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Posts Tagged ‘extremism’

Around the distant edges of my dim awareness

I feel the incessant tug and tear

Of shadows dark and stark,

Menacing the light of nightfall,

Tormenting the dawn of a warm becoming;

Misanthropic cravings we dare to call Religion

We dare to call Belief

We dare to spew on a path of Light.

There is a silent cacophony that endures,

That endures to prolong this nightmare.

Who were those who burnt our women?

Who were those who called them witches?

Who were those in the unblessed hallows

Of their mis-becoming who burnt the books of Ghazali?

Do we sight the moon, or do we slight it?

Do we take refuge in the comfort of its shadow?

Or do we strike a path of light from the sun’s reflection?

Such infancy!

Such frenetic lunacy!

Do we laugh and scorn to death such pious pretensions?

Do we become one with this cycle of death?

Or do we fight for life, and light, and a new becoming?

It is the rage of pious pomposity that seeks to burn the Light;

Those who seek to erect themselves upon pyres of flaming ferocity…

Seething, skeletal columns scattered upon plains of desolate waste

From which to shout and rave and give voice to the dead-spawn of their god-selves.

Dense with hate; dense with revenge; dense with the demands of spiritual dementia.

Is it Heinrich Kramer’s Luciferian release we seek?

Is it Joseph Sprenger’s collaboration we crave?

Is it the Malleus Maleficarum in which we wish to soak

And stain our souls?

To be one with a sequence of history inscribed

In misogyny, murder and madness?

That Hexenhammer, that Hammer of Witches,

That Heaven’s outrage alone could quell?

Or do we care to yearn for the Morning Star of Rumi’s Mathnawi?

Do we dare? Do we dare to tread that path of love and lived felicity?

But God is Great we say; God is Great we claim;

God is all Merciful; God is all Compassionate;

God is Forgiving; God is Love.

Faceless and forsaken

We beggar ourselves in the name of His Face.

“Set a beggar on horseback” proclaims the proverb,

“and he’ll ride straight to the devil.”

But I cannot speak for another; I cannot speak for the other;

Indeed I cannot speak for myself.

I speak only for a dream – a disembodied image

That tears and tugs at the distant edges

Of my dim awareness.

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Do not envy one another, do not vie against and undercut one another, do not hate one another, do not turn your backs on one another

(Sahih Muslim)

Bigotry, prejudice, exclusivity and hostility – phobias in a variety of shapes and hues – appear to have emerged as the hallmarks of large tracts of humanity. They are no less evident in those who harbour a visceral hatred of Islam than amongst some of our own Muslims who mistake the grist for the wheat – the exoteric contingencies for the cardinal verities. It is one thing to maintain a detached and confident distance of objective criticism; it is quite another to collapse an entire world view – founded upon a universal edifice of purposive spirituality – into an obscurantist pit of regressive rigidity.

To be fair and objective is a divine imperative: “Do not let the hatred of a people cause you to swerve from justice; be just! For that is nearer to God-consciousness (taqwa).” (Q, 5: 8). To be reactionary, on the other hand, is satanic and a mark of spiritual dementia. It is what happens to reductionist ideologues and conspiracy theorists who conflate oceans of human complexity into shallow and tiny puddles of delusional certainty. And so they sit and stare at their little puddles with the full complacency that they have discovered the vastness and diversity of an ocean. Richard Dawkins, in my opinion and paradoxically so, is part of this “god delusion”. We know it all. Yet the Qur’an tells us – and I do not quote this for the edification of those who do not believe in Him (I am not a missionary) – that “Of knowledge we have given you but a little!” (Q,17: 85).

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