Tony Blair greeted with eggs, shoes

Maswood Alam Khan
Satisfying curiosity is a natural human desire and people–leaders or philosophers, priests or magicians, actors or writers–who can persuade their disciples, fans or readers to follow along the desired path with curiosity, have a powerful motivational tool. However great a writer one could be, his or her books will not attract the publishers or readers if the writer does not apply this basic motivational magic of curiosity.

Salman Rushdie writes with flair and style but that was not sufficient to make him a big author. Many of his books, including his first novel ‘Grimus’, were ignored by the public and literary critics. But books like “Midnight’s Children”, “Shame” and “The Satanic Verses” catapulted him to notoriety, popularity, fame and fortune. The secret is Salman Rushdie’s ingenious choices of titles and contents of his books which could evoke curiosity among people.

God and creation of universe
Last week like many viewers I was appalled as I was hearing on BBC TV news that Physicist Stephen Hawking spoke against the idea that God could have created the universe! His new pronouncement was awful because it was the same Hawking who previously argued that belief in a creator could be compatible with modern scientific theories. In “A Brief History of Time”–Prof Hawking’s most recognised work–he did not dismiss the potentiality that God had a hand in the creation of the world. He wrote in the 1988 book: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason–for then we should know the mind of God.”

“God not needed for creation” is an idea Stephen Hawking has put in his new book, The Grand Design, which is scheduled for release on September 9 where he says, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing” concluding that the Big Bang was the inevitable consequence of the laws of physics and nothing more. Stephen Hawking perhaps forgot that “Science is about explanations of what humans can view with limited human knowledge whereas religion is about interpretations of the unfathomable creations most of which are still beyond human sight and knowledge”.

I am pretty sure Stephen Hawking’s new book “The Grand Design” will sell like hot cakes all over the world breaking many records of sales of books by many popular authors like Salman Rushdie from the United Kingdom or Taslima Nasrin from Bangladesh.

Eggs, shoes for Tony Blair
Eggs, bottles and shoes were thrown at the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as he attended a book signing ceremony in Dublin on Saturday morning. However, none of the missiles of eggs and shoes did hit Blair. On one side of the O’Connell Street in Dublin about 200 protesters gathered to express their voices of hatred at Blair’s role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and on the other side of the street more than 300 people gathered to get a copy of his book signed.

It was Mr. Blair’s first book-signing since the publication of his autobiography titled ‘A Journey’ that has already become the fastest-selling autobiography. Among the details of his accounts of life in Downing Street, the Iraq War, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America and Princess Diana’s death are specially mentioned about radical Islam as the greatest threat facing the world today.

Demonizing Muslims
Avoiding the argument that Chechens, Kashmiris, Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans were resisting foreign occupations he insisted on confronting radical Islamists because in his language they were “regressive, wicked and backward-looking”. Nowadays it seems writers are bent on making money by touching Islam, in most cases by demonizing Muslims, in their concerted efforts perhaps to suppress the unprecedented growth and popularity of this great religion.

But ironically, Islam is currently enjoying something of a renaissance. After 9/11 attack people who were ignorant about Islam have become curious about this religion and started buying books on Islam in great numbers. Interest in Islam is on the rise all over the world.

Researches undertaken to determine the roots of terrorism have opened windows letting people learn that Islam is not a religion of the terrorists. Islam is rather a peaceful faith that enjoins tolerance, justice, equality, mercy, and love.

According to a survey, 34,000 Americans voluntarily converted to Islam as a result of curiosity about Islam after 9/11.

Email: maswood@hotmail.com

weeklyholiday