Saturday, November 25, 2006

Religious Authority

I can think of very few things in this universe I despise more than religious authority ... no don't miss my point, I'm certainly not against religion, I'm simply against using it to control, subdue and rule people.

The church's history is full of such black eras and horrible acts that I would rather not talk about it.

The Islamic world is also not without precedents in this area, ... and rather some very contemporary ones.

I do believe any Muslim in his right mind would feel as I do, ... religious figures and institutes should function in telling people what is probably right and wrong and why, not what they MUST and MUST not do, MUST or MUST not wear, MUST or MUST not THINK!!

Functioning as knowledgeable and intelligent researchers for matters of beliefs and morals, acting as guides and tutors, not governors, general, not as some kind of behavior police!!

Islam (I believe) has liberated all men from need for any mediator (man or institution) to worship god, one needs no sheikh or mosque to worship god, one but needs his mind (judgment), his soul, and his control of himself (discipline)

I'm not at al against religious figures, ... god knows how I admire and respect several, who has acted as light spots radiating intelligence and wisdome, trying to tutor and liberate people, ... as opposed to those (majority) who have used whatever knowledge and credibility they had to support enslavement of mind and soul for the favor of an unjust dictator, or simply according to some vindictive belief that this is their right or duty.

We're not about history here, so I'll not list examples ... they are plenty, in history and around us.

A religious institution, such as Al-Azhar, should be (as it once was) independent and self sufficient, it's management should be elected (and not assigned from the government)

There is no inclination whatsoever that an Egyptian Muslim should follow the recommendations of Mufty-al-dyar or Dar-al-Eftaa rather than the opinion of other respectable sheikhs or Fiqh schools. (all my respects and admiration to Dr. Ali Gom'a)

Religious liberty, ... that's what I'm talking about!!

Karate, discipline, and respect

Hehehehe, ... that sounded very weird as a headline.

I was recalling my old Karate team, as I practiced karate for most of my childhood years.

The thing that puzzled me the most was the difference between old and new team members. While new members were a bunch of undisciplined rebels, unordered, eager to jest, call names, and just run about doing mischief, old members to the last one of them seemed very disciplined, silent, patient, almost aloof and arrogant, but they were respected.

Don’t assume it’s simply age, that’s not true, new members included many of the older guys, and old members included some of the youngest in the team, nor was it about strength or physical ability, … it was a mystery to me that I only grasped as I ascended in the team and gradually joined the latter group.

With time came knowledge, experience and the valuing of what we did, … with knowledge came responsibility for newer members, to instruct and help them, or just simply be a good role model, … with responsibility came authority and respect, … mark my words, … with adequately fulfilling responsibilities came authority and hence respect and not the opposite. With all that comes a feeling of contentment, of knowing ones place and doing ones part in life.

Alas, all that is lost!!