Monthly Archives: April 2009

An Islamic History of Europe?

Why does history matter? It’s the sole provider of context, of meaning, to the otherwise unfathomably complex temporal world. The narratives that sit in your head are the prisms through which you view the world. Successful demagogues know this–so do (good) novelists and filmmakers.

I’ve made this point before, but i feel it’s worth making again: history as it’s currently taught in the west is dramatically skewed toward a myopic western narrative. This excludes the voices of the vast majority of the world’s population, and greatly diminishes Northerners’ capacity for genuinely understanding others’ points of view. If you are what you eat, why not try some (very slightly) spicier brain food… it’s good for you! : )

BBC – An Islamic History of Europe (Full Movie) – Markaz Islam

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Filed under general, history, note to future generations, religion, science

TTBOOK Radio: Iran After the Revolution

A well-assembled podcast on post-Revolutionary Iran.

Juan Cole (of Informed Comment) makes some fairly astute observations, beginning about 42:25 mins in:

Iran After the Revolution (2009-04-17).

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Filed under global issues, middle east, news, note to future generations

The Chickpea

The Chickpea
– by Mowlana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi (Rumi)

A chickpea in a pot leaps from the flame,

out from the boiling water,

Crying, “Why do you set fire to me?

You chose me, bought me, brought me home for this?”

The cook hits it with her spoon into the pot.

“No! Boil nicely, don’t jump away from the one who makes the fire.

I don’t boil you out of hatred.

Through boiling you may grow flavorful, nourishing,

and united with vital human spirit.

I don’t inflict this suffering out of spite.

Once green and fresh, you drank rain in the garden;

you drank for the sake of this fire.”

…via The Chickpea.

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Filed under humour, middle east, persian, philosophy and metaphysics, religion, soul food

BBC 4: Science and Islam

As both a child of the globalized era, and someone involved in education, i’m continually irked by the myopic (judeo)-christian-centred narratives on the history of global ‘progress’ presented to students here in the west (and probably elsewhere, although i can’t speak to that).

Here’s a doc by BBC 4 that tries to remedy this. It’s not too deep, but it’s a start. It’s also really enjoyable.

BBC 4: Science and Islam

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Filed under general, global issues, history, middle east, note to future generations, religion, science