I have a confession. I am still a fundamentalist. I am still a fundamentalist on one issue: the resurrection. The resurrection was my last tenuous grasp on faith. I guarded it against attack as if it were … well, a pearl of great price.
Since my deconversion I have spent a lot of time thinking and writing about why I no longer believe. Most of this expression has occurred online as this is the place where freedom of expression has few limits.
I need to repent. It’s no secret that I practice my faith in a different way than most people. I’ve come to realize my faith is more meaningful when I am free to disassemble and rebuild.
If you were asked to name the most important philosopher of 10th-century Baghdad, you would presumably not hesitate to say ‘al-Farabi’. He’s one of the few thinkers of the Islamic world known to non-specialists, deservedly so given his ambitious reworking of Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics and political philosophy.
Five years ago, on Aug. 5, my identity as a Hindu-Sikh American came into question. I was at my aunt’s house in Delhi when we turned on the TV and heard the news that a Wisconsin-based gurudwara was attacked by a white supremacist.
In a world like that of mediaeval Christian Europe, where everyone was a religious believer, how was the moral standing of non-Christians to be approached? Could people who did not share the faith everyone acknowledged as true nonetheless be virtuous?