Friday, August 24, 2007

Words of wisdom from a British journalist ...

Few journalists have travelled as far and wide through the troubled-zones of various Muslim-majority states as author and Chief Reporter for the Observer Jason Burke. In his 2006 book On The Road To Kandahar: Travels Through Conflict In The Islamic World, Burke writes of:

… a wave of appallingly misinformed statements on Islam or ‘the Islamic
world’ in general. The huge variety of practice, belief and observation in
Muslim-dominated societies, so much of it fused with local cultures and
conditions, so textured and so complex … reduced in much of the debate … to a
single stereotype … based on the vision of the most conservative, the most
rigorous and the most belligerent interpretations for the faith. A single thread
of a huge and rich tapestry had been drawn out and declared representative of
the whole.

All major religions have resources within
them that can be exploited for different uses, belligerent or pacific, tolerant
or intolerant, yet it
[is] a minority strand within a minority strand,
epitomized by Osama bin Ladin and his fellow extremists, men who mined Islam for
all that was most inflexible, violent and bitter, that
[stand] for the
faith …

If only more scribes thought and wrote like Mr Burke.

© Irfan Yusuf 2007

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