zondag 16 november 2014

Only two races

A citation by the late neurologist and psychiatrist Victor Frankl to start with:
From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two—the “race” of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people. In this sense, no group is of “pure race”—and therefore one occasionally found a decent fellow among the camp guards.
This is what Victor Frankl wrote in his book "The meaning of life", in which he described how he survived the Holocaust.

His dichotomy also holds for Muslims. The rise of IS emphasizes this. Every two months I talk in The Hague with some Muslims from the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lahore_Ahmadiyya_Movement_for_the_Propagation_of_Islam). They interpret the word "jihad" as striving for something good or opposing against something bad. Different forms of jihad exist: suppression of bad desires to get nearer to God, persistence in believing, mission work and that of war. This last, armed  jihad is only allowed under special circumstances. For example for self defence, on behalf of a legal government, etc. According to the Lahori's the way the media use "jihad" and "jihadist" is often misleading.

There is nothing new under the sun. A religion or other ideology (think of communism) is based on a book, which is interpreted such by one group and so by another. Sometimes just in a way that suits one best, leading to misunderstanding and conflicts. Already a few thousands year ago Seneca the Younger noted that religion - and feel free to generalize "religion" to "belief" or "ideology" - is highly ambiguous: 
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Since I wrote this the Ahmadiyya Lahore Movement organised a meeting to explain things. See (in Dutch):




Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten