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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Thursday, May 05, 2005  
    Dad went to a book launch today.
    The book’s subject? – Surprise, surprise – Islam.
    That seems to be the perennial subject amongst Muslim writers in this country.
    And the perennial subject for Christian writers in this country seems to be emigration.
    Are the two subjects interlinked perhaps?
    How many books are there out there about Lebanese emigration?
    They’re probably the easiest sort of books to write – just a compilation (list really) of names, locations, dates and historical documents.
    I know of an instance where the author of a book on Lebanese emigration to Australia was soliciting money from prominent Australian/Lebanese families to mention them favourably in his book.

    And Arab fiction writers seem to be fixated on the kitsch folkloric past – the equivalent on Australian writers still writing about bushrangers.The one caveat to my reviews is the minor matter of my not being able to read or write Arabic – having never read these books; at least I’m objective (to the extreme).I maintain that I don’t need to read and write Arabic, I understand Arabic (Arabs).Besides, half the Arab world doesn’t read or read Arabic (that is are illiterate) so why should I?This is more an oral language and culture.
    Also, some Islamists tell me that Arabic is the lingua franca in heaven, so I’ll save myself the hassle of learning it now and just wait until then.

    I maintain that the only thing wrong with Islam is Muslims, just as the only thing wrong with every other religion is also most of its adherents.
    The Koran is intrinsically sound.
    Sure there are some severe parts in it but there are also such bits in our Old Testament as well.
    The difference is that we have evolved to the stage where we don’t follow our Old Testament, or our New Testament for that matter, to the letter but to the spirit.
    All religions are intrinsically sound but, as always, it is the interpretation and practice that often deviates from their true essence and usurps, exploits and tarnishes them.
    I must say that I have a bias towards the traditional Abrahamic religions though, the big three – (in chronological order) Judaism, Christianity and Islam.I’m a monotheist and I think that any more than one God is a crowd.

    8:00 pm

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