Posted by: wasim | 7th Aug, 2008

Random Lessons from Philadelphia

  1. Islam is an African American religion in Philly.
  2. For all Philadelphians, the dessert of choice is water-ice (pronounced wooter-ice), and is basically some soft-serve ice cream with a snow cone.   
  3. Not every African-American male with a long sunnah beard is Muslim, but many are.  The ones who are will probably make eye contact with you, and possibly say salaam if they can tell you’re Muslim.
  4. Old City Cab comes a lot more often than Quaker Cab.  As everywhere else, most of the drivers are Pakistani, Sikh Punjabi or Bangladeshi.
  5. The “Rocky” statue no longer sits atop the Philly Art Museum steps.  It was moved recently, disgracefully placed along the curb.
  6. Muslim clothing is trendy here, to the point where some non-Muslim women occasionally wear headscarves and the pants-above-the-ankle look is trendy for black men (called the Philly capri).
  7. Strangely the imam of the largest mosque in West Philly cannot speak a word of English, and often yells during the Friday Khutba (otherwise I’m sure he is probably a very nice, learned man).
  8. There are no halal pizza places in West Philly.
  9. The Germantown Mosque brothers are a really loving group who enjoy life in a halal way.  Just don’t take photos of them or their mosque — they follow the salafi ruling on photography.


You’re right, Muslim clothing is getting pretty trendy even with the non-Muslims, an interesting observation.

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