( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Mishima’s Docudharma Times this morning begins with one of the most interesting and heartening quotes I’ve seen in a long, long time.
After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.
“I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.“
This happened in Ireland. It happened and is still happening in America. It happened in Europe during the Renaissance, in many ways a rebirth in knowledge and a turning from God to man, or at least a rejection of the power of organizational thought control and a repudiation of authoritarianism and a turning towards the fundamental freedom – freedom of thought.
SALMAN RUSHDIE: There are people, as I say, you have to defeat, you know. But I’m talking about the enormous culture of which they’re the pimple on the nose of it. And I think in the end the way in which radical Islam will be defeated is when ordinary Islam, you know, when the regular world of the Muslim faith comes to reject the idea that they will be represented by, defined by that kind of extremist behavior.
BILL MOYERS: But many people say that that kind of extremist behavior is part and parcel of the ideology of the heart of Islam. What do you–
SALMAN RUSHDIE: I don’t think necessarily. I mean, the IRA was not intrinsically– was not somehow arising from something intrinsic to Catholicism. And actually the IRA is a relevant example. Because when the Catholics of Northern Ireland became disillusioned by being represented by the IRA that is what brought the IRA to the peace table. At that moment their power disappeared. And that’s why I’m saying that it is in a way incumbent on the Muslim world to reject Islamic radicalism, because that is what will remove the power of Islamic radicalism.
In the long run there is no cure for awakeness. Things once learned will not be voluntarily unlearned. Enlightenment once experienced will not be extinguished. The flame of freedom once sparked spreads and will not be doused.
A ripple once started spreads forevever, and Nothing stays the same
Heads up. Those aren’t “faint strains of non-darkness” we see on the horizon – those are the edge of the supernova. When it gets here it’ll knock you on your ass. Practice smiling. You’ll be doing a lot of it.
Or practice running. In vain. It’s your choice.
Today is a result of progress, of humanity’s refusal to bestow onto itself dark ages and medieval backwardness. For what is history but progress, always advancing, rarely retreating, always seeking answers according to our collective intelligence and quest for knowledge. Human civilization is advancement, an evolution of society that, though at times might find itself sequestered, never fails to defeat the forces of regressive thought. Over and over again, since the dawn of human existence, progress and backwardness have fought in open hostility, battling for human civilization. Every time, progress has been victorious. Indeed, we would not be living present day society without a triumphant progress raising its proud and colorful flag in victory. Its conquest over the forces of regression and primitiveness is a constant over time, and no matter how dire the world might look, no matter the power of malevolent leadership, no matter how enormous the odds might appear, progress always finds a way. Always. It is a given in life, as constant as rain and sun, and it always reappears to guide human existence past murky waters of times past and into new horizons, using the energy and thoughts of young generations, as well as the experience of those past and aged, to fuse together a more progressive, freer, liberal way of living.
Everywhere one looks the enemies of progress can be seen, homophobic, xenophobic, progressophobic and evolophobic, all unenlightened and ignorant, trapped by the chains of hereditary conditioning and the brainwashing of fundamentalist extremism. Because of their tremendous shortcomings, they fear anything different than them, anything that symbolizes change and progress. The fear is obvious in their desperation, reeking out their pores. They want nothing more than to return America to what it can never be, to times that never existed.
For America was always a nation of change, of progress, of evolution. What the enemies of progress fail to see is that America has from its inception been a nation of evolution, its society and culture progressing according to its environment and ever-changing face. America has succeeded because of progressive thought, because it always sought to move ahead, not regress back. The Founding Fathers could never envisage what was to come, much like we cannot see what the future holds, yet the greatness of this nation is that progress has guided us in time, through dark days and cold nights, leading its glowing candle of light to the vivacity of today, with incredible diversity, talent and potential.
This, the enemies of progress fail to understand, and is why they will fail, just as they always do, to rein in the unstoppable freight train named progress.
In progress can we see history, and in history can we see progress. It is inevitable, as real as the moon and stars, a stalwart energy that, like all forms of evolution, leads to betterment. So do not fear the enemies of change, delusional in belief they remain, their cause is and has always been lost. Yet we must fight their attempts, for progress needs assistance in defeating their overzealous ignorance and growing power. We must not cave in, we must not relent, we must wage battle, for in the end, history and its truths are with us.
It’s the old, old story of The Tortoise and the Hare.
In the long run there is no cure for awakeness, and those who try to stem the tide of freedom will drown in the tsunami…