A shallow view of western culture
Stabroek News
November 23, 2001

Dear Editor,

Mr. Mc Doom does not respond to the main point made by Mr. Barclay's letter - that the Koran in certain passages openly advocates violence and this is then used by the bin Ladens of this world to justify their murderous acts. Mr. McDoom also selects a few instances in history to show Muslim tolerance. Well, for every act, one can find another hundred to show quite the opposite.

The tiresome cliches of the West as being corrupt, decadent, etc. shows a limited and shallow understanding of Western culture. Sure, it produces pornography, Jerry Springer and gangsta rap, but it is also responsible for Beethoven's quartets, Shakespeare's sonnets and Van Gogh's sunflowers. It is an equally wrong stereotyped thinking to believe that all Muslims are suicidal fanatics. Also, Mr. Mc Doom, please do not feel that Islam has the franchise on decency and morality in this world. All the major religions of the world preach the same virtues of good behaviour and most of their adherents practise the same.

Mr. Yusuf Khan [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] claims that the quotes from the Koran are taken out of context. But the following quotes taken from the Koran are quite unambiguous :- "slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers" (5:34). It also asks "for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods" (22:19-22) And "when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight) smite at their necks (47:4). How can there be any but one meaning and one intent as to these passages? What historical context can they possibly be quoted within to provide another possible interpretation to that which is most obvious?

Yours faithfully,

Robin Bhimal