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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Celebrate the blogosphere

Where else, how else, would you come to know Farrukh Dhondy -
I was born a Zoroastrian, in India, a descendant of refugees from the Muslim conquest of Iran by Arab armies in the seventh century. The India of my childhood was full of superstition, of faith in myriad manifestations of the unseen, but even then one knew that Islam and its followers were distinctive. From the Shia mosque in Poona, where I grew up, there emerged every Moharrum night, the end of Ramzaan, a procession of chanting Muslims in black shirts, cutting themselves with chains and little daggers strung together, in frenzied and bloody penance through the night—a demonstration of a belief beyond the threshold of pain. They believed that theirs was the only creed, that their book was dictated by God, that Hindus were idolators and the worshipers of trees and monkeys, that Zoroastrians were fire-worshiping infidels, and that Christians were an ancient military enemy. Their faith seemed to me even at the time to exclude what it had not invented.

via LGF, on riding the "Religion of Peace Train" and Islamic literary criticism.