Food for Our Minds and Spirits: New Versions of Old Things

Rainbow Ka’bah in Kassel, Germany.

The Ka’bah is old. The holiest site in Islam was holy before the dawn of Islam. It was also not alone among “honored stones” in the pre-Islamic religion in the Arabian peninsula. Its importance as the physical representation of Islamic faith is profound––the orientation of all prayers and the focus of the Hajj pilgrimage is the Ka’bah. It’s role is beyond symbolic, beyond even ritual.

How powerful, then, to represent a new vision for this site in an affirming rainbow that re-imagines the space as one that welcomes LGBTQ+ muslims. The artists who developed the rainbow Ka’bah are trying to represent other holy sites of Islam alongside this one. It’s a project about representation, but also about invitation. It’s a daring representation in a time and context in which such worshippers are not welcome in Mecca, or other spaces, as their authentic selves. And it’s about as controversial and contentious a subject you could imagine. The comments on the internet demonstrate that well. And that’s why this matters so much.

Now, this is obviously a fabric cube that has been inflated. It’s not permanent, and at this stage, it seems to be an art exhibition, albeit one that has very specific and intentional goals. It’s a first step. But it also demonstrates the difficult work it takes to imagine a world where the religious identities of people can evolve and grow alongside the values of inclusion and representation.

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Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big, beautiful world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**

Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big, beautiful world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**