Among the constellation of effects flowing from 9/11 at least one has been quite positive. Citizens of the world – some number of us – have been inspired to play a more serious role in curing the ills of society. This curative process reaches out across time and space and into the heart of religion.
As if himself evoked by this event, Abdul-Majeed is opening his heart to speak out about a subject that is his very essence: Islam… a Divine flower of consciousness touching more than a billion hearts and minds… defiled from within. What an agony to be spiritually connected with such a happening? As we all are, but not all so deeply.
While a majority of the Muslim community in the US was cowering in the somewhat justified anticipation of a bloody intefadah by Americans, Dr. Azad chose to rise to the occasion – something Islam truly would have demanded of him - alongside the grieving fellow countrymen. He writes out to his American friends over the Internet and a galaxy of emails from all directions blooms from that. These are us, people, just folks, no grand pretensions, meeting together over the Internet to talk about what we can do to – what? We look at each other sheepishly through the electronic telepathy machine and admit, To save the world.
What else is there to do?
The way the Internet was supposed to be used according to its original scifi prophets.
Such e-letters (and videos, photographs, audios) springing from a new trueness to life, deserve to be collected. And seen, and to further bloom others waiting to see if they can help… how they can help. And we are all going to have to make it up as we go along. Not knowing how to help is a major stumbling block. If anyone knew how to help, the mess would have been cleaned up a long time ago.
Actually there is a grand intuition everyone has that there has got to be a way. That grand intuition itself guides us. It lays down principles for how to make decisions, choices of which way to go. Islam and every other real religion is all about that guidance system. I see it at a point in its own evolution parallel to the day before Martin Luther nailed his ideas to the door of the church saying that each person deserved to have their own direct relationship with God and to be able to read their own Bible.
The reason I say that is because only about 30% of Afghanis, for example, are literate. Even if they had a copy of the Quran they could not read it for themselves. Therefore their notion of what Islam is, reflects the persuasions of the local Mullah – even if that person is not truly in the heart of Islam, on the inside.
Just as the poor of the world – the same people who have been given hope by Islam in large percentage – get their perceptions of Islam in a manner that is not optimal to say the least; the same is true of how they get their perceptions of the U.S.A. Here the non-optimal manner of conveying our image to the world is TV shows – including the infamous Peyton Place which in the 70s was the U.S.A.’s exported image of itself.
So there are some clues lying around so as to ways out of the mess. A lot of “what we can all do” is about communication. How do the religions communicate with each other? Love each other? I quote with the utmost respect: “Physician, heal thyself!”
One experience all of us have inside ourselves from time to time bears a lot closer scrutiny than we ever gave it before. We as the world’s tribe have always taken for granted that Anger is a fact of life and we should just deal with it. But it has always been OK to let it stay around inside us for as long as we felt like it. That simple root may be what led to 9/11… what always leads to a 9/11.
What will you find on this website? Grief expressed in unison, comfort given and received in the same language, and the humane passion felt for each other in the process. Human beings daring to open their hearts to one another. Maybe some new ideas about what to do about our troubles.
I plan to work with Dr. Azad’s site and hope that you all do too. What does this mean to me? Sending in my ideas, relevant electronic objects people toss me, responding to the ideas of others posted here. Seeing if this leads to anything constructive. Somehow I expect that it will.
November 24, 2001
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