Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the thought of her

My tongue is parched, though I've drunk myself senseless.

I haven't heart nor head; nor patience, nor peace of mind.

My tears fall, bewildered at the thought of her, defenseless.

Saghi, please, do me a favor -- bring me some more wine.

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

Key idea: thirst

The cupbearer, Saghi or saqi, appears in today's verse, ready with more wine. My own mood is just like Rumi's: I'm at a loss and have neither patience nor peace of mind. I feel thus moved after watching a current affairs program last night: ABC TV Four Corners Riot and Revenge. The program covered the infamous Cronulla riots and subsequent revenge attacks here in Sydney in December of last year. The conflict has been characterized as one of racism but it is, for me, clearly about Islam. The notion of "people of Middle Eastern appearance" is simply a tag for "visible Muslim". The program left me angry, frustrated, wanting to get through to someone, whoever that idiot is that sees all this as benign, that sees Islam as appeasable.

The tide has turned, I hope, with the new voice of Wafa Sultan, a voice that we might all be able to rally behind. She knows she has taken on leadership in this crisis, and she does so with humility, honesty and refreshing forthrightness. Near the end of last night's program, a Muslim justified the brutal revenge attacks by claiming that the other side started it all, that it was but a response to the "racist" riots. (In reality, many Muslims had been offended by visible slogans like the "Mohammad is a camel fucking faggot" worn across a T-shirt.) I would remind them of who really started all this, as Sultan has expressed it:

The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations.

The Prophet of Islam said: "I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger."

When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war.

In order to st[op] this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels.

Wafa Sultan

Wafa Sultan on Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) @ memritv.com

My colleague has said that he never offends other people's beliefs.

What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves?

Once, he calls them Ahl Al-Dhimma, another time he calls them the "People of the Book," and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians "those who incur Allah's wrath."

Who told you that they are "People of the Book"?

They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books.

All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking.

What gives you the right to call them "those who incur Allah's wrath," or "those who have gone astray," and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?

We must hear more and more of this woman's message and this is my small contribution to that effort.


At Tuesday, 14 March, 2006, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Hi, I'm around, just don't have time to read it all and comment.

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

I also drop in at myspace each time you post, but I can't think of a comment. Not lately, anyway. So I'm hardly in a position to complain ... :)


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