No nation, no matter how rich, is an island, and no country, no matter how strong, is a fortress. We live in increasingly interconnected interdependent world. We cannot afford to be indifferent to each other’s concerns and suffering or unengaged in each other’s problems and dilemmas. Every conflict and every disaster now has global implications. The sooner we understand that the better for us all. Continue reading “Citizens of Earth”→
Have Muslim organizations in the U.S. issued any guidelines to Mosques and Islamic centers on how to deal with troubled youths and extremist elements who are trying to recruit in their midst? Have they created outreach programs to Muslim families dealing with radicalized youths in an attempt to help them come back to the mainstream? Have they set up special camps that can help in these matters? Are they providing specialized training to Imams on how to deal with these and other related issues? Have they created educational guidelines on how certain issues related to Islamic teachings, such as Jihad and Dhimmitude, among others, should be breached?
The Qur’an and other traditional religious texts may indeed contain verses that are objectionable by modern standards, but that does not mean that we can reduce all these texts to these verses. Beyond the arcane mythology and certain specific objectionable rulings, there is also much wisdom contained in these texts, wisdom that allows them to keep their followers inspired and capable of coping with the requirements of modern life provided that they can understand the true nature of the relationship between the specific and the general in these texts.
In his treatment of Islam, and of traditional religious faiths in general, Bill Maher seems to be oblivious to this simple fact of life: people are mostly hypocritical in nature, not puritans. They want the best out of both: the here-and-now as well as the hereafter. This makes it difficult to judge people on the basis of the holy books in which they believe, because, while they might refuse to challenge the authority of these texts, in part or as a whole, their actions and inactions come as a much better measure of what they really want.