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Monday, May 01, 2006

Inter-Faith Dia[bo]logue

A cousin of mine has written to me today that she and her husband are working hard with people of different faiths to establish an Inter-Faith Dialogue Forum. They want me to "publicize this through eMail and other communication tools at [my] disposal".

I have, sadly, turned down their request and sent them the following:

I am in a quandary. A Dialogue, the dictionary tells me, is 'a discussion intended to produce an agreement'. An agreement can only take place if both parties are prepared, at the outset, to accept that either of them could be wrong - totally, or in parts - and the other party possibly right. However, if either party believes that it is absolutely right, with NO possibility of error, since it is divinely guided (and in the case of a forum of this nature every one of them, obviously, holds such a belief) there seems hardly any point in starting such a dialogue.
Of course, if 'agreeing to disagree' is the goal, it needs no discussion; just a commitment. And it is a concept that even the Qur'an expounds: To you your way of life, to me mine! 

Incidentally, this Ayat is addressed to the Kafiroon, a category into which many Muslims seem to place even those other Muslims who do not subscribe to their narrow definition of Islam. And although the Qur'an does not say that this Ayat excludes Apostates who, I guess, would have become Kafirs - having abandoned The Faith - the Ulema are agreed that the pleasure in killing them far exceeds that of strictly following the Qur'anic injunctions.

Understandable, for, after all, what is one to do for entertainment in the kind of society they wish to create?

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Blogger bluecheese said...

i want to be back with you, i don't like being back here at all. at all. at all. at all. at all. at all. at all. at all.

02 May, 2006 11:43

Blogger Zakintosh said...

karachi would love you to be here. but i wouldn't want that shift to be seen as a negative comment on lahore (gawd! i didn't know i'd be defending lahore some day!!! the effect some people have) ...

thanks for visiting ... looking forward to the move.

and, insiya: thank you for the may day treat!) ... all 5 of you were such a joy to have with us.

02 May, 2006 11:55

Blogger insiya said...

thank YOU: for the music, the limoo paani, the nimco, the chips, the brownies, the conversation, the lovely wife, the lunch, the EVRYTHING! oh and for making me run around and do chores! :p

may day has never been this good - ever! :)

love. :)

02 May, 2006 12:07

Blogger Zakintosh said...

i doubt if you'll be spared for your 'sexist' comment by referring to Nuzhat as 'the lovely wife' as if she were another of the objects in that long list, even more so since I am being thanked for a lunch that shearranged (and which will probably be replaced by 'lynch' next time).

aur chores to 'kaam chores' hee say karvaae jaatay haeƱ ...

02 May, 2006 12:46

Blogger insiya said...

jee jee. hmph!

and 'May Day 06' deserves a blog in your words! :)

03 May, 2006 11:34

Blogger the olive ream said...

ZAK, this post certainly ranks as one of the best. You highlight the truth so clearly, while others just mince words.

It is a pleasure to read your posts. Love your work!

03 May, 2006 12:47

Blogger sam said...

erm, are you all related?

05 May, 2006 18:38

Blogger Zakintosh said...

yeah. we're bloggers-in-law! well, actually:

met insiya quite a while ago at a qavvaali and have met her family and become friends over time.

met bluecheese last weekend on her visit to karachi. had visited her blog once. dunno if she'd ever been to mine. the 5 refers to 3 bloggers/flickr_buffs: insiya, bluecheese, ali khursheed, napoleon blown apart. and insiya's sis who has excercised restraint and not joined either of these modes of showing off!

met olive_ream very briefly in dubai last month, but only because both of us have been reading and enjoying each other's blogs for a while and my short trip provided a good opportunity.

05 May, 2006 23:09

Blogger sam said...

wow ... socialable aren't you all ... i'm impressed. i don't think i've met anyone since the ill-fated mirc days .... apart from Jammie a couple of months back.

05 May, 2006 23:53

Blogger sam said...

i'm curious. what do you know about shia'ism?
any leads. need to clarify a few facts.

06 May, 2006 19:25

Blogger bluecheese said...

of course i'd been to your blog several times. I think it started with your post about the india trip (tejpal and all) :) but i remember visiting on and off before that as well :) your wit and humor are delightful.

06 May, 2006 19:49

Blogger Zakintosh said...

sam: re shia'ism - i have studied sufficiently to answer basic questions (in a neutral manner) or to provide routes to where greater details are available if you have a specific question. lemme know over email. or this 'comments section' will spawn a lot more than it needs (unless you feel more comfortable in this place).

06 May, 2006 19:56

Anonymous Anonymous said...

daerest z and all the lovely people!!:-)

Inter-Faith Dia[bo]logue!?!?!
oh i cant tell what that just reminded me of......!( so the point of mentioning it fails also completely!)
i agree with the commitment to the agree to disagree part from a religious pov! and hence would love to be a part of any such sensitive subject only if! :-)
the may day!! how come none b'logged it yet?! too sacred a topic to touch...? we being possessive and dont want to give out our cultist secrets? or the "anarchy" of it all?! :-)
or was it as dreamy for every one as it was for me!
love you guys!

06 May, 2006 20:13


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