EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST DID KIPLING GET IT RIGHT?
called "The Ballad of East & West" whose initial line reads: "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet." Kipling seemed to. A line from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It continues, a few lines later: “But there is neither East nor West When two strong men stand face to face.”. Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. This opening line of The Ballad of East and West is often quoted to underline.
Those who have difficulty believing all this should listen to his popular TV show Sharia and Life, presumably coming to you soon on al-Jazeera. The conquest need not necessarily be by the sword. Perhaps we will conquer these lands without armies.
'Never the twain shall meet' - the meaning and origin of this phrase
We want an army of preachers and teachers who will present Islam in all languages and in all dialects. Had we been patient and let time take its course, instead of the eight million there could have been 80 million [Muslims], and 50 years later perhaps the US would have become Muslim. Islam is a universal religion.
It aims to bring its message to all. Could this be the precursor of an Islamic penal law which will institute sentences such as the flogging or the stoning of adulterous women? The West is constantly castigated for having imposed its decadent values, culture and language on Third World countries, but one rarely reads that Islam colonised lands containing advanced and ancient civilizations.
Something like years if memory serves. Elsewhere, a central Asian people, the Turks, converted to Islam and conquered the ancient Christian land of Anatolia now Turkey. In they captured Constantinople, then the centre of the Eastern Orthodox Church. They turned the sublime Hagia Sophia, which had been one of the most important churches in Christendom for almost 1, years after it was built in A.
D, into a mosque, adding minarets. For four hundred years the Turks occupied Greece and much of the Balkans, turning the Parthenon into a mosque and besieging Vienna, before retreating as their endurance declined.
Talk to a Greek Cypriot or a Greek about Islam and the Turks, but be careful to put some cotton wool in your ears first! Of course, before anyone writes to tell me, I am aware that Christianity has been just as much a conquering religion in its time. The Spanish destroyed the ancient civilisations of Central and South America quite ruthlessly as they spread their message of Christian love.
It was Christians too who colonised the Americas and Australia, annihilating the natives as they went.
The meaning and origin of the expression: Never the twain shall meet
All the while, Christian missionaries were at work busy converting much of Africa. Now they have stopped their conquering and converting; indeed in much of the Christian world, in places like Quebec and France to name but two, they seem to have stopped believing in Christianity as well. If there are doubters still about things like freedom of religious belief then consider that the Saudi Arabian government bans all churches, while the west is building, if not paying for, so-called Islamic Cultural centres.
In some Islamic countries even the preaching of Christianity is banned, contrasting starkly with the West where the right to practice religion is enshrined in our laws and constitutions. Those 50, French converts to Islam, mentioned earlier, have all done so freely without reproach; any who convert to Christianity from Islam can expect death threats at the very least.
Ask any of the Christian Pakistani refugees that Canada has sent back to their own country, if they are still alive that is.
While the Crusades were, by and large, attempts to retrieve lands which were formerly Christian, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II, apologises for them almost constantly. Rather as an old lady might apologise to a mugger for trying to retrieve her purse, was the way the Archbishop of Canterbury described it. Contrast this with the statements of his opposite numbers which call loudly for the overthrow of Christendom. This is not to claim either that all conversion to Islam has been by the sword.
Indonesia was peaceably converted by Muslim traders and is now the most populous of all the Islamic nations. Heard from Darfur recently? Even the most vociferous critics of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions by President Bush are unlikely to believe that he did so in order to spread the word of Jesus. The supreme irony in this is that by deposing the hated Saddam Hussein, who ran the most secular of Arab regimes, the USA, publicly in favour of creating an Iraqi democracy, is actually transferring power to the imams.
We read too of Christian churches in Iraq being attacked. Over the centuries, religions have changed because they needed to do so in order to survive. Additional fragmentation occurred at the Reformation as numerous other sects came into being and today who knows how many Protestant sects there are? Even Judaism, the basis of both Christianity and Islam, has changed over the almost four thousand years of its existence and did so by making changes which allowed its devotees to live and survive in various cultures and countries.
This does not seem to be true of Islam, where there appears to be no room for adaptation to the conditions of the 21st century, nor seemingly any incentive to do so.
The laws of the 7th century were essentially designed for a nomadic people and have remained virtually unchanged ever since. Indeed there is conflict in many countries which have large Muslim populations and one only has to think about the Philippines and India to realise this. Kamal challenges him to a riding contest, and they gallop until dawn; after 20 miles, the dun falls.
Kamal turns, and knocks the pistol out of the son's hand. Kamal says that it was only by his permission that the son had ridden unharmed through his territory. The son counters that his death would cost Kamal's tribesmen the high price of feeding and quartering a large punitive expedition "If there should follow a thousand swords to carry my bones away He demands that Kamal return the mare, and proposes to "fight [his] own way back" to his territory.
Kamal advises him that the theft of the mare, which after all didn't belong to him personally, shouldn't provoke him to place his life at risk with such rash demands. The Colonel's son reiterates the demand on behalf of his father, at which point the mare returns to him on her own accord.
Kamal respects the mare's choice of owner "'We be two strong men The son offers a pistol to Kamal as a return gift between friends, which Kamal accepts. Kamal then commands his only son to protect the Colonel's son on his return journey and to serve valiantly under him for the British Rajeven if he has to fight against Kamal "for the peace of the border-line". Kamal foretells his own death by hanging, and the promotion of his son to a high rank in the cavalry.
The Colonel's son and Kamal's son swear blood brotherhood. The two young men ride back to the British fort, where Kamal's son is greeted with hostility by the guards. The Colonel's son admonishes them that his companion is now no longer a border thief, but a fellow soldier.