Saturday 9 November 2013

Getting bored with Islam

I'm beginning to get bored with reading about Islam in the news every day. Do others feel this way? Interesting though the subject was for a long time. 

This thought was provoked by reading this sad article in The Spectator. Not only are tomb robbers rife in Egypt today but Muslim fanatics trying to destroy ancient Christian and much older monuments for being un-Islamic. This makes me wish we could reconvert Egypt to Christianity, though it reminds me of the fanaticism of the Iconoclasts and the 16th century Protestants. A friend of mine, an American who lives in Nazareth and is trying to encourage conversions of Jews and Muslims, says that many Muslims in the region are converting to Christianity. Far, far more Christians, though, are fleeing the region. Canada beckons and the multiracial post-Christian West.

When I was at university - and I was better read than any undergraduate I met - I did not know anything about Islam or Hinduism or have any idea what the difference between the
two was. I am  pretty sure I did not know that Muslims were circumcised, did not eat pork and did not drink. 

I asked a financial journalist friend when I was in my late 20s, 
'You know the Jews have the sabbath and Christians have Sunday, do the Muslims have a holy day?'
and I remember my amour propre being hurt that she knew that they did and it was Friday. I felt very proud of myself, entering my first mosque, the Blue Mosque, aged 28, because I knew that you have to take your shoes off entering a  mosque. 

I suspect that Macaulay's omniscient schoolboy (to whom, as an annoyingly well-informed child, I in some ways approximated) would nowadays know all these things. Times change and we change with them but, although I want people to be as well informed as possible about the humanities (I don't give a fig for the sciences, of course) this increase in knowledge does not elate me.

I am much more interested in Yazzidism, since I visited Lalish the centre of the Yazzidi faith, in Iraq.

1 comment:

  1. I must say that the Spectator article made me keen to revisit an Egypt sans tourists.