Monday, August 30, 2010

What Is Nature?

Note: Apparently, my post about the NYC mosque was confusing so please let me know if you don't understand what I'm talking about

People see nature as separate from themselves and everything around them. It is an almost abstract concept, something that can be found in designated areas and far-off lands. Nature is what you find when you stray from the path in your local park. It is what you see in pictures of the Amazon rainforest or pictures of Africa that don’t feature starving children.

But nature is everywhere and nature is everything. Nature is the building you sit in while you read this. It is your clothes and the car you drive. It is even the laptop you use at work or school. Nature is not an abstract concept nor is it anything you can separate from your everyday life or your surroundings. Nature is the world in its entirety.

Monday, August 2, 2010

On "Muslim-West Relations"

Unfortunately, the terms being used in the shouting match over the founding of a Muslim community center and mosque in a building hit in the 9/11 attacks are “Muslim,” “mosque,” and “9/11” instead of “terrorist,” “Muslim,” and “difference.” It was not Muslims that attacked the country but radical Muslims and just as with Strom Thurmond and Republicans, the fringe can neither be considered representative of the whole nor dictate the treatment of the whole. To do so means alienating those who would be friends, strengthening those who are enemies and turning away those who may become friends or enemies.