Sunday, July 15, 2007

Interview with Sharon Chadha - Part 9

Mac, the guy who just keeps grabbing headlines away from the extremists says we all have to get out there and touch someone.
The rickshaw is Mac's favorite form of transportation.Today our moderate Muslim (oops, did I just refer to him as a moderate? Sorry about that Mac), Mac Haque, none other than Bangladesh's legendary singer, responds to the question "Is there a role here [by that he means this jihad mess we're all in] for music? For poetry? For artists in general?"This 10-part series of interviews I'm conducting with him, as regular readers know, is part of an on-going series, Alternative Voices from the Islamic world. I bring you this because, well, who isn't getting sick of all this bloody jihad? Drop me a line and, well, I'll arrange for the police to pick you up. Anyway, so this was Mac's response to the question about the role artists can play in countering extremism:


Music and poetry have played pivotal roles in Bangladesh’s political history and social revolution. Whether it was the hymns of the Sufi revolt and renaissance against the British or the works of the rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, art has been successfully used here as a weapon against all form of oppression. And it continuously reestablishes and embellishes the secular nature of our culture and our people. . .The intermingling of the greatest religions in South Asia is a clear indicator of the possibilities yet available to the world.What is of paramount importance is closer people-to-people interaction. While technology today permits us to reach out and meet people from all countries of the globe, what is sadly lacking is the human touch.

Yes, indeed, but, I have to say, even in spite of the lack of touchy-feely, I for one still love my Internet fRIENDS.Now be sure to scroll down and see parts 1-8 of this interview - and check out the various links to his music.

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