New voices in European Islam, right message for dark moments

"No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn't darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light."— Luke 11:33–36, World English Bible

New voices in European Islam: The right message for a dark moment | The Economist: "Imagine the situation in the Netherlands, back in 2004. Tension between Muslims, Christians and others was on the verge of boiling over after a popular, rambunctious film-maker, Theo van Gogh, was horribly murdered on the streets of Amsterdam by an Islamist. One of the things that helped calm the situation was a remarkable speech, in a mosque, by a Labour politician of Moroccan origin, Ahmed Aboutaleb. As the religiously observant son of an imam, he had impeccable Muslim credentials. But he sensed that this was not the moment to strike a defensively Islamic note. The most important values in the Netherlands, he declared, were religious freedom, freedom of expression, and non-discrimination. "For people who do not share these common core values, there is no place in an open society like that of the Netherlands. Everyone who does not share these values would be well-advised to draw the [obvious] conclusion and leave.". . . ."



The Blame Game

Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Beyond Blame | Boston Review: " . . . . The final reason for cautious optimism is that we have gotten nothing from our 40-year blame fest except the guilty pleasure of reproaching others for acts that, but for the grace of God, or luck, or social or biological forces, we might well have committed ourselves. Our schools are broken, a new generation of kids has been lost, our prisons are crammed with petty offenders whose lives we have ruined in the name of a war on drugs that has been a total failure. And judging from the current mood of the country, the guilty pleasure of blaming others has not proved all that pleasurable. I doubt there will be a groundswell of support any time soon for the view that others may not, after all, be to blame for the mess they (and we) are in. But the fact that we have gotten so little in return for our blame mongering at least opens up the possibility that people would be receptive to a new approach. The next time something goes terribly wrong, suppose that instead of immediately asking who is to blame, we were to ask: How can we fix this problem? . . ."