Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stephen Schwartz the Other Islam the Introduction

When one reads anything produced by Schwartz one should bear in mind he is a professional writer who is dedicated to his on craft. His style is easy the reader even when you do not agree. Schwartz is a man of great passion and great integrity who should be respected even when one disagrees.

Schwartz is a Sufi Muslim and in this work his passion for his subject is quite evident. One gets to understand Schwartz as a person who is very sincere about his beliefs even if one disagrees. As a pragmatist I always have respected the peaceful practice of all religions. However, I am on a plane of existence that is somewhat below mysticism.

The thirty plus page introduction is highly entertaining and informative even though I disagree with the author on many points. Ultimately, his vision would lead to a better world but on a pragmatic level it is improbable.

6 comments:

Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Always On Watch said...

Ultimately, his vision would lead to a better world but on a pragmatic level it is improbable.

I don't have the book. A few specifics, please, about the above?

beakerkin said...

Schwartz believes that America should
meet with Sufi leaders. America should not abuse Sufism as political
"state Sufism" has had a bad record.

The parts that I specifically find unworkable is his discussion about rational Sufis and more extremist visions such as Wahabism. Schwartz is correct that there are Sufis in all countries. However, Sufis are unlikely to shake up the status quo
in Iran, Saudi Arabia or any place
else. In general Sufism seems unlikely to convey the type of message that would be able to do this as it is very individualistic
and cosmopolitan.

I agree the American government should meet with Sufis and attempt
to understand Islam from this perspective. A conversation with a
Sufi like Schwartz is a very different animal than a conversation with a CAIR clown. Schwartz and many of us share common passions starting with a traditional form of patriotism moving to arts and literature. Islam is probably best understood
from outside by people who share many of our values and passions like Schwartz whom I respect even when I disagree.

The Pagan Temple said...

Sufism is considered a fringe movement within greater Islam. They can have absolutely no impact with the more traditional forms. Yes, we should talk with Sufi leaders, but we should understand going in that this will meet with a great deal of criticism from the other branches of Islam, who will interpret it as an attempt to build up the Sufi movement at their expense.

The Pagan Temple said...

Giants versus Bengals-

They should change those damn overtime rules.

There will be payback.

Always On Watch said...

I concur with The Pagan Temple's comment.

BTW, the Moslems whom I knew in college were mostly Sufis. We had no confrontations, no problems. The Sufis I met were the live-and-let-live type and seemed to fit in quite well with the counterculture on campus.