Tuesday, February 14, 2006

a battle cry

If you have the strength, don't wear the cloth of love,

Or if you do, don't moan about disaster.

The cloth will burn, but bear the pain in silence.

What's venom now is the juice of life hereafter.

#1029: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Key word: strength

Yesterday, I characterized Sufism as the flowing flexible water to mainstream Islam's steel. Today's quatrain seems to deal with a similar set of opposites: "might is right" vs "love rules". I have been accustomed to seeing Rumi as a gentle soul but he can urge for strength and even ruthlessness, as he does in this passage from the Mathnawi:

The core of masculinity does not derive
from being male, nor friendliness
from those who console.

Your old grandmother says, "Maybe you
shouldn't go to school. You look a little pale."

Run when you hear that.
A father's stern slaps are better.

Your bodily soul wants comforting.
The severe father wants spiritual clarity.

He scolds but eventually
leads you into the open.

Pray for a tough instructor
to hear and act and stay within you.

We have been busy accumulating solace.
Make us afraid of how we were.

- Mathnawi, VI 1430-1445, version by Coleman Barks ("We Are Three")

We are, I fear, preparing for war and the strength of steel and steeliness is to be recommended. No more soft talk, no more sweet words.

Despite the massacres through which the sons of Allah have bloodied us and bloodied themselves for over thirty years, the war that Islam has declared against the West...is a cultural war...they kill us in order to bend us. To intimidate us...Their goal is not to fill cemeteries. Not to destroy our skyscrapers...It is to destroy our soul, our ideas. Our feelings and our dreams. It is to subjugate the West once again.

- Oriana Fallaci, as quoted in "Muslim Target"

I'm with you Oriana, all the way. I love my culture and will defend it with all my strength.


Oriana Fallaci @ RichardAmes.us



At Wednesday, 15 February, 2006, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

As long as we don't become them in the course of defeating them.

At Wednesday, 15 February, 2006, Blogger Arizona said...

It's true that Fallaci is very much anti-Fascist and it is said in Italy that there are only two kinds of fascists: Fascists and anti-Fascists.

The engagement with an enemy always leaves us touched or influenced by them. Hopefully we'll absorb their better features and turn away from the others.


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