Islam and the terror mongers

I used to teach Religious Studies at a high school in the UK. Best subject ever, from trawling through world faiths in the lower years, getting hot under the collar following the GCSE curriculum where moral issues such as Wealth and Poverty were explored, all the way to A Level, when it morphed into Philosophy of Religion.

I was teaching in 2001. The day the twin towers fell I’d just come out of a class on Islam. I was teaching Islam to four classes of Year Eights at the time.

 

In those classes we explored some core beliefs such as the five pillars of Islam. We did a historical cook’s tour and we thought about what we as white non-believers could learn from the faith.

Bang! A light bulb switched off.

dystopia

It was the day the Dark Age began.

I’m not getting into the whodunnit side of things. All I know is the pudding was already cooked and ready to serve.

Bang!

Welcome to the era of the terror monger.

Before the dust had settled on the towers, ‘war or terror’ and ‘axis of evil’ were rolled out. War in Afghanistan and then, to the horror of the world at large, the invasion of Iraq. A sorry recent history full of bloodshed and fomenting hatreds.

Our New Dark Age has the stamp of terror all over it. A stamp of indelible ink wielded on soft skin by the anti-terrorists.

The New Dark Age is an age of Security and Surveillance.

The hordes of bloodthirsty nutters with guns are doing nothing but serving this agenda. I wish they could see their own complicity. I wish they could see that they are empowering the very beast they fight.

As for the rest of us, while we sit around hoping we don’t get caught in the crossfire, we’re already ensnared. Our freedoms constricted by a raft of new laws. Our journalists gagged.

Islam is a fine faith and I, as a non-believer, will always defend it. Islam teaches that within each of us is a divine spark, something pure and sacred and connected to God.

My wish is for that spark to flame and light this darkening world, light up the hearts of those consumed by hatred.

And as for the greedy who are behind everything that is wrong with this world, I have yet to figure out what’s to be done about them…

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4 Comments

  1. I do not understand, at all, why. I think your heart is in the right place, but you might want to do some reading. Where from, is this belief in Divinity within each person, connected to God? Are you certain this is not a Rumi quote? I have never heard this said in any Quran or Hadith.
    In the US the era of terrorism did not come with 9/11. We had Christian terrorists do horrible carnage before then, though on a lesser scale, and a previous World Trade Center attack.

    1. Hi there! I’m trying to recall what Islam calls this inner spark. It’s been 13 years since I taught Islam.

      Yes, there’s always been terrorism, and various other types of carnage. I guess what I’m saying is that 9/11 was like a line in the sand, after which Bush et al declared war on terror. It’s more this reaction to terrorism that I’m thinking about in this piece. The era of war on terror.

      1. That’s the way it seems. And re the divine spark, you’re right, pretty sure it comes from Sufism, and hence Rumi. Something that found its way into the high school text book I got to use. Interesting.

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