The metaphors sometimes get delightfully mixed. The puns are often too well intended. The turn of phrase too sudden. But there can be little doubt that M.J. Akbar is a master wordsmith.
In today’s Deccan Herald, the veteran editor and author weighs in on the war of stereotypes over the proposal to build a mosque at the site of the World Trade Center towers in New York City:
“Can there be any rational reason for such subliminal fear of a house without a door?
“A mosque has no door; it is always open to anyone. Submission is the guiding force of its spirit and simplicity is its objective. There is equality in the lines of prayer. Servant stands beside master to bow, at the same moment, before the Lord. Divisions and pretensions dissipate.
“The whole world, as the great Indian theologian and mass leader Maulana Abul Kalam Azad used to say, is god’s mosque. Nations may claim to act in the name of god, but god does not need nations. A mosque is neither factory nor fortress: why should it arouse either envy or fear?
“Whatever else Islam might be it cannot be fascist. True, there are some Muslims who are fascist, but why blame Islam for the tyranny of despots? No one blames the Roman Catholic Church for Mussolini. Terrorists conspire. A conspiracy is hatched behind closed doors. A mosque has no door.”
Read the full article: A mosque has no door