Monday, February 13, 2006

fire within stone

For a moment we paused in the human crowd,

But found no trace of loyalty among them.

It's best that we hide from view of the crowd,

Like water in steel, fire in stone, hidden deep within them.

#1082: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Key word: crowd

Today's newspapers still carry a mention of the Muslim protests over the Danish cartoons:

Demonstrations continued in Europe, Asia and Africa at the weekend. French police estimated that 7200 people took part in a march through central Paris, waving banners and chanting, but the atmosphere was peaceful and many families took part.

In London, about 4000 demonstrators converged on Trafalgar Square on Saturday, joining the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, in a protest against the publication of the cartoons. Speakers not only denounced the cartoons as an unacceptable insult to the holiest figure in Islam, but also condemned the torching of embassies in Syria and Lebanon, deaths in Afghanistan and other violence that has come in response.

"We want to move on to positive dialogue," said Anas Altikriti, a spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain, which helped organise the rally.

source: Danes told to leave Indonesia

So we have a Muslim spokeman calling for dialogue here. What dialogue? Where? How can people get together and air their views in a free and open manner when Muslims simply cannot take criticism of any sort? How can this Altikriti fellow assure us non-Muslims that we won't be murdered by his close pals? This "dialogue" he speaks of is really just Muslims issuing their demands while our mouths are taped up with terror. On the internet, where terror doesn't work, there is no dialogue. There is no place where the inherent merits and disadvantages of each culture are analyzed, debated, discussed. This is simply because Islam does not know how to do this sort of thing.

Today's quatrain points to one of the problems: the crowd or herd mentality. These Muslim protest rallies are in fact mindless. They are not even the result of Muslims talking among themselves. Sensible Muslims are no different from sensible non-Muslims. They know not to talk with the extremists. They know to keep their mouths shut. No wonder the likes of Anas Altikriti can piously call for "positive dialogue". What amazes me is how thousands of mindless Muslim sheep can answer the call of these extremist leaders. Even families attended the Paris turnout. Are these people so stupid that they cannot see that extremists are always pulling the organizing strings? They are all well indoctrinated and it is echoes from the Quran that draw them.

An internet dialogue over at anulios is struggling to make headway. It looks like it will be me versus a bunch of wannabe Muslim moderates. Still, that is better than nothing. I will stay with that for as long as I can.

Ah, how I can relate to Rumi's advice to hide from the crowd! This is what I've been doing now for decades. In my case, I've turned away from social prejudices especially around women and their work. In Rumi's case, he and Shams accepted to remain hidden or apart as a counterpart to mainstream Islam. Where Islam enforces with steel, Sufism flows like water, gently penetrating every nook and cranny of the soul. Where Islam has a heart of stone, Sufism has a heart of fire, that spark of the divine that ignites any open-hearted soul that sees it. Must it be hidden though? Is this necessary and will it always be so? Perhaps the hidden as the occult, mysterious, awesome and even fearsome new thing must be with us always.


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

except for Taoism and Buddhism, it seems that the gnostic forms of religions get crushed under the institutional forms of the religions.

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

Hinduism and nature religions (like Shinto) are almost gnostic by nature. It's really mainly the Abrahamic religions that are hard on their gnostics. It's their insistence on only one way to conceive of God that makes it difficult.


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