Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Bloody Dan Brown and his damn Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown and his bloody Da Vinci Code is driving me mad. I read somewhere that the worst thing about the Da Vinci Code is that people who've read it think that they know something about symbology and religion. It comes up no matter who you are talking to.

I've always felt that the more I learn, the more I realise how little I know. The reverse is also true. If you read one book on a subject you feel like you know enough to talk knowledgeably about it in conversation. But in reality, one book is only one interpretation or point of view. I know you can't possibly read everything on a subject but how much information would give you a balanced, overall view.

This morning one of my workmates was talking about Andrew Denton last night. Apparently he was interviewing a female Islamic scholar who was promoting her new book. I didn't see the show so my workmate was telling me about it. I know she was telling me because I would have been interested, but I got annoyed because what she was describing was a very simplistic view of the issues. My workmate was speaking as if she knew a lot about Islam just from watching the interview. Every man and his dog has a different interpretation of Islam - especially around contentious issues such as women's issues. You can't possibly understand Islam through one book or through one persons interpretation.

With these two examples, I don't think that any of us are really qualified to talk about anything beyond what we are having for lunch!

I'm so naive - I really had no idea how complex things can be. I am generally a big picture person so I find it difficult to deal with all the smegging details. Sometimes I feel like details will be hounding me to my very grave.

Anyway, enough whining for now. On a positive note, my Islam lecturer has granted permission for me to write my short essay on Family Planning and Birth Control in Islam. I hope to specifically focus on the population policy in Iran. It's really interesting in that they had to implement family planning practices because the economy could not keep up with the population expansion. The economic circumstances effectively forced the theocracy to endorse the implementation of family planning practices. Khomeini in particular endorsed family planning and said that one educated and healthy Muslim is worth more than five uneducated and unhealthy Muslims (or something like that). I've also found some stuff where family planning practices are denounced as western and therefore evil. It will be interesting to find out how the clerics reconciled these interpretations.


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