As the popular saying goes, there's no crying in baseball.
And there's no feeling sorry for oneself in Islam.
From television shows and movies to the cover of The New Yorker, Islam is often associated with terrorism in a way that Muslims say bears no relation to their experience in America.
And many Muslims look on in anger and frustration as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama continues to fight bloggers' false claims the Democratic candidate for president is a Muslim as if there were something wrong with being a follower of Islam.
Yet when the holy month of Ramadan begins Monday, the faithful are encouraged to avoid the temptation to find fault in others and seek the path of peace and forgiveness, Islamic leaders say.
"There is a spirit of Ramadan, like the Christmas spirit, that takes over," said Fuad Hamid, chairman of the board of trustees of the Islamic Center of Cleveland. "People tend to be much more forgiving for the sake of God." . . .
The forgiving spirit does not mean forgetting or ignoring wrongdoing. Rather, the emphasis is on taking responsibility for change, area Muslims say.
So, they contend, the act of fasting increases charity by making Muslims sensitive to the hungry and those without safe drinking water.
Instead of setting themselves apart in self-pity in the post 9/11 political climate, many area mosques will have community dinners welcoming non-Muslim neighbors to break the fast with them and learn more about Islam.
"Even if things are going wrong, we have to say 'Alhamdulillah,' Praise be to God," said Julia Shearson, executive director of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"Whatever injustice is inflicted upon us, whatever injustice is inflicted on the world, we're supposed to try to correct it," she said. "We believe everything is a test from Allah, a test from God, and we are encouraged to fix it. The 'woe is me' feeling is not encouraged in our faith." (Full Story)