Saturday, September 11, 2010

Blog a Qur'an Day

I've not read the Qur'an--technically, I'm told, it can only be read in Arabic, although there are English-language commentaries with translated text--but I thought I'd dip my toe in the water today as an act of solidarity with the billion people around the world whose faith is being mocked somewhere in Florida by fifty people with a match. Andrew Jones, I believe, organized this response, which I thought was a good idea. Creating is nearly always better than destroying, I think.

I'm struck by how foolhardy some people can be, actually--how lost they can get in their own conflation of faith and national identity, how senselessly they equate acts of violence with acts of piety. The impulse to burn a Qur'an is similar to the impulse to burn non-KJV Bibles, to bomb abortion clinics, to fly planes into buildings: to hurt people as a supposed act of discipleship.

What follows is found early in the Qur'an, the English translation of which I'm here quoting from Maulana Muhammad Ali's commentary, found here. I thought it seemed germane to the day, and the events inspiring this post. Please note that I'm quoting out of context, not out of disrespect or in an attempt to distort the meaning of the text, but rather to provide a framework for measuring the actions of "Dove World Outreach," and everyone like them who think faith is a matter of righteous violence:

In their hearts is a disease. . . . And when it is said to them, Make not mischief in the land, they say: We are but peacemakers. Now surely they are the mischief-makers, but they perceive not. . . . These are they who buy error for guidance, so their bargain brings no gain, nor are they guided. . . . Their parable is as the parable of one who kindles a fire, but when it illumines all around him, AllÄh takes away their light, and leaves them in darkness--they cannot see. Deaf, dumb, (and) blind, so they return not.

1 comment:

Winn Collier said...

50 people with a match (laughing)

Creating better than destroying (believing)