Sunday, January 14, 2007

I want my AJZ!

I rushed home to watch God's Business on Al Jazeera English, but all I'm getting is a blank screen occasionally flashing up "Kein Videosignal!" (The Internet feed is piped through Germany.) I'm al-Jajonezin for my al-Jazeera!

Oh, well; tonight's installment is supposed to be Part Four: Islam in France. The blurb mentions that France recently approved the first Islamic school to be included in the state school system, which is a remarkable step. There is a movement to create a natively French Islam, not so willing to defer to the traditional leaders, and particularly not willing to defer to someone just because he's from the land of Mohammed. I am not a Muslim, but I find it especially incredible to claim that God prefers one particular human language (in this case, Arabic, but the principle holds the same for English, Hebrew, Latin, or Aramaic) rather than all of them equally. My hope, a bit utopian perhaps, is that broadening the cultural base of Islam will lead to a greater reconciliation of Islamic faith with the realities of the modern world. The global caliphate will never happen, nor any other unanimity of religious belief. The challenge we must take on is to live in harmony with people we disagree with.

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