I’m Puzzled (not for the First time either)

It is hardly surprising that some folks, seeing my SL name, assume that I am of Middle-Eastern origin. However what I was NOT expecting was a recent contact, via a private email in the forums, from someone with a very definite anti-Islamic viewpoint. I am a little perturbed to be stalked in such a way.

Now, firstly this person is deluded and rather deranged, in my opinion. Secondly they are quite wrong, both about me and some of the tennets that they ascribe to Islam.
I was born into a British town with a very high Asian population, initially brought over, on the whole, to slave away in cotton-mills. I am not Asian, nor Middle-Eastern, but I do have a large number of friends and acquaintances in those ethnic groups. I am not Muslim.

That Britain now has a large and essentially healthy Asian community is known throughout the world. Within all large groups of people there are those whose views are to a greater or lesser extent sociopathic. That is to the chagrin of the majority of those groups, but the profile of those individuals is out of all proportion to their actual numbers.
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the 11th of September 2001, it is not surprising that “Radical Islam” is becoming a hot topic of conversation, both sensible and stupid.

Whether one actually believes the underlying causes and vectors of that day’s events that the Western Governments promote is to a large degree immaterial. What is vital is that we meet the challenges of the future with tolerance and rationality, not intolerance and bigotry.

I have even this day heard Britons who appear to believe that they are fully entitled, by dint of their adherence to Islam, to disregard Brtish Law and employ elements of what they call “Sharia Law”. There is no such thing as “Sharia Law”. Such individuals show an intolerant and uncaring attitude towards others.

Bigotry and intolerance has not served Ireland or the Middle East well over the years, and it is not serving India or Pakistan well either. Nor will it – ever. If we cannot use the upcoming anniversary to reinforce tolerance and co-operation, we will be missing a massive opportunity to move mankind forward.

You can argue that saying that there is no such thing as “Sharia Law” is playing semantics – but Sharia can be shown to mean a great many wildly differing things. Like the Christian Bible and Judaic Torah, the Qur’an can be interpreted in many disparate ways. What IS common to all these books is the requirement of the reader “to employ a degree of commonsense when interpreting the words”. Without that those books are meaningless. Now before you bristle with indignation, please note: those words were said to me by an Imam, not an ignorant non-scholar.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on September 8, 2011.

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