Extract from “A Call from France”. An English family in France.
“A Call from France” by Catherine Broughton is a true story. It has been described as a must-read for mothers of teenagers:-
Letter from my father.
Be grateful for small mercies – Hussein is not a fanatic, and Muslims can be fanatics in a way we’re not accustomed to in the Western world. Having met him, I’d say he is quite moderate, and I daresay many a Muslim would say he’s barely Muslim at all. It’s important to understand that Islam is not a religion in the usual sense – it is more a political system in the name of God. It is based on poems and sayings set out by Mohammed in the Muslim year One – our 622 AD. Where we, as Christians – or westerners at any rate, regardless of our beliefs – can say a prayer or sing a hymn in almost any way we want to, and can in fact believe (Roman Catholics and Protestants, for example) in any way we want to, Islam has only the one way.
Furthermore, that one way has not changed at all since the 622 AD. It is stuck in that mode, for the Muslims believe that there NO OTHER way, that all and everything and every aspect of all things are covered by the Qu’ran (Koran) and that there is absolutely no need for any further ideas or inputs in any form. There exist only the prayers already in the Qu’ran, and not only do they have to be said in that tongue, all the intonations have to be the same too. Otherwise it is a corrupt prayer.
In our culture we don’t mind which language we pray in – French, Spanish, German – the Our Father is still a prayer. We can sing it or whisper it. Islam does not have this luxury. Some might argue – and probably correctly too – that that is why Muslim countries are so backward – precisely because of their inability to allow an intake of anything other than what they already accept. It must be quite galling for them to see (I’m thinking of Americans and the Gulf) “corrupt” people in their country.
Anyway, I wouldn’t worry too much about Hussein. He is clearly very fond of Debbie and Jasmina, even if he does impose his Muslim ways of thinking on them. He has lived mostly in France, so I doubt he’d be willing to exchange the comforts of the western world for the unhygienic sluminess of Algeria. He seems to me to be pretty off-hand about his beliefs for on the one hand he forbids alcohol and card games, but on the other is a bouncer at a Casino.
Hussein had indeed a foot in each world. It explained some of his aggressive macho-ism towards me, for he felt that I was a mere woman, yet he lived in a world, recognized and accepted that world, where women play as important and worthwhile a role as men. He veered back and forth between Muslim principles and western ways, making a kind of wobbly ideology so that one never really knew where one stood with him.
Catherine Broughton is an author, an artist and a poet. Her books are available on Amazon and Kindle, or can be ordered from most leading book stores and libraries. More about Catherine Broughton on http://turquoisemoon.co.uk
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