Thursday, January 3, 2008

Is the Rooster Starting to Crow in Islam?

An interesting piece of speculative strategy by Ibn Warraq on Islamic "Enlightenment" entitled Reason Not Revelation.

And a concomitant post by Damien Thompson regarding a group that calls itself Muslims Against Sharia. We should be so lucky. Still ... remember what Jeremiah prophesied:
"For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the LORD; they have set their abominations in in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind ... [7,30-31]
Why quote this? To show that all of us have had to repent of the "sin of the world" at one time or other, Jews and Christians too. The fact that people from within Islam are showing this initiative, however faint or small, is evidence, in my opinion, of the workings of the Paraklete. For, as Gil Bailie points out:
... conversion always means coming out of the crowd. When Peter heard the cock crow, it was curing him of that little crowd he gathered with around the charcoal fire at Jesus’ trial. When Paul is knocked down on the road to Damascus and he hears the word ‘persecution’, he is being pulled out of the crowd, of the mob.

It is/was in both cases for them and is, I think, the revelation of the cross that brings us out of the crowd for absolutely obvious reasons, once you think about it, because the crowd is brought together and it generates its social camaraderie precisely in those events that are structurally indistinguishable from the crucifixion. The crowd produces the crucifixion. So it is in identifying with the victim of the crowd that one comes out of the crowd. So the cross is the thing that brings us out of the crowd in the Christian economy of things.

So the birth of subjectivity, real subjectivity, is conversion. And the cross reveals because it destroys all the illusions, eventually, that allow us to believe in the god of the sacrificers. And once those illusions are taken from us, it is possible then to see the living God, the God of truth, which in human culture is always the God of the victim.
Contrition is the truest form of knowledge, a wise man once said. So may it be.

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