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« News trends 2010 (prasad) | Main | A Caged Bird is Free (Sujatha) »

January 01, 2011


Fascinating, Omar -- I must read again and go to all your links. Meanwhile, I wonder if you know of a new publication, _Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective_, by Prof. Toby Huff. It addresses some of the thousand-year-long conditions that have accounted for disparities between the West and not only the Islamic world but China. I never knew, until reading it, that Copernicus used no algebra, only geometry...

Excellently written Omar, vast subject and short space dealt with admirably...couple of points; in my opinion the Sunni Islam is gradually drifting towards its logical end as it is devoid of any central leadership (ie they believe in the presence of shaitaan but not Imam(as), as a result the offshoots are hideous ideologies like wahabi/salafi etc, secondly i will take the liberty of pointing out that there is no 'myths' in shia islam, only creation of feeble pieces of personalised opinion borne out of mediocre information at best of ms Naqvi in ur have also briefly touched on but left out great intellectuals like Mulla sadra (being taught as a phd at stanford), murtadha mutahri, baqirulsadr, even dr ali shriati...all great scholrs of the moslem world....

Thank you, Omar for ably tracing the trajectory and the many facets of Islamic history in such a short space and in so few words. That requires some disciplined and organized thinking in making the central point you made.

Amitabh Bacchan? Nana Patekar? I understand why you had to go to Bollywood to pick your actors for the Islamic dramas chronicled by Tabari. But why did you leave out one of my favorite actors, Naseeruddin Shah? :-)

Naseeruddin Shah could play Abubakr, who was supposedly mild mannered and given to thinking before acting. I had originally imagined Om Puri as the young rebel but could not find a good link for him (a speech from his younger days would have been nice).
Elatia, yes, I deliberately put a lot of hyperlinks in there..I thought this is for a weblog, not a school essay, it should take advantage of hyperlinking to a dozen different places...e.g. Burroughs ramblings are more than just a line about writer's block and the interview with Bowles is short, but worth a read.

kashif, you will enjoy rare Western historian who concludes that if you pay attention to all the reports we have, you begin to see that the Shias do have a point...
Personally, I am not really ready to embrace the notion of divinely guided imams yet and tend to agree with Sauda:

Thi guftugoey bagh e fidak jaRR fasad ki
Jaaney hai jis ko ilm hai Deen key usool ka

(A dispute about the garden of Fidak was the root of the trouble, this is clear to him who knows the principle of religion)

Omar, i did read Wilfred-madelung's book a few years ago, i ususally dont rely on western historians to tell me about my own history (not because of my bias, but their poor research), his was however an exception as you pointed out. The other problem which tends to silence an independent opinion is the 'murderous intolerance' of the Sunni islam, which literally has killed millions throughout history for disagreeing with it(mainly shia but now a little more indiscriminate). As far the divinely guided Imams(as), its when they are ready to embrace you and not the other way around, the 'Nehma e Wilaya' (recognition of the institution of imamat) is the backbone of moselm belief, and is mentioned in 17 places in bible and myriad points in so called sahih bokhari and moselm etc....

This is really very well-written and gives pause for thought by Muslims and non-Muslims.

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