Monday, March 23, 2009

Intentions and interpretations

We have had apologists for all kinds of social evils in over the ages: People claiming how the intentions of caste system were purely professional classification; Claims that dowry was a system of maintenance; Claims that the church was usurping power merely to protect the society from destruction and dare I say, how Burqa is actually a symbol for women empowerment and how the Islamic militants today misinterpret and misuse the sacrosanct sayings of the Prophet.

It is high time these apologists (supposed progressives and liberals form the majority amongst them) woke up to the reality. To be a true progressive means to critically analyze and evaluate each and every act committed and purge (or atleast attempt to) the society of these evils. The caste system was vilified regardless of its intentions and rightly so! Over the centuries, it stood as a symbol for oppression by the elites in the society regardless of what its intentions were. Similarly dowry is rightfully criticized by one and all.

Why then, are we hung up on these interpretations of The Qu'ran? After all, it is not us, but the perpetrators of violence who interpret The holy book in ways that suit their agenda. It is moot to discuss whether the interpretation they use is right or wrong.The road to hell is paved with good intentions it is said. Ultimately the intentions don't matter half as much as the outcomes.

If any, it becomes imperative for the other schools of thought who oppose these interpretations to drown out these voices, cry for reform and enlighten the rest of the world. Until then, I believe it is a cardinal sin to ask(and to do) the rest of us ignoramuses to stop listening to our enemies, because "they don't represent the truth." A territorial conflict may be resolved by over powering the opponent, but a war of ideas and ideologies can't and won't be won in ignorance.
"Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril."
---Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"


saima said...

quite true, and a very interesting blog, i must add! keep up the good work :)

Keep blogging!
:) :)

shrek said...

Thank you! but I'd much prefer dissenting opinions.