The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Understanding and Moderation 

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Function: noun
1 : a mental grasp : COMPREHENSION
2 a : the power of comprehending; especially : the capacity to apprehend general relations of particulars b : the power to make experience intelligible by applying concepts and categories
3 a : friendly or harmonious relationship b : an agreement of opinion or feeling : adjustment of differences c : a mutual agreement not formally entered into but in some degree binding on each side

I like Understanding, particularly the bit about friendly or harmonious relationship and an agreement of opinion or feeling. It sounds like a Good Thing.

Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal of Saudi Arabia also thinks it's a Good Thing, he is a great one for understanding. He's the Prince who is endowing two US universities, one even being named the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown, because, as he says....

Bridging the understanding between East and West is important for peace and tolerance

I am pleased to support Islamic studies at Harvard and I hope that this program will enable generations of students and scholars to gain a thorough understanding of Islam and its role both in the past and in today's world

It is vital for the monotheistic religions to reach a common ground of understanding and to gain knowledge about what unites our civilizations

....and in reply, the recipients of his generosity say things like....

This generous gift reflects the commitment of Prince Alwaleed to inter-religious understanding in the Muslim world and the West

Sometimes, however, the Prince's own understanding of things can be a little shaky. In an interview with Deborah Solomon of the NY Times that questioned his motives behind these donations, he did say....

You have to understand that the population of Saudi Arabia has zero Christians.

....which somehow overlooked the million-plus Christians in Saudi Arabia but, hey, they're mostly Filipinos anyway, and if we don't need a nurse or someone to fix our computer, why bother about them? Let's not get picky when we want to promote understanding.

More recently, the Prince launched another initiative to promote understanding.

Al-Resalah Launched

Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, CEO of Kingdom Holding Company, officially launched yesterday an Islamic satellite channel to project Islam as a religion of moderation and tolerance.
Al-Resalah (The Message) Channel had made its debut informally on Wednesday.

What a worthy motive. I'm all for Moderation

Function: noun
1 : Restraint of violent passions or indulgence of appetite.
2 : Calmness of mind : equanimity.
3 : Frugality

And indeed, the mission of the new channel is all about Moderation.

to project the true message of Islam and its teachings

to counteract the misconceptions of Islam in other societies

counter the negative perceptions of Islam

wean the youth away from the path of extremism

....so much so, that....

This channel represents pure and moderate Islam

Not only youth, there's even uplifting stuff for the children....

the channel would feature cartoons and animated films with a moral content

That was on March 7th, when the channel launched. But wouldn't you know it, those "nosey-pokes" at MEMRI have been poking their noses into Al-Resalah TV! Why can't they mind their own business, and just let the new channel project Islam as a religion of moderation and tolerance by itself, without snooping into everything that it's doing? There used to be a time when we could say nice things to the Unbeliever's face, but something entirely different behind his back, but now MEMRI listen into everything! It's just not fair. And this is what MEMRI saw, only eight days later!

Is this the animated film with a moral content? Perhaps not, maybe it's for the youth and adults instead. So how is our preacher going to counteract the misconceptions of Islam in other societies? Let's hear what he has to say.

Jihad in this case is an individual duty. Someone whose land was lost, whose honor was violated, and whose country was occupied, yet he does not raise his hand violently against the occupier, is not a human being, or even an animal. Even animals wash their hands of him. That's why the pig is reprehensible -because it's the only one who accepts it when someone occupies its land.

When there is no hope for peace, there is no alternative but to resort to the gun.

Therefore, you have to know how to use it (the gun!) in a civilized manner

The West's conflict with Islam and the Muslims is eternal, a preordained destiny that cannot be avoided until Judgment Day - not before the sun and the moon are transformed

In Islam, Jihad is conducted in order to spread its principles, justice, and views.

The term "violence" or "Jihad" - or you could call it "aggression" or "colonialism" - means that you take control of the resources of others, out of economic or political greed. On the other hand, Islam does this to bring people to worship Allah

So that's Islam as a religion of moderation and tolerance. Are you sure you have a good Understanding, now?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?