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Daily Archives: August 8, 2005

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

This is one of my borrowings from Surry Hills Library today, and I can’t put it down. It is morbidly fascinating. You worry about Muslims? There are people and beliefs described here, homegrown American ones, that rival the maddest mullahs and the most benighted Taliban zealots. Truly. Child rape and forced marriages are just part of it.

Mad and bad.

And totally American, but then of course the book is also American, and neither bad nor mad. But my God, do they have crazies over there!

Even the author says: “Faith-based violence was present long before Osama bin Laden, and it will be with us long after his demise… In any human endeavor, some fraction of its practitioners will be motivated to pursue their activities with such concentrated focus an unalloyed passion that it will consume them utterly… Ambiguity vanishes from the fanatic’s worldview; a narcissistic sense of self-assurance displaces all doubt… His perspective narrows until the last remnants of proportion are shed from his life… And when religious fanaticism supplants ratiocination, all bets are suddenly off. Anything can happen. Absolutely anything. Common sense is no match for the voice of God…”

An awful warning.

I returned The Feast of the Goat today too, another awful warning. Great novel, really great.
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Posted by on August 8, 2005 in America, book reviews, Christianity, faith and philosophy, Fiction, fundamentalism and extremism, Surry Hills, Top read, writers

 

Quirk’s Grocery & Gourmet Cafe in Redfern, Sydney

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAccompanied The Rabbit here this morning from The Coffee Roaster where I ran into him on my way to check out the new doctor. He decided to buy some of the excellent fruit buns from Quirk’s, a place he and I have become very fond of; unfortunately they had not baked them yet today.

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Posted by on August 8, 2005 in friends, health, local, Salt Mine, teeth

 

Indigo Jo Blogs Patrick Sookhdeo on moderate Islam

Do read this as a counterweight to what I said below about Patrick Sookhdeo’s Spectator article. The same blogger in another entry offers an interesting insight by a person called Abu Zakarya into Hizb ut Tahreer and the marks of bigotry in what he saw first-hand bear the strongest family resemblance to the cultic thinking one can find in many a fundamentalist Christian church.

The blogger, Yusuf (or Matthew) Smith, a British Muslim, is “very hostile to Wahhabism and (even more so) to newfangled political-Islam ideologies like that of Hizb-ut-Tahrir.” What he is saying is well worth attending to. This is precisely the kind of voice we need to take notice of and must hope to hear more and more.

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Posted by on August 8, 2005 in British, faith and philosophy, fundamentalism and extremism, Islam, Multicultural, peace