Among other things -like serving as a medium of punditry and as an occasional outlet for the author’s existential angst- this blog makes an effort at social criticism and commentary, regardless of who or what it is directed at. Its basic premise is the belief that as long as dogmas prevail and there are subjects that are treated as sacrosanct taboos, open discourse and dialogue are stifled. Where open exchange of ideas is lacking, the society as well as that which is made the subject of the taboo, both suffer. In this vein, this blog has on occasion raised questions about one of the most dogma-infused areas of life among Muslims, that is the subject of religion and how are we to understand and conceptualize its place in human society.
Recent events in the news have provided occasion enough for criticism. Whenever possible -i.e. during the semester downtimes- this blog has been quick to disapprove, condemn, and critique –and maybe even ridicule. Yet this blog does not solely concern itself with the negative. Amid the confluence of much of the mainstream news media around the globe on the subject of criticizing Islam and Muslims, at times gratuitously, this blog aims at pointing out those aspects of this faith that can make humanity better and more as well. In short, this blog hopes to be a small part of the middle ground, between the apologetics who seek to justify anything done in the name of Islam, and the Islamophobes who speak of its ‘inherent predispositions’ to terror and tyranny. Whenever it can, it aims to call things for what they are- the dark, dark, and the light, light.
Here is some light. A friend sent this my way today, and I admit I needed this for myself after all that has occupied my attention recently has been what you see in the last few posts in this blog. Here is a brief story of how in one of the darkest moments of mankind, faith saved a community from descending into the evil that surrounded it.
Religion in Rwanda (Courtesy of the NYTimes)