Welcome, reader! According to Antony Hegarty in this second decade of the new century our future is determined. What will it be? Stays all the same and do we sink away in the mud or is something new coming up? In this blog I try to follow new cultural developments.

Welkom, lezer! Volgens Antony Hegarty leven we in bijzondere tijden. In dit tweede decennium van de eenentwintigste eeuw worden de lijnen uitgezet naar de toekomst. Wat wordt het? Blijft alles zoals het is en zakken we langzaam weg in het moeras van zelfgenoegzaamheid of gloort er ergens iets nieuws aan de horizon? In dit blog volg ik de ontwikkelingen op de voet. Als u op de hoogte wilt blijven, kunt u zich ook aanmelden als volger. Schrijven is een avontuur en bloggen is dat zeker. Met vriendelijke groet, Rein Swart.

Laat ik zeggen dat literaire kritiek voor mij geen kritiek is, zolang zij geen kritiek is op het leven zelf. Rudy Cornets de Groot.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas.

Het is juist de roman die laat zien dat het leven geen roman is. Bas Heijne.

In het begin was het Woord, het Woord was bij God en het Woord was God. Johannes.

zaterdag 5 november 2011

Holy wars (2010), documentary by Stephen Marshall

A meeting between a christian and a moslem.

This documentary starts in a barbershop in Pakistan. Khalid Kelly is talking to a moslem about his sympathy for the taliban. The moslem calls the police and Stephen Marshall fears they will be arrested and imprisoned. ‘Never talk about religion or politics in a barbershop in Pakistan,’ he warns.

The story starts three years earlier in Missouri with the christian evangelist Aaron Taylor. He was 23 years old on 9/11 and determined to convert moslims. Marshall says there are enough volunteers on both sides, since the year 1400 the battle between christians and moslems goes on.

Khalid was born in Dublin, lived with his wife in London, got a baby and called him Osama and worked as a nurse in Saudi-Arabia. He didn’t let Marshall in his house for a year, because he did not trust him.
Aaron was raised in the Midwest, in the bible belt, he studied in a bible school and wants to spread christianity. He was in Sierra Leone before and now he is going to Pakistan, a dangerous state for a missionary, but he always wanted to go there. He doesn’t feel threatened by moslems. His dad says Aaron is used to go to dangerous places and God will protect him. His father-in-law thinks 9/11 was a wake up call. In Pakistan Aaron is converting and he also tries to heal people with illnesses.

Khalid finally thinks he can use Marshall and shows him a leaflet with contradictions in the bible. The islam is not a believe but a way of life, he says. He is a follower of Omar Bakri, the leader of Al-Muhajiroun, who got expelled from Great Britain after the bombs in the underground in 2005, because of liaisons with Al-Qaida. Omar strives for a large moslem state, ruled by the sharia from the seventh century, the age of Mohammed. Khalid went to Tripoli to talk to Omar and to ask him what to do. On his way from Beirut to Tripoli he smelles a corrupt western, anti-islamitic atmosphere along the road, but Tripoli is fine. Omar says that Lebanon wishes to introduce the sharia, but the western world has still too much influence. He advices Khalid to go back to Great Britain and help spread the islam overthere. Khalid feels himself between two worlds: in one he is not wanted, in the other not needed.  

Marshall listens to Sadullah Khan, an iman in one of the biggest mosks in Southern California and says it is a relieve to hear such a tolerant person. After one year and a half he wants to confront Aaron and Khalid, who live in complete different universes, with eachother. Aaron didn’t want the confrontation untill a man in Brasil told him he would gain a victory in Great Britain.  

The meeting is in the hall of an empty factory. There are two chairs in the middle. Khalid says to Aaron he was called Terry before and asks Aaron about the difference between Jesus and Mohammed. Aaron answers that Jesus is the alpha and omega in this world. Khalid says that every nation has its own saviour.
Khalid talks very fast about the sharia. Aaron says one has not the right to kill another human being, because he has another religion. Khalid protests about dropping bombs on Irak. He says that Aaron represents the American government, but Aaron doesn’t agree with that.
Marshall says that Khalids objections against the war on terror were quite reasonable.
Aaron was shocked about the meeting.

Three months later Aaron says he hoped for a theological debate, but Khalid blamed the western society. There was no dialogue possible. He read about children in Irak who got killed and agrees that the U.S. government was wrong. He understands the anger of Khalid. He watches the video of their meeting with his family. His dad says they live in Gods country and the others don’t.

Khalid didn’t want to talk about the debate anymore, because under the laws against terror all moslems can be arrested in Great Britain and they are indeed. Khalid flees to Islamabad, Pakistan, which has changed a lot after two years. Benazir Bhutto is threatened to death. Khalid wants to go to Swat, a tribal area where they want to introduce the sharia. In the barbershop he talks about the taliban and Marshall fears to be arrested and ereases the footage. The police doesn’t not come to the hotel but Khalid is confused to get chased away from a moslem state. Marshall hoped Khalid would slow down but he still wants to go to Swat. When he learns to shoot there, Marshall leaves him. Khalid says he likes to fight againstg injustice.

Not much later Benazir Bhutto was killed and in Swat the sharia was introduced.

Aaron understood the frustations of Khalid. His anger came from within. The division between us and them doesn’t help them to get somewhere. A nation cannot claim God. One has to look at oneself. By meeting Khalid Aaron gained a fresh perspective. He supported the election of Obama.

Khalid never returned to London. He got no family visa for Pakistan, so he returned to Ireland and started Islam for Ireland.   

Aaron Taylor wrote the book Alone with a Jihadist about his meeting with Khalid. He is a blogger for God’s politics, and still has a good relationship with his parents.

More info about Holy wars on IMDb.

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