Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Creators

I just read a beautiful and incredibly apposite piece written the day after the subway bombings in London. It's titled A Prayer Answered.
(while you're there, you really should read the rest of the blog - SpeakingAsAParent, it's joined my short list)

It struck me particularly, having just written about 9/11, because the author writes about destruction versus creation, about power, about motivation.

And I've been thinking about how sad it is that Islam has been, in so many ways, reduced to this. Sad, because their heritage is so rich, so vast, so wonderful. The golden age of Islam saw the highest achievements in science, mathematics, philosophy, literature, art, architecture that the world knew at the time (arguable, yes, I am aware that there are some great achievments in the far east and in the Christian west. Work with me). I think about some of the great characters - Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Ḵwārizmī writing about linear and quadratic equations in the 9th century, Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta covering over 70,000 miles in his amazing explorations (and beating the pants off Marco Polo I might add)or Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād Herawī designing unbelievable illuminations and miniatures. Creators, all of them at a time when my ancestors were probably still rolling in pig muck and bashing eachother on the head.

It's all still there, that culture, that delight in learning and beauty. It's just the crazed few who are so vociferous in their hate and ignorance. I'm an optimist. I think the creators will win.



robin said...

Thank you for that.

robin said...

On a wider plane, I would like to note how balanced and optimistic this post (and your blog in general) is. You seem very able to determine who your enemy is and to distinguish one part of a problem from another.

I don't expect fanatics to be able to do this, but I wish that some of our high-ups could.

For Kirk said...

As do I! Shortsightedness produced by focus on immedite poll returns, or power plays or party aims makes seems endemic.

I wish it were clearer to people that this situation in the Middle East is not a product of a broken culture, or even of a single recent set of political figures, but came about through decades of selfish, often hasty policies. And no one nation is completely guilty, or completely innocent.

Naturally I see the mitakes of my own country rather more clearly, but that's mostly because I have at least a theoretical ability to do something about it and therefore a certain responsibility.

For Kirk said...

Hmmmm... clearly should proofread before hitting 'publish!' sentence above should read: ...'makes political myopia seem endemic.'

child 2 said...

Lotsa big werds in thar...cood yoo dumm it daon a bit?