Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Life as a Fanatic

I came across (through Bin Gregory blog) an old (written in 2001) but yet interesting article entitled Stomach Full of Stones - My Life as a Fanatic written by Ruslan Mahmedov. In the article the author began,

The first thing people asked was "How could this happen?" At the root of that question is an impossibility. How could people love their countries, their families or their God enough to kill thousands of people on the edge of a razor?

He is a former militant Wahhabi and he describes his experiences in the article. Very interesting indeed. Some quotes:

...Wahhabism in other villages was not so gentle as it was in our lovely valley. Without preaching the group would not continue to grow. So we were pushed from town to town, often facing rocks and much worse from people who had already suffered more militant Wahhabis, some of whom would kick old people they saw smoking tobacco or douse the heads of the town drunks in the barrels that cows drink from.

One man sniffed when he found a book of poetry in our small dormitory. The book belonged to me. He sniffed and said in poor Russian that nothing but the Koran and the Hadiths should be read, especially in a mosque. My friends raced to remove the offensive book from the sanctity of the mosque. It was by Rasul Gamzatov, our national poet, who is regarded as the greatest Dagestani since Imam Shamil himself. I can only compare his reputation and the respect he is given to Pushkin or Shakespeare. This was far enough for me. I had become insubordinate according to the "total submission" of Wahhabism, not rude, but hesitating, which is almost worse. The material issue of Rasul's book of poems was completely irrelevant to me, as I knew them all by heart. It was the symbolism, which I now completely grasp. Foreign men who promised me salvation were ripping what I loved away. This was the price one would pay to become a soldier for jihad. I had alienated many people I loved. For their memory, I want to say that more than just nationalism, this incident caused an awakening in me.

Read the entire article [click here]


bin gregory said...

Assalam alaykum! Lovely site. Can we talk? I don't like to chat in comment boxes; do you have a yahoo account that I could IM you with? Mine is bingregory, or you could email me at bingregory "at" bingregory "dot" com.

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