| The Muslim’s Inner Struggles by Anjuli Pandavar
| Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Jihad Watch : Never before in the history of Islam has it faced a danger such as this. For the first time, Muslims en masse
are reclaiming their place in humanity and rejoining history. Islam has
always relied on Muslims being unequivocally Muslim in clear
contradistinction to the kafir, the unbeliever, treating the values and
mores of the infidel with utter disgust and contempt. But history has
played a trick on Islam and increasing numbers of Muslims find the
values and mores of the infidels growing within their own hearts,
gradually forcing out the Qur’an so firmly lodged there during their
early childhood. This drama plays out as Islam struggling against
Muslims and Muslims struggling against themselves. This short series
explores aspects of that complex struggle. Read all of Part 1 here.................
If you looked carefully, and
had a modicum of geography to your credit, you will have picked out your
own homeland, naturally, then gone to the other familiar ones such as
the USA, Germany, the UK, Italy, Brazil, Canada, Australia (or is that
New Zealand? — whatever), Israel, Japan, South Korea, and on to
unfamiliar ones, such as Jamaica, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa,
In the blistering summer of 2016, I was doing research into Shinto,
for which I interviewed the representative of the High Priest of
Daiganji Temple, on an island off Hiroshima. I learnt a great deal about
the fluid syncretism across animism, Shinto and Buddhism, and how
social hierarchy and state power plugged into these at different points
in Japanese history and social evolution, my particular interest being
in the transition from Heian to Kamakura. Right at the end of the
interview she summed up everything in one simple observation: Shinto is
about fear; it’s all about fear.
I’ve since thought a lot about that observation and about what drives
or drove animist and pagan religions. From time to time, I am reminded
of the fear that drove us in our infancy to attempt to placate the
terrifying and unfathomable forces of nature that could so easily, for
reasons known only to those forces themselves, destroy us, and how,
right from when we first conceived of gods, we created them in our
image. How could we do otherwise; it was the only image we had. Read all of Part 2 here....................
Cast your mind back to your wistful backpacking days of travel guides
and folded maps and bewildering coins and phrase books. Days of visa
applications and weird vaccinations, of Kodak and Fuji and sleeping bags
and hiking boots, of beers and guitars on roof terraces and condoms
(because you never know), of hoping you can still find something to eat
after having arrived late at night and of dying for a shower and........
Perhaps in your day, backpacking included time out to write postcards to
friends and family, finding a post office and briefly noticing the
picture on the stamp; or maybe you’ve only ever known emails and selfies
and Facebook, er, “friends”? Either way, you will have noticed the
large, colourful wall maps in the youth hostel receptions. The ones
bristling with pinheads and bordered with little flags of the many
countries from which guests have hailed.
And perhaps you noticed, but did not wonder about, why there
seemed to be no flags of Muslim countries anywhere around that map.
Read all of Part 3 here........................
|posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:54 PM