Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Secular Islam

Raed Jarrar had some thoughts on secular Islam:

Islam for me, as a secular leftist, is more than a mere religion
Islam is my cultural heritage that I will protect and maintain until the last moment of my existence.

Islam is the small ornaments in my architecture, the small details of the doors of Al-Mustansiryya school in Baghdad, the arches of the Abbasi palace, the domes of Al-Kathum shrine and the wooden windows of my grandfathers’ courtyard house.

Islam is the small kids playing in the narrow streets of the crowded neighborhoods in Baghdad and Cairo, it is the charming smell of the mosques of Najaf and Karbala, the spicy taste of the Iraqi Dolma, the colorful pigeons flying at the time of dawn in Al-Hamedyyah market in Damascus, the warm palm trees surrounding Shatt Al-Arab in Basra.

Islam is the genius poetry of Quran every morning, the strong voice of Um-Kalthum every evening, the soft sound of Athan every sunrise.

Islam is the shy smile of my woman.