Another dot in the blogosphere?

It takes an outsider

Posted on: July 30, 2018

Recently someone remarked how her students referred to some food as “Muslim desserts”. I chortled because someone else I know noticed a sign above a local food stall that declared “Muslim food” and he said, “Food cannot be Muslim. Only people can be Muslim.”

That person was someone I befriended almost 20 years ago in the US. I was hosting him on a visit that naturally included a local lunch. The error of the sign was clear to him.

People who grow up here might not even have noticed the mistake or the clumsy humour of “Muslim food”. That is why kids still think of dessert as Muslim.

This happens because we are too close to something to see the issue or problem. It takes an outsider or someone who seems unfamiliar with the context to actually point out the error.

Being the stranger, and not being too comfortable with what is around you, can be a strength instead of a weakness. Such fresh eyes are borne of a learner mindset.

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