Friday, July 08, 2005

London

I was so hoping to get this blog away from politics and back into the realm of the mundane. This I write knowing full well that the mundane is filled with politics. Especially in Iran.

We were having lunch with a friend when her sister in London called to tell her that her family there was okay. "Okay? What happened?"

We watched her face drop. She started running around collecting the phone numbers of all her family and friends in England. She began to make calls. It would be several hours before any reports appeared on Iranian tv.

That night we attending a birthday party. Almost no one at the party had heard the news. A guest announced the news to the other party-goers.

"What a bad name these terrorists are giving to our religion," he said.

"No Iranian has ever participated in one of these attacks," another responded.

"No. We just fund them," said another in a half-mocking, half-serious way.

That was the end of the conversation. It was, after all, a birthday party.

All you have to do is live among millions of Muslims to realize what an aberration the terrorists are. That's my only word on the subject.

9 comments:

Siroos said...

Well, unless this was a slow fully dressed segregated tea sipping birthday party, I'd say those guests give a bad name to Islam by baring their bodies, mingling and dancing to the beat. It's high time that those who don't practise the long-established tenants of Islam distance themselves from their hereditary religion and stop claiming to know more about it than fundamentalists.

Anonymous said...

Do they know yet who was responsible? Usually when terrorist attacks happen in London, they look closer to home. The Irish problem, for example.

London Girl said...

Hi,

I live in London and it has been confirmed that its 100% work of an islamist group. Haven't confirmed excatly which one. But London has definatley shown that it can not be defeated.

I also just read on the BBC news website that Iran's media is caliming that this was organised by the UK govenmnet itself to scare people!!!!! I really doubt this..... :0(

Siroos said...

LG, that BBC article only names 2 sources and both are well known hard-line newspapers. That's hardly representative of the Iranian press. Ms. Harrison must have been under some sort of editorial deadline or something. She better leave these kinds of reports to the monitoring dep from now on.

Goldie said...

It's hard to know the extent to which the Islamic terrorism problem really is caused by a "minority of extremists," and I'm not sure Iranians present a good measuring stick. I'd like someone who lives among millions of Saudis to respond to your comment.

Any religion can have a reformation, of course, so terrorism cannot be intrinsic to Islam. But it's up to a religion's adherents to bring about that reformation - no one can do it but them. And when they don't, there's no one else to blame.

If terrorists and their supporters are a minority, where is the majority and why don't they speak up? In any remotely healthy culture, supporters of a death cult like Islamism would be shunned or imprisoned.

AJ said...

siroos,

While I have found many of your comments posted here interesting and insightful. I find that your comment in response to this post quite disturbing, as I suspect that you may have intended. Please feel free to correct me if I have misunderstood.

The nomenclature of "Islamic Terrorist" indicates an organized and sanctioned activity of the Islamic faith. Are these terrorists really funded, trained and organized by Islam?

As it turns out this attack was carried out by four British youths. Just, the "boy next door" types. How did these four youths from immigrant families end up detonating bombs during the morning commute?

Is it due to righteous comments like the one above that seek to exclude "moderate" thinkers from Islam?

ET said...

Siroos, As a practitioner of a faith with even more rules than Islam, I feel a right to my religion even though I love bacon. I feel that there is no reason why there should not be "reformed" Islam as well as fundamental Islam.

As Siroos pointed out, Iran's media is a little more complex than one or two sources. The source they quoted blames everything on a Zionist conspiracy. In their view, Al Qaeda, Zionism, and America are all one. The television news has been much more to the point with very little editorializing. And the attacks have been condemned.

Why don't white people everywhere feel responsible for serial murderers or school killings? Why not? Why don't American Christians express outrage through protest marches when Christianists kill gynecologists? Because white people are the majority culture and so are Christians. Majority cultures do not feel responsible for the acts of the few. Minority cultures do. That's why most Jews were relieved when Sam Berkowitz turned out to be adopted and were outraged by the act of Baruch Goldstein.

Islam is a majority culture in the Middle East (well, how about the world?) It also seems to be a "victim culture" (correct me if I am wrong. This part of the world is so embroiled in conspiracy theorizing.

Goldie: Remotely healthy culture? Well now, there's the question...

Siroos said...

Any fundamentalist Muslim would beat a moderate in a religious debate. You have to disregard a lot of literature to provide a moderate version of Islam. I don't know about other Abrahamic religions, but my guess is that the same applies. And I'm yet to see a moderate Islamic scholar that has liberal views on segregation of sexes, drinking, mandatory prayers, etc. To say that these terrorists give a bad name to Muslims would be more accurate than to claim that they misrepresent Islam. Now, my opinion is that non-practising laymen should stop claiming Islam as their religion, as is the case with many people in Christian countries and especially in Britain itself. Nothing reforms a religion better than mass exodus of its followers out of faith.

ET said...

Siroos, 100% right about fundamentalists beating moderates in religious debates. And yes, in order to be a moderate Jew, for instance, you do end up disregarding much of the original text. The difference between Islam and the original Abrahamic religion is that Mohammad is the seal of the prophets and the Koran is the literal word of God. I do not know enough about Islam to be able to comment on the strength of the Hadith (SP?) in the religion. How much does it affect the way Islam is practiced?

Judaism, on the other hand, is an historical religion that does not seal anything at all. In fact, it predicts the rise of Islam. It is a tribal thing. And, once in exile, is complemented by dynamic interpretations and a series of reforms and massive changes to the original.

The orthodox rabbis in Israel do not recognize reformed Jews as Jews. If we follow your argument then maybe they are right.

Oh and one more thing: America is very different from Europe when it comes to religion. Americans embrace a wide variety of religious expression from secular religious expression to fundamentalist religious expression.

Europeans seem to be much more fundamental in their definition of religion. At least that is my experience.

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