To keep a friend company I used to sit and read with him. We didn’t read a normal book, we read the Koran. I was young and still remembered most of my Arabic. And so we recited it. I didn’t understand the importance.
I used to be Hafiz. A Living Koran, I could recite it at whim when I was younger and I still can identify quotes. I even demonstrated that fact quite proudly to Muslims who were amused by it. I suppose I moved in more liberal circles as a kid but I do remember that the rise of Wahabbism wasn’t yet complete and so many Muslims were more “chilled” when I was younger.
So to hear the amount of Holocaust denial in Islam pains me. It is no secret that I am a big fan of classical Islamic culture. Many readers are aware of my knowledge of erotic Islamic poetry (Oh yes it’s a thing) from the Lucknavi dynasties. Or my knowledge that Illustrated Korans exist. Or my love of classical science. I still own a hand drawn copy of the book of Alf laylah wa-laylah (1001 Nights). [Read more...]