At the beginning of the twentieth century, every single leading Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, and wanted their countries to look just like Britain and France.
Now I think one of the reasons why religion developed in the way that it did over the centuries was precisely to curb this murderous bent that we have as human beings.
Compassion is not a popular virtue.
They taught that compassion brings you into the presence of God. They weren't saying this simply because it sounds good. They said it because it works.
It's a great event to get outside and enjoy nature. I find it very exciting no matter how many times I see bald eagles.
Clashes and vitriol only make it worse. I think what we must learn to do is to read the imagery. We need to analyze and understand the subtext.
A Short History of Myth.
Of the millions of people we might call fundamentalists in all these major religions, only a tiny, tiny proportion take part in acts of terror or violence. The vast majority are simply trying to live what they regard as a good religious life in a world that seems increasingly hostile to religion.
And sometimes it's the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn't belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, an otherness that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.
After I left the convent, for 15 years I was worn out with religion, I wanted nothing whatever to do with it. I felt disgusted with it. If I saw someone reading a religious book on a train, I'd think, how awful.
Every fundamentalist movement I've studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion.
It can be confusing. But it's a wonderful organization.
Mohammed was not an apparent failure. He was a dazzling success, politically as well as spiritually, and Islam went from strength to strength to strength.
There are some forms of religion that are bad, just as there's bad cooking or bad art or bad sex, you have bad religion too.
It all depends on the weather. We're doubting a large number this year because the rivers aren't frozen.
Fundamentalism represents a rebellion against modern secular society, the separation of religion and politics. Basically, fundamentalists want to drag religion andor God from the sidelines to which they've been relegated in modern secular society and bring them back to center stage. And, in this, they've enjoyed considerable success in some ways, though in other ways... it can represent a defeat for religion.
The other day when I was driving over to Edina, there was a bald eagle that flew overhead on Highway 6. There's even a nest documented on the Chariton River.
The values of Islam are expressed by Muslims clearly. September 11 changed the world, and put Muslims on the spotlight.
Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy. And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States.
Islam is a religion of success. Unlike Christianity, which has as its main image, in the west at least, a man dying in a devastating, disgraceful, helpless death.
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