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Letter to The Editor
To the Sunday Age
I fear that One Nation's populist simplification about Islam threatens to make Muslims 'the new Jews' in Australia ('Right-hand drive as One Nation puts the foot down', 29/1). The claim that Islam 'is not a religion', not a valid sacred tradition, is ridiculous. Consider the profound history of Sufi mysticism and the world class intelligence of many Muslim sages and saints, such as Rumi and Ibn Arabi. Note also the inspired and comprehensive books on metaphysics penned last century by the Perennialist school of Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon. Observe, finally, the wonderful portrait of a humble Muslim worshipper in Rom Landau's chapter on 'The Marabout' in his book 'Personalia'.
Yes, some Muslims interpret their tradition too rigidly and can justly be described as 'theocratic' and 'totalitarian'; but Christian history, too, has its share of such bigots. Subtle and fair-minded analysis of the different manifestations of Islam is needed to avoid future persecution of the innocent majority.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic