I know, I know...I'm posting a lot tonight. I've been so busy the last week that all I got done in between flying and driving was reading and not writing anything brilliant. But I found some brilliant things, so bear with me.
In one of the discussion threads here, I was discussing the need to have a Martin Luther of Islam and I wondered who and where that might be. Islam needs it bad. Needs a really strong leader that will not qualify all his statements for fear of antagonizing the establishment, but is willing to do it for the sake and survival of their religion. So, I am reading this website called Toledo Muslims and reading several articles. Guess what I found? The first inklings of Luthernism in Islam.
With the recent departue of the Arabic-only speaking religious leader, a local Mosque is now presented with an opportunity, unlike any other, to switch to an English-only prayer service. Community members have been asking and harping on this for quite sometime, and the time is ripe.
Of course, you will have the financial backers and older generation that will want to leave the sermons in Arabic. They are born in Arabic speaking countries, spoke Arabic growing up, and are accustomed to Arabic sermons. However, they are already "good" Muslims. Because of their background and upbringing; they know Islam quite well and don't really "need" the sermons; they are there out of religious obligation.
The new generation of young Muslims, born and raised in America, do not have as strong a background in Arabic, and despite all of our efforts, will learn better from English sermons.
Anybody remember one of the tenets that Luther was fighting for was to get rid of the old "Latin" only sermons and allow the people to hear mass in their native tongue? Of course, this served to de-mystify the church, but it certainly helped gain a more universal understanding within the Christian communities just what religious folks were up to.
Excellent idea and gives me hope.