Thursday, January 20, 2005

Freedom versus devil 

Two messages delivered today to millions of people on the opposite sides of the world. Different audiences, different topics, yet both hopeful and encouraging in their own ways.

"The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands... The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world... Freedom. This is a cause that unites our country and gives hope to the world... We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom, and America will always be faithful to that cause."
And the other:
"The greatest affliction to strike the nation of Islam came from some of its own sons, who were lured by the devil... They have called the nation infidel, they have shed protected blood and they have spread vice on earth, with explosions and destruction and killing of innocents... Because Muslims have strayed from moderation, we are now suffering from this dangerous phenomenon of branding people infidels and inciting Muslims to rise against their leaders to cause instability... The reason for this is a delinquent and void interpretation of Islam based on ignorance ... faith does not mean killing Muslims or non-Muslims who live among us, it does not mean shedding blood, terrorising or sending body parts flying."
The first quote comes, of course, from president Bush's inauguration speech; the second from a sermon by Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudeis, the preacher at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, addressing some 2 to 2.5 million pilgrims during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Amen to both.


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