from Shane's Muslim Connect
We lived in England for exactly one Halloween. Based on some bad intel involving the fact that London is ten cultural years (decades?) ahead of our beloved Bradford, we let our kids trick or treat in our thoroughly Muslim neighborhood! I don’t remember what they dressed as, but I’ll never forget the first house we went to: It was our next door neighbor, a first generation immigrant from Pakistan, a grandma and a wonderfully dear soul. She was also apparently clueless about Halloween. Somehow my little beggar children got through to her, she retreated to the kitchen and returned with a juice box and banana for each kid. I told them we’d go buy some candy and we packed it in.
Quite like Christians, Muslims in the U.S. (and I suppose wherever else Halloween is celebrated) struggle with whether or not to participate. And interestingly, much of the reasoning, both pro and con, is similar.
I’m not sure my Facebook friends generally represent Christians, but you can see what several of them think of Halloween here. You can read some thoughtful comments by Muslims here (con) and here. (pro).
Muslims deal with the “we already don’t fit in” factor more than most Christians do. So going dark on Halloween might feel internally alienating, while being seen from the outside as further evidence of not culturally integrating. It’s tricky. (Tweet this.)
Three things I hope we can agree on:
- Diversity of opinion should strengthen, not divide, us.
- Halloween might provide the socially accepted window in which to meet a neighbor, Muslim or not, whom God has been nudging you toward.
- It’s a bad idea to dress as a terrorist!