Ramadan dinner & Grandma’s potluck

When I was a child, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ Methodist church in Winder, Ga. It was a tiny little church, full of wonderful people with warm hearts who took care of and loved each other. In my 40 years, the church has not changed a bit, and many of the same folks still attend every Sunday.

One of my favorite events at the church was the Sunday afternoon potluck lunch. Everyone would bring a (almost always homemade) dish of food to share. A prayer was said before eating, guests were invited to take the front of the line, children ran around playing and laughing, women hurrying about in the kitchen, neighbors catching up on the latest gossip, and of course the were many discussions about food preparation and recipes. Does it sound like something you have attended at your church?

Could this be a Catholic parish picnic, an Episcopalian Wednesday night supper, a Methodist mid sabbath lunch, or a Baptist BBQ?

Does this sound like a Muslim Ramadan dinner? Believe it or not, it does. I attended the Islamic Community Center of Atlanta in Fayetteville’s interfaith dinner recently and most of all I was struck by how similar it was to my grandma’s potluck lunch.

A prayer was said before eating, guests were invited to take the front of the line, children ran around playing and laughing, women hurrying about in the kitchen, neighbors catching up on the latest gossip, and of course there were many discussions about food preparation and recipes. Sound familiar?

I must say, the hospitality was amazing ... we (the visitors) were pushed to the front of the line, even though almost all of their members had been fasting all day.

And the food was most fantastic: Spicy chicken, many types of intensely flavorful rice, ground beef in pockets of pastry dough, and in true Southern fashion, a table FULL of desserts. Most everything was homemade, and the ... OK, now this is sounding more like a food review; sorry.

The only differences between the Methodist potluck I was familiar with, and the Islamic Ramadan dinner were that there were scarves covering the women’s heads, and that the men and women were separated during the prayer and dinner. Oh, and the clothing was the most beautiful I have ever seen. Multi-colored fabrics as far as the eye could see.

I want to take a line from an article Michael Boylan wrote a few years ago about attending a gay wedding. Part of the the column was the refrain, “It was all so normal.”

This gathering felt so familiar to me. It felt like home. I only wish my grandma could have been there too. She loves a good potluck.

Melissa Kotch

Peachtree City, Ga.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Joined: 10/30/2005

Haven't heard of any 'stoning' or 'killing of children' in the United States by mainstream Christians or Muslims lately. Be aware of extremism - and continue to protect the rights of women and children.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Joined: 04/23/2007
Ramadan - Potluck

"Could this be a Catholic parish picnic, an Episcopalian Wednesday night supper, a Methodist mid sabbath lunch, or a Baptist BBQ?"

In hindsight, could it? Show me in scripture where Christians believe in killing non-believers over and over and over again. Show me how the Muslim faith is a "peaceful" religion that shows tolerance of other religions and wants to promote coexistance. Show me in their book of faith.

You must simply read the Koran to find out the truth. Here's the link, http://majalla.org/books/quran/

"About sixty-one percent of the contents of the Koran are found to speak ill of the unbelievers or call for their violent conquest; at best only 2.6 percent of the verses of the Koran are noted to show goodwill toward humanity. About seventy-five percent of Muhammad's biography (Sira) consists of jihad waged on unbelievers." - Dr. Moorthy Muthuswamy

If you are a Muslim you cannot accept a non-believer, it is written:

Let not believers make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful - he that does this has nothing to hope for from Good - except in self-defense. God admonishes you to fear Him: for to God shall all return.

Quran 3:28; "The Imrans," Dawood, p. 52

God's curse be upon the infidels! Evil is that for which they have bartered away their souls. To deny God's own revelation, grudging that He should reveal His bounty to whom He chooses from among His servants! They have incurred God's most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits the unbelievers.

Quran 2:89-2:90, "The Cow," Dawood, p. 13

Lord...Give us victory over the unbelievers.

Quran 2:286, "The Cow," Dawood, p. 46

"Lord...give us victory over the unbelievers."

Quran 3:148, "The Imrans," Dawood, p. 67

I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers.

Quran 8:12, "The Spoils," Dawood, p. 177

Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors.

Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage.

Quran 2:190-2:191, "The Cow," Dawood, p. 28

When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.

Quran 9:5; "Repentance," Dawood, p. 186

Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate.

Quran 9:73, "Repentance," Dawood, p. 198

Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous.

