As I watched the events unfold in Mumbai the last couple of days, I felt ill. Do not get me wrong, I know that ignorance has been around as long a recorded history, but when are we going to look at ignorance as the disease it is and attempt to find the cure?
As I searched the web for answers, I came across this wonderful insight on the International Association of Sufism website:
"There is always someone who, desirous of power and craving bloodshed, actively manipulates others by fanning the flames of misdirected religious fervor. The only solution when this kind of virus attacks the body of the whole, is to rely on the immune system to return health to the body, which in this case is wisdom.
We must ask ourselves: what condition nourishes the anger, hatred, greed, and other harmful qualities of those who like conflict?
The answer, quite simply, is ignorance. They remain on the superficial level, allied to names, impressed by titles, and bound to inherited systems of belief, and can easily become trapped in a tower of preconceived ideas that's mortared by their own imagination. This tower becomes a strong fortress, which they feel a primal urge to defend. They think that what they believe is right and what others believe is wrong and they look for evidence to prove their "rightness." Yet anyone who is trapped in this tower is wrong, for the fortress is an illusion.
Do we want to live in peace? If so, we each must search beyond titles and inherited systems of belief - all those things which divide us - and begin instead to truly practice Islam: submission of the false ego to the One, the source of mercy, peace and love. In such a state of unity, a state which must be actualized within, internal and external fractures heal, labels lose their meaning and power, and divisive ideology melts away."
The International Association of Sufism
"War is as outmoded as cannibalism, chattel slavery, blood feuds, and dueling, an insult to God and humanity...a daily crucifixion of Christ." -- Muriel Lester
Muriel Lester accompanied Mahatma Gandhi on his tour of earthquake-shaken regions in Bihar on his anti-untouchables tour during 1934.