Virtual Al-Andalus

Thanks Dauer, I think I shall skip the beer swilling party around the pool while someone sings "I got a mojo on". :p

However, some of the negative comments were really very worrying. Are people really so scared of Islam that they would find it offensive to have what is essentially a game based on Islamic principles. Gee whizz. If she wants to have a city based on Catholicism, go for it I will be happy to visit but she seems to suggest that would be unacceptable as well. Why? If I want to have an SL area based on satan worship surely that is my right, if you don't like satan worshipers dont visit. Sorry but people are just getting too oversensitive in my opinion.

It seems to me that having religious opinion is now seen as wrong and extremist. Perhaps these liberal people will only be happy when we invite peadophiles to our kids birthday party - well they are people too and we cant possibly make them feel left out!!!!!

I have to agree. I think it's pretty ridiculous that there's such a strong reaction. There are plenty of other places they can go if they don't want to take part in it. It may be that part of it is because it's being designed as something interfaith. I must say though that it's not all parties. There have been some serious events already at the ramadan tent. Some of them were entirely in arabic. There are more serious events in other parts of SL as well, like an organized virtual protest of the violence in Burma that consisted of a human chain crossing multiple regions and made up of people from all over the world, Burning Life (the SL counterpart to Burning Man) and mock trials conducted by Harvard University.

Before I closed it, at Beit Binah I was holding a 20 minute ecumenical meditation sit six days a week where people would join together in silence to meditate in whatever way each was comfortable. We held another event while we were around to spread awareness of the persecution in Poland. A friend of mine in SL is a gay haredi Jew there and has gotten a lot of mistreatment for that. There's Etopia Island, a sim dedicated to being a model for sustainability to help spread awareness. There's the Camp Darfur sim where a refugee camp was recreated. Although there are certainly recreational activities, I hardly think it makes sense because of it to reduce SL to a game for much the reason I wouldn't reduce RL to a game. Both are very open-ended and allow us to make choices for ourselves about how we would like to spend our time.
Shalom Dauer

Unfortunately I think you may be right, in that it is an interfaith program so will attract the hate mongers that do not want or believe in interfaith dialogue or peace. Sad and very stupid isn't it!!!!

I really hope they make a go of it but i feel it will take some close moderation and the willingness to eject undesirables (as they would be excluded from society).

I haven't seen it yet, but I just got a notice from the Al-Andalus Caliphate's group that has opened a virtual mecca in Second Life. I'm going to check it out later today. Here's the information from islamonline:

IOL Virtual Hajj in Second Life - - News

I think this is a project that really demonstrates some of the potential SL has for the religions of the world. I think it's a way that will allow more people to be open to deep ecumenism because, while it's so immersive, there's a perceived separation between oneself and one's avatar, at the very least for most people to the point that whatever their religion holds to be halachah is a bit more flexible.

From the looks of the pictures it's not quite as pretty as al-andalus and as someone more used to SL I tend to pick up on those things more, but hopefully that will not be too much of a damper.

Well I just took a visit. Was going to check everything out with a friend of mine but she had to go, so after putting on the ihram clothing I had a talk with one of the people who helps out at the sim. It was a very cool conversation. She's from Bahrain and hasn't had a lot of direct interaction with Jewish people. And what she was hearing from my friend (who is ultra-orthodox) is that she admires Islam, and what she heard from both of us is that since it is considered a monotheistic religion, Jews are allowed to davven in a mosque etc. She didn't really know much about Jewish opinions of Islam before that besides what she'd heard in the media. It's a very nice feeling making that type of connection. When I first arrived she noticed I was Jewish and greeted me by saying shalom. So I responded to her with salaam.