Blogging gives us such a realistic picture of the rest of the world. The thing that stimulated this realization was a post at Temetwir’s blog. He presented a scenario of the result of drug use and the impact of societal ignorance of such issues. It astonished me for a couple of days thereafter, for a couple of reasons. First of all, living in the West, and only being aware (barely!) of the politics in Muslim/Arab regions, I always perceived those regions as being without much of the sociological ills prevalent in the West, or to contain such problems to a much lesser degree. Here, we know to watch out for our kids being seduced by drugs, drink, and dodgy relationships. Muslim/Arab countries have mosques all over the place, with the adhan being called loudly enough that everyone is aware of the time for prayer; living in the West, we must make the conscious effort to remember the times for salaah. Nobody knows better than me how easy it is to get caught up in frivolous work and literally forget to pray (astaghfirullah). We think it may be easier to dress in Islamic garb “over there” since we will blend right in…but that may not be so…
Secondly, when our kids fall into drug addiction here in the West, our parents usually try to see where they went wrong in the raising of their children. They blame themselves, they blame the kid’s friends, the schools, the drug-pushers. Eventually, they get over the denial, and try to help the child (who may well be an adult) into recovery. And they almost always say, “If we had stayed in Pakistan/Jordan/Indonesia, this would never have happened!” And sometimes they say, “That vacation to Pakistan/Jordan/Indonesia made them this way.” Which always astonished me.
The perception of Islam being easier to follow in Muslim-dominant regions seems, however, to merely be a myth–perhaps precisely because parents and society is not on guard for such problems, and more likely to sweep issues under the rug. Perhaps, they perceive such destructive behavior as “just a phase” that the person will overcome? Perhaps, they don’t realize the terrible impact on society of such destructive behavior? Its such a waste of the vast potententials of living in the East!
So, from the perspective of living a truly Islamic lifestyle, and a life of true potential, which would you say works best: living East or West, and why or how? Or is it simply a matter of the grass always being greener on the other side?