Upon recommendation of my dear friend Karen, who is an expat living in Turkey, I just watched a very interesting talk of a person called Mehdi Hasan that was made in Oxford Union with the title “Islam is a peaceful religion:
The main lesson that I draw from this talk, (in addition to the realisation that it would in fact be quite unfair to judge Islam completely as a warrior religion) is that having stereotypes about anything as well as a religion, due to limited knowledge or strong prejudices, may not only be unfair, but also dangerous as well – as it can, in itself, be source of divisions among people and even lead to wars.
Of course, this talk is quite ironic at a time when we are having so many problems in Turkey that is closely connected to religion. I see that the problem in the country, is simply reduced to a clash of two groups: one that supports religion or not; and consequently one that wants Erdogan or not! However, the main issue is way beyond this. The real question is “Can we safeguard democratic and human rights of people in general, while we grant more rights to less favored people?” In other words, “Can we protect people from loosing their democratic rights, during a “democratisation process?”
By the way, this talk also reminded me the discussions we had on our 2nd “Curious Souls Get Together” meeting on the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie’s talk on “Single Stories.” As you remember, we disuscussed about how we tend to create “single stories” on people and on countries and how harmful these single stories can be.
Enjoy the talks and have a nice day!
Isil the Curious Soul.