Saturday, July 09, 2005

Searching for a Nonviolent Soldier of Islam

Andrew Sullivan asks, "Where's the pacifist Gandhi?" so I asked him, "Where’s the Christian Gandhi?" I mean, I’m on the side of democracy, and all--insofar as democracy is right and decent--but let’s be real about this.

I take his point about Muslim society needing to condemn violence more vociferously, but based upon the reports of the last two days, I think we’ve made some progress on this front.

Maybe Sullivan shouldn’t have reached for the particular person of Gandhi in establishing his metaphor. After all, I'm sure he's not advocating we respond to terrorism only with non-violence, as Gandhi would have.

Having said that, of course, I’d love to see a Muslim Gandhi. And a Christian one, too. (I don't think the Pope counts. The Catholic church might tend anti-war, but you'll hardly see the Pope going on a hunger strike for peace.)

By the way, apparently, there was a Muslim Gandhi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and he was a life-long pacifist.

More on Abdul Ghaffar Khan:
  • veiled4allah: A Muslim Gandhi
  • Asian Reflection: Bacha Khan in Afghanistan
  • Nonviolent Soldier of Islam: Badshah Khan, A Man to Match His Mountains
  • Abbe Normal: Ghaffar Khan

    On the blog above, veiled4allah writes today:
    Whoever is responsible for this atrocity will face the wrath of God for the crime they have committed. He who takes a single innocent life is as though he had killed all mankind (Quran 5:32). My prayers are with the victims and their families. May God ease their pain and help them cope. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un.
    Sounds like the words of a young female Muslim Gandhi right there, Mr. Sullivan.
  • No comments: