LETTER : Easter message from Islam

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Brown's article (28 March) on the meaning of Good Friday contained astute insights into the nature of religious belief and the reason it can be so difficult to understand it from the outside. Glossing over religion, like tacking a two-dimensional view on to a three-dimensional object, is not just the error of journalism, but of popular culture in general, which refuses to accept that there might be things it does not understand.

Mr Brown himself projects the limits of his own religious experiences on to religion and the truth itself. If he had to read the Bible 500 times to find inspiration, then he was probably not reading it in the right manner. It is in the nature of religious scripture to veil itself in apparent paradox. Those with true sincerity and humility will find grace and enlightenment: those seeking to project a prejudicial interpretation on to it, rather than seeking answers from within it, will only find confusion.

The reason for apparent contradictions in religious writing is that the truth is formless, and no one mental concept could convey it. You can only draw one side of the mountain at a time. Even though I follow the Islamic religion, I can see more truth, depth and inspiration in the Psalms of David, or St Matthew's Gospel than I am capable of absorbing.


Trinity College, Oxford