Seeing this is the shortest day of the year, I have resolved today’s effort here will be much shorter than yesterday’s. Yes, of course it was all brilliant 😉 — but Sirdan can’t afford to spend all that time at work reading it, and The Rabbit still has assignments to complete.
I must add to yesterday’s, though, a clarification: I really do recommend Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s The Heart of Islam as a very elegant defence of the traditional position of Muslims, utterly opposed to the evils we have come to associate with Islamists and terror. Professor Nasr is a very learned man and a great spirit. He also writes extremely well. He is not a simple literalist in his interpretation of the Quran either, though he does hold to the traditional exaltation of that book.
My problem really is with what he is defending, and there I part from him as I do from Jews and Christians who regard their classics as somehow apart from the normal world of texts. I really think that privileging word “scripture” (Latin for “writing”) has bamboozled the world for long enough, often to our very great harm.
See The Scriptures of Mankind: An Introduction by Charles Samuel Braden, part of religion-online.org. “Religion Online is designed to assist teachers, scholars and general “seekers” who are interested in exploring religious issues. The aim is to develop an extensive library of resources, representing many different points of view, but all written from the perspective of sound scholarship. While the initial orientation has been to seek material written primarily from a Christian perspective, the ultimate aim is to broaden the scope to include material on all the world’s major religions.”
Here is a rather interesting Muslim figure, S Parvez Manzoor, working through related issues. But do look at What Is The Koran? for the context of Manzoor’s argument and a convincing evaluation of it.