Sunday, September 11, 2005

A conflict between the future and the past

Occasionally one stumbles upon words which just seem to put everything into perspective, that are so powerful and so true that one is sure that one will wake up tomorrow with just an little more clarity than yesterday.

These words by feminist, writer and human rights campaigner, Taslima Nasreen, do just that:

'Humankind is facing an uncertain future. The probability of new kinds of rivalry and conflict looms large. In particular, the conflict is between two different ideas, secularism and fundamentalism. I don't agree with those who think the conflict is between two religions, namely Christianity and Islam, or Judaism and Islam. After all there are fundamentalists in every religious community. I don't agree with those people who think that the crusades of the Middle Ages are going to be repeated soon. Nor do I think that this is a conflict between the East and the West. To me, this conflict is basically between modern, rational, logical thinking and irrational, blind faith. To me, this is a conflict between modernity and anti-modernism. While some strive to go forward, others strive to go backward. It is a conflict between the future and the past, between innovation and tradition, between those who value freedom and those who do not.'

Taslima Nasreen comes from a conservative Muslim community in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and her outspoken views on women’s rights have made her the target of Islamic fundamentalist death threats and many assaults.

For more information about this courageous humanist, visit her official website.


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