Dave Sim's blogandmail #55 (November 5th, 2006)
Sunday November 5 –
AT 1 PM
"SCRIPTURE AT THE REGISTRY THEATRE"
RETURNS WITH THE FIRST HALF OF THE
FIFTH BOOK OF MOSHE [ALSO CALLED DEUTERONOMY]
122 FREDERICK STREET
IN DOWNTOWN KITCHENER
11:02 pm - One of the guys who is part of Mimi's crack staff and who she and Alan had been telling me about happened to be at the private party at the Cottonwood Mall store. In the car on the way to the airport, I was going down the list of names I had gotten. "What was the name of the guy with the really thin goatee?" "Lucas?" Mimi asked. No, it wasn't Lucas. Although it was nice to meet Lucas since I've talked to him several times on the phone. Actually I owe Lucas an apology because when I met him I said, "You look like Joe Matt." And he does. But, it's not an association that someone who works in a comic store wants to get attached to him and judging by the way everyone laughed this one might stick. Sorry, Lucas (and I mean that). "No," I said, "The guy was a Muslim, or at least he was from a Muslim family…" It was pretty unexpected for the Pariah King of Comics to ask him about his Muslim observance "How many of the five pillars of Islam do you follow?" And I started going down the list. Acknowledging God's sovereignty. Paying the zakat. I usually try to exceed the mandated 2.5%. Prayer—I pray five times a day and I try to get the prayer times as exact as possible during Ramadan. He asked if I did the celebratory feast after Ramadan. "With whom?" was my rhetorical question. I don't know any Muslims and I don't have anything to cook with to make my own feast (Robin Hill's chicken pesto was probably the closest that I came this year to a celebratory feast if you don't count restaurant food). He mentioned that his family is Muslim but they're chosen to pass on the fasting part and just celebrate the Eid-al-Fitr feasting after Ramadan. I had to laugh at that. The Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, I said that I can't picture doing until the government in Saudi Arabia changes or unless I got an invitation from the government in Saudi Arabia. Lynn, who works in the store, said it would definitely be better to go with a group, and that cut right to the core of my faith in God. That's always interesting when I've just been chatting in comic-book mode and something that goes right to the core comes up. In this case, how can I claim to have genuine faith in God if I'm afraid to make the hajj? Whether anyone there thinks of me as a Muslim, aren't I sure that God thinks of me as a Muslim and that God would protect me from harm? Even if I was to go completely alone? That's a lot of faith, to talk about though.
Anyway, it turns out that the guy's name was Armando Milicevic and it turned out that we had discussed him at Alan and Mimi's house when we were talking about democracy. When Armando was just a kid, living in Bosnia, he had been awakened in the middle of the night and told by his mother to pack his belongings, that they were leaving just with what they could carry. Armando was such a big lover of books that virtually all he packed were his favourite books. And then he and his family walked across the mountains out of Bosnia. And the books were too much for him to carry, so one at a time, starting with his least favourite book, he left them behind until they were either most or all gone. But he and his family did manage to walk safely to freedom.
Armando is (no big surprise) a very big reader of books and very big believer in democracy.
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