Today, I went to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman. The photo’s I’ve posted do not do it any justice! This place was remarkable and full of beauty. It is the home of the 2nd largest carpet in the world and can hold up to 20,000 worshipers. After Tara, Monica, Vita, Jessica and I roamed around and took our pictures, a Muslim man approached us and asked if we would like to stop by the Islamic information center to cool off and enjoy some water. Being 100 degrees outside, fully covered with our headscarves, we sat next to 4 other Omani and Muslim men to enjoy a cold refreshment. These men did not try to convert us to Islam, shove random facts down out throats about their religion, or even mention anything near their faith at all. They simply offered us delicious dates, Omani coffee, and a cold glass of water. They were interested what brought us there, where we were from, and if we did have any questions. They know that often more times than not, their faith is wrongly judged and misunderstood. I know that seeing my pictures, some of you are wondering why I had to wear the headscarf, if I have to wear it all the time here, how is the Muslim culture, and do they treat you, as an American, any different. I wore the headscarf today in order to respectfully enter the mosque, but it is not required dress to wear around here in Muscat. Many people of Oman have carried on their traditions and maintained their culture with the strength and respect that many other cultures have lost. As an American, Muslims and Non-Muslims do not treat you differently in any bad way. Yes, you get stares out of curiosity, but nothing more. Normally, initiating a conversation first isn’t common but when you do, the men and woman are so welcoming and fun to talk to. Many of the Muslims that I have met here, are the kindest people I’ve ever met.
The link I’ve posted is something that I came across today. It is an extreme view, but a lot of the things the author, Jacob, discusses are true and occur often.