Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Robin Paul was standing outside the Masjid As-Sunna An-Nabawiyyah Mosque on Germantown Avenue earlier this afternoon, despite sweltering heat and little street traffic. The thick, pale man makes his living selling hot dogs outside of the mosque he attends. His business plan is a simple one-offer an affordable lunch to anyone walking around the 4900 block of Germantown Ave.
For just a dollar, pedestrians can splurge on a hot dog with choices of relish, ketchup or mustard. Bags of chips and bottles of water are available as accompaniments.
The stand sits outside the “Brothers” entrance of the Muslim house of worship, a red brick building with gender-specific entrances. Other male members were outside hanging around, but females were nowhere in sight.
Robin rejected a handshake introduction from Sydni, explaining "I don't shake the hands of a woman outside of the Muslim faith." Additionally, he refused to be in photographs, explaining that “in the Muslim faith they believe that taking pictures is mimicking the creation of what the Creator has made.” Muslims want to avoid mimicking Allah. They do not permit photographs of people, animals or living things. Robin explained that news media photography is acceptable and that he avidly reads news online, but adheres to the rules of his religion for personal photographs.
Sydni supported the lunch business by buying a hot dog, and we continued our first trip into Germantown already a little wiser about the community and some of the cultural beliefs we are going to be encountering.
Contact: Robin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sande Friedman and Sydni Grant, Group 5
Posted by Sande Friedman at 11:48 PM