Stray from the straight line on this short run

Too many things to update about – at least two weeks’ worth – and in order to do it all justice, I’m going to hold off on it. Meanwhile, those of you who are in the SF Bay Area or the vicinity should stop by Berkeley for a free (that’s right! I said, FREE) event tomorrow evening:

Saturday March 11th, 6:00PM – 9:30PM

Does God Love War? The Fine Line Between Faith and Fanaticism

…[D]oes religion offer a way toward reconciliation? Or has it instead become part of the problem? Please join us for an enlightening conversation between two teachers worth listening to: Pulitzer Prize-winner and National Book Award-finalist Chris Hedges and the distinguished American-Muslim thinker and theologian, Hamza Yusuf. [Zaytuna Institute website.]

Venue: Martin Luther King Jr Middle School Auditorium
1781 Rose Street / Berkeley, CA 94704-1180 / Free off-street parking

Timings: Doors Open – 6PM / Reception/Book-signing – 6:15-6:45PM / Program – 7PM

Admission: Free (Wheelchair accessible)

[On a tangent, what Bay Area/vicinity folks read this weblog anyway? Inquiring minds would like to know. I thought I knew who my readership was, but I have a feeling that facebook has changed things up a bit. So, who are you? Come out, come out, whoever you are, and make yourself known, people.]

Anyway, I’ll be at the event tomorrow. Prior to that, it seems I’ll be spending most of the day doing what I do best – chauffeuring people around. A friend of mine recommended my name (apparently because I am chill and laidback and not a crazy, scary extremist, you heard it here first, people!) for escorting one of the guests for the “Does God Love War?” event. The filmmaker, Deborah Scranton, is the director of the upcoming documentary “The War Tapes,” the first to be filmed by soldiers on the frontlines in Iraq [more info here].

So I’m excited because it means I’ll spend much of the day hanging out with someone who sounds totally fascinating – and a bit nervous because of the same reason, and also because the day includes a private reception with the shuyukh. (WHO the shuyukh ARE, I don’t know.) Basically, I’m going to have to act smart and intelligent and with it all day, I guess, and those who know me know that I’m just not a smart and with it kind of person. Also, what the heck does one WEAR to a lunch with the shuyukh? I’m thinking super-flare jeans just don’t cut it. Flip-flops should be alright, because we all know flip-flops can’t be bidah when you’re Muslim. I’ll figure it out, don’t vorry.

[A couple of articles on the event here and here, with thanks to Baraka for the links.]

One more thing. Speaking of…stuff, have you ever seen anything as awesome as this? [Click the picture for a larger size.] I would venture that you most likely have not. Seriously, I don’t have enough words to tell you how awesome my imam is. M and D and I had way too much fun hanging out in front of the masjid after jummah today, giggling at this. I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say this poster made our day. You can read more about our imam (Yassir Chadley) here and here.

As I mentioned earlier to D, THIS is the kinda guy I’d like to have as a roadtrip buddy. Just lookit him! Any imam who shops at The Guitar Store (he does! I saw him come into jummah one day with a whole bunch of musical paraphernalia) can be my imam anyday.

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