Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Perils of Not Thinking :: Arab News

Abeer Mishkhas,

Newspapers recently carried the story of a famous religious scholar — a sheikh — who gave a lecture in a mosque. During the lecture, he was interrupted by a group of young men who shouted at him and expressed their contemptuous rejection of his opinion. Though in a mosque, one of the young men angrily waved a small knife at the sheikh who was forced to stop his lecture. He was then escorted by security from the mosque in order to avoid a worsening of the situation. The reason for the young men’s inexcusable reaction was, as far as most people are concerned, inconsequential. The sheikh was speaking about his belief that drums are not forbidden. To say such a thing to people who have always been told — and have always been taught — that music is completely haram (not allowed) was a genuine shock.
. . .
We live in a society that, for the most part, believes uncritically that there is only one possible opinion and that to say or think or write something different is wrong and even worse, should not be tolerated but should be punished. . . . It seems that we have come up with the idea — and the practice — of holding only one possible opinion and now we are facing the consequences. If the young men in the mosque were violent, it is because of their lack of self-assurance plus their own certainty about their beliefs. This has been the cornerstone of their education from the first day of it and it seems they have learned the lesson very well indeed. They have never had an opinion of their own — they have always been told what opinion to hold — and to propose something new means that they have to think and analyze.



Blogger secretdubai said...

A (very devout, as it happens) Muslim journalist told me that he received death threats after an article where he discussed Islamic law's mechanisms for reform and revision. Which are apparently an integral part of Islam as the Prophet instructed it.

3:22 AM  

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