The truth shall set you free

This New York Times article caught my eye online today. It's an interesting read, especially if you're at all concerned with the chasm between so-called fundamentalist Islam and the West, and the bloody consequences of such a chasm.

A Syrian-born psychologist, now living in California with her husband and three children, appeared recently on Al-Jazeera to debate with a radical Muslim cleric whether Islam's reliance on violence and terror is a betrayal of the Quran or Mohammed's teachings. I have no doubt that her articulate but ferocious argument makes her the target of violent zealots, and I devoutly hope she survives whatever attempts are made on her life and continues to speak out and raise these critical issues.

I'm not sure I've expressed it in this forum before, but I have a fear and suspicion of any kind of religious (or pseudo-religious) zeal; you could probably divine that from my posts on Tom Cruise and his life-invading beliefs. Maybe it's because I'm Jewish, and we don't have proselytizing as part of our religion, but I seriously cannot stand someone trying to impose their belief system on me, or anyone else, and I detest smug self-righteousness of any flavor, whether faith-based or otherwise. Believe what you want to, worship as you like, as long as you're not imposing on anyone else, and enjoy yourself (or not, as the case may be), but respect other people enough to let them do likewise. And do me a favor? Keep the stars, crosses, crescents, doves, fishes and other iconography to a minimum, wouldja? We GET IT. And don't blaspheme against Calvin with your back-window decal of him kneeling at the foot of a giant cross -- that ain't right.


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