This is the strange world we live in. Philippe Val, the editor of Charlie Hebdo magazine, is the ultimate hero of free speech. Ah yes, apart from that time he sacked Maurice Sinet for penning an allegedly anti-Semitic column about Nicolas Sarkozy’s son. Marc Bonnant, champion of rhetoric and polemic, is a terrible and bigoted Islamophobe, hater of Muslims and critic of Islam. Ah, but no matter: he must now act on behalf of Tariq Ramadan in his defamation suit against his four Swiss accusers.
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I hate heroes. I mean those heroes who come into work despite clearly suffering from some highly contagious lurgy. Yes, the ones you must have a meeting with, and sit in close proximity to, as they cough and splutter and sneeze and wheeze, in a heroic act of defiance meant to convince their colleagues that they are indispensable.
Well, thanks to you, oh heroic one, I now suffer under the weight of your lurgy, driven to sickness, fatigue and a woozy head. All of which I avoided for months and months by staying away from your office. A meeting meant to increase productivity has instead brought me to my knees. So yes, I have you in mind when I say, “I hate heroes.”
How I feel about extravagant eulogies, be they for the living or the dead, from an old post:
“Spare us the hysterical eulogies of the cult of celebrity. Men are capable of both greatness and unspeakable evil. An idol who touched the lives of millions has departed. Only the bravest dare speak of his crimes. The same establishment which pretended not to know about the last superstar unmasked still looks the other way. Nobody really cares about the insignificant ones abused by those with money, fame and power in the era of Free Love.” — Cult of celebrity (12.01.2016)
It is a shame that militant secularists cannot appreciate their own extremism, with all their sacred symbols that they will defend against the blasphemies of their enemies. It is a shame that they cannot see that the excesses they condemn amongst religious communities are right there in their own. It is a shame that they are as fanatical as the fanatics they claim to oppose. It is a shame that they are as blind to their own reality as they are to the realities of their assailants. Their emotions, their passion, their prejudices: they are no different to the people of religion they rebuke.
Perhaps those who do not harbour demons are incapable of comprehension. Perhaps those of us that do too readily see ourselves in others, projecting our own diseases onto them. Perhaps those who see only purity are upright and true. Perhaps those of us who see ourselves in others, truly only project our own darknesses out into the world. Perhaps we only see ourselves.
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for God, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God is more worthy of both. So follow not personal inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort your testimony or refuse to give it, then indeed God is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” — Qur’an 4:135
A nice talk. The theme revolves around the three core pillars of spiritual practice: shunning the haram; being consistent and regular in dhikr; and keeping spiritual company.
(Sorry I don’t know how to embed Facebook Videos here.)