Quran 9:123, "Repentance," Dawood, p. 206

Garments of fire have been prepared for the unbelievers. Scalding water shall be poured upon their heads, melting their skins and that which is in their bellies. They shall be lashed with rods of iron.

Whenever, in their anguish, they try to escape from Hell, back they shall be dragged, and will be told: "Taste the torment of the Conflagration!"

Quran 22:19-20, "The Pilgrimage," Dawood, p. 333

Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.

Quran 48:29, "Victory," Dawood, p. 514

Those that deny Our revelations We will burn in fire. No sooner will their skins be consumed than We shall give them other skins, so that they may truly taste the scourge. God is mighty and wise.

Quran 4:56, "Women," Dawood, p. 86

Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain and crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land.

Quran 5:33, "The Table," Dawood, p. 112

When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.

Quran 47:4, "Muhammad," Dawood, p. 506

Let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy...

Quran 8:59-60, "The Spoils," Dawood, p. 183

Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrong-doers.

Quran 5:51, "The Table," Dawood, p. 116

Believers, know that the idolaters [non-Muslims] are unclean. Let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year is ended.

Quran 9:28, "Repentance," Dawood, p. 190

The unbelievers among the People of the Book [Bible] and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures.

Quran 98:6, "The Proof," Dawood, p. 598

Houston......we have a problem here.

mkotch's picture
Joined: 05/29/2006
the bible is not so 'peaceful' either

I do not claim to know the bible well, but I was able to find a few items of question...most Christians don't take the bible literally...so why do we assume all Muslims take the Qur'an literally?

Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant

He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.--24:16

When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou

And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them

16And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.

17If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?

18Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt;

19The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid.

20Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed.

21Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.

22And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

23But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.

24And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.

25The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.

> The fact is, many evils have been done in the name of religions...Christianity included. It does not make all Christians evil.

WakeUp's picture
Joined: 03/14/2006
Huh? - state your source

You said: "...most Christians don't take the bible literally...". Where did you get that?

bladderq's picture
Joined: 12/02/2005
Most Christains, Huh? Huh?

Can you find a source to refute it? Is there proof that most (even in the US) Christians believe the literal translation of the King James Bible. I believe alot see it as allegory. I mean you don't have a chain of custody on this bible. Mormons do. Islam does. Not sure about the Catholics w/ all those layers (did you know the GA colony did not want them? KKK wasn't fond of the Pope). So you have proof that a majority believe literally, the apple & snake, big flood, parting sea....? How about David & the giant? Daniel in the lion's den? Jonah & the whale? Some of these stories are not even in your bible. While you are at it, I have always wanted to see the proof Jesus actually lived. Romans kept good records, is he mentioned? Is there even a mention of the census that took Joe. & Mary to Bethlehem? I tell people often that it is called Faith. Because you either Believe or Don't. Worry about what some 17th c intellectuals filtered down..not. The "3rd" World has long had more to fear from Christ being brought to them by the sword & not the "Word" Ask the Incas & Mayas & SW Indians. Ask any culture that has been colonized by christain civilization.

WakeUp's picture
Joined: 03/14/2006
RE: Most Christians

My "proof" is based on my knowledge, discussions and associations with other Christians. You are silly to say "Can you find a source to refute it?" What do you mean by the literal translation of the King James Bible. I have one and have read it a lot; however, it is writing in a form of the English language I don't speak and I prefer a translation completed more recently.
Apple and Snake - Yes
Big Flood - Yes
Parting of the Red Sea - Yes
David and the Giant - Yes
Daniel and the lion's den - Yes
Jonah and the whale - Yes
Which of these stories are not in my Bible? Proof that Jesus existed: try Josephus and the Quran. There are many more. I understand you hate Christianity and you have chosen what you want to believe. Why do you think it is okay to spew your rants and it is not okay for others to do theirs? I have a belief system that is obviously different that yours and you have to attempt to tear me and my beliefs down. How does that make you a better person or more enlightened than me?

mkotch's picture
Joined: 05/29/2006
Do we stone our children for

Do we stone our children for disrespecting their parents? Do we kill people for taking the lord's name in vain? Do we kill people who work on sunday? The bible says we should. Do you take that literally?

There are many things in the bible that modern day Christians don't take literally. I believe the same holds true for the Qu'ran.

imagine that
imagine that's picture
Joined: 09/12/2009
No-no stoning

However, depending on the Denomination, some believe children must meet reach "an age of reckoning" while others believe an "unsaved" child is doomed to death...see any parallel?