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retread| Restating the Obvious 18 November 2006

Posted by EDITOR in Politics, Spirituality, VARANGALI.

Retreads are quality posts that are given a second run on Saturdays. This piece was originally posted by VARANGALI on 15 Aug 2006.

Restatement of the obvious is the first duty of civilised men.

– George Orwell

When the frivolous bigotry of Mel Gibson shares the headlines with Qana, it is easy to forget the obvious, which makes it bear repeating: there is a larger struggle for mankind’s soul that necessitates tolerance and cooperation among the world’s religions, not conflict.

Lebanon, Darfur, Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, East Timor, Iraq – these are all at origin political struggles, but stressing the religious overtones and rhetoric is more commercially viable for news agencies, and further divides us along religious lines. The “Clash of Civilizations” need not be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we should heed Muhammad Asad’s words, first stated in a radio address to the Swiss in 1959, but perhaps even more pertinent today:

…socioeconomic measures will never, by themselves, enable us to save man’s freedom and dignity from the forces of the stark, soulless materialism which threatens to overwhelm us all. Whether we are Muslims or Christians or Jews, we are bound to succumb in this struggle unless we are able to bring forth, from within each of our existing societies, the strength to conceive and maintain truly spiritual, religious patterns of thought and feeling which alone could withstand the onslaught of materialism.



1. irving - 19 November 2006

George Santayana said that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it, so restatement of the obvious is indeed necessary, lest we forget and repeat the same mistakes and horrors over and over and over again.

Ya Haqq!

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