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Need For a Bit More Quiet Lament
Sep 1, 2009

In the face of so many things happening around us, we have two options: either to ignore them, or to take action. Nevertheless, taking action does not always entail outward mobilization. A prophetic tradition narrates that believers should change with their hands whatever wrong they come across; if they cannot change it, then they should speak up against it; if that is not possible either, then they should assume an internal feeling in reaction to that wrong, and this last one, the hadith reports, is the lowest of faith. The lead article is a lyrical portrayal of a figure who buries his cries inside and pronounces his feelings “with silent woes.” But this figure is not the believer with the lowest level of faith in the hadith; the silence of people like this “arises from their subtle refinement and vast compassion which would not disdain even an ant, from their philosophy of security and trust, respect for human values, mercy toward everyone, and from relying on God in all matters.” Perhaps they are not given the opportunity, they are gagged by tyrants by all the means possible. The author thinks “a blissful hour” will come “in which the All-Powerful will speak.” For him, “there is still need for more quiet lament, after which perhaps the spring will rise.”

For many, math is the most difficult class. Is it because of our own laziness, or is much math too abstract to comprehend? Ali Unver says, “educators who see the beauty at the center of mathematics and can make their students see it that way, are more likely to be able to get their students’ attention and teach them more effectively.” He explains in “Mathematics and the Universe” that mathematics is not only for keeping track of our checkbooks.

Mary and Jesus, peace be upon them, are the subject of a considerable amount of Islamic literature. Ahmet Cetinkaya contributes with a thesis on the question of whether Jesus had any brothers and sisters. Drawing on sources of Islamic tradition and the Bible, Cetinkaya lays out interesting information on the topic, which is also a matter of debate between some Christian denominations.

“Romania – Dar-ul Sulk” discusses how historical truths are sometimes forsaken for the sake of political interests. Victor Nitelea presents an exemplary account of the mutually beneficial centuries-long relationship between the Ottomans and Romania and how the positive image of Turks as a tolerant society was replaced by an image of barbarians. This account also explains how the school curriculum can be manipulated according to political trends at the expense of causing intolerance and conflict between East and West.

“Can I Be Your Baggage?” Barney Zwartz, a journalist from Melbourne asks Abdullah Aymaz, who spoke about the emergence of the Gulen Movement in an international conference organized by the Australian Catholic University back in July. Whose baggage did he want to be? Zwartz was referring to the educational movement started in the 1960s among a small circle of young people like Mr. Aymaz who were inspired by Fethullah Gulen. In this issue, Aymaz shares with us his observations of the conference with some flashbacks to his first encounters with Mr. Gulen and how the movement started to take shape.