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Daily Archives: November 14, 2005

Insights – Uniting Church magazine online

Way to go, Jono Hirt and Chris Hartley.

I missed church yesterday as I have been feeling somewhat seedy. Indeed I went to the Redfern doc just now, and while imminent death has been ruled out, as far as he could tell, we are keeping an eye on things. It may be I have one of those “unknown viruses” so beloved by doctors when they are not sure.

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Slavery and the Infidel in Islam

Slavery and the Infidel in Islam

I am not so paranoid as to feel that there are over a billion terrorists in this world. I do not feel threatened by people who want to pray five times a day, observe various feasts, go on pilgrimages, give alms to the poor, wear different clothes and avoid certain foods. Why should I? If they are going about their business and not interfering with me, that is fine. If they want peace in the world I happily join in that aspiration.

But, as the article linked above rightly says, there is a critical paradox deep inside Islam, and it is actually shared with Judaism and Christianity, at least in some of the manifestations of all these religions. It has quite frequently surfaced in all three religions, Christianity not least. (If you don’t believe me, read The Faith by Brian Moynahan, a very fine history of Christianity marred only by an unwillingness to be critical in its first couple of chapters.)

All these religions have the potential to excuse murder by dividing humanity into “us” and “them”, writing, at times, “them” off as those who must be exterminated if they refuse to join “us”. It appears that all these religions seem to think, at times, that God suffers from this very human tribalism. In the case of Islam, the classical position is as Victor A. Gunasekara states it:
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Posted by on November 14, 2005 in culture wars, current affairs, faith and philosophy, fundamentalism and extremism, History, Islam, terrorism