Tuesday, 19 June 2007

from the sublime

Cambridge Papers will shortly publish a paper on A Christian Response to Islamism, written by Colin Chapman, a thoughtful author on Muslim-Christian interactions who is pretty sternly anti-Zionist (though gracious and gentle in his manner, and a delightful guest at the Writing Group meetings). See Whose Promised Land? and Cross and Crescent, for example...

The meetings of the Writing Group certainly helped me to shed some caricatures of Islam that I had been unfairly lugging around. One caricature that remains is that Muslims don't admit they're wrong (I'm not talking about at a personal level, but at the grand level of justifying themselves or other Muslims in the political and social arenas). And then the other day I came across this remarkable editorial in a Qatari paper about the root causes of terrorism. The author, an Islamic legal scholar, dismisses the excuses (denial, minimising, socio-political justifications) and blames a culture of hate. Wow.