21 September, 2008

Everything in moderation

Forgot to post on this earlier, but I caught a brillaint discussion on WPR about Sufism while road-trippin' to Prairie du Chien a week or so back.

I believe the guest was one of the Vice Presidents of the Center for Islamic Pluralism--which I didn't even know existed and has a pretty great message--in D.C. Stephen Schwartz is himself a Sufi, and extremely knowledgeable about Sufism in general, it's history, and more importantly its recently history in relation to the major religions of the world.

For those of us (probably just me) who have only read Rumi or Bahauddin, I was pleased that the discussion didn't hinge on their poetry--it wasn't a literary discussion by any means, although several callers desperately wanted to make it such. Rather, Mr. Schwartz seemed focused on the ability of Sufism to draw one deeper into their own beliefs and act as a catalyst for the moderation of radical- or fundamentalism.

One thing he said about Islamic fundamentalists especially intrigued me. To those who have preached to him the need to live exactly as the Prophet had, he questioned if they drove a car to get to work or come to that interview, or if they kept a written Qu'ran in their home. I guess he's stumped more than a couple of people with that one.

At any rate, I'm interested in his book, "The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony" and I'd be interested to see others pick it up and discuss. Just thought I'd share.


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