Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Typical Conversation

In the last blog, i promised that Zar, my partner in the blog, would write a piece stemming from a conversation that we had this week on terrorism. Apparently, she developed cold feet, but i choose to forgive her for now (I suppose its commitment fears, which she promises she will get over very soon).

So here it goes.
We were having tea the other day and as we glanced through the newspaper, which has been filled with stories about a British man who may have orchestrated the killing of his wife in South Africa, when i remembered that i had watched a documentary the previous night on homegrown terrorists in America. I wanted to understand what really drives ordinary people to want to commit acts of terrorism and who else to better explain the ideas around terrorism and Islam than Zar. The following is an excerpt of the conversation we had:

Dot: I have always wanted to ask about whether the good book (the Quran) actually supports people being revengeful
Zar: The good book encourages people to keep peace but in some instances allows for one to defend themselves if they are in positions of oppression or if they are being attacked because of their religious beliefs. Committing suicide is forbidden in Islam.
Dot: Thats very interesting to know. The Bible is very clear that we should forgive and if someone slaps you, offer them the other cheek. 

And there was a contrast between what the Bible preached especially in the New Testament and what the Quran teaches. I must say it is amazing the kinds of new knowledge that has been imparted in me as a result of my friendship with Zar. It is very easy to judge and condemn a religion based on  media and societal perceptions and so its important for all of us, as global citizens, to check the facts and learn about other religions.

And now we hope that Zar can actually write the next blog!!!

Cheerio conversationalists. 


  1. Hellow ladies..

    I think the take home message is what is taught by the scripture and what is practised by the people are two different things.. for example the crusades were certainly not indicative on forgive and forget principles but were rather fought on the basis of vengence with a little greed thrown in. More currently somewhere in africa the "holy god's army" or something/something to that effect is using religion for social domination...!

    Most religous factions take and religion something holy and pure and lambaste it with personal gain and a religous war is eminent.. i definitely agree with we need to learn comparitive religion to afford us the luxury of religious tolerance especially in our current society.

  2. Ash, one of these days we are going to request you to be our guest blogger and I think I may have an idea of the kind of topic we would ask you to contribute, given your comment above. I totally agree that its critical for us to understand other religions before we jump into conclusions about what they are and what they are not and I'm certainly glad that I have Zar and you as friends to teach me about Islam.