Sunday 17 September 2006

Whose apology is it anyway?

Religion of peace allowing violent protests?

An article on the Times Online site today expressed my sentiments in words I probably cannot better.

Just like we saw during the carton riots, one really has to try and reason out the paradox or irony that excites Muslim protests.

Anyone from Mars would be at pains to understand the oft held belief that Islam is a religion of peace only to see that the adherents when aggrieved about the infraction of one the bastions of their faith, take to the streets in rowdy, violent protest in a kind of mass hysteria of rage that shows nothing of the peace we have been schooled to expect.

The whole logic escapes me, in a world that is moving to a stage where conversation and dialogue should resolve disagreements and grievances; we find no intelligent debate to press those grievances rather than the blackmail of “offenders” who are forced to recant their views for the fear that the street violence would go out of hand. Imagine, protests concerning the cartoons lead to the loss of dozens of lives.

This ought not to be so.

Whose apology is it anyway?

The demand for an apology is facetious in the least, like I did say during the cartoon riots, if the name of Mohammed or some Islamic principle is besmirched, who really stands up to absolve the offender when an apology is made?

Who is the figure-head leader of Muslims around the globe who would take supplications and offerings of penance when the good name of the Prophet or the God of Islam is insensitively debased?

What really constitutes an apology, a recantation, self-flagellation or even worse and by whose standard is the offer of an apology judged to be sufficient enough to assuage and placate the offended?

Is there anyone who would lead a new civilization in Islam that would say, we have a religion of peace and rather than call people into the streets would we lead a debate that reasons out the issues and convinces the offenders of their faults?

Invest in raising literacy rates

It is time for the Mullahs, the Clerics, the Imams, the Sheiks and princes of Islam to take a commanding and leadership role to excite edifying and constructive debate on what is turning out to be a clash of civilisations.

There is no way we can reach a place of understanding if one side seeks erudite discourse and the other excites mass hysteria in street demonstrations – that results in a communication breakdown – it also means that certain sides should invest more in the education of their people rather than subduing them by allowing illiteracy to thrive such that they do not have minds to make reasonable and rational decisions.

We seek an age of enlightenment that raises not just literacy rates but creates skills meet for community is evolving in response to the juggernaut of globalisation, it is unlikely that people gainfully oiling the engines of globalisation would be on the streets burning effigies – however, that is a debatable generalisation.


Literacy rates in Islamic Countries

Integrate Modern and Islamic Education

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