Sunday, March 26, 2006

a lovely dream

The scent of you will never leave my nose.

The vision of your face won't leave my eyes.

A lifetime long I've dreamt you, night and day.

That life has passed, the dream won't go away.

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

The big current story in the West-Islam clash concerns the threatened martyrdom of the Afghan Christian convert, Abdul Rahman. I say martyrdom because he is on trial much like a Second Christ and he is representing values and ideas that are clashing badly right now.

Here in Australia, the Prime Minister said he was appalled by the news, that it made him feel sick (literally), that it was beyond belief. Today, the (supposed) view of the Australian Islamic community is expressed through Haset Sali, spokesman for the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, in a brief article titled Prosecution of convert 'un-Islamic'. It is quite hysterical, calling on the Australian Government "to see if the Afghan prosecutors could be charged with crimes against humanity unless the religious charges against Mr Rahman were dismissed". Right, as if we would be stupid enough to fall for that one. This is Islam passing the buck to the West to correct Islam. We would simply be seen as Islamophobic if we pursued this path.

Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer is the one, in my view, who is dreaming the right dream. He is advocating a much tougher, more "get real" stance toward Islam. He is clear in what he believes the Bush Administration should be doing:

Instead of saying that all this is up to the Afghans, we should set an example -- and say that we will not tolerate anything but full juridical freedom of conscience, and that if that means the Afghan Constitution must be revised to delete the Sharia provision, so be it. But we are not going to waste our arms and blood to prop up a state that institutionalizes the oppression of religious minorities and extinguishes the freedom of conscience.

I'm appalled that the Vatican could do no better than to request that Abdul Rahman be pardoned. This is to implicitly acquiesce in his guilty verdict. I shudder to think that the Christian Church is so corrupt that it would ally itself with Islam like this. It is allying itself with a fellow religion at the expense of the values enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially this bit:

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

This is the Dream that smells as sweet as roses. This is the Dream with the delightful face. This, surely, is a better dream than Islam ever dreamt. Each of us in the world today needs to decide which dream we're riding and I, for one, am riding Article 18, however unglamorous and inherently unpoetic it may sound. It is simple and straight and therefore just as Allah would want it.

1. al-Fatihah: The Opening

1 In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

2 Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,

3 The Beneficent, the Merciful.

4 Master of the Day of Judgment,

5 Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.

6 Show us the straight path,

7 The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.

Would that a few more Muslims would wake up and see that Abdul Rahman is indeed following the straight path of Allah, just as he claims to be doing. It is the Muslim mob that has gone astray, it is the Islamic world today that is earning divine wrath. Be warned, Muslims, for Allah may not be so beneficent and merciful toward you as you might hope. Allah knows what is in your hearts and mouthing platitudes will not work with Him. It certainly doesn't work with me and I am merely human.


Post a Comment

<< Home