Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Litany Against Fear + Death by Stoning

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

This is the Litany of Fear, any reader of Frank Herbert's DUNE books will recognize. They're probably the most memorable lines in the book. It described desert dwelling arab-looking bedwins wearing "still-suits" which recycle and distill the body's own liquids, of perspiration and urine. Men who's sign of respecting one another is to spit infront of them, because the liquid is their most sacred possession. Men who are awed when someone sheds "tears" for a dead loved one. "Giving water to the dead". The dead who have no use for the water which you give in tears. To them the act is so wasteful and irrational, it can only be explained as a mystical religious act.


Another story caught my eye yesterday on BBC & the Indepedent:

Saudi princess 'given UK asylum'

Princess facing Saudi death penalty given secret UK asylum

It's curious that the 2nd story in the Independent wrongly states that the child also would face death. As I understand it, Shari3a law ac states that the pregnant woman awaiting stoning or flogging is made to wait until birth, and in some cases even allowed to nurse the child for sometime if needed, until the baby can survive without her, and THEN she would be flogged if she wasn't married, or stoned to death if she was.

This is a classic case of the conflict in moral values between us muslims and those of the west.

What do you people think?