I'm reading Irshad Manji's book, The Trouble With Islam, a brave and often incendiary account of a (gay) Canadian Muslim's attempts to come to terms with her own faith. At one point she ponders the reasons why there are so few equivalents of rabbi and priest jokes:

"Islam has a popular teaching against 'excessive laughter'. No joke. In a booklet entitled Problems and Solutions, Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid spells out the teaching. While 'the Muslim is not expected to be dour-faced' an abundance of laughter proves that we Muslims have been manipulated by charm and wit, which softens our character and piety. I recall an uncle lovingly but firmly warning me one New Year's Eve not to laugh too hard as doom would be sure to follow."

Has Manji got it right? When I have time, I'll try to track down the opinions of other Muslim authors. In the meantime, you can find reviews of her book - for and against - on her website.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/12/blog-post.html|||12/16/2004 06:15:00 pm|||||||||