Tag Archives: books

The Book

I have always wanted to be a writer. I want to write in English, but I’m not a native speaker and this makes it very difficult indeed. I have already started saving money for a writing course, and I think I can do it once I’m finished with my graduate studies which I hope would be towards the year’s end. 

I started a while ago writing a fiction novel. Not much is written so far, but I just took Daniel’s advise seriously after our get together in London, which was to dump everything on paper. The novel is some kind of a thriller drama, a genre which I’m not sure exists. It is usually this or that I think? Nevertheless I decided to go along with it, because perhaps I can invent my own genre, so here is hoping. Writing fiction, I have found, is a craft that can be learned. Of course you do need the talent, but I think this is what I have, and what I lack is the technical skill to do it. A writing course for me is then a good starting point to improve my skills. 

The novel has the general theme of how, as we all do, bump into each others in life changing each others perceptions of life. I particularly deal with a young man torn between east and west, and between common sense values and traditional inherited values. I particularly deal with how single events can have the butterfly effect on one’s life, all packed in a thriller that I hope to make page turning. This of course is not me as you would perhaps presume. But it is about me watching life from my own little corner, so it will be me, you and everyone else hitting into each others in life. I’m a believer that life is indeed stranger than fiction, wouldn’t you agree?

I have been reading a lot lately, mostly about belief, religion, and the human endeavor. But, in my last birthday one of the gifts I received was an Obama book “Dreams of my father” which was given to me but one of my European friends. I took no offense, for he sees me perhaps as a black person 🙂 while I’m not black, I’m actually brown (worse I think?). I’m now halfway through the book and I think it is vivacious, and a real good read. This Obama is a good man down at the bottom. No matter how he does during his term in office, he managed to gain my respect.

On another account, Swine flu is here in continental Europe, and I better be more careful because an infection would almost certainly kill me. My first precaution? I wear masks in public transport (I know, I know, I’m malleable). I do look funny since almost no one else is doing it, but I take it, I’m not like everyone else so I’d rather be more careful. It is serious, and although I asserted at Daniel’s blog that it will not infect Muslims 😛 I’m not however sure about agnostics! Wear your tin foil hats folks, the plague is here.

Islam and Science

It is ironic to me that many of us today within the Muslim intellectual-sphere claim names of great scientists of the demised Muslim empire to ourselves. Such scientists have made major contributions to medicine, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, optics and much more. One thing that this muslim intellectual-sphere fails to observe is how were these great scientists treated during their times. Take Avesenna (Ibn Sina) the great innovator in medicine, philosophy and much more, or the great mathematician and philosopher “El Faraby”. Both were accused of heresy and were judged to be outlaws and infidels (expelled from Islam) by a religious scholar/zealot who is cited today in many circles as an Islamic renovator in his era, that is “Al Imaam Al Ghazaly”. Further accusation of the heresy of those great muslim scientists were also perpetuated by prominent religious scholars like “Ibn Taymya” or “Ibn el Kayem”.

The beginnings of the demise of Muslim civilization can be traced back to the days those so called “Islamic renovators or renewers” were in the high. Books were burned, and havoc was wrecked on a fragile but vibrant scientific community. Religion killed science, which is the same fate that was suffered in Europe in the middle ages and before the renaissance. Respectable renaissance scholars attribute the spark of the renaissance to many works by those heretic muslim scholars that were prosecuted in their times by the religious institutions…so much for Islam’s scientific legacy, don’t you think?

Indeed Europe’s scientific rise did not happen until the grip of the religious fanatics in the church were challenged. If I see a seed of demise in western civilization today it must be without doubt the rise of the religious right, specially in the US, and take a look to fine a proof at creationists who so easily trash cosmology, physics, and biology for the sake of an argument that is naive at best and cancerous to the core.

If Islam is to be reformed, we must acknowledge the real reasons behind its demise. Within the current muslim religious “renaissance” which is viewed with optimism by some circles in the muslim world lies the seeds of demise, once more. When I see “Imaam Al Ghazaly” and “Ibn el Kayeem” credited these days as sources of a revived true islam, it sends shivers through my spine! Is this a renaissance or a new demise towards a deeper low in our history?

Being a scientist myself holds me back from the idea of burning books. Although, there is no doubt in my mind about which books that really need to be burned this time around!