Monday, May 27


A few blame many for a senseless crime, and perhaps that's one definition of extremism. Yasmin Albhai Brown writes for the Independent about receiving hate mail regarding the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street:

"What’s it got to do with me or the millions of other blameless British Muslims? We hate Islamicist brutes more than any outsiders ever could. They ruin our futures and hopes. And at moments of high tension, the most  liberal and democratic of us fantasise about transporting them all to a remote, cold island, their own dismal caliphate  where they could preach to each other  and die....

"Around the world one finds disaffected Muslims who are consumed with bloodlust,  who have lost the capacity for dialogue and  compromise, who seem to have given  up on the best of human virtues – compassion, tolerance, freedom, diversity –  and who are disconnected from enlightened, earlier Muslim civilizations. Grievances have mutated into generalised brutishness."  

The only way to defeat such extremism is for the tolerant, fragmented as we may be, to link with others who may not think exactly alike, but who do promote tolerance.  And of course, that's what happens in Fear of Beauty, when strangers find they have more in common, in an alliance against extremism, than they may with family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and AgnosticPreachersKid.

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