Archive for April, 2007

Parallel Universes

April 6, 2007

The biggest difference between a Muslim and non-Muslim is their Weltanschauung. It is so utterly different and in the case of the Muslim, so engrossing and all-encompassing that it becomes a veil between him and the rest of humanity. I don’t mean that in a negative sense. Muslims simply do not realize what it’s truly like living in a world of meaning and metaphor that precludes the commandments of God. It is this differing world view that separates a believer from a non-believer; the greatest hurdle for true understanding between the two. That is one of the reasons why Sunni fiqh designed for western societies must scale not only the mountain of internal historical consistency in the face of modernity but also the mountain of establishing legal guidelines in conversation with people who cannot fathom an entire society still built around God.

It is foolish to think however that either is on the verge of collapse. Huntington was on to something [even though I don’t think he got it all right]. I am a true believer in Richard Bulliet’s view that a civilization of Islamo-Christian co-existence is only a matter of time. However, I also see an ocean of considerable ignorance that animates discourses in both universes. On the whole, whether we will continue to antagonize each other or not is a choice that lies in our very own hands.