Posted on September 29, 2005 at 03:05 AM
Russ Jennings's religious vignettes are admirable and listenable attempts to explain that which is virtually unknown to the mass public: the actual beliefs and practices, the very foundations of a religion with over a billion followers. The speakers are well chosen and the audio is artfully mixed. So why only three stars?
It seems that anytime the topic of religion or spirituality is broached, we producers feel required to break out the contemplative music and become respectful, careful and, unfortunately, somewhat plodding.
The public would be better served by a less esoteric explanation of Ramadan by an Imam, however articulate. Why not spend a day with a Muslim family out buying dates, fasting, cooking and going to work without eating or drinking until nightfall?
Frankly, I'd rather hear a real estate agent tell my why Ramadan matters. And what it's like to celebrate Ramadan in a country where Muslims are a small minority, surrounded by an increasingly hostile majority.