Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I was idly looking up 'worst quotes' just for a bit of amusement and I came across this pearler. It is a shame that these won't be seen for the monstrosities they are.

Look through the quotes from scripture and religious representatives, remove the bylines, attribute them instead to other commentators, and see how you feel about what they instruct; contemplate how wise they are, how far superior they are to the edicts of sectarian philosophers and leading lights.
If you can truly do this then you either have a greater spiritual depth than me or you are a dangerous sociopath!

As it happens, this dovetails with a headline I read on the cricket commentator,
Dean Jones, who made an (overheard)off-air comment It was an ad-break on Ten Sports, but to Jones's misfortune the moment Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed was shown on SuperSport, who were beaming the match in South Africa. And Jones said: "The terrorist has got another wicket".

This was written up in one newspaper's headline as 'Deano's racist sledge' but is that true? He wasn't attacking/jesting about the player's ethnicity or nationality, but his religion. Quite a different thing. And, while I don't agree with characterising a follower of any faith by its worst tenets or practices (or adherents), there is a politically correct oversensitivity to how Islam should be portrayed.
Jones was right to be contrite. He'd been caught out belittling someone's religious beliefs. His comment was as scandalous as calling someone a 'Christ killer' on the basis of race or religion. But looking at what Jones had to say in attempting to redress the inadvertenly broadcast insult, we see other problematic aspects creeping in. To wit:

"...The irony is that I am great friends with most of the Pakistan team and they are all Muslims."

I am friends with Christians and was brought up in the Church but this does not, in any way, influence my negative perception of St Paul, of the Crusades, of the persecution of witches, of the missionaries decimation of native cultures in the pursuit of civilising them to a Christian way of life. Neither, I would imagine, does Jones' friendship with the Pakistani cricketers inform his outlook on the tenets of Islam.

"I have no end of respect for the Muslim faith - that's why I'm so sorry at making such a stupid comment"

I take it from that, that Jones (or his PR) does not believe that it is the belief set of Muslims that drives them to commit terrorist acts. Or that, for those Muslims who do take it upon themselves to interpret the words of the Prophet this way, have an incorrect reading of the Koran and the teachings of Imams. Where, then, are the voices of moderation adequately debunking such interpretations? If the terrorist cells are seriously misinterpreting - or knowingly distorting - the will of God as expressed in the Holy Book then are they not sinners of greater magnitude than those who have not been exposed or inculcated in the ways of Islam?! I would be perfectly happy to see the extremists ostracised as heretics.

Islam has been responsible for many great cultural advances, just as Christianity has, but to consider its tenets to be above criticism is a grave mistake. The fact remains that, if the majority of Muslims were to isolate those taking up the prophet's bloodthirstiness and making it their own, we would very quickly see a turn in events. It was the pressure of both rationalism and a gentler Christianity that saw an end to terror from within Christendom. It is time for Islam to follow suit.


At 7:35 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"an end to terror from within Christendom"? When exactly will that be happening?

At 8:49 pm , Blogger Berko Wills said...

Bang, ya got me. Very true; if you count all the KKK, clinic bombers, Christian militia, fundamentalist warmongers etc then not any time soon.


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