Our technology has ensured that every year our weaponry is becoming more powerful, more destructive, and easier spread, it is time for our hearts to grow up to match that technological 'brilliance'. The internet has allowed people from vastly different cultures (even sub-cultures within cultures) to meet and converse, but nothing can give the same expansion of soul that actually meeting people and sharing in their lives can.

 

 

did anyone else see morgan spurlock's '30 days' (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=IcAmmD_SpmM"]episode[/url] where a frankly not very bright 'garden variety yank' lived in an american moslem's home?

 

whilst he hardly came out of it with expert understanding of Islam, that was not the point - the point is, he could no longer buy so innocently the propaganda thrown out by the corporate media.

 

 

perhaps i am biassed because i am a teacher, but what this world needs, more than ever before in our history as a species, is more education, especially (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_en.wikipedia(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/wiki/Experiential_education"]experiential education[/url], most especially foreign travel and cultural exchanges.

 

this former ambassador is an excellent example of that.

 

 

Peace and Love. :sl:

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i agree with you. travelling definetely opens your mind.

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And the USA is often portrayed as the Great Satan????

 

In how many other contries around the world would this have happened?

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Awesome post =)

 

Thaks for sharing!

 

Jazak Allah khair..

Islam is all about peace..

You are welcome, Sister.

 

And the USA is often portrayed as the Great Satan????

They actually just refer to Bush administration. You know ... pars pro toto, taking a part for the whole.

 

Wassalam,

Yasnov

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