May 3, 2006

A Matter of Perspective

Crater Galle, looking northward

This is Crater Galle. It's located on the eastern rim of the Argyre Planitia in the southern highlands of Mars, and is named after the German astronomer, Johann Gottfried Galle. The picture was taken by Mars Express, a satellite sent by the European Space Agency to photograph and perform a scientific survey on the red planet. This particular view of Galle looks northward. As you can see, Galle is a huge impact crater (although it's dwarfed by Argyre Planitia and Hellas Planitia, both of which are much, much larger). There's a long, curving mountain range in the middle, with a smaller crater to the northeast and a lone butte to the northwest.

Now, looking at this particular picture of Crater Galle, I'm reminded of how many non-Muslims look at Muslims and Islam. Just yesterday, there was a news account from CAIR-AZ where three Muslim women were verbally abused by an Islamophobic couple:

The three Muslim women say a white middle-aged couple approached them on April 29 at the Desert Ridge Marketplace in Scottsdale, Arizona, and asked whether they were Muslim. After learning that the women were in fact Muslims, the couple indicated they had seen "United 93" and then said: "Take off your f***ing burqas and get the f*** out of this country. We don't want you in this country. Go home." [Note: Two of the three women are American-born citizens.]

Unfortunately, as we know all too well, this type of abuse is commonplace in the U.S. and other countries. These non-Muslims don't know much (if anything) about Islam or how Muslims live their lives. Nor, I suspect, do most have any real desire to learn about Islam. And yet, as we Muslims know and tell the few who are willing to listen, the reality of Islam is very different from what most non-Muslims think. It's all a matter of perspective. Instead of looking at Islam askance, like the above view of Crater Galle, wouldn't it make more sense to look at Islam head on, as it really is? Then, insha'allah, people might realize the true beauty of Islam, just as looking at Crater Galle head on (below) gives a different, more pleasing picture.

Crater Galle, the Happy Face Crater, face on

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