On a Sydney radio station 92.1 FM, dedicated to serve Sydney’s Islamic community, I heard an outstanding presentation on the injunction in the Qoran “Surely there are signs for the faithful.” The young man was giving a hadith, a commentary or exposition of the meaning of the short text, to a live audience. He looked at it from every possible angle, he spoke with assurance, he related everything to human lives and he said everything by referring back, again and again, to God. It was very impressive. If it was given off the cuff, which I seemed to think it was, he owned everything he said.
You do not need me to outline recent events or comment on the comments that come every day. I just want to state how much I honour Islam, which is not my faith-base, but with which I am sure I share much in common without losing anything of my own.
I believe and recently said in a sermon that every world religion upholds something special, unique to it. Christianity is the work of Jesus, God incarnate; Judaism is moral integrity because of God; Hinduism is devotion to sacredness; Islam is the One God; Buddhism is the life practice of virtue. I can relate to them all and I can see that each contributes its emphasis to anyone who follows a spiritual path and practice.
My prayer goes out to every Moslem, in Lakemba, in Syria and Iraq, and anywhere you are. In your language, ‘May Allah be with you.’ We’re being told we should just go about our daily lives as normal. I agree with that, but I’d add that it is probably a good idea and a brake on fears and bad feelings for us all to enter the world of Islam in some way that is okay for us – a google, a library book, a radio station like 92.1 FM, or something.
When we don’t know and when we hear things, we can leave ourselves open to guesswork and then a prejudice we never sought.