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Friday afternoon

It seemed like a lot of people took today off early, probably from the sheer strain of maintaining a routine since Tuesday. For me, it was because my company was moving, and there was no work to do in the afternoon. So I did a little shopping in Central Square and settled in the Starbucks to rest, grab some joe, and read the paper. It is a great place to people-watch due to its location right on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Prospect. I started noticing people with American flags walking by -- and some of the women were wearing scarves, and I realized the Muslim Friday prayer service must have just ended. I was struck by the diversity of dress and ethnicity of the parade of people, certainly more mixed than the Christian churches around here. One of the most admirable things about Islam is the true colorblindness of its community -- something that really transformed Malcolm X on his hajj to Mecca. It is heartening to hope that this ideal and the better side of America are truly compatible and hopefully will confound those who see recent history as nothing but an "clash of civilizations."

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